Author Archive: Editor

Veterans Affairs Disability: “Presumptive” list

In order to qualify for VA Disability, a condition must be service-connected. But what if a serious condition develops that doesn’t fulfill the normal requirements for service-connection? Enter the VA Presumptive List.

Veterans Affairs Disability: “Presumptive” listIn most cases, conditions that cannot be proved service-connected are denied benefits. Over time, however, the VA began noticing patterns in the types of conditions to develop in veterans who had served in similar circumstances. In other words, a significant number of vets who served in the same place at the same time developed similar conditions in a similar time frame.

Since these conditions were not diagnosed while in the military or do not meet the other requirements for service-connection, they technically cannot be considered service-connected. With the number of vets developing these conditions, however, the VA decided that the evidence was too solid to be coincidental. Military service likely caused those conditions. So, the VA created their VA Presumptive List.

The VA “presumes” that any condition on the VA Presumptive List was caused by military service even though there may be no medical reasoning that definitively proves this connection.

The following link will show you the entire extensive list of Agent Orange related diseases and a much longer list of other conditions resulting from other exposures in all of our recent wars.

Very few in the civilian medical community seem to be aware of these connections and the potential for substantial financial relief to veteran patients. If you, as a veteran, suffer from any condition on this extensive list, by all means, contact a Veteran Service Officer. You may well be eligible for benefits of which you are unaware. Our Post Service officers, Don Whedon and Paul Russo are a great source. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with them if you need help.

From the Book Shelf

by Mike Denton

Sea Power
The History and Geopolitics of the World’s Oceans

by Admiral James Stavridis (USN Ret’d)


Sea Power The History and Geopolitics of the World’s Oceans by Admiral James Stavridis (USN Ret’d)The subtitle of the books tells us a great deal about it’s content, in that Admiral Stavridis examines in great but interesting detail the military/ naval history of every ocean on the planet and the influence of those large bodies of water on ecomomies and politics throughout human history.

Stavridis, the only Naval officer to ever serve as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, spent much of his early career as a Surface Warfare Officer (What we non aviation types think of as the real Navy) in destroyers and cruisers and seems to have taken maximum advantage of the opportunity to cruise the oceans of the world, and acquire a broad sense of how the oceans impact our lives.

Stavridis examines the world ocean by ocean, from the Mediteranean to the Arctic and everything in between. Most of us, I think, know little about the history of the worlds coastal (or “Littoral, a word of which he seems inordinately fond) peoples prior to the voyages of Columbus and the early Portugese explorers, but the Admiral gives us a good look at the early sailors of all of the world’s major civilizations and some not so major.

Other reviewers comments: “…knows his maritime history, but equally important is his firsthand knowledge of the seas. He vividly relates what it felt like as a young naval officer taking a boat through the Panama Canal or the Torres Strait between Australia and New Guinea, and he adds personal authority to his more general points about the different bodies of water…A highly readable, instructive look at the role of the oceans in our civilization, past and present.” Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Fellow Admiral Jim Stavridis spent nearly four decades as a US Navy Sailor, and is well known as an important geopolitical thinker. In Sea Power both of those attributes come together in creating a must read for anyone seriously thinking about the world’s challenges in the 21st century.” —Admiral Bill McRaven, USN (Ret.), Chancellor, The University of Texas System and former Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command

Annual July 4th Parade and Barbecue!

Annual July 4th Parade and BarbecueA large contingent of veterans, members of VFW Post 8870 and our friends from American Legion Post 66, as well as others from the Military order of the Purple Heart, lined up in downtown Edmonds to participate in the annual “Edmonds Kind of 4th” parade.

Veterans formed the leading color guard for the parade and received an extremely warm and enthusistic response from the huge crowd lining the streets. The parade follows an approximately 1.9 mile course through downtown Edmonds, which takes it through the entire downtown area. We were fortunate to have several jeep type vehicles to allow some of our senior members to participate.

Following the parade, our usual barbecue took place at the American Legion Hall, where our wonderful crew of set up people and grillmasters put together a terrific meal of hamburgers, hot dogs and appropriate salad, chips and drinks.

Annual July 4th Parade and Barbecue

Forming up for the parade

Annual July 4th Parade and Barbecue

Three expert grillmasters hard at work on the barbecue

Annual July 4th Parade and Barbecue

Lunch is Served!

Edmonds Post Sponsors “Hero’s Cafe”

Post 8870 sponsored the July Hero’s Cafe , a monthly gathering for all veterans to focus on fostering positive outreach, interaction, and welfare within our community. This month’s event at the Verdant Wellness Center in Lynnwood, was well attended by approximately 85 veterans, friends and family.

Edmonds Post Sponsors “Hero’s Cafe”

The sponsoring Veterans organization each month is responsible to provide funds for food and other expenses and also personnel to set up and tear down for the event.

Post 8870 members Mike Denton, Les Abel, Carl Kurfess and Phil Sacks were present to execute our responsibilities, arriving early in the morning between 0830 and 0900 and staying to help host the event until around 1430 when clean up was complete.

Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith was present with a few remarks and to introduce the featured program consisting of a presentation from Snohomish County Fire District 1 on the proposed merger of the Lynnwood Fire Department with the Fire District.

Hero’s Cafe is sponsored by the City of Lynnwood, Work Source, VFW, American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, Gold Star Mothers, Catholic Charities USA and the EdCC Veterans Resource Center.

Vietnam Retrospective

The following is an excerpt from a lengthy article written in response to a college student who asked for personal narratives addressing the question: “What is a Vietnam Veteran?”

“Mostly–and this I believe with all my heart–mostly, we wish we had not been so alone. Some of us went with units; but many, probably most of us, were civilians one day, jerked up out of “the world,” shaved, barked at, insulted, humiliated, de-egoized and taught to kill, to fix radios, to drive trucks. We went, put in our time, and were equally ungraciously plucked out of the morass and placed back in the real world. But now we smoked dope, shot skag, or drank heavily. Our wives or husbands seemed distant and strange. Our friends wanted to know if we shot anybody.

And life went on, had been going on, as if we hadn’t been there, as if Vietnam was a topic of political conversation or college protest or news copy, not a matter of life and death for tens of thousands.“

Copyright © 1996 Dan Mouer, All Rights Reserved

News 6/28/17

  1. Please join us in the “Edmonds Kind of 4th” Independence Day Parade. We will start to assemble at 1045 on 6th Avenue between Main & Dayton. (In front of the Legion Hall)  The main parade will actually begin at noon. We will have a few vehicles for those who don’t feel able to complete the approximately 1 mile walk.

    Edmonds always has good patriotic crowds for the parade and the recognition we veterans receive is very moving.

  2. Our ongoing Post meeting day schedule has run into some issues, so our July and August meetings will be on the 2nd Tuesday, just as we have been doing for the past few years. That will be Tuesday, July 11 and Tuesday August 8.

    July staff meeting moves to Wednesday, July 5, due to the Independence Day holiday. We will firm up the new schedule to start in September.

We Did It! — Edmonds Veterans Plaza Dedicated!

Edmonds Veterans PlazaDedicatedAfter three years of effort and the raising of nearly $ 600,000, Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling cuts the ribbon to officially open the new Edmonds Veterans plaza as members of the Plaza Steering Committee look on.

Edmonds Veterans PlazaDedicated

A crowd estimated to exceed 500 hears Plaza Steering Committee leaders Ron Clyborne and Maria Montalvo open the ceremonies.

Edmonds Veterans PlazaDedicated

Keynote speaker Lt. Gen. Robert Otto, USAF (Ret) General Otto spoke movingly about service and honoring veterans.

Edmonds Veterans PlazaDedicated

Mike Reagan, Marine veteran of Vietnam & Post 8870 member, spoke about coming home and remembering the fallen.

Photos by Theresa Whipple, My

Volunteer Gardeners Prepared Plaza for Dedication

by Jim Traner

We had a fantastic turnout at the Plaza on May 24, to get the Plaza ready for the dedication. The city and Park Department were there as well as our planners, Siteworks.

Volunteer Gardeners Prepared Plaza for Dedication The City provided the plants and Siteworks indicated where we needed to dig and what to plant after we got the hole dug. Post 8870 members who showed up were Dick Simmons, John Shelton and his wife, Dan Doyle, Paul Russo, Phil Sacks, Mark Williams, Tom Hallums, Charlie Gaul, Duane Bowman, Terry Crabtree, Les Abel, Jerry Burton and Jim Tarner. Others there to help included State Rep. Strom Peterson, Maria Montalvo, Mike Schindler, Bob Rinehart, 6 ladies from the Woodsound Garden Club, and 3 members of the Growing Veterans organization.

Volunteer Gardeners Prepared Plaza for Dedication In the end, the Plaza looked like the finished product although the Parks Department and Siteworks Tell us there is still work to be done. Many thanks to all our volunteers for putting the finishing touch on our Edmonds Veterans Plaza.

Volunteer Gardeners Prepared Plaza for Dedication