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Post 8870 and District 1 Elementary Teacher of the Year

Post 8870 and Distict 1 Elementary Teacher of the Year

Mrs. Devon Ames was nominated by our very own Sara Brannan, herself an elementary teacher. Sara describes Mrs. Ames as an outstanding educator who has demonstrated a sincere commitment to educating children about our American History. She teaches Fifth-Grade at Serene Lake Elementary School in Mukilteo and she has taught American History in her class in a way that has made learning about our country exciting, engaging, and profoundly inspiring for her students. Mrs. Ames has taught units on the American Revolution and Forming a Government for many years, and these lessons have been described as powerful learning opportunities for the students. 

Mrs. Ames has her students memorize part of the Declaration of Independence during her units of study. In addition, she also has her students reflect on their learning about freedom by creating an original art project in which the students create freedom paintings using symbols of America: red, white, and blue, with stars, and an eagle. 

Mrs. Ames dedicates much of her own free time reading about American history, studying great works of American literature from that time period, and developing lessons to teach the importance of citizenship in our world. She makes her history lessons come to life through her passion and love for teaching these important ideals to our next generation of citizens. Mrs. Ames loves American history and instills in her students the importance of freedom and democracy. 

Post 8870 and Distict 1 Elementary Teacher of the Year
Photos: Sara Brannan and Terry Crabtee present the award 


Sophia Hradec

Youth Essay Winner

Youth Essay Winner 

Youth Essay Winner

Our Youth Essay winner, third grade student Sophia Hradec, comes to us from Machias Elementary School. In addition to her Post 8870 award, Sophia also won at the District 1 level. Sophia read her essay at award ceremonies for both levels and the text of her essay is reproduced below. 

How the American Flag Makes Me Feel 

Let me tell you how the American flag makes me feel. First, the American Flag makes me feel sad. It makes me feel sad because dogs and people are fighting and dying for our freedom. Second, it makes me feel happy. The American flag makes me feel happy because I know that my family is safe and no one is going to hurt us. Third, it makes me feel angry. I am angry because I don’t understand why we have to fight. Why can’t we be friends? I don’t like when people fight. Fourth, it makes me feel like all the people in the military love me and I want to do the same for them by joining the AIR FORCE. In conclusion, the American flag makes me feel sad, happy, angry and like I’m loved. 

Youth Essay Winner

At the District 1 awards event, Sophia presented Commander Denton with her “We love our veterans” artwork, shown at right. 

Detective Nicole Stone

Post 8870, District 1 & Department of Washington. Law Enforcement Officer of the Year

Post 8870, District 1 & Department of Washington 

Law Enforcement Officer of the Year 

Detective Nicole Stone
Post 8870, District 1 & Department of Washington
Law Enforcement Officer of the Year

Detective Nicole Stone began her career in law enforcement working as an assistant to the Traffic Unit Sergeant in the Spokane Police Department, while attending Spokane Community College, studying Administration of Justice/Law Enforcement. Continuing her education, she became a Reserve Police Officer for the Spokane P.D. and worked as a Corrections Officer for Spokane County Jail. 

Graduating from the Spokane Community College program in 2005, she then began a course in Psychology at Eastern Washington University. Following graduation from EWU, Stone joined the Mukilteo Police Department, where she worked as Patrol Officer from 2008-13 at which point she became a detective. 

Stone has since built an impressive record investigating and achieving convictions in major cases, including the notorious Chennault Beach Triple Murder case, working as co-lead for the house party triple murder case, which garnered nationwide media attention. She received the Mukilteo Police Department Commendation Award for her work on this case. 

Since 2015, Stone has been one of the elite investigators chosen from all police agencies county wide forming the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team. 

Post 8870 is proud to be able to recognize Detective Stone’s work and to sponsor her to the District 1 and now Department of Washington awards. Our thanks for her dedication to public safety. 

New Member Herb Bender

New Member Herb Bender

Members of the post welcomed our newest member, Herb Bender who was inducted at the January Post meeting. Herb was sponsored by member Jay Hansen. 

Herb, at left in this photo, is a Navy Veteran who served in Vietnam, is currently a resident of Mukilteo and retired from Boeing. During his eight years in the Navy, his rating was Radarman with a terminal rate of E-5. 

Herb’s service put him aboard a wide variety of ships, from aircraft carrier (USS Oriskany) an assault cargo ship and a guided missile destroyer, including a 30 day TAD to the brown water Navy in Vietnam aboard a river patrol boat. 

Welcome aboard, Herb! 

VFW Blue Water Navy Vet Wins Federal Appeals Court Ruling

Court of law now joins court of public opinion 

USS Hull, DD945, one of the many ships with Vietnam “Blue Water” Service

WASHINGTON (January 30, 2019) — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed a decade-old ruling yesterday that potentially paves the way for the return of earned disability benefits for some 90,000 so-called Blue Water Navy veterans from the Vietnam War. 

The case, Procopio v. Wilkie, was supported by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and a number of other veterans service organizations and advocates. It had Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert L. Wilkie Jr. being sued by Navy veteran and VFW life member Alfred Procopio Jr., who was denied service connection for prostate cancer and diabetes mellitus because he never stepped foot on dry land or served within Vietnam’s inland waterways. Procopio, a life member of VFW Post 6587 in Spring Lake Park, Minn., was assigned aboard the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, which was stationed inside Vietnam’s 12-mile territorial waters. Both of his illnesses are listed among the VA’s 14 presumptive diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange. 

The Federal Appeals Court focused on the intent of the 1991 Agent Orange Act, which was to grant a presumption of service connection for certain diseases to veterans who “served in the Republic of Vietnam.” At issue was whether service within territorial waters constituted service “in the Republic of Vietnam.” By a 9-2 decision, the Appeals Court ruled it did. 

“Although very pleased with the ruling, the VFW isn’t quite ready to celebrate,” said VFW National Commander B.J. Lawrence. “ VA can always appeal the ruling and Congress has yet to pass a Blue Water Navy bill,” he said. “But, it is very encouraging to now have a court of law support Blue Water Navy

Commander’s Corner

VFW Commander

At the March post meeting, we will be holding nominations for post officers for the 2019-20 VFW year. 

Elective offices include Commander, Jr and Sr Vice Commander, Quartermaster and the three Post Trustees. If you have heard a call to duty to serve your VFW comrades, you may feel entirely free to nominate yourself, or, should you prefer, notify your Commander of your interest.

If you intend to nominate a Comrade for one of the elective posts a heads up, while not required, would be appreciated. 

Good Post leadership is vital to our success. I know there are many of you who are more than capable of providing such leadership and some fresh blood now and then is a good thing. 

Auxiliary Members Sought

Auxiliary Members Sought

Those interested are encouraged to call Valerie Ehlers 206-853-5673, or email Valerie at val4erie9@gmail.com. The Auxiliary meets monthly on the second Thurs., Edmonds Senior Center at noon. No host lunch. 

All of the veterans of our post have family and friends who might want to support our efforts through the programs of our Post Auxiliary. Please consider discussing membership with your spouse and other family and friends. 

More Honors for Fallen Heroes Artist Mike Reagan

More Honors for Fallen Heroes Artist Mike Reagan

United States Volunteers – Joint Services command presented VFW Post 8870 member Mike Reagan with an appointment as “HONORARY COLONEL” at a ceremony held January 19 in Lynnwood, in recognition of his ‘exemplary Service’ to the United States military community through the “Fallen Heroes” project. 

The USV-JSC is an organization focused on Augmenting the Regular and Reserve forces in two areas. First, to provide trained, uniformed volunteers who may be called upon to render final military honors to deceased veterans and second to fill the gap when and where needed by proper authority in incidents of civil emergency management. 

Presenting the award is BG Tim Miller, USAVR Commanding General, 103rd BCT. Miller is a member of VFW Post 3348 in Shoreline.