Author Archive: Editor

Annual Department Convention

Commander Jim Traner attended the annual Department convention held in Yakima, his old home town (although joining the Army provided a quick way out of town).  Not a lot of new ground was covered although the Department is moving more and more to communicating solely by  email and social networks.  I know some of the folks are complaining, but its one more good reason to get the younger folks involved—at least they can retrieve your email for you.  Carlos Almeda is the incoming Department Commander and will do a great job.  Outgoing DC is Jerry Herker who did a great job of moving the Department forward.   Commander in Chief Richard Eubank attended the conference and was the keynote speaker at the banquet on Friday night.  His message was simple, if we want to protect veterans’ rights we need to join veterans’ group.  The VFW has lost 700,000 members in the last 15 years or so.  It’s up to each of us to stop that tide.

Edmonds Night Out

We are again supporting the Edmonds Night Out for kids.  We will have a couple of folks manning a table giving out safety brochures and flags to the young folks who will be attending the event at the Frances Anderson Playfield on July 26th from 5PM to 8PM.  In addition, we will present the colors at the beginning ceremony.  If you would like to participate in the evening, please let the quartermaster know.

Buddy Poppies a Huge Success

Bob Crawford’s crew of volunteers outdid themselves raising slightly over $11,000, a record for the Post.   We had raised approximately $9,500 per fundraiser last year and the pessimistic side of my CPA brain budgeted $8,500 for this year.  Had we reached the $9,500 amount I would have been ecstatic, but to raise what we did was truly amazing.  Of course, Fred Apgar and his crew toasted the rest of us, but every bit helped, including Erv Schmidt’s annual table at the cemetery on Memorial Day where he raised over $300 from the folks attending the services.  I want to thank everyone who participated in the event.  I know it can be a bit cold, a bit windy, and a bit wet at times, but your service allows us to support the various projects that are important to veterans.  And a special thanks goes to Bob Crawford.

July 4th Parade & BBQ

OK folks, the parade is in a few days and I’d like to have as many folks as we can muster to march (walk) in it.  For you members who can’t make the meetings due to work schedules, this is a great opportunity to participate and be applauded for doing so.  We will form up at 11:30AM at 6th and Main Street.  The route is about a mile long, but we have vehicles for those of you who can’t walk.

As usual, the American Legion Post 66, VFW Posts 8870 & 1040, and Vietnam Veterans of America will march together and lead the parade.  Afterwards, we will meet back at the American Legion Hall (assuming it is still standing) for a BBQ.  All of your family is invited to join us for this event.  We will have hot dogs and hamburgers and refreshments of both the soft and not so soft drinks.  If you haven’t participated in the past, this is a great way to meet your fellow members.  Dress attire —gray or khaki slacks, blue or dark shirt, VFW cover.

The Last Word

I gave up trying to keep the newsletter to three pages (you folks who get it online won’t notice) Our Post is too active in the community and our Post members too involved in various activities to limit their recognition by keeping my page count down.  After Memorial Day I thought we would kick back for the summer.  Instead, we have so much stuff going on that I finally figured I’d have to pass out a sheet in the meeting listing everything because I knew I would be getting a ton of phone calls and emails asking for dates, times, and addresses.    The Post is active in the community and it seems every week when I attend Rotary I get fined a buck for having my picture in the newspaper (no—I will not pay again at our Post meetings).  The reason is that Fred Apgar does a great job of getting articles off to the various news outlets.  And finally, what can I say about our Buddy Poppy effort led by Bob Crawford; over $11,000 collected  by our members.  Those funds will all go into the relief fund and be used to assist veterans, active military personnel, and various causes such as Honor Flight, Voice of Democracy and Teacher awards, Boy Scouts, and many others. Thanks for all you do.

Who is this Member?

I recently asked for old photos and the gentleman above replied. The picture was taken in Normandy immediately after the invasion. He was 23 and was awarded a battlefield commission. He was XO of his Battery and received a Bronze Star w/ V. He served in 5 campaigns in Europe including the liberation of Paris. He stayed in the Reserves and left the service with the rank of Major. Click here for the answer.


To learn more about the VFW membership, download:
VFW Membership Brochure

Please include a copy of your DD-214 and payment of $25.00 (if a check, please make it payable to VFW Post 8870) with your Membership Application and mail it to:

VFW Post 8870
PO Box 701
Edmonds, WA  98020-0701

You may also fill out the credit card information on the right side of the Membership Application.  Please sign the form where indicated.  If you would like a Life Membership or a Legacy Membership please see the Life Membership tab on the home page for further information.

Interesting Stuff

Interesting Stuff
DD-214’s are now available on line. The National Personnel Records Center has provided the following website for veterans to gain access to their DD214’s online: Military veterans and next of kin of deceased former military members may now use the new online military personnel records system to request documents. Other individuals with a need for documents must still complete SP Form 180 which can be downloaded from the online website. You can find a link to this website on our Home Page.

Our Quartermaster has pointed out to me The Women in Military Service For America Memorial located at the Arlington National Cemetery. As the son of a WWII army nurse, I didn’t realize this memorial even existed so I wish to thank our Quartermaster Liz Mather for bringing it to our attention. Dedicated in 1997, it is dedicated to women who have defended America throughout our history. You can learn much more about it at

Youth Essay

Youth Essay Contests

Voice of Democracy Contest

VFW Post 8870 selected Katarina Nguyen, a junior at Edmonds-Woodway High School as the 2010-2011 Voice of Democracy winner.  This is the second year Ms. Nguyen has been selected by Post 8870 as the winner of the Voice of Democracy.


“Does my generation have a role in America’s future?”


“Give me liberty or give me death”.  In 1775, Patrick Henry’s immortalized statement instigated colonists’ courage to free themselves from the British, just one year prior to the brave leaders in Philadelphia declaring our country’s independence.  Here we are, 234 years later; the times have changed, from fashion to technology, even politics, but the honor and bravery of patriots remain unchanged.  Now ironically, my history class is currently delving into the world of American history in which we learn the “vital” aspects, analyzing not only the motives and the causes, but also the failures, the effects, and even the outcomes. Wait. I see great leaders and even tragic losers in my textbook, but what about the silent soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for America?  What about them? Even now, in this era of new music, iPads, and Health Care reform, brave patriots silently bear the uniform of the United States of America, continuing a legacy for us to enjoy the blessings of liberty. Looking past the history text, at home and abroad, brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have fought for and defended our great homeland. But, does my generation have a role in America’s future? Of course we do, as we continue to bear this sacred torch of tradition and continue to fight, to sacrifice, for our country and our freedom.

America is filled with patriots, but what do patriots have to do with my future? After all, a soldier defending America doesn’t affect the time Jeopardy airs on television or what grade I receive on my biology test. Actually, we must look past this misconception; on television, we see “the future” in news broadcasts of senate elections, car commercials, the new and improved weight loss pill; yet, soldiers are the future; soldiers serve the children playing in the park, soldiers serve the elderly lady living down the street, soldiers serve you.

My grandpa served in the army before he passed away. Several of my family members have followed his footsteps in defending our liberty and shaping our futures. A purple heart was not earned for nothing. 20 years of military service was not given for nothing. Their loved ones did not worry night after night in six, twelve, even twenty four month increments for nothing. They, among others, fight for you, for me, and for freedom.

If we stripped America of all people except the individuals crucial to her preservation, who would remain? No, it’s neither Lady Gaga nor Bill Gates; it’s the armed forces of the United States of America, the men and women who alone, have earned the right to stand proudly. This includes the 2.3 million brave men and women currently serving in the five branches of the military of the United States for our freedom through unwavering American patriotism.

So it’s up to my generation to carry on the sweet liberty that has been established for us through blood, sweat, and tears on the bloodied battle field. My generation is filled with patriots who follow the footsteps of the great leaders before them, sacrificing, fighting, even dying. Our country has the greatest patriotism in the world; we all have grandpas and grandmas, uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters, moms and dads, and friends and family, who have fought to preserve the land of the free and the home of the brave.


I am immensely grateful to be living in this generation, in which my heroes have paved the way for me to be able to live in luxury; I can speak my opinion without censorship, I can go anywhere I wish whenever I wish, and I have the same right to become successful as the next person.

What is our role in our future? Isn’t it clear? We must support our country as our nation’s sentinels of freedom continue to walk their posts in defending our land under the proud and unwavering, red, white, and blue flag. I am America, you are America, our role is in her future; my generation is the future. As soldiers of war, we are the saviors of America; we are the hard workers; we strive for safe communities; we are the next generation of mothers and fathers cradling our babies; we represent hope, growing, advancing; we are the police officers, firefighters, pilots, servicemen and women working in collaboration and unity for America. My generation’s role for the future is the future; we follow those who have come before, fighting in air, land, and sea for you and me, America. Meanwhile, as I read a sentence from my history textbook about America’s success in gaining her independence, I have the urge to pencil in next to the phrase “America’s success”, the words “to be continued”.


Patriot’s Pen Contest

VFW Post 8870 proudly sponsored the state of Washington VFW winner Harrison William Baxter in the Elementary Youth Essay Contest. Mr. Baxter is a 5th grader in Madrona K-8 located in Edmonds, WA.

An American Patriot

The definition of patriot is “A person who vigorously supports their
Country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.” as defined in Webster’s Dictionary. To me a patriot means a person who will defend their country any way possible.

There are a few main reasons why I love the United States of America. First, I love that we can make free choices and can be individuals.

I also like how we have equal rights. No matter of our color, religion, or gender, we call all do the same things and we treat each other the same. Everybody can vote, own property, and even have the same job. Lastly, everybody in the United States of America has access to education. So no matter if you are a boy or girl you can get an education.

We can protect and defend the United States from pollution, narrow minded people, and poor leaders. Pollution is a horrible thing and sadly there is a lot of it. It comes from cars, factories and boats. Another thing we can defend is judging other people. We need to protect ourselves from passing judgement because it could take away our freedom and ability to be individuals. We also need to elect responsible people who won’t make laws that take our freedoms away. That leader should also value education and a variety of view points.

I protect and defend the United States by helping my community. I pick up trash and clean public areas. I keep in control of pollution by walking or riding my bike to a friend’s house or the bus stop. I support leaders and officials who value education and rights for all. I do this because I think that those are very important things. I also work really hard in school so I can be a leader someone will look up to.

An American Patriot is a person who loves the United States of America and its values. An American Patriot is a person who is willing to stand up for the United States’ principles. I am an American Patriot because I love this country and all my freedoms. These freedoms exist because of the patriots before me. I am willing to do all that I can everyday to ensure that the United States values that I hold dear stay safe, today and in the future.