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Farewell to our Comrade, Rodney Lam

Rodney Kwock Mon LamRodney Kwock Mon Lam

Rodney Kwock Mon Lam passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, January 19, 2016, with the love and aloha of his ohana (family) and friends. Born January 8, 1928, in Honolulu, Hawaii, he enlisted in the Army at age 17 in 1946
and was sent overseas to Germany. Rod served on active duty from 1946 to 1949 and was part of the Army Boxing Team in Bremerhaven. Upon his return he married his sweetheart, Rose Ing and started a family.

After leaving the Regular Army, Rod served in the Army Reserve and was a clerk at Schofield Barracks. He advanced through the ranks to First Sergeant at Fort DeRussy.

Rod spent most of his working life in real estate and was Vice-President of Preferred Properties in Honolulu for many years. In 1974, the family moved to Edmonds to pursue new opportunities in real estate, working for Century 21 McPhersons Realty, Pacific Land and Lake Tapps Realty and later was the broker for Chelan Hills and Lake Chelan Shores resort.

Upon his retirement, Rod enjoyed boxing events, outrigger paddling, travel, walking in the mall, dining out, magic and photography. He paddled for Hui wa’a O Puget Sound for 10 years. Although he started paddling late in life at age 70, as part of a six person team he earned first place in the Golden Masters PNW-ORCA championship race! One of his fondest memories was said by his son, Rocky to be a recent trip to Washington DC in October of 2015, as part of the “Puget Sound Honor Flight” that honored WWII Veterans.

Visit our Post 8870 Facebook Page!

Our post Facebook page is up and running, with some new photos and recently posted articles. Make it a habit to visit the page now and then at:

https://www.facebook.com/VFW-Post-8870-Edmonds-WA-436757345077/timeline

Members are encouraged to post photos and articles of interest to Veterans. We are discouraging the posting of purely political items, unless the subject is specifically focused on veterans issues. Your editor will be policing the page and will delete materials deemed inappropriate. Feel free to post photos of you and your comrades from your time in the service and share memories you feel are pertinent, or report on veterans activities in which you participate.

The Facebook page is a great way to publicize 8870 and our activities and the easiest way to make that happen is to invite all of your own Facebook “Friends” to visit and “like” the page. The more we do that, the more we will increase our Post’s visibility among our families, friends and the rest of our community.

VFW Blasts Paid Patriotism in Sports

“Now Hear This”, VFW Magazine, February 2016

The Pentagon spent at least $ 6.8 million in taxpayer’s money on contracts with professional sports teams that were identified as staged patriotic events, over the last 4 years. Included were 18 NFL, 10 MLB, eight NBA six NHL and eight MLS games. Nascar,( $ 1.6 million), Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin also received money from the Defense Department.

NFL teams were the biggest beneficiaries, taking in millions. The Atlanta Falcons alone received $879,000.

Members of Congress who investigated this situation sponsored a bill calling for the teams to offer “an equivalent amount of funding in the form of a donation to a charitable organization that supports members of the armed forces, veterans and their families.”

Iraq War vet Will Bardenwerper spoke for many veterans when he wrote in a Washington Post editorial: “It is time to stop the perfunctory display of honor at our professional sporting events”

LIKE “SEA HUMVEES,” BUT BETTER

NL0316_boat-captured

From an article By Kelsey D. Atherton, Popular Science, posted Jan 14th, 2016

On Tuesday, January 12, the American public first learned that Iran was holding 10 American sailors and two small, riverine boats. This is a story about those boats.

The sailors were on a pair of Riverine Command Boats, first introduced into the United States Navy in 2007. For reference, they’re similar in concept to the Swift Boats used in Vietnam and popularized in the film “Apocalypse Now”.

During the Iraq war, Naval riverine units patrolled the waters of Basra in southern Iraq. The actual boats are 49 feet long, 12 feet wide, and have a top speed of nearly 50 mph. They have a range of almost 370 miles. They also include six mounts for weapons: one of them remotely controlled, one controlled from the boat’s cockpit, and the others operated by crew. These are for smaller weapons — think machine guns and grenade launchers, not anti-ship cannons.

In 2007, when the Navy first ordered them, they cost about $860,000 apiece. While it only needs a crew of four to operate, the vessel has room for 22 people total, making it an ideal way to transport marines or other units upstream and into unexpected shores.

VA Medical Benefits

Understanding Priority Group 6 Eligibility for Vietnam Veterans

Health benefits for medical problems related to agent orange exposure have been a source of much confusion for Vietnam vets. The following from an article in the March 2016 VFW Magazine should help to clarify.

Eligibility for enrollment in the VA health care system is determined by qualifying in one of eight priority groups. Priority Group (PG) 6 incorporates seven categories of veterans. The fourth category pertains to “Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975”. On the surface, that statement suggests that simply serving in Vietnam automatically bestows eligibility for enrollment. However, it is misleading because it leaves out an essential element in the equation.

To clarify and elaborate on eligibility for PG 6 Southeast Asia Theater veterans, we asked the following questions of VFW’s National Veterans Service, the department familiar with VA rules and regulations.

Q. Does merely having served in the Republic of Vietnam (former South Vietnam) guarantee automatic enrollment in the VA health care system?
A. No. Eligibility is predicated on presumed exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides on land in Vietnam or on a ship operating on the inland waterways of Vietnam, as outlined in Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations under Sec. 3.307(iii): “Service in the Republic of Vietnam includes service in the waters offshore and service in other locations if the conditions of service involved duty or visitation in the Republic of Vietnam.”

Q. What about veterans who served in Thailand?
A. Veterans who were stationed on military bases in Thailand and were possibly exposed on or near base perimeters also fall under ,T1G-6. Examples would include servicemen who performed guard duty on the perimeters or Air Force security police who regularly patrolled the perimeters.

Q. Are there any recipients of the Vietnam Service Medal not covered under Priority Group 6?
A. Yes. Sailors who served aboard ships in the “Blue Water” Navy in the Gulf of Tonkin/ South China Sea are currently excluded. Also, Air Force crew members who flew B-52 bombing missions from Guam do not qualify.

Q. If a veteran enrolled in the VA system based on Agent Orange presumption, applies for VA disability compensation based on one of the 14 qualifying diseases and is denied, how does that affect his qualification for Priority Group 6?
A. All 2.6 million Vietnam veterans who served “boots on the ground” are deemed to have been exposed to Agent Orange. So if they develop any health conditions potentially related to that toxic exposure, they are entitled to care through PG 6, ”unless there is affirmative evidence that the veteran was not exposed to any such agent during that service.” Veterans can be denied admittance under PG 6 if the condition they seek treatment for did not result from toxic exposure. At that point, they may be considered for Group 7 or 8, unless they have an unrelated service connected rating.

Q. If a veteran needs assistance in enrolling in the VA system and/or is denied admittance, where can he or she go?
A. Contact an accredited VFW service officer at your nearest VA regional medical center. A list of service officers is available at www.vfw.org/NVS. Select your state beneath the “Find a Service Officer” box and click “Go” to get the name and contact info for your state service officer.

VFW Magazine• MARCH 2016

Moving Forward on the Edmonds Veterans Plaza Project

Edmonds Veterans Plaza sketch

The presentation of changes and improvements to the original concept presented a year ago was approved by the Edmonds City Council. in a meeting in February. This allows the design Firm, site Workshop, to move to the 90% design phase and for the Fund Raising Committee to move forward in developing a new fund raising campaign directed to the general public.

The support of the VFW members that were in attendance at the City Council meeting was greatly appreciated as their presence sent a very strong message to the council. The EVP committees also appreciate the support of Post members who have donated and have promoted this VFW Post 8870 project to all their family and friends for their donations as well.

Other good news is that the EVP Co-Chairs & Steering Committee in conjunction with the design firm, have been able to reduce the estimated cost to build the Plaza from $450K to $410K and inasmuch as we have now raised $320k ..that leaves only $90K to raise …but we need to raise the entire $410K before we can begin construction. We need to start construction in June to be able to meet our goal of a holding dedication ceremonies on Veterans Day Nov. 11th, 2016, so we need every member working to raise the funds.

Individual veterans can be honored and remembered forever in the Plaza on one of the following three features: Stone Pavers, Bench Plaques & Seating Cubes. We have 8 bench plaques, 2 seating cubes (8 sides ) & 150 stone pavers that remain available. Following this page are forms on which to place your orders for any of these opportunities. Any veteran, from any conflict, living or dead, may be so honored.

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Individualized Naming Opportunities

Below, you will find the Plaza Contribution Form, which can be filled out with your contribution, or those of family and friends. you may also choose to make a contribution by credit card on the Edmonds Veterans Plaza web site.

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Campaign Gift Form