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Memorial Day Observance Slated

Memorial Day Observance Slated

Our usual Memorial Day observance at the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery will not be held this year because of COVID crowding concerns, but VFW Post 8870, with American Legion Post 66 will conduct a small Memorial Day Ceremony at the Edmonds Veterans Plaza at 1:00 pm on Monday, May 31. We will be recognizing the installation of sixteen new veterans’ pavers at the ceremony, perhaps including yours. Due to COVID restrictions, we are not advertising the ceremony to the general public, but only inviting our membership, friends and families. There will be a VFW honor guard and our Post Chaplain, Vietnam veteran Navy Corpsman Dan Doyle, who served with the Marines at the siege of Khe Sanh in 1968, will be our speaker. The ceremony will conclude with the playing of taps. 

The Edmonds Veterans plaza is located at 5th Ave. N. and Bell St, adjacent to the Edmonds Public Safety building. 

Post 8870 Announces 2021 Scholarship Winners

VFW Post 8870 awards scholarships annually to deserving local high school graduates. This spring, we are pleased to announce four winners of $ 1,500 scholarships, representing the four high schools in the Edmonds and Mukilteo School districts located in our Post service area. All are the children, or grandchildren of veterans or serving members of the armed forces. Applications are made available in the fall of each school year through the high school counseling offices. Winners were selected from among a group of 15 applicants, based on grades, demonstrated leadership, a record of community service and a 3-500 word essay on the topics “What freedom means to me” and “How our Constitution establishes and maintains a culture of freedom”. 

These scholarships are funded by donations received during our semi-annual distribution of “Buddy Poppies” at local stores around Memorial Day and Veterans Day each year. Generous donations received from friends of the Post in the absence of that activity during this past COVID year made up for much of the loss from cancellation of those events and allowed continued funding of scholarships and our other activities in support of veterans and our community. 

Congratulations to these four students! 

VFW Scholarship Essay

The Post Scholarship Committee chose one of the four winners’ essays to share with our membership as representative of the work of our applicants and winners. That essay follows. 

What freedom means to me and how our Constitution establishes and maintains a culture of freedom in our country 

by Taylor Schindler 

During this uncertain time we are living in, with the pandemic and the absurdly disrespectful events that occurred at the Capitol building on January 6 of this year, recognizing freedom is more important than ever. Growing up in a military family, I have been taught the importance of freedom, as well as respecting the grounds on which freedom is upheld. Freedom is fought for everyday by the brave men and women who risk their lives to protect ours. However, I often find that it’s taken for granted while the true definition of freedom gets twisted to one’s beliefs. To me, freedom is, first and foremost, being able to walk outside without fearing I might walk into a war zone, but it’s also much more than that. In today’s world, it’s important to recognize that freedom is having the right to speak your beliefs freely without fear of being reprimanded. When the First Amendment was adopted into the Constitution in 1791, it stated “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech…”. The moment this was placed into the Constitution, Americans had the eternal responsibility to uphold this amendment in order to keep the United States a place that respects and protects the government, the people that serve for the country and all citizens. However, it’s clear that many citizens forget to acknowledge the laws and amendments they swore to live by. 

Therefore, the Constitution provides the foundation and framework for freedom, but only we can maintain that freedom. Our adherence to the first amendment needs to take place in everyday things like listening to differing viewpoints with respect. After all, we pledge “one nation, under God” so it’s our responsibility to preserve the foundation on which this country was founded and ensure that we hold each other accountable to ourselves and God in respecting and following the Constitution. We need to work to respect, honor and protect our rights with the Constitution by voting, reading and being educated. By doing this, we can honorably recognize and protect our freedom without taking it for granted. 

My father and both grandpas (Michael Schindler- Naval Weapons Station in California/tour in Indian Ocean, Ronald Rapacz – Vietnam and George Reid – Vietnam) served in the US Navy. With their guidance, I have learned that it’s up to us to earn our freedom in any way we can, whether it’s serving to help those less fortunate than us, listening to differing opinions with respect, or becoming involved to better our communities, it is all important. My knowledge in this area has grown through my childhood as my dad works hard everyday with his non-profit organization Operation Military Family, as well as many other organizations and individuals, to ensure that our service men and women get the help they need when they come home from protecting our freedom. My immersion into this community has allowed me to realize that protecting our freedom deserves non-stop recognition. 

Buddy Poppies at the Edmonds Farmers Market

The Post will man a booth at the Edmonds Farmers Market on Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend (May 29) to distribute Buddy Poppies and “show the flag” between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM. See Duane Bowman at the Post meeting if you wish to participate.

Post Poppy Chair Duane Bowman with Don Stapleton, Alden Gilliland and Commander Rose at at an earlier event set up much as we will be on the 29th. 

Post Meeting to Continue In “Hybrid”

Your choice; in person or “Zoom” 

After more than a year of COVID quarantine, we met in person for our April meeting and will once again be meeting at the Edmonds American Legion Hall on May 19 at 6:00 pm. We are still in the phase of needing to keep the hall at 50 percent capacity, but do not anticipate a problem, since our regular Post meetings rarely approach that number of attendees. 

We expect members attending in person to be masked and to maintain social distancing. We are not yet able to serve meals again, so plan on supper before or after the meeting. 

If you are not yet vaccinated, or just not comfortable attending in person, you are welcome to sign in to participate via Zoom. ( https://zoom.us/j/99297913528 ) The Post has invested in new equipment to better facilitate the Zoom option and we expect to continue to provide it. We look forward to seeing all of our comrades once again. 

The installation of Post Officers for the coming 2021-22 VFW year will take place this monthe. The new officers, elected at the April Post meeting are shown below. 

Post Surgeon Needed

Our surgeon position for fiscal year 2021 to 2022 is open for nominations. If you or anyone you know, would like to fill that position please contact Commander Rose. 

The Surgeon takes care of all of our community service and hospital reports to state and will also continue to take care of our membership records. 

Update: Dan White Inducted into OCS Hall of Honor

Update: Dan White Inducted into OCS Hall of Honor

You may recall from the February 2020 Post meeting, hearing of Post 8870 member Dan White’s appointment to the OCS Hall of Honor. Induction is automatic for any OCS graduate who has received the Medal of Honor or attained general officer rank. Other nominees are selected based on their distinguished service in their civilian and military careers. A computerized kiosk provides photos and biographies of all inductees. 

Dan recently told us that the induction ceremony will be held in person at a gathering at Fort Benning in Georgia this summer for which he will be traveling east. Congratulations once again to Dan. 

Military Trivia

by Carl Kurfess 

Trivia: Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) slang, Part 1

Some terms commonly used in OEF, specifically in Afghanistan. 

  • At the top of the spear. Describing the leading unit in combat. 
  • Charlie Mike. Continue Mission. 
  • Indigs. Indigenous people; local natives. 
  • Optempo. OpBmum tempo. 
  • Oscar Mike. On mission. 
  • Pop smoke. Let’s get out of here. 

Works cited: Dickson, Paul. War Slang: Fighting Words and Phrases of Americans from the Civil War to the Gulf War. New York: Bristol Park, 2007. Print. 

We’re Back!

We're back

Remember This Place? 

Yes, we’re back. After more than an year of COVID quarantine, we will once again be meeting at the Edmonds American Legion Hall. We are still in the phase of needing to keep the hall at 50 percent capacity, but do not anticipate a problem, since our regular Post meetings rarely approach that number of attendees. 

We expect members attending in person to be masked and to maintain social distancing. We are not yet able to serve meals again, so plan on supper before or after the meeting. 

If you are not yet vaccinated, or just not comfortable attending in person, to sign in to participate via Zoom. (A link will be sent to your email) The Post has invested in new equipment to better facilitate that option and we expect to continue to provide it going forward. We look forward to seeing all of our comrades once again. 

We have one very important item of business on the agenda for this meeting; the annual election of Post Officers. The current officers have proposed a slate of officers for the coming year, which is shown on the following page and, of course nominations from the floor will be accepted. 

If you are interested in serving in any of these positions, you may place your own name in nomination. Please do not nominate anyone else unless you have obtained that person’s permission to do so in advance. If you wish to serve in an appointed position, there may be some currently listed who would be interested in a relief. See the new Commander after elections if you would like to offer your services.

VFW Post 8870 Proposed 2021-2022 Officers 

Commander: Carl F. Kurfess 
(425) 776-1656 | Commander@vfw8870.org 

Sr. Vice Commander: Duane Bowman 
(425) 281-6720 | dvbow@comcast.net 

Jr. Vice Commander: Rose Gilliland 
(206) 818-1434 | Roseag67@gmail.com 

Quartermaster: Dennis L Peterson 
(425) 772-3404 | Quartermaster@VFW8870.org 

Adjutant appointed: Nathan WorSnger 
(425) 743-4319 | nworSnger@hotmail.com 

Service Officer appointed: Alden Gilliland 
(206) 818-7789 | ServiceOfficer@VFW8870.org 

Surgeon appointed: Jay Hansen 
(425) 315-9025 | Surgeon@VFW8870.org 

Chaplain: Dan Doyle 
(425) 773-2400 | Chaplain@vfw8870.org 

Judge Advocate appointed: Jim Traner 
(425) 218-0101 | jtraner@tranersmith.com 

Officer of the Day: Jim Traner
(425) 218-0101 | jtraner@tranersmith.com 

Guard appointed: John Shelton
(206) 546-5476 

1st Year Trustee: Kerry Watkins 
(425) 478-9739 | kerryjwatkins@hotmail.com

2nd Year Trustee: Donald Stapleton 
(425) 743-4435 | rosemarydon@comcast.net 

3rd Year Trustee: Mike Denton 
(425) 280-3757 | Mikedenton44@gmail.com 

VFW Post 8870 Proposed 2021-2022 Officers

The photo above is of the swearing in ceremony of the 2018-19 officers at the May 2018 Post meeting. A reminder of the both the job at hand and how we normally do things. Let us all look forward to doing it this way again, rather than virtually.