Author Archive: Editor

March Post Meeting

March Post Meeting

No speaker having been scheduled for the March meeting, Commander Kurfess went straight to our business meeting. Aside from the usual officers reports, during which everything was reported to be in order, considerable time was devoted to planning for Buddy Poppy distribution for Memorial Day, as well as our participation in the Memorial Day observance at the cemetery (we are also planning a brief event at the Veterans Plaza, after the Cemetery ceremonies) We also briefly discussed logistics for resuming our participation in the “Edmonds Kind of 4th” celebration. 

We were pleasantly surprised to find Past Commander Fred Apgar attending in person and as you can see from the photo, Fred was kind enough to fill the Jr Vice Commander Chair for Past Commander Rose Gilliland who was unable to attend. 

Despite living now in Savannah, GA, Fred frequently attends our Post meetings via Zoom, regularly contributes book reviews of interest to this newsletter and in many ways is a more active member than some local residents. 

Always good to see you, Sir! 

In Memoriam

Scott L. Johnson

Scott L. Johnson

Our Charter will be draped for our comrade, 8870 member Scott Johnson. Scott was born on June 2, 1944 to Larry and Barbara (Bryson) Johnson. He graduated from John Muir High School in 1962. Scott went on to serve in the Navy as a Seaman on the USS Forster, DER334 during the Vietnam War and was a decorated veteran. He went on to receive degrees from San Diego State University and a JD from Southwestern Law School. While he practiced law for the rest of his career, his passion was in real estate development and he was a successful businessman. 

USS Forster DER 334
USS Forster, DER 334

On February 12, 1972, Scott married the love of his life, Kay Knuppel. They raised three children, Kelly, Christine and Brian, in Corralitos, California after moving from Los Angeles. Scott and Kay also lived in Las Vegas, Nevada for several years and then moved to Edmonds, Washington in their retirement. 

Election of Post Officers 

At the Post meeting on April 20, elections will be held for our Post officer slate for the 2022-23 VFW year commencing July 1. 

The following candidates are proposed by the nominating committee: 

Commander: Carl F. Kurfess 
Sr. Vice Commander: Duane Bowman 
Jr. Vice Commander: Rose Gilliland 
Quartermaster: Cal Barnard 
Chaplain: Dan Doyle 
1st Year Trustee: Kerry Watkins 
2nd Year Trustee: Donald Stapleton 
3rd Year Trustee: Mike Denton 

All of these candidates are presently serving in these positions with the exception of Cal Barnard, who is running to replace long time Quartermaster Dennis Peterson, who wished to pass the baton after something close to ten years of service.   

Edmonds Beach Clean-up 

Post 8870’s VFW Day of Service, followed by: A Birthday Party! 

Edmonds Beach Clean-up

Saturday, May 7 is VFW National Day of Service. At the March Staff meeting, it was decided that our service will be a beach clean up at the Marina Beach Park on the Edmonds waterfront. We will commence at 0900 and should wrap up well before noon. Please join us for this community service event. Family and friends are welcome to help. 

And then: 

Following the VFW Day of Service event, all are invited to a Birthday Open House for Mike Reagan’s 75th Birthday, at the American Legion Hall, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm! 

The host of this event is the Washington State Gold Star Mothers. Stop by for cake and to wish Mike a Happy Birthday! 

From the Bookshelf

Revolutionary Summer

by Mike Denton

Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence 

A distinctive portrait of the crescendo moment in American history from the Pulitzer-winning American historian, Joseph Ellis. 

The summer months of 1776 witnessed the most consequential events in the story of our country’s founding. While the thirteen colonies came together and agreed to secede from the British Empire, the British were dispatching the largest armada ever to cross the Atlantic to crush the rebellion in the cradle. The Continental Congress and the Continental Army were forced to make decisions on the run, improvising as history congealed around them. Ellis meticulously examines the most influential figures in this propitious moment, including George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Britain’s Admiral Lord Richard and General William Howe. He weaves together the political and military experiences as two sides of a single story, and shows how events on one front influenced outcomes on the other. 

Memorial Day Buddy Poppies 

May 27-28 

We have confirmation from the stores of the availability of their facilities to distribute Buddy Poppies for Memorial Day. We will try to man two stations at each of four store locations between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM on Friday, May 27 and Saturday, May 28. The stores will be the QFCs at Westgate in Edmonds and the Mukilteo Speedway location; the Fred Meyer at 164th & Alderwood Mall Blvd in North Lynnwood and the Town & Country Market (formerly Central Market in Mill Creek. 

Please sign up with Sr. Vice Commander and Poppy Chair Duane Bowman at the April Post meeting, or email him with your desired location and shifts ( You may be asked to take shifts at a different time or place, depending on our staffing needs. Here is an example of a sign-up sheet/schedule. Details are the same for each location:   

Beware of VA Claim Sharks

VA Claim Sharks

Have you been charged unnecessary fees to file a VA disability claim? The VFW reported in the June/July 2021 issue of the VFW magazine that predatory companies, referred to as “claim sharks,” coach veterans in filing VA disability claims with promises of increased ratings while charging them fees and taking a portion of their compensation. Veterans service organizations like the VFW have accredited service officers who provide claims assistance to veterans free of charge, as is the law. If you or someone you know has been charged unnecessary fees for VA claims assistance, please contact the VFW at, or contact your Post Service Officer. Alden Gilliland. (Note: We have published this info before, but VFW National has put the notice out once again this month. They want us all aware of the problem) 

Do You Have Your VFW Jacket?

VFW Jacket

A few years ago, the Post established a standard “uniform” jacket for members to wear to identify with VFW. In these photos, Post members Dan Doyle & Jim Maurdock are seen wearing their jackets at a cold November “Buddy Poppy” outing. The jacket itself is a black “Squall” style. The VFW logo is available as a patch to sew on, with VFW Post 8870 Edmonds, WA and the individual’s name added in embroidery. 

The Post has purchased a small supply of VFW, U.S. flag, and POW/MIA patches, which are available to members. Patches are also available from the VFW Store online and can be found on Members are free to add patches and embroidery to reflect their individual units, specialties, awards and service branch as they wish. 

For those who prefer a garment “Made in USA” the one vendor we are aware of is “King Louie America”. Less pricey imports (the price difference can be 40% or more) are also available from such sources as Lands End, LL Bean, Aramark Uniform and Baseball Epic Sports. Jackets can be ordered from any of these suppliers online. 

Previously, we have used a Mukilteo source called “Shirts Illustrated” for both embroidery and patch sewing. They are located at 12315 Mukilteo Speedway, Suite J, (425)742-3844. They are open 9 am to 6 pm, Monday – Friday. No doubt others are available, but this outlet is nearby and experienced with our needs. 

February Post Meeting 

Jason Bain

Our February speaker, Jason Bain is currently the Registrar & Asst. Curator of the Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds. Bain’s presentation was based on his previous experience as the Senior Collections Curator of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation. That foundation was formed in 1979 for the purpose of creating a memorial to our comrades lost in Vietnam as “A tangible symbol of recognition from the American People for those who served and sacrificed in the Vietnam War” 

Bain displayed numerous examples of items left at the “The Wall” as well as many images of all of the sculpture at the Wall Memorial in Washington DC. Several of our members have had the experience of visiting the Wall, which was dedicated in 1982. Designer Maya Lin’s work simply and dramatically presents the names of each of the over 58,000 who were lost in Vietnam in the order of their passing. Since the dedication of the wall, additional sculpture has been added, as illustrated in the accompanying photos. 

Welcome New Member David Wells 

Welcome New Member David Wells

Commander Kurfess inducted David Wells as a new member of Post 8870 at our February Post meeting 

Born in Everett WA, David Wells graduated from South Eugene High School in 1966 and joined the Navy in January 1967. After boot camp in San Diego he attended Naval Tactical Data Systems school in Vallejo, CA. (Naval Tactical Data System was a computerized information processing system first deployed in the early 1960s for use in combat ships.) 

In August of 1968 he was assigned to the USS Mahan, DLG11 homeported in Yokosuka, Japan. they made regular trips to the Gulf of Tonkin over the next two years. The ship returned to San Diego in January 1971. On the way home a a detour was taken to Australia and New Zealand for short stays in Brisbane, Sydney and Wellington. On crossing the equator, David experienced the Neptune ceremony, & after a day of hazing, became a Shellback. He was then transferred to the schools command at Vallejo where he served as an instructor until discharge in January of 1973. David lives in Edmonds with wife Kate of 42 years. They have three children and 2 grandchildren. Retired in 2018 and David enjoys playing Pickleball, hiking and drawing. Welcome Aboard!