Newsletter Articles

News From 8870 Auxiliary

News From 8870 AuxiliarySome of you may not know that our auxiliary president, Valerie Ehlers, was honored to receive the VFW Auxiliary President of the Year 2017 – 2018 award. We also received certificates and awards from District and Department for having 100% in membership. We are to decorate the main display case at Edmonds Senior Center in December. We would like to use pictures of auxiliary members doing Auxiliary activities and programs. Please send your pictures to Valerie at 14002 Linden Ave. N, Apt. #706, Seattle, WA, 98133 – or – Thank you. Happy Halloween!

Know Someone Who Should be an Auxiliary Member?


For more than 100 years, the VFW Auxiliary has been fulfilling its original objectives by supporting the Veterans of Foreign Wars, serving veterans, active-duty service members and their families, and spreading patriotism nationwide.

Our members have volunteered millions of hours, donated millions of dollars and honored hundreds of thousands of veterans. Volunteer with us and celebrate the freedoms we enjoy in America.

The above chart shows some of the relationships to VFW which make one eligible for Auxiliary membership.

Know Someone Who Should be an Auxiliary Member?For more information see the VFW Auxiliary web site: or contact our local President, Valerie Ehlers.

Voice of Democracy – Youth Essay Deadlines Loom

VFW Youth EssayVFW Post 8870 is accepting applications for the annual Voice of Democracy and Youth Essay contests. This is a great opportunity for young students from elementary through high school ages to use the skills they have learned in school to express their love of their country and of patriotism. If you know of a student who should be involved, get the application to them as soon as possible. The deadline for entry is October 31. Forms have been provided to all of the local schools. Past Commander Jim Blossey is coordinating the effort. <>

Veterans in the Schools For Veterans Day

Past Commander Jim Blossey is now scheduling volunteers to participate in our annual Veterans Day in the Schools program. Participation ranges from simple attendance to be “saluted” by the students, to question and answer sessions in classroom settings to speaking to student assemblies. Your editor has participated in all three types and found them all gratifying.

Photos: Post 8870 members John Koenig, Terry Crabtree and Dan
White, appearing the schools on prior Veterans Days.

In recent years we have had more demand from the schools than we have been able to fulfill, so your participation will be appreciated.

Veterans day is invariably a school holiday, so most of these programs are held the preceding week, generally late in the week, with the most popular day being the Friday before the holiday.

If you are able to participate, please email Comrade Blossey at He will schedule everyone and let you know where and when you are expected.

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