Newsletter Articles

Trump Donates to Veteran Entrepreneurs

President Donald Trump is donating his second quarter salary to a Small Business Administration program that will help veteran entrepreneurs. At a White House briefing on Wednesday, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon accepted a $100,000 check from the president. “This money is going to be used in our veterans program. We’re going to establish a seven-month intensive training program called ‘Emerging Leaders.’ It’s an adaptation of that program for our veterans, helping them transition from military life into private sector if they desire to start their own jobs and their own companies, and be entrepreneurs,” McMahon said. “We thank the president very much for this and it will be put to very good use.”

Courtesy VFW Action Corps Weekly

Post Celebrates 100 Years for Ed and Buck

WWII Vets Mark Century Birthday

Edmonds VFW Post 8870 and American Legion Post 66 joined forces on Saturday, Aug. 18, to celebrate two members who turned 100 years old: Ed Shepherd, on July 4 and Buck Weaver on Aug. 9. Both men are WWII veterans. Ed had his Navy ship USS Helena sunk out from under him, surviving with 5 shipmates in a raft. Buck Flew P-39 fighters in the South Pacific for the USAAC. We are grateful to have them with us.

Post Celebrates 100 Years for Ed and Buck WWII Vets Mark Century Birthday

Post Celebrates 100 Years for Ed and Buck WWII Vets Mark Century Birthday

Post Celebrates 100 Years for Ed and Buck WWII Vets Mark Century Birthday

Top to bottom: Ed Shepherd & Buck Weaver enjoy happy birthday wishes. Both men blow out symbolic candles. (200 -100 each candles would have far exceeded fire code!) 


 Post Celebrates 100 Years for Ed and Buck WWII Vets Mark Century Birthday

At top, Nancy Thompson, VFW Post 8870’s 2016 teacher of the year singing an original composition of hers for our honorees. Ms. Thompson teaches at Lake Serene Elementary in Mukilteo. She also led a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday”. 

A Report On the 2018 VFW National Convention

A Report On the 2018 VFW National Convention Past Post 8870 and District 1 Commander (Now Dept. of WA Trustee) Jim Traner traveled to the 2018 VFW National Convention in Kansas City a few weeks ago and took the role of speaker for the July Post meeting to report on convention activities. Traner updated the Post on some changes coming to VFW bylaws and reported on the social events of the convention.

Every year, thousands of VFW and Auxiliary delegates gather to represent the organization’s total membership of nearly 1.6 million at the weeklong convention. While there, our mission is to approve new national priorities to guide our organization as we lobby Congress on issues important to the nation’s veterans, service members and their families. Convention delegates also elect new leadership, as well as recognize prominent individuals and organizations for their support of veterans and military personnel.

Poppy Distribution Host Stores Recognized

Thank you, we’ll see you in November! 


For many years, VFW Post 8870’s semi-annual Buddy Poppy distribution efforts have been hosted by several local stores and it was decided after this year’s Memorial Day event that something should be done to recognize these stores’ generosity.

On a recent Monday morning, Post Commander Mike Denton visited two of the store managers and presented them with framed certificates expressing our thanks for there long standing support allowing us to continue with our veterans relief efforts. Additional stores will be similarly thanked in the coming weeks. It is noteworthy that all of the stores that help us in this effort are part of the Kroger family.

Poppy Distribution Host Stores Recognize

Edmonds Westgate QFC Manager Vic McCole accepts the award from Commander Denton.


Poppy Distribution Host Stores Recognize

QFC Harbour Pointe Manager Mark Ferrari is presented the award for the Mukilteo store.



VFW Remembers Sen. John McCain

A life member of Arizona VFW Post 7401

The 1.7 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and its Auxiliary are saluting the life of one of their own, U.S. Sen. John S. McCain III, who died this evening, Aug 25. of brain cancer. “The senator is being remembered as a maverick at the U.S. Naval Academy, as a naval aviator, as a five and a half-year prisoner of war, and as a two-term U.S. congressman and six-term U.S. senator from Arizona,” said VFW National Commander B.J. Lawrence. “But we remember Senator McCain as a 32- year Life member of VFW Post 7401 in Chandler, Ariz., and as a staunch supporter of a strong military as well as a champion for our troops, our veterans and their families.”

To recognize that support, McCain was a two-time VFW national award recipient, having been presented the VFW Americanism Award in 1992 and VFW Congressional Award in 1995. He also shared in the receipt of the VFW Armed Forces Award in 1971, which was presented (in absentia) to American POWs in Vietnam. McCain retired from the Navy in 1981 at the rank of Captain. His numerous military decorations and awards include the Silver Star, two Legion of Merits, Distinguished Flying Cross, three Bronze Star Medals, two Purple Hearts, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and the Prisoner of War Medal.

(From VFW National web site)

3Rs of Explosives Safety

Veterans and their families sometime keep “souvenirs” in the form of old weapons and ammunition. For everyone’s safety : 


3Rs of Explosives Safety Recognize
When you may have encountered a munition and that munitions are dangerous. 


3Rs of Explosives Safety Retreat
Do not approach, touch, move or disturb it, but carefully leave the area. 


3Rs of Explosives Safety Report
Immediately notify your chain of command or local police. 


This point was brought home recently when a floating anti-ship mine was found in Liberty Bay near Brown Point Marina. Recognizing the mine for what it was, USCG and USN explosive ordnance disposal units cordoned off the area while the mine was inspected and an explosive charge attached. This time, the mine proved to be inert when no secondary explosion occurred and was later found to be a lost practice weapon from exercises conducted by the Naval Undersea Warfare unit at Keport in 2005.

Explosives should be treated just as you would a firearm. There is no such thing as an unloaded gun.

From the Book Shelf

The Unknowns:

The Untold Story of America’s Unknown Soldier and WW I’s Most Decorated Heroes Who Brought Him Home

By Patrick K. O’Donnell 

 The Unknowns:  The Untold Story of America’s Unknown Soldier and WW I’s Most Decorated Heroes Who Brought Him Home  By Patrick K. O’Donnell

One of the most visited tourist sites for anyone visiting Washington, D.C., surely, must be Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Anyone who has viewed the precision of the soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Regiment, “The Old Guard”, who guard the Tomb 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, is humbled by the experience. I have visited the Tomb and observed the ritual of the Changing of the Guard on several occasions but knew nothing regarding the establishment of this National Memorial.

This exhaustively researched book presents readers with a history of the fascinating series of events that led to the creation of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the manner in which one soldier was chosen to “select” the Unknown Soldier, and the heroics of the eight men who were selected to be Bearers and bring their comrade home.

The author provides a brief background regarding America’s entry into the Great War and General John J. Pershing who commanded the American Expeditionary Force (AEF). While the author does question some of Pershing’s decision-making in the conduct of the war, the book’s focus and purpose is directed toward the nine men who figured so prominently in our nation’s Unknown Soldier.

The nine men were personally selected by General Pershing, were all enlisted personnel, and highly decorated soldiers and sailors who demonstrated courage and initiative in the Great War. A chapter is devoted to each of these heroes who fought bravely and suffered grievous wounds in the iconic battles of Belleau Wood, Saint-Mihiel, and the brutal, and, perhaps unnecessary, Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The author provides untold private accounts of these heroic individual’s actions during combat. Most of those men earned the Medal of Honor.

The author describes, in great detail, the military ceremonies that were planned and conducted as the Bearers brought the Unknown Soldier home from the battlefields of France, to his ocean crossing on the USS Olympia, lying in repose in the Capitol Rotunda, and to his final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery. This is a must read to better understand and appreciate one of our nation’s greatest memorials, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

This review was written by Fred Apgar 

The Warrior’s Code

Do You Think You Could Spare These Pilots The Way This Man Did?




Since the beginning of civilization itself, there has been among those who have gone to war, an unspoken, unwritten code. This code has often been recognized in the annals of war. It is called, the “Warrior Code.” The great irony of this code is that it is designed to protect the victor and the vanquished. It prevents those who are called upon to fight wars from becoming monsters.

Those who have lived by this code have come to realize that there is something worse than death…and that is to lose one’s humanity. In our natural hatred of war we often paint the warriors who are sent off to fight our wars in a dark fashion that no long reflects that code. Vietnam veterans know what that is like intimately. The following story is an example of both the Warrior’s Code and the strange bond that sometimes happens between warriors who were once blood enemies.




On December 20, 1943, Charles Brown was a 21 year old B17 pilot flying his first combat mission. His plane had been shot to pieces by German fighters. Half of his crew were dead or wounded. It was a miracle that the plane was still flying. Suddenly, to pilot Charlie Brown and his copilot’s horror, a German fighter flew up alongside the B17, piloted by 2nd Lt. Franz Stigler, an Ace, needing one more kill to receive the Knight’s Cross. Stigler had lifted off that day in pursuit of revenge for his brother, another pilot, lost to the Americans. but he but was struck by the fact that none of the B17’s guns were firing at him.

He pulled alongside and could see through the skin of the B17. He saw that every one of its guns were inoperable. Crew members were tending their wounded colleagues. He pulled ahead and looked over at the pilot of the B17. Stigler could see the shock and horror in Charlie Brown’s eyes. At that moment, by the strength of his own faith and conscience, he honored the Warrior’s Code. He flew in formation with the big B17 until they were over the North Sea. Then he looked at the pilot of the bomber, nodded, saluted, and peeled off to head back to Germany.

What makes this a real act of moral courage, in accord with the Warrior’s Code, was that Franz Stigler could have been executed for this action. Why did he do it? Stigler says that at that moment when he looked into the B17 pilot’s eyes, he remembered his flight commander’s earlier words to him: “You follow the rules of war (the Warrior Code) for you, not your enemy. You fight by the rules to keep your humanity.”

(Ed. note: There is more to this story and you can find it on Doyle’s blog at: brown-stigler/)

Post 8870 Goal for 2018-19 — All State Post Recognition —

Emphasis On Membership Recruit and RetainPost 8870 has not made All-State for the past two years, which makes it all the more important that we break that trend for the 2018-19 VFW year.

The following are the requirements for early qualification which apply only if met by December 21, 2018. After that date there are additional requirements to be met.

Requirements for Post to Be Considered for All-State. 

  • Submit Voice of Democracy, Patriots Pen, Youth Essay & Teacher Award entries
  • Submit One of the following to District for judging: Law Enforcement, EMT or Firefighter
  • Hold a fundraiser with the proceeds going to National Veterans & Military Support Services
  • Purchase Buddy Poppies
  • Submit at least 2 Community Service Reports, 2 Hospital Reports and 2 Chaplain Reports by Dec. 31, 2018
  • Achieve 100 Membership and increase membership by 3 New, New Life or Reinstated Members by Dec 31, 2018.
  • Submit all entries for all required programs to the District for judging. Send all donations to Department Headquarters earmarked for respective programs.

The most important item on the list is 100% Membership, which means we have paid up or Life members totaling the number we started the year with, plus three additional members.

We have some recruiting events coming up, but that doesn’t mean it is not the responsibility of each member to invite qualified veterans to join our ranks.

Report your Community Service

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

Following are a few examples of community service activities that qualify, some of which we all do. We will feature others from time to time:

  • Involvement in a recycling program 
  • Picking up trash along streets 
  • Volunteer time to assist in planning and conducting Veterans programs/ parades/events 
  • Any activities that promote Americanism (flag flying, public ceremonies, guest speaking engagements, and so forth)
  • Involvement in youth activities (youth sports, Scouting, etc.) 
  • Mileage you incurred while involved in community service activities

New Information Kiosk Set for Veterans Plaza

New Information Kiosk Set for Veterans Plaza

One of the final items for the Edmonds Veterans Plaza, the new information kiosk is now on order, the deposit having been sent to the vendor, Advanced Kiosks, on August 11.

The kiosk will be located near the top of the path made of pavers honoring individual veterans and we hope to have it set up and running well before Veterans Day.

There are a variety of kinds of information that can be provided, all from online “cloud” access and include a link to WAServes ( an online service set up to help veterans access services and information. We have provided this link before in this newsletter. If you have not done so. the above link will take you there.

The vendor will also provide software to allow us to set up a directory to guide visitors to each of the points in the Plaza bearing any particular veterans’ name and service information. It will take some time to organize and enter all of that information.

There will be ongoing maintenance required in both hardware and software, for which we have reserves in the Edmond Veterans Plaza fund, to help the city keep the Plaza current and well preserved.

At the July Post meeting, Jim Traner, who is a member of the Plaza Committee and one of the original organizers of the project, went over much of the details and a vote was taken to complete this part of the project.

Our thanks go out to Comrade Traner, Ron Clyborne and Bob Reinhart, who drove this portion of the project.