The Washington Department of Veterans Affairs is sponsoring a raffle in conjunction with the Washington State Lottery. The proceeds will go to provide financial assistance to soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan through the Veterans Innovations Program. Tickets are $10 and the proceeds of every ticket sold directly benefits soldiers and their families. The drawing is November 11th.
Our November meeting falls on Veterans Day and the Edmonds Senior Center will be closed. We have moved the meeting to the American Legion Post 66 Hall on 6th and Dayton in Edmonds. Lunch will be served. We are starting a pool and betting on how many members show up at the closed Senior Center on the 11th. I can think of one for sure (and no, I won’t disclose my guess), but my bet is three. Please make me lose the bet by showing up at the correct location.
At the October meeting we were treated to Erv and Tom Hallums relate their story of the journey to Washington DC on an Honor Flight trip. Honor Flight is an organization dedicated to flying as many WWII veterans to the Capital to view the WWII Memorial. Tom, a Korean War vet, accompanied Bob Otto while Erv was accompanied by his son, a Vietnam vet. They were treated first class during the entire trip and, while just a two day visit, were guided to all the veterans’ memorials, not just the WWII Memorial. A few interesting facts; the Memorial was built entirely from donations from the public. The Memorial is the only memorial between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. It wasn’t built without controversy as a number of people did not want any memorial to be located in this area. Hopefully, we will be able to assist a couple of more members take the Honor Flight in the Future.
Pete grew up in Winchester, Virginia and attended Virginia Military Institute. Upon his graduation from VMI, he was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the U. S. Army and received advanced training in field artillery. He volunteered and served two tours of duty in Vietnam. During his first tour in 1969, Pete was stationed in 2nd Corps. When he returned to Southeast Asia, Pete saw action at several fire bases throughout South Vietnam. After serving in the Army for eight years, Pete was discharged from Fort Lewis in 1976. Two years later, he returned to the Pacific Northwest, living in Seattle. He is a retired banking executive, and he and his wife, Patty, now reside in Edmonds. They have two sons, one who lives in Oregon, and their youngest son is a student at his father’s alma mater, VMI.
William is a twenty year veteran of the Navy, who retired in 2001 at the rank of Commander. He is a native of Chicago, and was a Naval Aviator. William attended the Ohio State University, receiving a B.S degree in Aeronautical Engineering. While attending the Naval War College, William earned a Master’s Degree in National Security and International Affairs. During his career, William flew anti-submarine warfare missions and also served as an instructor pilot and test pilot. His overseas assignments included tours in Japan, Okinawa, Thailand, Diego Garcia, and the Philippines. Among his decorations, William was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with 1OLC, Meritorious Service Medal with 1 OLC, Navy Achievement Medal with 3 OLC, and four Sea Service Deployment Ribbons. William is an Avionics Design Engineer at Boeing. He and his wife, Linda, are residents of Edmonds.
The first weekend in November (on the 4th and 5th) we will be having a Buddy Poppy campaign, I hope I can count on several of you to work a four hour shift at the Top Foods in Shoreline on either Friday or Saturday. It is always best to have 2 or more people working a shift together so you can give each other a “break” from the table once in a while. Sign-up sheets will be at the October meeting. It can be FUN, why don’t you give it a try? Since the Senior Center will be closed on Veterans’ Day (Friday, November 11), we will be meeting at the usual time at the American Legion Post on the corner of 6th and Dayton in Edmonds. The Post will be supplying our food that day. There is a small room available for us to have our meeting. Thank you members of the Post for thinking of us in your planning! The next District meeting will be November 12th, the day after our meeting. Remember to wear something PINK to this meeting! Our meeting in December will be on the 9th and the Christmas luncheon will be on either the 1st or 2nd Saturday of December.
Until next time, this is Valerie your Ladies Auxiliary President.
Mike will be speaking about the Fallen Heroes Project at 3rd Place Books on November 2nd at 7:00PM. First, for those of you who don’t visit book stores, 3rd Place Books is great. In addition to a small restaurant, you can browse for new or used books. In addition, there is a stage where Mike will make his presentation. I am asking that all of you who can make it to do so. And bring a friend. It is important to spread the word to our fellow citizens about Mike’s project and how important it is to the family of our fallen heroes.
If you didn’t see it, it’s gone. However, I thought I would share with you a fascinating exhibit that came to town. I had a chance to run down to Boeing Field to the Museum of Flight on a recent Sunday afternoon. I had read an article that an exhibit about WWI was being held on the tarmac in front of the museum. Although small (held in a very large semi-truck that could be moved from location to location), the exhibit was excellent. Somehow in a very few words and pictures, the introductory film unraveled the tangle of politics and alliances that brought about the first world war and clearly explained how an assignation in a small country would lead to millions dying. While it exhibited the usual uniforms, etc. it concentrated on the small items that soldiers carried and also how the wounded were treated, as well as the dead. For instance, following the war, the government sent Gold Star mothers to Europe to visit their son’s graves. WWI is becoming a forgotten war. It is a shame. What the soldiers had to endure and casualties that were incurred were horrific. An entire generation of young men died. While the US brought home a number of their KIA’s (the Brits didn’t), one of the cemeteries US soldiers are buried in is Flanders Field. A thought to remember when you are handing out Poppies in a few days.
While flying off the carrier, we use to ‘kid’ the other pilots asking if they did not return could we have their stereo set or something of similar importance. This comment was brought on by youth and the idea that each thought he was invincible. When someone did not return, we rationalized that person’s death by saying to ourselves, “That could never happen to me. Old…… just screwed-up.” However, with each passing year and the passing of close friends and family, each of us comes to the realization that we are human and that means there is no way out of this world except through death! Each of us, at his or her appointed time and place, will face death. I strongly believe, a living hope, that I and others who believe in Our Lord, will not face death alone; that there is everlasting life after ‘crossing the bar’.
During the last couple of weeks, we lost two members of our Post – Charles Siljig, a Korean War Vet, and Kenneth Pearl, a Vietnam Vet. Our Post sent cards to the families of these our fellow Comrades in arms who have gone to be with their Lord.
The Order for the Burial of the Dead opens with the following:
I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die. I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though this body be destroyed, yet shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not as a stranger.
We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!
As members of VFW Post 8870, what each of us can do is to rededicate ourselves to our Nation – to our fellow veterans, our community, and especially our youth: the next generation – so each remembers that our government “of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth. If those words sound familiar, they should. They are borrowed from President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Each of us should live everyday as if it were our last, doing good, and helping our fellow man. Because today just may be our last!
We lost some good members last month as our Chaplain pointed out in his column. It is always difficult to lose friends. About the same time, a young state politician died unexpectedly leaving behind a wife and two small children. From reading the article, he seemed like a nice guy and was an ethical and hardworking individual with a bright future. The governor declared that all the government flags be flown at half mast and asked that everyone fly their flags at half mast on that particular day. I have no problem with that request, but we had two members who served in two different conflicts, Korea and Vietnam, who passed and no flags will be flown at half mast in their memory nor would either I suspect, if they could speak for themselves, would want the flags lowered to half mast. Soldiers simply go about their duty protecting and defending America, and those that come home move on with life. But I notice that when I read the obits how many are shown wearing their uniforms from a past war; a last time to wear it in public. So Chuck and Ken didn’t have a flag flown at half mast since neither was a politician, but we members of VFW draped our Charter in black and remembered them and their service to our country.