Newsletter Articles

Memorial Day Poppy Distribution

Memorial Day Poppy Distribution Many thanks to all of you who have volunteered to spend the Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day weekend distributing poppies at our four locations around the area.

There is a late major change this year in that we will no longer man the Central Market in Mill Creek and instead will shift to the QFC at 196th and 76th on the Lynnwood / Edmonds line. We ask those of you who volunteered for Central Market to instead man the new QFC Lynnwood location. 

For those of you who have yet to volunteer, we can still use more help and feel free to bring family members along. We will be accepting signups at the May Post meeting or you can contact our Poppy Committee Chair, Bob CrawfordL <bobcrawford33@hotmail.com> or your commander.

Once again our locations are:

QFC Westgate, Edmonds
QFC Mukilteo Speedway
QFC 196th & 76, Lynnwood
Fred Meyer, 164th & Alderwood Mall Blvd.

We are grateful to the Kroger organization for their generous support of VFW.

Edmonds VFW Post 8870 Results of April Elections for 2018-19

Commander: Michael Denton
Sr. Vice Commander: Carl Kurfess
Jr. Vice Commander: Rose Gilliland
Quartermaster: Dennis Peterson
Chaplain: Dan Doyle
First Year Trustee: Don Stapleton
Second Year Trustee: Mark Williams
Third Year Trustee: Dan White

All other positions are appointive by the commander. We do not anticipate any changes in those positions.

Installation of officers will take place at the May Post meeting.  

8870 Members Honored

8870 Members Honored

At the April Post meeting, Steve Pennington,and Chris Szarek, at right in this photo, representing Edmonds Community College’s veterans affairs program, presented Past Commander Terry Crabtree and Senior Vice Commander Carl Kurfess with letter of appreciation, recognizing Crabtree and Kurfess’ service to veteran students at the college. Junior Vice Commander Rose Gilliand looks on.

An Unscheduled Trip to Cuba

An Unscheduled Trip to Cuba

Speaker Art Krull

In 1989, our April Post meeting speaker, retired airline pilot and USAF veteran Art Krull, found himself co pilot of a domestic Delta Airlines flight which was hijacked to Cuba.

Art’s account of the harrowing experience of the passengers and crew was well received by the membership. The hijacker, who’s intent was to take the aircraft on to Iran, was eventually convinced that this particular airplane lacked the range to reach Iran from Cuba, eventually surrendered to Cuban authorities and the flight was allowed to return to the U.S.

Art was invited to speak by our comrade, retired USAF Lt. Col. Jay Hansen. Krull, Hansen and your commander are all bass members of the Mill Creek Chorale.

 

May Post Meeting – Scholarships to be Awarded

At our May Post meeting, we will have as our guests the 2018 scholarship winners and their families. The names of the winners will be announced at the meeting.

This year, we are naming our scholarships to honor four distinguished members or our post:

Fred Diedrich: World War II vet Fred Diedrich was a paratrooper with the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment who jumped into Normandy on June 6th, 1944. Later on September 17, Fred jumped again into Holland with orders to seize control of the Nijmegen Bridge. The regiment then moved south to the Ardennes and combat operations in the Battle of the Bulge.

Amos B. Chapman: Amos joined the Navy in May, 1943, at the age of 17. He was assigned to serve aboard the destroyer, USS Killen, in the Pacific as a Fire Controller. His ship was engaged in the Battles for Leyte Gulf during which the ship was under constant attack by artillery, air and Kamikaze attacks.

Fred M. Apgar: Fred volunteered to join the U. S. Air Force in 1967. He was assigned to the 7th Airborne Command and Control Squadron at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base. During a year of combat duty as an Air Intelligence Officer, he flew 116 combat missions over Northern Laos.

Buck Weaver: Buck flew 137 combat missions in his beloved P-39 and P-40 fighter aircraft. Buck flew bomber escort, dive-bombing, and combat air patrol missions in the South Pacific in support of the “island hopping campaign”. In 1975, after serving on active duty for nearly 20 years, Buck retired from the Air Force at the rank of Colonel.

Family Photos

Now and then, we try to will feature photos of our family members who have served in the past. Please feel free to provide photos and info to your editor.

This month, we have a picture of Senior Vice Commander Carl Kurfess’ father and uncle.

Carl’s father, Francis Kurfess is on the left, pictured as S1C, US Navy, Sea Bees. He served with the 97th Naval Construction Battalion in England, Ireland, and France during World War II. At right is Carl’s uncle, Lt. Verle Austin a WWII Navy pilot.

Report your Community Service

When you attend the Post meeting, record these activities on the sheet provided at the Guard’s desk. 

If you cannot attend, list activities in which you were involved and send this information via email to Post Surgeon Charlie Gaull. This information is submitted to the VFW Department of Washington and is needed to justify the non-profit status we have been granted.

Be sure to include the number of hours in which you were engaged in the activity, mileage incurred, and any out-of-pocket expenses.

Examples of community service activities that qualify include:

  • Involvement in organizing a blood drive and/or donating blood
  • Involvement in a recycling program
  • Picking up trash along streets
  • Volunteer work with organizations (schools, hospitals, nursing homes, libraries, museums, and/or other charitable service organizations)
  • Delivering donations to organizations
  • Volunteer time to assist in planning and conducting Veterans programs/parades/ events
  • Transporting veterans for doctor’s appointments/VA hospital
  • Visiting disabled or housebound veterans to provide companionship
  • Involvement in fund raising efforts for local organizations
  • Donation of toys, funds, and assistance to those in need
  • Any donation of time and/or funds to churches and schools
  • Any activities that promote Americanism (flag flying, donations of flags, participating in parades, public ceremonies, flag raising ceremonies, placing flags on Veterans’ graves, guest speaking engagements, and so forth)
  • Involvement in community safety programs
  • Involvement in youth activities (youth sports, Boy/Girl Scouting, Special Olympics, etc.)
  • Mileage you incurred while involved in community service activities 

We want to be able to recognize the contributions to the community of all of our comrades.

National WWI Museum and Memorial

By Fred M. Apgar

National WW I Museum and Memorial

The Tower

The National WWI Museum and Memorial is located in Kansas City, Missouri, and I recently had the

opportunity to visit this outstanding facility. Just weeks after the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, that officially ended WWI, a patriotic group of Kansas City residents spearheaded a fund raising program, the purpose of which was to construct a memorial to honor the memory of those who lost their lives in the “Great War”. Within two weeks, over $2.5 million dollars were raised. On November 1, 1921, over 200,000 people attended the ground-breaking ceremony, Including Vice President Calvin Coolidge, and General of the Armies, John Pershing, as well as Generals and Admirals from France, Great Britain, Belgium, and Italy. The completed Memorial was dedicated on November 11, 1926.

The Memorial consisted of the Liberty Tower, which sits in the middle of a stone deck. On opposite sides of the tower are two buildings, which housed paintings and murals commemorating WWI. These exhibition buildings were named Memory Hall and Exhibition Hall.

Liberty Tower rises 217 feet above Kansas City, constructed entirely of Kasota stone, quarried from Kasota, Minnesota and Italian Travertine. A grand stairway once led visitors to the observation deck at the top of the tower. Today, an elevator takes visitors to the top.

In 2004, Congress named Liberty Memorial as the nation’s official WWI Museum and construction began on an 80,000 square foot expansion underneath the original memorial. The present day museum is comprised of two sections. The first half of the museum is devoted to European involvement in the war from its beginning. The second half of the museum is devoted to the American experience.

National WW I Museum and Memorial

The Western front Poppy Field

Before entering the main gallery, you have to cross a glass bridge that is suspended over a symbolic Western Front poppy field. As you look below, there are 9000 poppies, each of which represents 1000 deaths. The symbolic poppy field offers a grim reminder of the more than 9,000,000 people who perished as a direct result of WWI hostilities.

National WW I Museum and Memorial

Items of equipment displayed

The museum boasts a remarkable collection of artifacts from the war, including several tanks, and other vehicles and many different guns and mortars. There are rifles and handguns galore as well as an extensive collection of grenades. Uniforms and personal equipment from each country engaged in hostilities are on display as well as an extensive collection of maps, charts, and communication equipment including General Pershing’s Headquarters flag. The museum has an extensive collection of propaganda posters that were used to promote patriotism, recruit volunteers, and generate contributions to the war effort. A replica trench presents a look at trench warfare. Two theaters provide visitors with a narrative of the war. Thousands of photographs take visitors through the war years, providing memorable descriptive images of the war experience.

 

National WW I Museum and Memorial

Items of equipment displayed

I arrived at the museum shortly after it opened at 10:00 AM, stayed until closing at 5:00 PM, and still didn’t see all I had wanted to. The National World War I Museum and Memorial is a must-see.

 

 

Blue Water Navy Legislation Moves Forward

Blue Water Navy Legislation Moves Forward

Some of our Vietnam Navy veterans may find this report on the subject of VA benefits for impacts of agent orange on sailors of the “Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club”.

H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2017, as amended, passed the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on Tuesday. The VFW-supported bill, which must still be approved by the full House and Senate before going to the president, would restore benefits to thousands of Vietnam veterans, expand inclusive dates to those who served along the Korean DMZ, require VA to report on research related to a broad range of conditions possibly connected to service in Southwest Asia, and benefit children born with spina bifida due to a parent’s exposure to Agent Orange-related herbicides in Thailand. Further, VA will be required to conduct an outreach campaign to those Blue Water Navy sailors who were denied benefits in the past and make retroactive payment of benefits for those previously denied. The vote on this legislation comes 16 years after benefits were lost due to a regulatory change in the Agent Orange Act, and the VFW is proud to have worked with this committee to ensure passage without any cuts to other benefits.