Newsletter Articles

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.

Mike Reagan and Friends Honor Fallen Comrades

Mike Reagan and Friends Honor Fallen ComradesReagan: “50 years ago today (March 28) in Vietnam, I was with Peder Armstrong and Vincent Santaniello as they died. You know the story. Vinny is buried near Queens NY, Peder is buried near where I live. (Acacia Memorial Park, Shoreline) A group of people visited each site this morning. This is the group at Peder’s grave. Thanks to all of you who were there with Cheryl and me. Peder was pleased.” (The group joining the Reagans included several of his Post 8870 Comrades and high school classmates of Peder and Mike. For those of you who may not know the story, ask Mike the next time you see him. 

 

Veterans Monument Move completed

Veterans Monument Move completed

The aurthor at the monument March 2018 (Photo by Marilyn Courtade)

from Betty Gaeng’s Article in My Edmonds News 

Just in time to celebrate its 70th anniversary, the South Snohomish County veterans memorial monument has found a new home. The memorial had its beginning in the spring of 1948. With its move this month from downtown Edmonds, the memorial monument is now located at the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery and Columbarium, 820 15th St. S.W. in the Westgate area — its fourth home.

The memorial monument’s first home was on land the American Legion Post owned on the east side of Highway 99 at approximately 181st Street Southwest where it intersects with today’s 52nd Avenue West. The 7- foot-tall granite monument was dedicated there on Memorial Day of 1948. For the next few years Memorial Day ceremonies continued to be held next to the memorial monument. Often American Legion Post 90 was joined by local Veterans of Foreign War Post 1040 and Edmonds Frank Freese Post 66 of the American Legion. However, the location next to a major highway was found to be unsuitable, and each year fewer people attended the ceremonies.

By 1954, the monument was removed to the parking lot at Lynnwood Junior High School near the crossroads of Lynnwood. Memorial Day ceremonies were held on the school property. When Lynnwood Junior High School closed its doors, the memorial monument was left to lean.

Veterans Monument Move completed

Memorial Day 1954 at the orginal site on Hwy 99 Article and Photos courtesy MyEdmondsNews.com

In 1982, then American Legion Post 66 Commander John W. (Bill) Crump, a WWII Army Air Corps pilot, took the lead in a project to save the memorial by having it moved to to its third home in front of the Edmonds Historical Museum at 118 5th Ave. N. in downtown Edmonds. For me personally, having written a book about the history of the monument and the young men whose names are etched in the stone, and as a member of the board for the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery, I feel honored to have been able to help with locating a new home for the memorial. In addition, like Legion Commander Bill Crump, I also attended school with some of the young men from WWII; and in addition, 70 years ago, I was familiar with the very beginning of this memorial to our valiant young men.

— By Betty Lou Gaeng

Elections for 2018-19 Post Officers Slated

At the March Post meeting, nominations for next year’s Post officers were held.

As a reminder, the elective officers are: Commander, Sr. Vice Commander, Jr. Vice Commander, Quartermaster, Chaplain and three Trustees. (All other officers are appointed by the commander)

At the March staff meeting, all currently serving elected officers present indicated a willingness to continue serving in their present office and those names will be placed in nomination. Since the March Post meeting, Jim Mc Cann has tendered his resignation as a Trustee.

If you have an interest in serving as an elected officer, or would like to nominate another comrade, be prepared to do so at the meeting when nominations from the floor are called.

Currently serving:

Commander: Michael Denton
Sr. Vice Commander: Carl Kurfess
Jr. Vice Commander: Rose Gilliland
Quartermaster: Dennis Peterson
Chaplain: Dan Doyle

We will need to elect two new Trustees. Don Stapleton has indicated that he would accept that nomination and we need to replace Jim McCann, who has found it necessary to resign from his post. We anticipate that Daniel White will continue in his Trustee role.

Wreaths Across America

At the March Post meeting, we heard and saw a presentation on the “Wreaths Across America” program presented by Lorraine Zimmerman. Our Post has supported this program both financially and with member participation, to assist them in executing their efforts and help us all to:

REMEMBER our fallen U.S. veterans 

HONOR those who serve 

TEACH your children the value of freedom 

 

Wreaths Across America

American Legion Post 66 Commander Jim Collins presents Zimmerman with a check from Post 66, as Commander Denton looks on. Post 8870’s contribution was presented separately.

Wreaths Across America

 

“No One Does More for Veterans”

by Mike Denton 

VFW No One Does More for VeteransFrom time to time, It is good to be reminded of our core purpose, as occurred recently to your commander.

One day in late March, I received a call from my wife Linda at her office at Holy Rosary Church in Edmonds, to tell me of a veteran who had come to the Church seeking help. Having connected this Iraq War veteran to Catholic Community Services to do what they could, Linda thought to turn to me to seek more immediate help from VFW for this army veteran .

I learned that this was a family of four, including three young children, with no real income at the moment, who desperately needed food, money for utility bills and gas for their car.

In the course of two days, I had the opportunity to see what can be done for veterans in need. By teaming with our outstanding Service Officer, Don Whedon, all of this family’s immediate needs were met and the veteran introduced to the sources of help he needs to get on his feet.

My point? There is a place for all of us to serve in our Veterans Relief services. If you learn of a veteran in need, don’t hesitate to contact our Service Officers, Don Whedon and Paul Russo to find help. Likewise, your commander is available to coordinate efforts where needed. Let’s all remember why the VFW exists. No one does more for veterans.

And…A Hands-On Opportunity to Help Fellow Veterans

Veterans Build programVETERANS BUILD 

The Veterans Build program offers former and current military members and their families the opportunity to learn new construction skills, adjust to life after the military, remain socially connected and pay it forward by helping other vets.

Build days on are Saturdays and Wednesdays, no prior experience is needed.If you are interested in volunteering on a build, contact Katie Rickel: Krickel@habitatsnohomish.org.

Post Acquires Canopy for Public Events

Post Acquires Canopy for Public EventsWe recently accepted delivery of an official VFW canopy for use at a variety of events in our community. This equipment will allow us to shelter from both rain and sun at events such as the Paine Field Air Show, which is to see its first use on May 19. (Talk to Don Stapleton if you would like to participate.)

Other uses may include more exposed venues for Poppy distribution, the Edmonds Farmers Market and other events. This photo is from the VFW Store catalog; we have yet to set it up for the first time. If you have ideas on local events at which we can make use of this canopy, give your Commander a shout.