Search Results for: edmonds veterans plaza

Number of Results: 62

John Shelton, VFW Post 8870 Guard, Featured in Edmonds Beacon

John Shelton, VFW Post 8870 Guard, Featured in Edmonds BeaconIn the November 16th issue of the Edmonds Beacon, the photo at left and a story about John Shelton’s Vietnam War experience appeared, which read in part: 

“Sometimes, amid the red, white and blue celebration of soldiers on Veterans Day, we can forget what many of these grizzled old men actually did. 

They killed. Many vets are used to the first questions lobbed their way – How many people did you kill in the war? Most don’t want to talk about that. Then there’s Shelton, a Marine sent to Vietnam in 1959 before, he said, “they even knew there was a war.” Shelton was a sniper. He was 19. When it was all over, Shelton said he had 78 confirmed kills in the Vietnam War. “ 

Post 8870 Past Commander Jim Blossey feels that the Beacon story emphasizes the wrong aspect of the job of a Marine sniper and submits the following to corrects the record:

We are very grateful to editor Brian Soergel and the Edmonds Beacon for all the thoughtful coverage they give to our local VFW veterans and military veterans in general.

The Veterans Day just past provides a good example. While we held a brief ceremony at the new Edmonds Veterans Plaza, editor Soergel was standing in the crowd during a sopping November rainstorm. He interviewed one of our more active members, took a nice photo of him and placed them both on the front page of his paper. We are very grateful.

But at this point there is an important note that needs to be made.

The veteran he interviewed, John Shelton, was severely wounded in Vietnam and has been confined to wheelchair ever since. John was a Marine Corps sniper and he was very good at his job. 

No one wants to kill another human being—not unless they are some sort of a psychopath—and you won’t find many of those people qualifying for today’s military. War is and always has been a dirty, messy, and highly undesirable job. It is not a game; it is not a matter of who has the highest score; it is a matter of who survives.

In the American military, soldiers go about their deadly job while trying to avoid being killed themselves. Sometimes even more importantly they do everything in their power to protect their comrades and buddies from being killed.

That is the job of the sniper—to prevent the enemy from killing or injuring your friends. Which brings us back to the killing question. What should be asked of a combat sniper is not how many people he has killed but how many lives have been saved by neutralizing an adversary intent upon killing your comrades.

The number of lives saved is, unfortunately, a question that no one can answer. In John Shelton’s case they must have numbered in the hundreds, perhaps even the thousands. His job was to eliminate threats to his comrades. His weapon and his skills were tools that he was able to utilize to protect those comrades. John and others like him are not life takers, they are life savers.

As a postscript, John Shelton, prior to entering the Marines, was a star high school running back with a four-year scholarship to UCLA. Instead he chose to serve his country, was sent to Vietnam and wound up in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. There would be no football career for John, but he still had his scholarship. So he went to UCLA and four years later emerged with a baccalaureate degree in psychology. He went on to earn a masters degree and ultimately a PhD in behavioral psychology and became Dr. John Shelton. He had a long and successful practice ministering to thousands of patients and, undoubtedly, saving many more lives.

So again, on behalf of Edmonds Post 8870 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, I would like to thank Brian Soergel and the Edmonds Beacon for their continued coverage. And, personally, I would like to thank Dr. John Shelton for his service to our nation. May you always be remembered as one who saved lives…on the battlefield and at home.

 

James Blossey Past Commander

Veterans Remembered

Veterans Remembered

Post member Ron Clyborne provided this photo which includes his father, shown among the crew of his WWII bomber before his last mission. Clyborne senior is the man at far right in the top row.

An Alumnus of Virginia Military Institute (VMI), 2nd Lt. Clarence A. (“CA”) Clyborne , served in WWII as a bombardier with the 9th Bombardment Squadron, 7th Bombardment Group, 10th Air Force.

Clyborne died in a Japanese POW camp in late Dec. 1943 of injuries sustained upon landing after parachuting from his B-24 Liberator. The bomber was hit by enemy fire and crashed during a mission to the Insein rail yards (Rangoon) Burma on 1 Dec. 1943.

His remains have never been recovered. He is memorialized on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American cemetery and as of 2017 in the Edmonds Veterans Plaza Memorial Garden.

If you have such photos you would like to share, we would be happy to publish them in future newsletters.

Volunteer Gardeners Prepared Plaza for Dedication

by Jim Traner

We had a fantastic turnout at the Plaza on May 24, to get the Plaza ready for the dedication. The city and Park Department were there as well as our planners, Siteworks.

Volunteer Gardeners Prepared Plaza for Dedication The City provided the plants and Siteworks indicated where we needed to dig and what to plant after we got the hole dug. Post 8870 members who showed up were Dick Simmons, John Shelton and his wife, Dan Doyle, Paul Russo, Phil Sacks, Mark Williams, Tom Hallums, Charlie Gaul, Duane Bowman, Terry Crabtree, Les Abel, Jerry Burton and Jim Tarner. Others there to help included State Rep. Strom Peterson, Maria Montalvo, Mike Schindler, Bob Rinehart, 6 ladies from the Woodsound Garden Club, and 3 members of the Growing Veterans organization.

Volunteer Gardeners Prepared Plaza for Dedication In the end, the Plaza looked like the finished product although the Parks Department and Siteworks Tell us there is still work to be done. Many thanks to all our volunteers for putting the finishing touch on our Edmonds Veterans Plaza.

Volunteer Gardeners Prepared Plaza for Dedication

Edmonds Veteran’s Plaza Update

Edmonds Veteran’s Plaza Update In a relatively short period of time the steering committee has raised $510,000 toward this project. All that remains is an additional $65,000 to assure that there is adequate funding to complete the project and provide tasteful amenities to honor our veterans. Citizen contributions of $100, $250 or $500 will go a long way toward finishing this task.

Contributions of $500 or more receive the opportunity to honor a veteran through a paver that will be placed on the plaza, or can be made to a fund to honor veterans who lack the financial resources to purchase a paver.

Donors of $1000 or more can have their names engraved on the donor wall in perpetuity, and major donors of $5000 or more will have newly designated and exclusive naming opportunities available.

Contributions in any amount, can be made to Edmonds Veteran’s Plaza, C/O Edmonds VFW Post 8870, PO Box 701, Edmonds, WA 98020. Checks should be made payable to Edmonds VFW Post 8870, indicating that the check is for the new plaza. Donations can also be made online at http://edmondsveteransplaza.com. Credit cards are accepted.

Veterans Plaza Funding Goal Achieved!

Edmonds Veterans Plaza drawing

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Wall

The largest single donation received from an individual or family has put the Edmonds Veterans Plaza funding goal over the top; $16,000 from Bruce and Elaine Nickolson is the largest contribution from an individual donor, according to Ron Clyborne, chairman of the Plaza committee.

The volunteer co-chair of the Plaza’s funding committee, Tom Mesaros, said that the local community is being encouraged to continue to support the Plaza with their donations. Mesaros added, “Experience has shown that there is a possibility of unanticipated cost overruns. And of course there is the occasional enhancement that the committee failed to think of. Having a financial cushion to cover items like these is a responsible idea.”

The Plaza will consist of two complementary areas. The main plaza will feature a chest-high granite or marble wall honoring veterans of the five military services. The wall will incorporate waterfalls and emblems of the five services. Directly adjacent will be a Memorial Garden, a place of reflection dedicated to veterans that have passed away. Citizens may honor specific individual veterans by purchasing paving stones, dedicated benches and seating cubes that match the wall.

Donors Bruce and Elaine Nickolson are well-known locals. He is a 37-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Master Chief Petty Officer, followed by achieving an engineering degree the University of Washington and going on to found an electronics manufacturing firm, Opcon, Inc. Nickolson is a founder of the Edmonds Car Show and he and Elaine are founding members of the Edmonds Center for the Arts.

Persons wishing to be a part of the Edmonds Veterans Plaza may donate by mailing a contribution to Edmonds Veterans Plaza, c/o Edmonds VFW Post 8870, PO Box 701, Edmonds, WA 98020. (Make
checks payable to Edmonds Veterans Plaza.) On-line donations can be made at http:// edmondsveteransplaza.com.

Clyborne said that construction is planned to begin by August 1 and the Plaza will be dedicated at a
public ceremony on Veterans Day of this year, Friday November 11.

Edmonds Community College’s Veterans Day Celebration

Several VFW members, including three of our own, will be featured participants in Edmonds Community College’s Veterans Day Celebration this year. The event will be held on Tuesday, November 10, at 10:30 AM in the college’s Black Box Theater.

Among those speaking at the event will be our Commander, Jim Blossey, and Ron Clyborne, the chair of the community’s Veterans Plaza committee. Post 8870 member Carl Kurfess will lead the attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance. The Honor Guard from Lynnwood VFW Post 1040 will present the colors.

The celebration is for the entire community, not just students, and veterans are especially invited to attend. The college has particularly encouraged VFW members to be there. Please wear your cover.

The Black Box Theater is located near the south side of the campus; parking is available. Refreshments will be served at the conclusion.

Edmonds Community College Veterans Day Event

NL1115_ECC_Veterans_Day

Several VFW members, including three of our own, will be featured participants in Edmonds Community College’s Veterans Day Celebration this year. The event will be held on Tuesday, November 10, at 10:30 AM in the college’s Black Box Theater.

Among those speaking at the event will be our Commander, Jim Blossey, and Ron Clyborne, the chair of the community’s Veterans Plaza committee. Post 8870 member Carl Kurfess will lead the attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance. The Honor Guard from Lynnwood VFW Post 1040 will present the colors.

The celebration is for the entire community, not just students, and veterans are especially invited to attend. The college has particularly encouraged VFW members to be there. Please wear your cover.

The Black Box Theater is located near the south side of the campus; parking is available. Refreshments will be served at the conclusion.

Veterans Plaza Fund Raising Campaign Commences

Ron Clyborne kicked off the official fund raising for Veterans Plaza at the Edmonds Community College Memorial Day ceremony sponsored by the Student Veterans Association. In the coming months, we will ask each of you to help us but at the current time we are trying to secure corporate and foundation donations. We have a big nut to crack as the Plaza will cost $450,000 and be funded solely by private donations.

Edmonds Community College Student Veterans Host 2nd Annual Memorial Day Ceremony

A number of us attended the Memorial Day ceremonies at ECC and organized by the Veterans Resource Center. Our own Buck Weaver lead the audience in “America the Beautiful” while Ron Clyborne described the Veterans Plaza project. Opening remarks were made by Dr. Jean Hernendez, College President, who deserves special thanks in making ECC one of the most veteran friendly schools in America. As a Vietnam veteran and a product of the U of W in the early ‘70’s, no one is a better position to see the contrast better than me.

The featured speaker was Colonel Bruce Meyers, USMC retired. He served as a platoon leader in WWII, a rifle company commander in Korea, and was the Marine commander at Khe Sanh. The Col. had a remarkable military career and we thoroughly enjoyed his presentation. Interestingly, following his retirement from the Marine Corp, he became a practicing trial attorney for many years in Seattle and later served as a associate dean and associate professor of law at a West Coast law school. I’d would have hated to answer a question wrong in his class—you’d probably be dropping for 20.

City Council Approves Veterans Plaza Design

Edmonds WA VFW 8870 City Council Approves Veterans Plaza Design

On January 20th, the Edmonds City Council approved our design concept for Veterans Plaza. Above is the Memorial Wall with waterfalls segmenting a granite wall. Each segment will feature a branch of the service. Below is an aerial view of the Plaza, the wall separating the parking lot from the Plaza. The large green area in the lower left will be the Memorial Garden with a circular seating area. In the plaza itself, the round objects are existing trees with seating provided on granite cubes interspersed through the Plaza. The committee recommending this design included Jim Blossey, Post Commander, and Ron Clyborne and Jim Traner of Post 8870. Ron and Jim are also members of American Legion Post 66. The design was selected from a number of submissions of ideas from around the country and even one from Mexico. SiteWorkshop of Seattle was chosen unanimously by the committee who has been meeting since last summer. Other committee members were from the community and included a wide representation of various interests.

Edmonds WA VFW 8870 City Council Approves Veterans Plaza Design