Author Archive: Editor

Mike Reagan and Friends Honor Fallen Comrades

Mike Reagan and Friends Honor Fallen ComradesReagan: “50 years ago today (March 28) in Vietnam, I was with Peder Armstrong and Vincent Santaniello as they died. You know the story. Vinny is buried near Queens NY, Peder is buried near where I live. (Acacia Memorial Park, Shoreline) A group of people visited each site this morning. This is the group at Peder’s grave. Thanks to all of you who were there with Cheryl and me. Peder was pleased.” (The group joining the Reagans included several of his Post 8870 Comrades and high school classmates of Peder and Mike. For those of you who may not know the story, ask Mike the next time you see him. 

 

Veterans Monument Move completed

Veterans Monument Move completed

The aurthor at the monument March 2018 (Photo by Marilyn Courtade)

from Betty Gaeng’s Article in My Edmonds News 

Just in time to celebrate its 70th anniversary, the South Snohomish County veterans memorial monument has found a new home. The memorial had its beginning in the spring of 1948. With its move this month from downtown Edmonds, the memorial monument is now located at the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery and Columbarium, 820 15th St. S.W. in the Westgate area — its fourth home.

The memorial monument’s first home was on land the American Legion Post owned on the east side of Highway 99 at approximately 181st Street Southwest where it intersects with today’s 52nd Avenue West. The 7- foot-tall granite monument was dedicated there on Memorial Day of 1948. For the next few years Memorial Day ceremonies continued to be held next to the memorial monument. Often American Legion Post 90 was joined by local Veterans of Foreign War Post 1040 and Edmonds Frank Freese Post 66 of the American Legion. However, the location next to a major highway was found to be unsuitable, and each year fewer people attended the ceremonies.

By 1954, the monument was removed to the parking lot at Lynnwood Junior High School near the crossroads of Lynnwood. Memorial Day ceremonies were held on the school property. When Lynnwood Junior High School closed its doors, the memorial monument was left to lean.

Veterans Monument Move completed

Memorial Day 1954 at the orginal site on Hwy 99 Article and Photos courtesy MyEdmondsNews.com

In 1982, then American Legion Post 66 Commander John W. (Bill) Crump, a WWII Army Air Corps pilot, took the lead in a project to save the memorial by having it moved to to its third home in front of the Edmonds Historical Museum at 118 5th Ave. N. in downtown Edmonds. For me personally, having written a book about the history of the monument and the young men whose names are etched in the stone, and as a member of the board for the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery, I feel honored to have been able to help with locating a new home for the memorial. In addition, like Legion Commander Bill Crump, I also attended school with some of the young men from WWII; and in addition, 70 years ago, I was familiar with the very beginning of this memorial to our valiant young men.

— By Betty Lou Gaeng

Elections for 2018-19 Post Officers Slated

At the March Post meeting, nominations for next year’s Post officers were held.

As a reminder, the elective officers are: Commander, Sr. Vice Commander, Jr. Vice Commander, Quartermaster, Chaplain and three Trustees. (All other officers are appointed by the commander)

At the March staff meeting, all currently serving elected officers present indicated a willingness to continue serving in their present office and those names will be placed in nomination. Since the March Post meeting, Jim Mc Cann has tendered his resignation as a Trustee.

If you have an interest in serving as an elected officer, or would like to nominate another comrade, be prepared to do so at the meeting when nominations from the floor are called.

Currently serving:

Commander: Michael Denton
Sr. Vice Commander: Carl Kurfess
Jr. Vice Commander: Rose Gilliland
Quartermaster: Dennis Peterson
Chaplain: Dan Doyle

We will need to elect two new Trustees. Don Stapleton has indicated that he would accept that nomination and we need to replace Jim McCann, who has found it necessary to resign from his post. We anticipate that Daniel White will continue in his Trustee role.

Wreaths Across America

At the March Post meeting, we heard and saw a presentation on the “Wreaths Across America” program presented by Lorraine Zimmerman. Our Post has supported this program both financially and with member participation, to assist them in executing their efforts and help us all to:

REMEMBER our fallen U.S. veterans 

HONOR those who serve 

TEACH your children the value of freedom 

 

Wreaths Across America

American Legion Post 66 Commander Jim Collins presents Zimmerman with a check from Post 66, as Commander Denton looks on. Post 8870’s contribution was presented separately.

Wreaths Across America

 

“No One Does More for Veterans”

by Mike Denton 

VFW No One Does More for VeteransFrom time to time, It is good to be reminded of our core purpose, as occurred recently to your commander.

One day in late March, I received a call from my wife Linda at her office at Holy Rosary Church in Edmonds, to tell me of a veteran who had come to the Church seeking help. Having connected this Iraq War veteran to Catholic Community Services to do what they could, Linda thought to turn to me to seek more immediate help from VFW for this army veteran .

I learned that this was a family of four, including three young children, with no real income at the moment, who desperately needed food, money for utility bills and gas for their car.

In the course of two days, I had the opportunity to see what can be done for veterans in need. By teaming with our outstanding Service Officer, Don Whedon, all of this family’s immediate needs were met and the veteran introduced to the sources of help he needs to get on his feet.

My point? There is a place for all of us to serve in our Veterans Relief services. If you learn of a veteran in need, don’t hesitate to contact our Service Officers, Don Whedon and Paul Russo to find help. Likewise, your commander is available to coordinate efforts where needed. Let’s all remember why the VFW exists. No one does more for veterans.

And…A Hands-On Opportunity to Help Fellow Veterans

Veterans Build programVETERANS BUILD 

The Veterans Build program offers former and current military members and their families the opportunity to learn new construction skills, adjust to life after the military, remain socially connected and pay it forward by helping other vets.

Build days on are Saturdays and Wednesdays, no prior experience is needed.If you are interested in volunteering on a build, contact Katie Rickel: Krickel@habitatsnohomish.org.

Post Acquires Canopy for Public Events

Post Acquires Canopy for Public EventsWe recently accepted delivery of an official VFW canopy for use at a variety of events in our community. This equipment will allow us to shelter from both rain and sun at events such as the Paine Field Air Show, which is to see its first use on May 19. (Talk to Don Stapleton if you would like to participate.)

Other uses may include more exposed venues for Poppy distribution, the Edmonds Farmers Market and other events. This photo is from the VFW Store catalog; we have yet to set it up for the first time. If you have ideas on local events at which we can make use of this canopy, give your Commander a shout.

 

From the Bookshelf

by Mike Denton 

Drone Warrior
by Brett Velcovich

 

Drone Warrior by Brett VelicovichThe War on Terrorism has been one of the longest conflicts in American history. Since 2001, U.S. forces have been fighting on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, along with much smaller engagements in places as far-flung as Somalia, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Cameroon.

Drone Warrior is a highly personal memoir that still manages to be almost all action. Readers only get but the briefest glimpse into Velicovich’s prewar life. On 9/11, he was just an ordinary college student at the University of Houston. However, watching and digesting Al-Qaeda’s attack convinced Velicovich that there has to be something more to life than just finding a nice job in corporate America and settling down to a wife and kids. He went to find this other life in the U.S. Army.

Drone Warrior is a captivating portrayal of an American warrior at the very cutting-edge of the War on Terror. It is also the story of a normal man impacted by continuous warfare and the difficulties of conforming to civilian life. warriors.

 

Do our youth understand their country’s military?

From Seattle Times op-ed, by Brian Fleming

The “volunteer” in our all volunteer force is what makes the military successful. As an officer in the U.S. Army, I meet young people in the Seattle area every day who do not understand their country’s military. If they don’t understand it, why would they consider serving in it?

The reality is only 29 percent of youth meet the qualifications to serve in our nation’s military. An even bigger issue is that about 50 percent of youth admit to knowing little to nothing about their military.

If you take the time to talk to veterans, I promise they will high-light the military’s high standards, competitive nature, and their experience with risk and reward. Reflecting on their experiences, older veterans at a recent VFW event described their time in military service as a transformative experience and the high point of their character development.

Statistics show veterans are more likely to vote, volunteer, and be involved in their communities. They have higher median incomes than their nonveteran counter parts. Veterans set the example for what we should want from our youth. So why aren’t more of us encouraging them to consider service as an option?

(It is part of VFW’s mission help educate young people in their civic obligations, part of which may, and should be, to participate in the defense of the nation. Our thanks to Lt. Col. Fleming for reminding us of the work at hand. ed.) 

Lt. Col. Brian Fleming is the commander of the U.S. Army Seattle Recruiting Battalion. He is a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and served most recently in U.S. Special Operations CommandAfrica. 

Vietnam War Veterans Day: Remembering Those Who Served

by Dan Doyle

Vietnam War Veterans Day: Remembering Those Who Served

From the time the first Marines set foot in Vietnam in 1965 to the day the last troops left on March 29, 1973, the Vietnam War was devastating. (Unfortunately, the Marine landings in 1965 were not the beginning of our involvement in Vietnam, which goes back at least to 1959. Many of us served in the theater prior to 1965. ed.) Guerrilla warfare tactics, disease, dangerous animals, the elements, and other dangers took 58,220 lives, with 47,434 of those dying in battle. Later, weapons like Agent Orange would prove to be silent killers, taking the lives of veterans after they returned home.

“Vietnam veterans bore the horrors of battle in Vietnam, only to come home to shoulder the burden of an unpopular war that was no fault of their own. The way they were treated has often been called a national disgrace, and rightly so,” said Gary Hicks of the Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. “They did their duty because their country asked them to. That’s what patriots do; they serve when their nation calls.”

In 2017, Congress passed legislation that was signed by the President, designating March 29 of each year as National Vietnam War Veterans Day, a time set aside for the nation to continue showing its gratitude for 2.7 million U.S. service members who served in Vietnam and to remember those who did not come home.

So, on March 29, on the anniversary of the last U.S. ground troops leaving for home, we celebrated National Vietnam War Veterans Day to honor all those who sacrificed, fought, bled, and died in the service of their country. We are grateful for them and for their service, and we, as a nation, give our thanks to all who served.

To all Vietnam War veterans, we simply offer a heartfelt “thank you.”

Coming up: Memorial Day

One of the most important days of the year both from a fund raising standpoint and recognition of our fallen comrades, is Memorial Day. A time to remember all of our fallen brothers sisters of all wars.

If you have yet to sign up to help with poppy distribution, please do so at the April Post meeting, or by email to Bob Crawford or Commander Denton. We have four locations to staff: QFC Westgate in Edmonds, QFC Speedway in Mukilteo, Fred Meyer in North Lynnwood and Central Market in Miil Creek. This year all locations will operate on Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.

On Memorial Day itself, Monday, May 28, we will gather at Edmonds Memorial Cemetery for our usual Flag ceremony and at which time we will especially honor our fallen from the recent conflicts in the Persian Gulf region and all who have died in post 9/11 service.