Chaplain’s Corner—Rock Roth

For some of us, 30 April marks a ‘memorable’ day in history.  It marks the ‘official’ end of the Vietnam War – 30 April 1975.  We who served during that conflict lost many friends.  We also had friends who were held captive in the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ and other such places in Vietnam.  Our lives were forever changed by that conflict.  So was the United States.  (Of course, that statement could be made by those who served in any war.)  As we stress during our frequent presentations to students, “War is not fun.  We who served and are serving our Country in the military hate war.  However, freedom is not free! Therefore, when our Country calls, we serve.”   On 30 April please say a special prayer for our Country and for those who made the supreme sacrifice during the Vietnam War.

The following is quoted from an email I received a long time ago.  I don’t know the author but I’m certain he or she would not mind my sharing it with you.

“While watching a little TV on Sunday instead of going to church, I watched a Church in Atlanta honoring one of its senior pastors who had been retired many years.He was 92 at that time and I wondered why the Church even bothered to ask the old gentleman to preach at that age. After a warm welcome, introduction of this speaker, and as the applause quieted down, the old man rose from his high back chair and walked slowly, with great effort and a sliding gate to the podium.Without a note or written paper of any kind he placed both hands on the pulpit to steady himself and then quietly and slowly he began to speak. ‘When I was asked to come here today and talk to you, your pastor asked me to tell you what was the greatest lesson ever learned in my 50 odd years of preaching. I thought about it for a few days and boiled it down to just one thing that made the most difference in my life and sustained me through all my trials. The one thing that I could always rely on when tears and heartbreak and pain and fear and sorrow paralyzed me… the only thing that would comfort was this verse………

‘Jesus loves me this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
We are weak but He is strong…..
Yes, Jesus loves me…
The Bible tells me so.’

When he finished, the church was quiet. You actually could hear his footsteps as he shuffled back to his chair.”

Please be assured that Our Lord loves each and every one of us.  “No”- we don’t deserve nor have we earned that love.  “So God loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  (John 3:16)

God Bless you and God Bless our Troops.

The Last Word

I am constantly amazed by hearing about other Posts who can’t get folks to their meetings and have open officer positions due to lack of interest.  There are other fine Posts in VFW, but we are at the top with them.  The reason is we have great members, and I will mention just a few.  You always get in trouble by not naming everyone, so I will preface this piece by saying if I forgot to mention your name it was entirely unintentional or due to lack of space.  First, we have new members who have stepped up like Pete Farmer who is our membership chair and did the “New Members” column in this issue.  Also, there is Dick Simmons who is our new adjutant and Chris Edwards who will be our Senior Vice for the next couple of years.  Then there are the older members who have stepped up to the plate like Bob Crawford who has done a fantastic job in organizing our Buddy Poppy drives.  Rock Roth has been there as Senior Vice Commander and now Chaplain but also a driving force along with Fred Apgar in the Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy contests.  Jim Collins has grabbed the Safety Officer position like a dog with a bone.  Of course, not enough can be said of Elizabeth Mather’s contributions to this Post as Quartermaster before having to retire from the job.   Fred Apgar, our incoming Commander, has done more behind the scenes then can described here, including selecting the Teacher of the Year.  I want to thank Carl Kurfess for being everywhere when we needed volunteers and Don Whedon for being an excellent Service Officer.  Post 8870’s biggest problem is having too many good candidates for the positions available.   I have one more meeting in May before turning the gavel over to Fred in June.  I look forward to watching Fred take the Post to the next level and remaining the best Post in District and, for that matter, in the Department of Washington. And if didn’t mention your name , it was for lack of room, not because you didn’t deserve the recognition.

Mike Reagan Honored by the Nisei Veterans Committee

Mike Reagan Honored by the Nisei Veterans Committee

Mike was honored with the NVC/NVC Foundation Commander’s/President’s Award on March 30th.  Mike drew the portraits of all 21 Medal of Honor winners of the 442nd Combat Infantry Team, the unit that many of the NVC members were in during WWII.  Commander Jim Traner and his wife Terry attended the presentation along with several members of the Post and their wives.  In addition, Department Line Officers  including State Commander, Carlos Almeda, Sr. Vice Commander Krist Huseby, Jr. Vice Commander Ted Streete, and Adjutant Corky Berthiaume were present while Commander Ron Haley and President Ruth Herren represented District  1. As always, the NVC were gracious hosts. Although it was on a Friday evening and we had to do the I-5 crawl to get there, the evening was fabulous.  Mike Reagan Honored by the Nisei Veterans CommitteeThanks to Buck Weaver, our Post and the NVC have established close ties over the last few years.  It is great to have them as friends and, hopefully, we can have them attend some of our functions as well.

Post Officer Nominations

Nominations for Officers were held in the March meeting.  Nominated were Fred Apgar, Commander; Chris Edwards, Senior Vice; Carl Kurfess, Junior Vice; Rock Roth; Chaplain; Al Boyett, Surgeon; Tom Hallums, Quartermaster; Ron Clyborne, Judge Advocate; and Jim Traner, 3rd year Trustee,  The nominations will be opened to the floor again in the April meeting and following any additional nominations, the election will be held.  If you can make the meeting, please do so.  This is one of the most important meetings of the year and a great turnout would be appreciated.  Installation of the new officers will take place at our June meeting.  In addition to the elected positions, there are a number of appointed positions.  If you interested in serving, let us know and we will find a job for you.


President’s Corner—Valerie Ehlers

Happy Easter! We’re doing a great job getting those breakfast bars in. Let’s bring a box of them to the April  meeting on Friday, April 13!

Remember it is “Election time” for us. If you are willing to be elected to a position but can not attend the meeting, I need to receive a written note from you indicating that you are willing to be nominated and that you will accept any position that you are elected to. Send it to me at Valerie Ehlers, 912 N 143rd St. #6, Seattle, WA 98133. Thanks.

We are electing officers for the 2012-2013 term at the April meeting. I need as many of you as possible to attend this meeting for the elections.

Scott Swain—PTSD Expert

Scott Swain PTSD ExpertAt our March 9 meeting, we were honored to have Scott Swaim address the Post about his work with veterans who have been diagnosed with PTSD.  He shared with us his experiences with veterans who suffered from this disorder and explained how symptoms such as sleeping problems, anger, difficulties at work, and loss of friendships might represent manifestations of PTSD.  Scott is an Air Force Gulf War veteran who is President of Milspec Advisory Group, a consulting agency that focuses on military and veteran issues.  He has over 20 years of clinical experience in programs dealing with mental health issues, and he has consulted for numerous governmental and private agencies on how best to serve the military, veterans and the members of their families.  Scott is a member of the VFW, AL, and DAV.



New Members

Ron Fischer

Ron Fischer

Ron Fischer is a native of Tumwater, WA and attended Seattle University. He served in the United States Navy from February, 1968 to November, 1969 with overseas duty in Vietnam from October, 1968 – November, 1969. Served as Operations Department Yeoman.  Ron is in real estate sales and resides in Edmonds. He is married with 3 children and 9 grandchildren.


Michael Santopolo

Michael Santopolo

Michael Santopolo is a Seattle native. He served in the US Army from September, 1966 to April, 1969. He was stationed in Korea at the DMZ from December, 1967 – April 1969. Basic training was at Fort Polk, Louisiana with other assignments at Fort Benning, Georgia, Camp Drum, New York and Fort Meade, Maryland. Michael is in the real estate business and is a contractor.  He currently resides in Edmonds and has 2 daughters and 2 grandchildren.

Honor Flight

Two Post members, Jean Whalley and Harry Miller, will be flying to Washington DC during the month of April.  The Post is assisting in this endeavor by providing $800 which will cover the cost of two “guardians” who will accompany Muriel and Harry on their journey and assist them as they tour the Capitol and the various war memorials and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  This is the second group of WWII veterans we have sent to Washington D.C.  Honor Flight was originated when a group of private pilots flew WWII veterans to view the WWII Memorial.  It quickly grew and, to date, 81,000 veterans have been flown to Washington DC.  Just as an aside, Southwest Airlines has donated thousands of free tickets.  Keep this in mind the next time you book a flight.

Eagle Scount Court of Honor

Rock Roth and Les Abel present certificates and belt buckles during a recent Court of Honor.