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Veterans Day 2018

Another successful Poppy Outing 


Nearly 30 members of Post 8870 offered most of two days of their time at four supermarket locations in Edmonds, Mukilteo and Lynnwood, (something in the nature of 250 “man-hours”) distributing the VFW “Buddy Poppy” to residents and asking them to wear the poppy to remember their comrades who fell in combat.

Veterans Day 2018

Jim Murdock and Dan Doyle at QFC on 196th on Saturday.

Many fellow citizens offer a “Thank you for your Service” in response and reach in their pockets for a few dollars to help support our efforts. Even those who have not served in uniform, have family members who have served in this and past generations. The stories of those family member’s service, often shared with participating veterans, are wonderful to hear and make the effort seem worthwhile in and of themselves. Results shown below.

“In Flanders Fields the poppies blow between the crosses, row on row… “


Veterans in the Schools

Eleven Members of Edmonds VFW Post 8870 participated in the Veterans in the Schools project in the run up to Veterans Day.

Jim Blossey kicked off the week by acting as Master of Ceremonies at the Edmonds Community College Veterans Day event, held on Wednesday November 7. The program featured recognition of the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending World War I. There were several other Post members in attendance.

Veterans in the Schools

Jim Traner spoke at Serene Lake Elementary, Mukilteo

Dan Doyle and John Shelton were interviewed by students at Edmonds Elementary School, Jim Traner spoke at Serene Lake Elementary in Mukilteo, Jim Blossey at Westgate Elementary, Chris Mazerolle, Olivia Park Elementary and Mike Denton at Holy Rosary School. Carl Kurfess, Norm Goldstein, Pete Farmer and Phil Sacks formed a committee of interviewees at Meadowdale Middle School. Mike Reagan spoke at at two Kamiak sessions. (Reagan also spoke at several other non-school venues over the past week)

Fewer schools Participated this year. Oothers signed up to speak, but that we were unable to book include:

Tom Hallums
Phil Sacks
Buck Weaver
Jim Adams
Duane Bowman
Paul Russo
Don Whedon
Charlie Gaul
Terry Crabtree

Many thanks to all who volunteered.

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Update

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Update

Photo by Bob Rhinehart

The Edmonds Veterans Plaza continues to develop as the installation of an outdoor interactive kiosk was completed by the City of Edmonds early this month. As you can see from the photo, the kiosk is located adjacent to the dedicated pavers walkway.

All that remains is to install the necessary software to allow functionality, which should happen later in November. A dedication ceremony will be planned as soon as the kiosk is functional.

This device is intended to give veterans and their families easy access to information about veterans aid programs and will eventually offer a list and location guide to all of the dedications located within the plaza.

Donations are being accepted for additional pavers, purchase and installation of which will be scheduled as soon as a sufficient quantity have been ordered.


 Photo by Bob Rhinehart.

The Commander’s Corner

Buddy Poppies 

Post 8870 members have good reason to be proud of their efforts distributing “Buddy Poppies” over the Veterans Day weekend. Pretty much all of our active members who are physically able to participate did so. The result is a healthy boost to our Relief Fund and a great deal of community exposure for the post. I can’t speak for everyone, but I really enjoy meeting people and hearing their stories of their own or their families’ service. It wasn’t always comfortable weather wise, but we hung in there and got the job done.

Our thanks to Past Commander Jim Traner for reaching out to the DAV leadership and making arrangements to avoid conflicts next year. And thank you all for your hard work.


More Poppy Kudos 

On Monday, the Veterans Day observed holiday, I received a call from a teacher at Cedarcrest Elementary School in Marysville who was looking for some poppies for their student assembly to be held on Tuesday Nov 13. It seems that several years ago, Past Commander Fred Apgar had made some poppies available to them and they were out of stock.

The teacher had approached two other VFW Posts (who shall remain nameless) who she said were unable to help her and she found her way to me through Fred. It was already late in the day and my wife had the car, but I told her I had a bag of around 100 poppies in the car if we could find a way to get them to her. This teacher drove all the way down from Marysville to my home in north Lynnwood to pick the poppies up for her school’s event the following day. She also brought a check for the Relief Fund in the amount of $ 50.00 and invited us to speak at her school next year. Thank you, Fred, for helping to make the Post what it is today.

News from the Auxiliary

News From 8870 AuxiliaryWe’re happy to report that another of our annual members has chosen to become a lifetime member.

Our District 1 President, Mary Davenport, is bringing back news for us from Winter Conference this month. We also gave Mary 10 completed bags/”kits” for her “homeless Veterans Project”.

We have contributed items to the District 1 Basket to be auctioned off at Mid-Winter Convention in January 2019. We have also contributed items for the grab bags that are sold at convention to benefit the Hospital Program.

On December 1 of this year we will we will be Decorating the display case at the Edmonds Senior Center. We plan to show some of us working on various projects that we do to raise money for or to do things to say “Thank You” to our veterans including things for holidays like “Valentine’s Day’ and “Christmas”.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and we’ll see you in December. Our next meeting is Thursday, December 13 at the Edmonds Senior Center. Several of us show up to have lunch there, and our meeting starts at 12:00 noon in the “View Room”. I’m planning a bit of a Christmas theme. I hope you can be there!


From the Bookshelf

by Mike Denton 

Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell

A riveting story of American fighting men, “Outlaw Platoon” is Lieutenant Sean Parnell’s stunning personal account of the legendary U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division’s heroic stand in the mountains of Afghanistan. Acclaimed for its vivid, poignant, and honest recreation of sixteen brutal months of nearly continuous battle in the deadly Hindu Kush, Outlaw Platoon is a Band of Brothers or We Were Soldiers Once and Young for the early 21st century–an action-packed, highly emotional true story of enormous sacrifice and bravery. A magnificent account of heroes, renegades, infidels, and brothers, it stands with Sebastian Junger’s “War” as one of the most important books to yet emerge from the heat, smoke, and fire of America’s War in Afghanistan.

Outlaw Platoon by Sean ParnellThe image at right is the logo Lt. Parnell developed and painted in green on the doors of the platoons vehicles, causing the Taliban to refer to the unit as the “Green Skulls”.

Annual VFW/American Legion Christmas Party Slated

Annual VFW/American Legion Christmas Party SlatedThe VFW/Legion joint Christmas party will be held on Saturday, December 15 at 12:00, and lunch will be served at 1:00 PM. The annual pot-luck event will be held at the American Legion Hall in Edmonds. The American Legion and VFW Posts will supply turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, wine, beer, soft drinks, and coffee/ tea. Families attending are asked to bring a dish that will be shared with others. We need side dishes, salads, rolls/bread, and desserts. Additionally, the “cost of admission” will be non-perishable food item(s) and/or unwrapped toys.

Members who plan on attending the party are asked to sign up at the post meeting. indicating the number of guests and the class of food item you will bring. Family members and friends are invited to attend the party or by email to We all look forward to the fellowship.

Please note that the Christmas Party is being held in place of our monthly Post meeting, which would ordinarily take place on the third Wednesday. 

October Meeting featured Fisher House Puget Sound

Carrie Booker, Mgr., Puget Sound Fisher House spoke at the October Post meeting to introduce the membership to the Fisher House program

October Meeting featured Fisher House Puget Sound

Commander Mike Denton presented a check in support of Puget Sound Fisher House to Carrie Booker

Fisher House Foundation builds comfort homes where military & veteran’s families can stay free of charge, while a loved one is in the hospital. Fisher Houses are owned and operated by the Department of Defense or Department of Veterans Affairs in association with the attached hospital. Each Fisher House has between 7 and 21 suites and can accommodate 16 to 42 family members. They feature a common kitchen, laundry facilities, spacious dining room and a living room with library, and toys for children. Newest houses are 100% handicap accessible and include elevators. A Fisher House is a temporary residence and is not a treatment facility, hospice or counseling center.

Puget Sound Fisher House is one of the organizations supported by the VFW Post 8870 Relief Fund.  


Gil Loomis Receives Korean “Ambassador for Peace” Medal

Gil Loomis Receives Korean Ambassador for peace MedalGil Loomis recently became the latest of VFW Post 8870’s members to receive this award. Korean War veterans who served in country or in Korean waters during the Korean War, June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953 are eligible for the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal. The medal is an expression of appreciation from the Korean government to US service men and women who served in the Korean conflict.

Gil Loomis Receives Korean Ambassador for peace MedalOther members have received this recognition, including several during an award ceremony held at the Edmonds Community College Veterans Day observance in 2016. Congratulations Gil and all the other recipients.


“The Dirty Dozen”

Some History of the 161st Regiment Washington National Guard


The Washington National Guard’s 161st Infantry Regiment fought throughout WWII in the Pacific, seeing action in Guadalcanal from December 1942 , then on New Georgia in the northern Solomon Islands from July 1943.

Following the campaign for new Georgia in Nov. 1943, the regiment spent much of 1944 in New Zealand and New Caldeonia, being brought back to full strength and training for landings in the Philippines.

The Dirty Dozen – Some History of the 161st Regiment Washington National Guard

The Dirty Dozen: The surviving 12 of the original 120 officers of the 161st, January 1945 on Luzon. At the right end of the top row is Lt. Col Robert Dickey of Walla Walla, uncle of Post Commander Mike Denton

The return to Luzon was also a return by the regiment after a 46-year absence, of the 1st Washington Volunteer Infantry, now the 161st Infantry, not to fight the Filipinos as their grandfathers had done but to liberate them .

The unit landed on Luzon in the Philippines in January 1945 and participated in the battle for that island into July, of that year. They were training for the invasion of the Japanese home islands when the atomic bombs were dropped but instead entered Japan peacefully and shortly thereafter returned home to Washington and were inactivated.

The 1st Batallion of the 161st was again called to active duty in 2003 and in 2008 for service in Iraq. The battalion provided security for the Green Zone and conducted full spectrum operations in southeast Baghdad. There the 161st faced stiff opposition from the Mahdi Army, led by Shiite Cleric Al Sadr.

For a more detailed history of the 161st. visit this link: 161st_Infantry_Regiment_(United_States)