District 1 Commander Visits Post 8870

Presents 2018-19 Awards 

Commander Doug White Visited on the occasion of our July Post meeting to present the Post with The 2018-19 All-State Post Award (see certificate on page 2) and other certificates recognizing 8870’s stellar performance for the past VFW year. In addition to the All-State certificate, Commander White presented the post with certificates representing awards in categories of 100% + Membership, Buddy Poppies, Heroes in the Ballpark, Patriots Pen, Scouting, Teacher of the Year, Veteran & Military Support, Voice of Democracy andYouth Activities. We were also recognized for nominating our Post Law Enforcement Officer of the year, Mukilteo Police Detective Nicole Stone, the winner of the Department of Washington award in that category! A Big Well Done, to the entire post for an outstanding year! 

2017-19 Commander Mike Denton and Quartermaster Dennis Peterson each accept the “Whtite Cover” from District 1 Commander Doug White on behalf of the Post, in recognition of the Presentation of the All-State Award to our post. 

Prior to our July Post meeting, Commander White sent out this message to all of the District 1 Posts, congratulating all for the District’s achievement in the past VFW Year: 

“Congratulations to every District 1 Post and Member for all of your hard work in the past 12 months. Due to your efforts in the community the District 1 team was recognized at our Department Convention with the following. 

District 1 Commander Visits Post 8870 Presents 2018-19 Awards

District 1 All-State District Team Captain 
Post 921 All-State Post 
Post 1040 All-State Post 
Post 1561 All-State Post 
Post 2554 All-State Post 
Post 7511 All-State Post 
Post 8870 All-State Post 
Post 9417 All-State Post 

Department of WA Firefighter of the Year via Post 921 
Department of WA Police Officer of the Year via Post 8870 
Department of WA 2nd place Scout of the Year via Post 7511 

Thank you for everything you do in our communities. Doug” 

Certificates for individual categories will be posted on the Post website under “Award Wall” 

Recruiting Event at Edmonds Summer Market

Recruiting Event at Edmonds Summer Market

On Saturday, July 27, Post 8870 once again held a community outreach and recruiting event at the Edmonds Summer Market. On hand to greet the public and introduce the Post to local veterans were Les Abel, Mike Denton, Dan Doyle and Don Stapleton. While no new members were signed on the spot we spoke to a number of local vets and more who were visiting friends and family from other areas, some of whom are members of VFW. 

Among the veterans we encountered was an older man from Ukraine, who proved to be a veteran of the Soviet Army from cold war days. A US Army vet who stopped by, told us of his experience at the Pentagon on 9/11. 

Many thanks to Sound Credit Union, sponsors of the non-profit Summer Market booth and the Edmonds Historic Museum folks who set up the booth for us. 

Veterans Plaza Committee Honors Carrie Hite

Veterans Plaza Committee Honors Carrie Hite

At the July Post meeting, former City of Edmonds Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director Carrie Hite was honored for her enormous contribution to the development and completion of our Edmonds Veterans Plaza. 

Plaza Committee Chair Ron Clyborne spoke of Hite’s contributions to the project, recognizing the essential nature of her part in its completion. While Hite recently resigned from the Edmonds position to assume a similar role in the City of Redmond, the Edmonds Veterans Plaza will surely stand as a highly visible symbol of her legacy to the city. She had served the City of Edmonds since 2012. 

Veterans Plaza Committee Honors Carrie Hite
As a symbol of our gratitude, Mike Reagan, Post member and famed sketch artist of fallen heroes, presented Hite with a her recently completed portrait, shown here, along with a photo of the presentation itself.

The Post and all Edmonds veterans and their families are indeed grateful. 

A Veteran Tells His Story

A Veteran Tells His Story

At the Independence Day picnic/barbecue, Post member Don Stapleton had a special guest in the person of his grandson Caleb Stapleton. Caleb spent most of the afternoon visiting with veterans and listening to their stories and, in particular managed to draw John Shelton out on his Vietnam experience. 

John, as most of you know was a sniper with a Marine Corps Force Recon unit and did a considerable amount of damage to the enemy, right up to the day he forgot to duck and landed in that wheel chair you now see as a part of him. One can well imagine that a young man of Caleb’s age would be fascinated by the history of a man like John, as you can easily see from the rapt attention demonstrated in the accompanying photo. It is important that we give our young people an opportunity to gain some insight into the veteran experience. 

VFW District 1, Dept. of Washington Is All-American

VFW District 1, Dept. of Washington Is All-American

At the Department of Washington School of Instruction, held at Post 2100’s facility in Everett on Saturday, August 11, Past Commander Linda Fairbank presented District 1 Commander Doug White with the Red & White cover and National Certificate recognizing District 1 as an All-American District for the 2018 -19 VFW year. 

Individual District 1 posts were also presented with All- American awards. Details on those awards will be found in the inaugural issue of the District 1 newsletter, which will be published in the near future, along with other news from the District. 

Congratulations are in order to all of the District 1 membership, including All-State Post 8870. These awards don’t happen without the participation of everyone involved. 

The Polar Bear Expedition of 1918

The US Armed Forces and the Red Army only once met in battle. It was during the Russian Civil War that the Soviets and Americans fought each other directly. 

Soviet Russia signed a separate peace treaty with the Central Powers, ending participation in WWI. Immediately, the Allies organized an expedition intended to regroup the Imperial Russian Army and subdue the Bolshevik revolution. Several contingents of Allied troops deployed to Russia. 

The British regiment landed in Arkhangelsk, on the far northern tip of the Russian coast on August 2nd, 1918. The city held many supplies sent by the Allies to support the last Russian offensive against the Germans in 1917. Unfortunately, the supplies had already been seized by the Bolsheviks, who engaged the Allies in combat almost immediately upon their arrival. 

The Polar Bear Expedition of 1918
Polar Bear Monument, White Chapel, MI

The American contingent stationed in Arkhangelsk was dubbed the Polar Bear Expedition due to the position of the city near the Arctic circle. The freezing weather (as cold as 20 below zero) produced the nickname. Elements of the 85th division were sent by General Pershing to aid the British in Arkhangelsk. The principle U.S. combat unit so deployed was the 339th Infantry, comprised mostly of the Michigan National Guard, since dubbed The Polar Bears. 

A report dated October 1919 stated that there were 210 American casualties; 110 KIA, 30 MIA, and 70 deaths from disease, mostly Spanish Flu. 305 were wounded. 

The August issue of VFW Magazine contains an excellent, more complete account of this action by Earl Rickard, a Brown Water Navy veteran of Vietnam and freelance writer. 

New Post Member Directory Proposed

Post 8870 commander Rose Gilliland has announced her intention to prepare a Post photo directory of the membership and has arranged with a photographer, Kurt Nickle, to attend our meetings and take photos of the members. If the following candid shots from the July meeting are any indication, it would appear the we will have some high quality portrait work. 

We will have our photographer on hand at future meetings to shoot individual portraits for our Post Directory. If you are not a regular attendee, we urge you to make an appearance to have your photo taken, so that you can be included in the directory. 

$ Post 8870 General Fund Depleted $

Post 8870 General Fund

Member’s Urged to Consider Donations 

At the monthly staff meeting, Quartermaster Dennis Peterson reported that the Post’s general fund, the money we use for operational expenses such as postage, web site maintenance, new member expenses over and above dues received, etc, etc. has become severely depleted going into the new 2019-20 VFW year. 

No doubt you are all aware that most of the money in our bank accounts is that generated by donations received at our twice yearly poppy drives, dedicated funds that are and must be committed to the Veteran and Community Service functions the post performs and cannot be used for operating expenses. 

If you can kick in a few dollars to help get the fund back to a healthy condition please give your cash or check to Quartermaster Peterson, or drop it in the mail to VFW Post 8870, PO Box 701, Edmonds, 98020. Our QM is also happy to process your credit card. 

If you are employed by an organization with a charitable match program, don’t forget to ask for the match, to double your donation. Our in house CPA, Past Commander Traner, asks us to remind you that all donations to the post are tax deductible. 

Commander’s Corner

The Commander’s Corner

Members of Post 8870 can now join live meetings via video conferencing. 

Our July Post meeting was our first trial using Zoom, a video conferencing app. We had two members join the meeting using Zoom. Fred Agpar from St. Louis, Missouri and Jay Hansen from Mukilteo. These members were able to participate fully in the Post meeting. At the end of the meeting Fred said that even though he was in Missouri he felt like he was home. 

Members who can’t physically be with us on meeting nights, can now still be part of the team by joining with the Zoom app. If you would like to join the meetings this way please contact the Commander or Jim Traner for further information. Information is also in the monthly meeting reminder emails. 

Reboot Military Family Program

By Dan Doyle 

Reboot Military Family Program

Last year, Steve Swanson of the Reboot Military Family Program came to one of our monthly meetings to speak to the membership of VFW Post 8870 about this program that is helping veterans dealing with the effects of combat and multiple deployments. We decided at that time to support two of the veterans who were enrolled in the program. 

I attended the last year’s graduation ceremonies and was impressed by the graduates and their families. The classes are small, maybe 12 veterans and their families, and are structured in the manner of a 12 step program with a strong faith component. What I saw in these veterans, all of whom were from the post 9/11 era, was humility and a recovered sense of self-confidence. They were very appreciative of the program and the tools it gave them to deal with their PTS issues and how it was very positive for their family relationships. 

We have been asked again to support a couple of students for this year’s class. The tuition is $250 per student for the course. We are going to support 2 students again this year with a $500 contribution from Post 8870. This is a direct and positive way for us to support fellow veterans. For more information check the REBOOT website at 

You can also touch base with Post 8870 Chaplain Dan Doyle. 

3 million more people to get military shopping benefits

3 million more people to get military shopping benefits
Defense Commissary Agency

As about 3 million more people will soon be eligible to shop at military stores, officials are working to make sure these new customers will have access to bases, and that the shelves will be stocked. 

Starting Jan. 1, all service-connected disabled veterans, Purple Heart recipients, former prisoners of war and primary veteran caregivers will be eligible to shop at commissaries and exchanges, and officials from three federal agencies are preparing the way. 

The newly eligible customers will also be able to use certain morale, welfare and recreation activities. You will find further details at the link to Military Times below. shopping-benefits/