Author Archive: Editor

February Post Meeting 

Public Safety Awards Presented 

Edmonds Police Corporal Aaron Greenmun, Police officer of the year
Aaron Greenmun, Police Officer of the Year
Melissa Beard, the Firefighter of the Year
Melissa Beard, Firefighter of the Year
Jennifer Stollwerck, EMT Award Winner
Jennifer Stollwerck, EMT Award Winner
Ali Hammond, Teacher of the Year
Ali Hammond, Teacher of the Year

At the February Post meeting, we hosted our 2023-24 Public Safety & Education award winners. With us to receive their award certificates and be recognized were: 

Shown In the photos, (from left) are Edmonds Police Corporal Aaron Greenmun, Police officer of the year; Jennifer Stollwerck is the EMT award winner; and Melissa Beard, Firefighter of the year. Our Teacher of the year is Ali Hammond. 

Past Commander Carl Kurfess presented in the Public Safety category, with Don Stapleton doing the honors for our educator.

Congratulations and many thanks to these dedicated public servants! Our favorite portrait artist, Mike Reagan, presented all of the winners with portraits he drew for the occasion, shown below: (Thank you Michael!) 

Edmonds Police Corporal Aaron Greenmun, Police officer of the year
Melissa Beard, Firefighter of the Year
Jennifer Stollwerck, EMT Award Winner
Ali Hammond, Teacher of the Year

Minutes of February Post Meeting

Business Meeting Start@ 1835 hours 

  • Guests Terry Stinson, District I Commander and Doug White District 1, Inspector were introduced.
  • The minutes from the January meeting were read and approved by the membership.
  • The Quartermaster’s report was reviewed and approved.
  • The following expenditures were approved by the membership:
    $278.06 to Don Stapleton for Postage and Supplies.
    $209.75 to Mike Reagan & Bob Little for food. 
    $ 500.00 to the Cascadia Pipe Band. 
  • Increase the donation to the VFW National Home from $100.00/year to $500.00/ year. 
  • The next Buddy Poppy Post Funds collection event will be on May 24 & 25.
  • May 4th is the VFW National Service Day. We will discuss what the Post can do at our next meeting. 
  • Post Raffle 2024. This year we will raffle an original signed portrait of Toby Keith. Tickets & Flyers are being printed. 
  • District I will be at a Lynnwood Job Fair the end of March. Our Post will participate using this event as a recruiting opportunity. 

Meeting Speakers Needed 

It is our practice to schedule a speaker to precede each of our monthly Post business meetings, the scheduling of which requires some help from all of us. Appropriate topics can be wide ranging, but ideally would fall into categories of interest to veterans and or a variety of community service topics. Speakers from the VA, other veterans organizations, health care, youth organizations, (scouting, athletic groups, etc) or local civic issues of interest to the broader community, could be appropriate. 

If you know of someone or some group who could give the membership a talk of twenty minutes or so duration, talk to Commander Duane Bowman about scheduling them. Perhaps you have a topic of your own you could present! Our meeting attendance is impacted by the quality of speaker offerings we have. We’ll buy them supper! 

In Memoriam

James E Adams 

17 Dec 1930 – 6 Feb, 2024

James E Adams

Jim served a total of 6 years, 1949 to 1956, in the U S Navy. He served 20 years as a Regular U.S. Army officer in the Corps of Engineers. The Military Records show entitlement to medals for Korean Service, National Defense Service with 1 bronze service star, Republic of Vietnam Campaign with 1960 Device, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, United Nations Service, Parachutist’s Badge, Vietnam Service with 1 silver and 3 bronze service stars, Navy Occupation, Overseas Service (2) and Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation. Upon retirement he served 10 years in Public Works in Edmonds and Mukilteo. 

James E Adams

He is survived by his spouse, Fem; his two daughters, Kathie Adams and Judi Wheeler, plus two grandchildren, Nicole Noel and Micah Wheeler. 

Until recently, Jim was a very active member of our Post. No one enjoyed Buddy Poppy distribution more than Jim (as you can see) ! 

Fred J. Diedrich 

20 July 1923 – 1 March 2024 

Fred J. Diedrich

Fred was born in Jerome, Idaho to Pearl and Fred Diedrich. His family moved to Marshfield, OR (now Coos Bay), where he grew up. When World War 2 started, he volunteered for the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division, and was stationed in Wollaston Park, England. There, he met and married Maud Annie Mary Stanley, aka “Nancy” in 1945. 

During the war, he parachuted into the Invasion of Normandy at St. Mere ‘Eglise, the Battle of the Bulge at St. Vith, Belgium, Operation Market Garden at Nijmegen, Holland and was an honor guard after the war in Berlin. He received an honorable discharge, was awarded a bronze star, and later received the French Foreign Legion medal of honor for his service liberating France. 

Fred J. Diedrich

His wife Nancy was later transported to the US with other war brides and children on the Queen Mary Ocean Liner and the Empire Builder train to reunite with him in Oregon. He and Nancy lived in several locations including Nottingham, England, Roseburg, Oregon, Albuquerque, New Mexico and most recently, Seattle, Washington. After the war, Fred had a career in the plywood industry, and Nancy had a career in banking. They also built and renovated a multitude of houses and had many successful real estate ventures.  

Fred was a trickster and a kidder – loved a good laugh, good food and good company. He kept himself busy tinkering in his wood shop, building houses, churches, sheds, helping others with their building projects and puttering around. He and Nancy traveled extensively when they retired in their late 50’s and were devoted gardeners.

Fred J. Diedrich

Fred is survived by his wife Nancy, his son Richard Diedrich, M.D. and his wife Angela Fernandez Diedrich, their children, his son Paul Diedrich, Structural Engineer, and his wife Betsy Braun. He was predeceased by his parents, siblings Ida and her

husband Don Kelly; Dick Diedrich and his wife Mary; Esther and her husband Ed Conley; Betty and her husband Grover Rigsby,; Louise and her husband Carlos White, and sister Alice Diedrich. He had 7
grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, numerous other relatives, a multitude of friends and acquaintances including the lunch club at the Edmonds Senior Center, the Edmonds Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8870, his Seattle neighbors, and many others.

He will be interred at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Washington later this year, and a celebration of his life will occur then.

Many thanks to Past Commander Fred Apgar for this obituary.

Mark Your Calendar for These Up-coming Events

March 25, 9 AM -4 PM Veterans Free Dentistry Day
16150 NE 85th St., Ste 126, Redmond

All eligible participants will receive a free cleaning, filling or extraction
Appointments recommended, walk-ins welcome. Call425-882-6699 to schedule.
Proof of veteran status required, DD214, Vet ID, discharge, etc.

March 27, 4-7 PM. VFW District 1 recruiting event:
Lynnwood Regional Job Fair on March 27, 4-7 p.m., Edmonds College Seaview Gym
Volunteers needed to represen our Post. See Commander Bowman, or Carl Kufess.

May 23, Edmonds College Memorial Day Observance. 11 :00 AM, Black Box Theater

May 24 -25 10 AM – 6 PM Memorial Day Buddy Poppy Distribution
Sign up at the Post meeting in March or April at your preferred location of Edmonds QFC Westgate, Mukilteo Speedway QFC, or Town & Country at Mill Creek. You don’t want to miss this fun and valuable semiannual event, which funds our Relief Committee.

May 26, 9AM Hero’s Cafe. Coffee & pastries, lunch at 11AM. Hero’s Cafe 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 free.

Speaking of the Relief Fund: 

VFW/Legion Fund Raising Raffles

We have done very well in the past couple of years in keeping our Buddy Poppy receipts up, particularly given the impacts of the pandemic on our activities. We even have some room to expand what we give to some of our Relief Fund recipients, or add some additional smaller beneficiaries. 

If you are aware of any Veterans programs, or other, particularly local, organizations worthy of our support, please let our Chaplain, Dan Doyle know who they are and how we can contact them. The Relief Committee (chaired by our Chaplain) will consider all candidates and add them to our list as appropriate. Here are some of the programs/organizations we have supported, to give you an idea: 

Freedom Scholarship 
Youth Programs 
Teacher of the Year 
Student Essays 
Orting Veterans Home 
Retsil Veterans Home 
National Home

National Military Services 
Special Olympics 
Fallen Heroes+ Speakers 
Fisher House – JBLM 
Fisher House – Seattle 
Santa’s Castle – JBLM 

Relief Fund

Recognizing Our New (Fifth) Armed Force 


United States Space Force
Recognizing Our New (Fifth) Armed Force

We have taken good natured liberties with all of our armed forces except our new friends in the U.S. Space Force, (still under the Dept of the Air Force, as USMC is the Dept of the Navy) so Commander Bowman has undertaken to include them with this offering, using a dig on their decidedly “Star Trek-ish” logo and dress uniform. 

“The U.S. Space Force protects our country and the freedom to operate in space, keeping it secure, stable and accessible for military space power and new waves of innovation. When our enemies ask “What if?”, we will have an answer.” 

We don’t know a great deal more than the foregoing, resulting from a google query about the Space Force and their mission and we don’t yet have any veterans of this branch in VFW. At some point some of those folks will presumbly be going”far foreign” (as we sailors say) and given the tendancy of the human race to fight wherever we go over just about anything, we will no doubt be welcoming some Space Force veterans into our ranks eventually. 

VFW/Legion Fund Raising Raffles

VFW/Legion Fund Raising Raffles
VFW/Legion Fund Raising Raffles

Last month we reported on plans to repeat the successful VFW fund raising raffle of 2023, now aimed at providing operating funds for both VFW Post 8870 and AL Post 66. As you all know, our principal fundraising project, Buddy Poppies, raises considerable sums, all of which are and must be devoted to our Relief Fund. Previously, we have depended on the individual generosity of our membership and individual supporters to fund Post operations.

Post 66 began distributing raffle tickets to members at this past week’s “Movie Night at the Hall” for their drawing to be held on July 4 at the Post’s centennial celebration.The grand prize will be an original framed portrait drawing by Mike Reagan, of film actor and well known supporter of Veteran causes, Gary Senise (AKA Lt. Dan from Forrest Gump).

Post 8870′ s drawing will be held once again at the Christmas party in December and we will begin distributing those raffle tickets for sale in late summer. The winner of that raffle will receive Reagan’s drawing of country singer Toby Keith, another celebrity with veteran’s interests at heart, composer and singer of songs extolling our military and veterans.

Meanwhile, we urge members of both posts to participate in supporting the project as a whole. Below are images of Reagan’s drawings of these two men. As fans of Keith are aware, he passed away in February as a result of stomach cancer. His songs are known for their patriotism and support of America’s military, active and veteran.

January Post Meeting

In lieu of a speaker, the Post recognized the following students for their essay submissions:
Our Patriot’s Pen winner – Karsen Friesen 6th Grade was not able to attend.

The 4th grade Youth Essay winner, Calijan Smith, below, left and the 5th grade winner, Eloise Liao at right, are shown in the photos below with Commander Bowen.

Also recognized was our Teacher of the Year, Ali Hammond, who was not able to attend.

January Post Meeting

Business Meeting Started@ 1815 Hrs

The minutes from the 10/18/2023 & the 11/15/2023 meetings were read and approved by the membership. The Quartermaster’s report was reviewed and approved by the membership.
Several expenditures were presented for approval and were so approved by voice vote, including expenditures for Quartermaster supplies, & equipment as well as a new video camera to facilitate the use of Zoom for meetings.

Christmas party meals and cash awards for the VFW Essay winners were also approved.
Two items were added to the Veterans Relief Fund budget; The Captain Joseph House and Sarge’s Place Shelter for the benefit of Gold Star Families and Homeless Veterans.

A proposal was also approved to pay to American Legion Post 66 an annual feel for the use of their building. We will recognize the recipients of the Police/Fire/EMT awards at our next meeting on 02/21/2024.

Mike Reagan has graciously offered to do a portrait of the recipients of the Post Police/Fire/EMT & Teache f the Year as chosen by the Post.

District 1 Memorial

District 1 Memorial

On Feb 10, VFW District 1 held its annual Memorial Service at the Post 2100 facility in Everett.

The District Memorial Service is a joint endeavor between the District VFW and Auxiliary. As a group, we pause to honor those VFW and Auxiliary Members who passed on during the previous year. We say the names of our departed and lay symbolic flowers in their honor.

In attendance were the National Sr. Vice Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Department Sr. Vice Commander, the Department Jr. Vice Commander, and the District 5 Commander.

District 1 Memorial

For some of us, everyday is Memorial Day. In the photo at right, VFW Post 8870 Commander Duane Bowen and Aux. Pres. Jo Boyett were on hand to honor our own members lost this past year.

District 1 Memorial

American Legion Clothing and Food Drive

American Legion Clothing and Food Drive

Community members showed their strong support for veterans when they stopped by the American Legion Post in Edmonds Saturday, Jan. 20 to drop off donations of food and winter clothing.

American Legion Post 66 and VFW post 8870 hosted the event to assist local veterans in need. Through the generosity of those donating, the two veterans’ organizations were able to collect hundreds of items for cold­weather use, including gloves, hats, socks, coats, shirts, pants, sweaters and blankets. They also collected over 300 pounds of food. Cash donations in the amount of $200 were received at the event.

Members of both posts were on hand to receive the donations and thank donors. Also helping was Mary Lancaster, chief of veterans’ outreach for Lynnwood Heroes Cafe. The items will go directly to veterans in need, with distribution arranged by Lynnwood Legion member (& Heroes Cafe Director) Gary Walderman.

Anything remaining after distribution will go to local food banks and shelters in need.

American Legion Clothing and Food Drive
Edmonds American Legion Post 66 Vice Commander Gary Walderman accepts one of the many donations the collected at the Jan. 20 food and clothing drive (Photo by Mark Bjorndal, MyEdmondsNews)

To make the event even more special, Jessica Dietsch of Project Serve Outreach graciously offered her mobile hot beverage service to provide coffee and cocoa to warm post members, and visitors who stopped by to drop off their items.

One of the donors traveled all the way from Mercer Island to bring clothing and food. “My wife used to live in Edmonds, and she wanted to contribute to this cause. It was worth the drive to help out,” he said.

Post 66 Commander Dan Mullene also noted that most of the people dropping off items said that they had heard of it through the My Neighborhood News Network, which includes online publications My Edmonds News, Lynnwood Today and MLTnews. “We appreciate the great support that Teresa Wippel and the My Neighborhood News Network offers in helping us promote our veteran-oriented events,” he said.

Legion and VFW leadership plan to move forward with further joint activities, to build on the success of this event. Well done!

American Legion Clothing and Food Drive
American Legion Clothing and Food Drive

Raffles to be Held for VFW & AL Posts

Raffles are to be conducted again this year, this time for both VFW Post 8870 and AL Post 66 to benefit the operating funds of both posts. The AL drawing will be held on July 4 at a celebration for Post 66 centennial year. 8870 will again hold the drawing at the Christmas party on December 14.

We are Planning more promotion vial local media & social media as well as tighter follow-up of ticket distribution. Mike Reagan has once again generously offered his drawings this time of Gary Senise (widely known for his support of veterans) and country music star Toby Keith, who passed away recently.

Stay tuned for further scheduling & ticket information.