Our annual Christmas Party held on Saturday December 16 was a great success.
Thanks go out to Dan Mullene and American Legion Post 66 for co-hosting the event. Special thanks to my two decorating elves from our Auxiliary, Jo Boyett and Patsy Ethridge-Neal for all their hard work.
Great food and conversation were had plus we raised $500 from raffle items that was split with the American Legion.
We also raised $4,290 from our raffle of Michael Reagan’s Seahawks Legend poster. In addition, Michael did a special presentation to Michelle Clyborne of a portrait of her father, who served in the Special Forces in Vietnam.
We collected a lot of toys and food which I delivered to the Edmonds Food Bank by with the assistance of Quartermaster Joe Gray, to add to those already delivered from the collection at Teri’s Toybox, the downtown Edmonds toy store.
The Legion’s winter clothing Drive also received a lot of donations. The generosity of both the VFW and American Legion members is amazing!
If you weren’t able to make it to the party, we hope to see you there next year!
The raffle of the Michael Reagan’s “Northwest Seahawks Legends” was won by Jim Bennett of Mukilteo. Bennett is a member of the Olympic Fly Fishers, to which Jim Traner also belonged, as well as Comrade Don Stapleton, who was responsible for the sale of 100 raffle tickets to the members of that organization. Our congratulations go out to Bennett on his win as well as to Stapleton for a great job in ticket sales and, of course, our own resident artist Michael Reagan.
The post’s operating fund is now is much better shape, thanks to the efforts of everyone involved. We look forward to repeating this fund raiser in the future.
The comer across from the front entrance began to be enhanced when the banner maps were hung, illustrating the locations of hostile actions that created the veteran status of so many of our members, up through and including the middle east actions of the past 30 years.
Last spring, Jim Traner, came up with the idea of creating a seating area in that comer, where members might sit comfortably and enjoy swapping yarns and sharing beverages. Charlie Gaul, who, with his wife is involved in furnishing professional spaces, arranged for the purchase of the couches and chairs we now have in place.
After Jim Traner passed away in July, VFW Post 8870 and AL Post 66 decided to designate that area as ” Traner’ s Comer” , to honor Jim’s many contributions to both posts over the years. The final piece we need to complete this project was found and donated by Jeff McKinney, in the form of the curio cabinet, which now displays some of Jim’s memorabilia. In these photos, Bob Little, Mike Reagan and Richard Balogna are enjoying the space at the Christmas party alongside the new cabinet.
Our speaker for November was Kyle Gaul, the son of Post member Charlie Gaul. Kyle has played bagpipes, since he was a young boy and continues to perform at events around the area.
We also featured our Voice of Democracy winners at this meeting.
First place award went to Josephine Chia, (left in the photo left) with the essay of Aaliyah Wright (at right) in second place.
Both young women presented their essay to the assembled members. The Voice of Democracy contest includes the verbal performance of the essay in addition to the written piece.
As the winner of our Post VOD contest, Chia was entered in the District contest and won second place in District 1. She is shown at below receiving that award at the January District Meeting and with Commander Duane Bowman and Post Essay chair Don Stapleton below right.
Minutes of the Post Business Meeting Meeting Start @1800 hours
Post member Don Stapleton introduced the winners of the Voice of Democracy competition, Joshpine Chia, First place and Aaliyah Wrightin second.
Each student read their entry.
Both essays will be forwarded onto District 1.
Business Meeting started @1830 hours
The Quartermasters report was reviewed and approved by the membership.
The following expenditures were approved: – Motion to approve $1.00 payment to Michael Reagan for the Seahawks drawing. Moved by Don Stapleton and second by Rich Bologna. – In other financial matters, the membership voted to approve payments to reimburse Carl Kurfess for Post meal costs, a donation to support the new formerly Incarcerated Veterans support program anther to Northwest Veterans Museum. All approved by unanimous vote of the members present.
A motion was made and approved to create an additional scholarship in Jim Traner’ s name based upon the additional donation from Jim’s former company Traner Smith.
Discussed the upcoming December Christmas Party and reviewed the status of the Seahawks raffle drawing.
Reviewed the upcoming Mid-winter VFW conference in Wenatchee.
Discussed the recognition of Police/Fire/EMT and Teacher of the Year.
Discussed a grant application to Safeway for gift cards to distribute to veterans. (That application has been submitted)
Reviewed a proposal from American Legion Post 66 regarding monetary payment from VFW.
Quartermaster Joe Gray discussed updating the Post email system.
There will be no Post meeting in December due to the Christmas Party on December 16, 2023. Next Post meeting will be on January 17, 2024.
We haven’t mentioned Heroes’ Cafe in these pages recently and the new year is a good time to remind everyone of this ongoing regular event for veterans. Heroes’ Cafe is a gathering of Veterans focused on outreach, interaction and welfare of the members of our Veterans community. It is held on the last Tuesday of the month at the New Life Church, 6519 188th, St SW, Lynnwood. Doors are opened at 9:00am, coffee and pastries are free. Lunch is served at 11 :00am and is also without charge. If you have an open schedule on a Tuesday morning, stop by and enjoy some comradeship with fellow veterans.
To Collect Food, Cold Weather Items for Vets in Need
Edmonds American Legion Post 66 will host a Drop-off Event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 20th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to accept donations of food and cold weather clothing items to assist local veterans in need.
Community members are encouraged to come by the Post, located at 117 6th A venue South in Edmonds, and drop off non-perishable food items and cold weather clothing like hats, gloves, socks, sweaters, and coats to help our local vets in need. The food and items will be distributed to veterans by the Lynnwood Heroes Cafe.
“There are over 50,000 veterans in Snohomish County, and many of them need help during winter due to difficult circumstances,” noted Legion Post Commander Dan Mullene. Post 66 members, along with members of VFW Post 8870, will be on hand to receive your donations. You may also donate money. Checks should be made out to “American Legion Post 66 Cold Weather Event.”
Our fine Post 8870 Auxiliary unit has been busy this fall and holiday season.
They participated in our semi-annual poppy drive with their own distribution point at the the Edmonds Waterfront Center. Patsy Ethridge-Neal is shown at right staffing that poppy location.
Our Auxiliary also participated in the 2023 Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest. The annual contest began in 1979 and recognizes up-and-coming artists and encourages patriotism in youth. More than 2,500 students submitted entries and a total of $33,000 in national scholarships were awarded to 13 students in 2023.
And, of course Jo Boyett (shown at left) was on hand to help with set up and decorate for our annual Christmas party.
On Saturday, December 9, members of the South Snohomish County VFW Honor Guard, formed mostly of Post 8870 and 1040 members, participated in the Wreaths Across America event. They joined other veterans and supporters, providing ceremonial services to accompany the annual laying of wreaths on the graves of Veterans at Washelli Cemetery. The post contributed funds for wreaths in addition to the active participation of several members. At left are shown the gathering of those joining opening ceremonies, with stacks of packaged wreaths waiting to be distributed in front of the WWI memorial statue. Hundreds of such ceremonies are held every year at veterans cemeteries across the country to honor our deceased comrades.
This month’s cartoon from Commander Duane is for our USMC comrades, which brings up the question of where the term “jarhead” originates. Google isn’t a lot of help, with all sorts of silly notions which attribute the origin to some aspects of the modem dress uniform, but if you really dig in to your history, the image shown here of the hat worn with the USMC uniform of the War of 1812 period tells you all you need to know! It appears the use of the term dates to that time and originated with sailors of that period. It may, in fact have been originally imported from the British Navy from whose Marines our own uniform of the time was adapted. The hat and high (leather, hence leathernecks) collar were designed to deflect cutless strikes in action. (Wouldn’t want our Marines losing their heads) Marines can and should wear that moniker with pride.
Our Meeting program consisted of dedication ceremonies for “Traner’ s Comer”, the new seating area across from the entrance to the Hall, which the late Jim Traner was instrumental in creating. Jim worked with Charlie Gaul and his wife to arrange the acquisition of the seating for this new gathering area and the two Posts, VFW 8870 and American Legion 66 decided to name it in Jim’s honor.
Joining us for the occasion were distinguished guests Terry Traner, Department of Washington Commander Craig Daugherty, and District 1 Commander Terry Stenson. Senior Vice Commander Rose Gilliland filled in for the absent Commander Duane Bowman and is seen in the first photo below introducing Terry Traner. At right, Department Commander Daugherty, holding the commemorative plaque for the dedication with Terry at his side, points outs Traners Comer in the rear of the hall.
In addition to dedicating Traner’s Corner, Ron Clyborne was recognized for his key role (along with Jim Traner) in the creation of the Edmonds Veterans Plaza. (See separate article with photos of the new Veterans Plaza bench to be dedicated on Veterans Day.) Ron and his wife Michelle are shown below in the new Corner. In the background are the drawing of Jim Traner which was presented to Terry and the Post by our resident artist Michael Reagan, as well as a stained glass representation of the 11th Armored Cavalry in which Jim servced in Vietnam. At right below, District 1 Commander Stenson looks on.
Minutes of the Post Business Meeting which began at 1815hrs.
The minutes from the September meeting were read and approved by the membership.The Quartermaster’s report was reviewed and approved by the membership.
Expenditures were approved by the membership as follows: $1,464.13 for the engraving for the memorial bench in honor of Jim Traner and Ron Clyborne. $ 92.35 for the All American Red cover for Past Commander Carl Kurfess.The next District 1 Meeting will be at Post 2100 on 11/18/2023.
A motion was made by Fred Apgar to Name Post 8870 the Jim Traner Post 8870 in honor of all that Jim did for our Post. The motion was 2nd by Tom Hallums.
After discussion and input from several members the membership voted not to change the name of the Post. This was done mainly due to the fact that Jim had expressed to various members and family that he did not want his name to be part of the Post name. ( Or anyone else’s for the that matter, ed.)
A dedication ceremony will be held at 1:00 PM on Veterans day, 11/11/2023 at the Edmonds Veterans Plaza. At that time we will dedicate a bench to honor Jim Traner and Ron Clyborne for all of the work that they did to create the Edmonds Veterans Plaza.
The next Post Meeting is scheduled for November 15, 2023.