Our annual Christmas gathering will be held on Saturday,
December 14. We plan to follow our usual program and start to gather at
noon, with dinner, consisting of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and all the
usual trimmings to be served at 1:00.
Side dishes and desserts are to be provided on a “pot luck”
basis by members who have signed up in advance to do so.
The event will feature an auction of items donated by the
Post staffs, the proceeds of which will be shared between the two posts. We
will also again be collecting new, unwrapped toys for needy kids and food items
for the food bank.
It promises to be a good time with plenty of food and
beverages and the company of good friends and family. The accompanying photos
from earlier years, should get you in the mood!
Dick served on active duty with the Navy from 1969 through
1980, and was a “Blue Water” Sailor during Vietnam. Dick served as a
supply officer (Lieut.) on the USS Sperry (sub tender) and on USS Vesuvius (ammunition
ship). He spent 383 days off the coast of Vietnam providing ammunition to ships
from destroyers to aircraft carriers. Later, Dick was inventory control
officer at NAS Whidbey Island; Supply Officer and Comptroller at NAS Agana
Guam and finally DOD disposal officer at Defense Logistics Command Ogden
In 1980 Dick started his CPA business which he sold in 1995.
Since 1995 he has worked in wealth management, financial planning and tax
Dick and wife Nancy have been married for 45 years and
have two daughters one living in Lake Forest Park the other living in
Anchorage. They have seven grandkids ranging in age between 10 and 24.
Over the years Dick has been heavily involved in child
abuse prevention programs and has served on various national boards. He is
the minor league coordinator for Pacific Little League and also for more
than 18 years served as manager of a minor league team (ages nine through
11) for Pacific Little League. Dick is, along with several other members
of our Post, also a member of the Rotary Club of Edmonds,
In November, two more of our World War II veteran members were
awarded Quilts of Honor, following on the group of four awarded in
Edgar Shepherd survived the sinking of the USS Helena in
the Battle of Kula Gulf in south Pacific action against the Japanese
Imperial Navy in World War II. The light cruiser, which had come through
the Pearl Harbor attack, was tasked with protecting other ships in the
South Pacific during the Guadalcanal campaign. The Helena went down on
July 6, 1943. Nearly 170 crewmen died. Shepherd was part of a group that
clung to a life raft.
On the USS Helena, he worked in the plotting room, which
included the control system for the guns. He also fought in the battles of
Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
After finishing his time at sea, Shepherd helped start a Navy
reserve center in Colorado before moving to California to help his uncle
open a doughnut shop. He later got a job in Los Angeles at an electrical company
where he worked for 24 years. He lives in Edmonds with daughter Paula
Kilbourne. Paula once offered to take him whitewater rafting. He turned
her down. He had clung to a rubber raft, adrift in dark waters after the
USS Helena sank. He wasn’t interested in getting on a raft again. Ed celebrated
his 101st birthday on July 4, 2019.
Dan White Enlisted in the Army in 1946, served
nearly two years, and was called back in 1950. A retired middle school
teacher, White lives in Redmond but spent years in the Edmonds area and
remains an active member of Post 8870. In Korea, he flew a modified Cessna called
an L-19. His duties involved adjusting artillery. Back home, he and his
wife raised four boys. He earned two degrees, stayed in the reserves and
retired as a colonel.
At a November meeting of the Edmonds City Council, Mayor
Dave Earling was presented with his portrait by Fallen Heroes Project
artist Mike Reagan, in recognition of his work in support of the
Edmonds Veterans Plaza. Earling will end his service as Mayor in January
of 2020 after serving two full terms.
The backing and support of the City and its leaders has
been invaluable to the completion of the Plaza.
At the November post meeting, the need for a new Post Trustee to replace Jim Murdock, who is now our Adjutant, was announced. Past Commander Mike Denton has agreed to accept the vacant Trustee post effective immediately.
The Battle of Guadalcanal has long been heralded as a Marine
Corps victory and not without reason. Now, with his powerful portrait of
the Navy’s sacrifice, James D. Hornfischer tells the full story of the men who
fought in destroyers, cruisers, and battleships in the narrow, deadly
waters of “Ironbottom Sound.” Here are the seven major naval actions that
began in August 1942, a time when the war seemed unwinnable and America
fought on a shoestring, with the outcome always in doubt. Hornfischer
paints a vivid picture of the officers and enlisted men who opposed the
Japanese in America’s hour of need. It is worth noting that despite long a
standing Marine view that the Navy abandoned the Marines to their own
devices at Guadalcanal, (and one can understand that view) in the end USN
KIA (5041) vastly exceeded those of the USMC ashore (1,592).
It is an honor to once again review a book which tells a story lived by one of our Post 8870 comrades, in this case 101 year old Edgar Shepherd, member of the ship’s company of USS Helena, a key participant in the actions described in this book and lost the year following the Guadalcanal campaign at the battle of Kula Gulf. From the Bookshelf It is an honor to once again review a book which tells a story lived by one of our Post 8870 comrades, in this case 101 year old Edgar Shepherd, member of the ship’s company of USS Helena, a key participant in the actions described in this book and lost the year following the Guadalcanal campaign at the battle of Kula Gulf.
More than 350 veterans,
families, kids and well-wishers overflowed onto the sidewalks surrounding
the Edmonds Veterans Plaza Monday afternoon, all drawn by one purpose — to
honor, remember and connect with our military veterans.
Dan Doyle, VFW Post 8870
Chaplain, gave an emotional invocation that crystalized in a few words the
meaning of the day.
“We’re here today to honor those
who at some point in their lives signed a blank check to give, up to even
their lives, in service to you,” he said, “so that you and we all could
enjoy the liberties, peace and privileges of this nation.”
Emcee Rose Gilliland, VFW Post
8870 Commander, then took over: “I feel like I’m sitting in a living
history today,” she began. “I’m surrounded by veterans who have
lived it, breathed it and done it.” She went on to call on attendees from WWII,
Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War and Operation Enduring Freedom (the War on
Terror) to be recognized.
Keynote speaker was State
Representative Strom Peterson, who recalled how the Edmonds Veterans Plaza
got its start during his tenure serving on the Edmonds City Council. “It
was about five years ago that a core group of organizers put their
energies together to turn this area into a special place to honor
veterans,” he said. “With dogged determination, this core group
provided the energy and inspiration to accomplish this in record
time.” Peterson went on to stress the key role of the plaza in providing a
place to make connections.“For those who did not have the opportunity to
serve, it’s a place to connect with and learn from those who did,” he
explained. “For veterans like Michael Reagan who walks by my house
every day on his daily pilgrimage to the plaza, it’s a place to make
connections with his friends, some of whom didn’t make it back. And
for all of us, it’s a place to remember what it means to serve our
country and our community.”
Jim Traner then announced the
names of those honored with newly placed pavers in the plaza:
Ron Pajoman, Navy 1960-1965 Chuck Smith, Army 1963-1999 Patrick Marker, Marines 1944-1946; 1950-1951 John, Gregg and Kim Sharp, Marines, Navy and Navy respectively (single paver) Beau Crabtree, Army 1991-2001 Donald Stapleton, Air Force, 1957-1978 William Cobb, Marine 1966-1968 Edward Johnson, Navy 1942-1946 Paul Hauck, Army 1944-1946; 1947-1963 Jim Roy Harrison, Navy 1942-1945 Jack Oharah, Navy 1962-1966 Jeffrey James Curtis, Marines, 1966-1967
Gold Star Mother Monica McNeal
was on hand to present a Vietnam War 50-year commemorative pin to Vietnam
veterans who had not previously received one. The program closed with Mike
Denton leading attendees in a chorus of “God Bless America”.
On Friday, November 8 and
Saturday, November 9, members of Post 8870 once again gathered at three
area QFC stores and one local Fred Meyer to distribute Buddy Poppies
in remembrance of our fallen comrades and to honor all of our brother
The weather was reasonably kind
this year, though the intrepid volunteers at QFC West Lynnwood and
Mukilteo Speedway, who have less shelter than the other two
locations, found it a bit on the chilly side.
The folks in Mukilteo were
particularly generous, donating over $ 6,000 at that location alone. The
results are shown in the table below in a store by store tabulation, the
total reflecting an all time record result. Our Relief fund budget is well
funded, at least until next spring. We will be able to do many good things
for veterans and our community.
A hearty well done and many
thanks to all who participated, particularly to the friends and families
of our members who joined us in volunteering their time and, of course,
to the management and employees of QFC and Fred Meyer for providing the
space for our effort!
QFC Speedway $6,356 QFC Westgate 3,951 QFC 196th 3,628 Fred Meyer 2,828 Est. Square, coins, misc. 786 Total $17,549
Mike Meyer, an Army veteran who
flew Cobra helicopters in Vietnam was inducted into the Post at
the November meeting. He was introduced to the Post by his near
neighbor, Jr. Vice Commander Duane Bowman. After leaving the service, Mike
worked in construction management. He is married and has one daughter.
Mike was welcomed in picture at left by Officer of the Day Jim
Collins as his sponsor, Duane Bowman and the rest of the membership look
on. Mike jumped right in to volunteer on the Buddy Poppy drive for
If you have put off writing your
will or other plans for your estate, you’re not alone. Estate planning need
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When creating or updating your
plan, consider including a gift to the VFW. You’ll be able to extend
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percentage of your estate, you can make a big difference while still
retaining your assets for life.
To learn more about gift
planning and options that could work for you, visit