Clara Jennings, who served in the US Marine
Corps during World War II, died just days after her 100th birthday, which
was January 27. While not herself a member of VFW, she was the mother in
law of member Dick Harsin, one of our Vietnam Navy veterans. The family has
requested donations to be made to VFW Post 8870 in her honor.
Many were honored with the opportunity to
meet Jennings at the 2019 Veterans Day Ceremony at the Edmonds Veterans
Plaza, where this photo was taken.
Commander Rose Gililand has announced the Post will once again
offer their Freedom Scholarship to graduating high school seniors. Student
qualifications include having at least one sibling, parent, or grandparent
that is a United States Military Veteran; and, reside within the Edmonds and
Mukilteo Public School Districts. Students who reside within the
boundaries of the districts but attend private schools or are home
schooled are also eligible. Each of the four scholarships will be in the amount
of $1,500.00 and will be awarded to seniors who will be enrolling full
time at an accredited college, university or technical school.
Students will be required to submit a transcript of their high
school academic record and a resume that lists the high school activities
in which they participated. In addition, applicants will be asked to write a 300-500-word
essay in which they explain the meaning of freedom to them and how our
Constitution establishes and maintains a culture of freedom in our
Students may obtain a Freedom Scholarship application from the
Career Centers in their high schools or it can be downloaded from the VFW
Post web site at www.vfw8870.org. The deadline for the submission of the
application and supporting materials is April 15, 2020. Scholarship recipients
will be notified of their selection prior to their high school’s spring
The snow storm the week of January 15 caused the January meeting
to be cancelled by Commander Rose Gililand, in the interest of the safety
of our members and guests.
The program for that meeting was to have featured our student essay winners and our Teachers of the year. That program has been shifted forward to the February meeting. Our meal will be provided by the post Auxiliary.
New map helps Vets locate ship positions from “Military Times”
A new interactive map could help ill Vietnam veterans who served on U.S. ships determine whether they could be eligible for Agent Orange-related benefits. The law allows veterans who served on a ship that operated within 12 nautical miles of a line of demarcation established by law and have an illness presumed related to herbicide exposure, to apply for health benefits and disability compensation.
Over 1,700 deck logs have been plotted to date, and new information
continues to be added. The map is hosted online by the disability law firm
Hill & Ponton one of numerous law firms which vie to assist veterans
in drafting and filing disability claims with VA.Veterans service organizations
provide similar assistance free of charge. As part of filing disability
claims, veterans must show they served on a U.S. vessel when it traversed
the congressionally drawn zone.
Veterans who were on ships that aren’t yet mapped or who served
outside the zone, such as in the Gulf of Tonkin, should contact Military
Veterans Advocacy and the Blue Water Navy Association if they have one of 14 diseases listed by the VA as linked to Agent Orange. They may still be able
to file a claim
Edmonds VFW Post 8870’s Post Service Officer Don Whedon was among alumni
veterans honored at the Seattle University Homecoming and Reunion in November.
The event featured a Homecoming parade and basketball game at which the
veterans were recognized.
Community Film Screening and Discussion 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb 20 Black Box Theatre Edmonds Community College 20000 68th Ave. W, Lynnwood Free and Open to the public
The event will feature 2 films: “Proof of Loyalty” and “Honor and
Sacrifice”. Both are by Lucy Ostrander and Don Sellers. After the films we
will have a discussion panel with both of the film makers and Joyce Yamane, whose
father is featured in Proof of Loyalty and Karen Matsumoto, daughter of Roy
Matsumoto who is featured in Honor and Sacrifice.
Michael Reagan did a series of drawings related to the Nisei (2nd
Generation) Veterans and will bring a poster of them to the event. The
event and films shed light on the living conditions and treatment of Japanese
Americans both before America entered WWII, and after December 7th when
many Americans of Japanese descent were sent to internment camps. Some of
the people living in the camps joined the Military and served in one of two segregated
units (100th or 442nd) that served with great distinction in Europe.
Don Whedon, Edmonds VFW Post 8870 Service Officer, sees a need for enhanced availability to VFW members in need of assistance in receiving their veterans benefits. The process of applying and gaining approval for medical, disability and other benefits can be daunting for the uninitiated. Don is here to help and is very experienced in this area.
To that end Whedon will begin establishing some regular service
hours for the Post. This will initially be located at the Edmonds American
Legion Hall. In addition, Whedon can, when needed, make other arrangements to
meet with individual veterans offsite. Veterans can contact Whedon
The first such session will be on Saturday, February 29, between
10 AM and 2 PM. We will have the coffee on and some donuts and such on
A one time telephone drive will be held concurrently to contact
members of VFW Post 8870 who have overlooked renewing, to remind them to
do so. Qualified Veterans not already members, are also welcome to stop by
and put in their application. (Be sure to bring your DD214)
We still have room in our current flight of pavers. If you, or someone you know wishes to honor a veteran, living or dead, we continue to expand our memorial pavers project in the plaza. Ideally, an additional five paver orders would round out the next installation phase. The cost is $ 500, which includes engraving & installation. You will find the order form on the Post web site. Cut and past the link below in your browser.
On Saturday, December 14, members of American Legion Post
66 and VFW Post 8870 gathered at the Legion Hall in Edmonds for our annual
Christmas gathering. Many thanks to Paul Bustard for providing turkey,
mashed potatoes and gravy, which he has done for a number of years.
In gratitude for Paul’s efforts, Post Commanders Les Abel
and Rose Gilliland presented Paul with a handsome leather jacket,
decorated with appropriate USMC insignia. Paul puts in many hours seeing
that our annual event is well fed.
Paul had a bit of an delay in getting the turkeys on time from
Costco, his usual source, where there were some issues with timing
expectations. By way of apology, the fine folks at Costco, provided the
turkeys at no charge and also committed to continue providing the turkeys
free in the future. The food; turkey, mashed potatoes, ham, and all the
trimmings were delicious!
Post Commanders Les Abel and Rose Gilliland presented
checks from each post to Mike Reagan in support of his Fallen Heroes
A variety of items contributed by members of the two Posts
were auctioned off to raise funds. Mike Reagan offered to produce two sketched
portraits for winning bidders, which sold for a total of $ 1,000. Other
items and door contributions came to $ 611. The total of $ 1,611 was split
between the two posts.
Reagan surprised (stunned might be a better word) Past Commander Mike Denton with a Christmas gift of a portrait sketch of Mike’s then teenaged mother, (shown at right) circa 1932, which he showed as a “sample” of his work. Reagan said he “mined” Facebook for the Denton photo.
One of the long standing traditions of our Christmas party is the collection of toys for underprivileged children, and donations of food four our local food bank, which is developing a new focus on the needs of veterans for the coming year. Our comrades were generous as always in their donations. Commander Gilliland arranged for the delivery of the food donations to the food bank. and personally presented the toys to the Chaplain’s office at Naval Base Everett for appropriate distribution to children of active duty members of the armed forces.
Just before Christmas, Post 8870 Vice Commander Carl Kurfess
visited Retsil Washington Veterans home to deliver gift cards woth a total
of $ 1,000, purchased from our Veterans Relief Fund to staff member Tami
Reuter. Washington Veterans Home Retsil is a 240 unit senior care
communityand has been a recipient of support from our Post relief Fund for many
We continue to raise funds for the ongoing maintenance and
improvement of the Edmonds Veterans Plaza. Shown below are Commander Rose
Gilliland and Past Commander Jim Traner being presented with a check for $
1,000 from a representative of the Governor’s Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee.
This grant money is raised through the sale of Veterans Remembrance Emblems.
The emblems include campaign ribbons or military awards, and are
stickers that can be placed on Washington license plates. This grant
is the result of an application made by Maria Montalvo of the EVP Committee.
The VAAC is authorized to disperse funds for projects that pay
tribute to living and deceased veterans.
The VAAC Operates with the motto of No Veteran Forgotten, and
serves in an advisory capacity to the Governor and the Director of the
Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.