DD-214’s are now available on line. The National Personnel Records Center has provided the following website for veterans to gain access to their DD214’s online: http://vetrecs.archives.gov Military veterans and next of kin of deceased former military members may now use the new online military personnel records system to request documents. Other individuals with a need for documents must still complete SP Form 180 which can be downloaded from the online website. You can find a link to this website on our Home Page.
Our Quartermaster has pointed out to me The Women in Military Service For America Memorial located at the Arlington National Cemetery. As the son of a WWII army nurse, I didn’t realize this memorial even existed so I wish to thank our Quartermaster Liz Mather for bringing it to our attention. Dedicated in 1997, it is dedicated to women who have defended America throughout our history. You can learn much more about it at www.womensmemorial.org
Youth Essay Contests
Voice of Democracy Contest
VFW Post 8870 selected Katarina Nguyen, a junior at Edmonds-Woodway High School as the 2010-2011 Voice of Democracy winner. This is the second year Ms. Nguyen has been selected by Post 8870 as the winner of the Voice of Democracy.
“Does my generation have a role in America’s future?”
“Give me liberty or give me death”. In 1775, Patrick Henry’s immortalized statement instigated colonists’ courage to free themselves from the British, just one year prior to the brave leaders in Philadelphia declaring our country’s independence. Here we are, 234 years later; the times have changed, from fashion to technology, even politics, but the honor and bravery of patriots remain unchanged. Now ironically, my history class is currently delving into the world of American history in which we learn the “vital” aspects, analyzing not only the motives and the causes, but also the failures, the effects, and even the outcomes. Wait. I see great leaders and even tragic losers in my textbook, but what about the silent soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for America? What about them? Even now, in this era of new music, iPads, and Health Care reform, brave patriots silently bear the uniform of the United States of America, continuing a legacy for us to enjoy the blessings of liberty. Looking past the history text, at home and abroad, brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have fought for and defended our great homeland. But, does my generation have a role in America’s future? Of course we do, as we continue to bear this sacred torch of tradition and continue to fight, to sacrifice, for our country and our freedom.
America is filled with patriots, but what do patriots have to do with my future? After all, a soldier defending America doesn’t affect the time Jeopardy airs on television or what grade I receive on my biology test. Actually, we must look past this misconception; on television, we see “the future” in news broadcasts of senate elections, car commercials, the new and improved weight loss pill; yet, soldiers are the future; soldiers serve the children playing in the park, soldiers serve the elderly lady living down the street, soldiers serve you.
My grandpa served in the army before he passed away. Several of my family members have followed his footsteps in defending our liberty and shaping our futures. A purple heart was not earned for nothing. 20 years of military service was not given for nothing. Their loved ones did not worry night after night in six, twelve, even twenty four month increments for nothing. They, among others, fight for you, for me, and for freedom.
If we stripped America of all people except the individuals crucial to her preservation, who would remain? No, it’s neither Lady Gaga nor Bill Gates; it’s the armed forces of the United States of America, the men and women who alone, have earned the right to stand proudly. This includes the 2.3 million brave men and women currently serving in the five branches of the military of the United States for our freedom through unwavering American patriotism.
So it’s up to my generation to carry on the sweet liberty that has been established for us through blood, sweat, and tears on the bloodied battle field. My generation is filled with patriots who follow the footsteps of the great leaders before them, sacrificing, fighting, even dying. Our country has the greatest patriotism in the world; we all have grandpas and grandmas, uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters, moms and dads, and friends and family, who have fought to preserve the land of the free and the home of the brave.
I am immensely grateful to be living in this generation, in which my heroes have paved the way for me to be able to live in luxury; I can speak my opinion without censorship, I can go anywhere I wish whenever I wish, and I have the same right to become successful as the next person.
What is our role in our future? Isn’t it clear? We must support our country as our nation’s sentinels of freedom continue to walk their posts in defending our land under the proud and unwavering, red, white, and blue flag. I am America, you are America, our role is in her future; my generation is the future. As soldiers of war, we are the saviors of America; we are the hard workers; we strive for safe communities; we are the next generation of mothers and fathers cradling our babies; we represent hope, growing, advancing; we are the police officers, firefighters, pilots, servicemen and women working in collaboration and unity for America. My generation’s role for the future is the future; we follow those who have come before, fighting in air, land, and sea for you and me, America. Meanwhile, as I read a sentence from my history textbook about America’s success in gaining her independence, I have the urge to pencil in next to the phrase “America’s success”, the words “to be continued”.
Patriot’s Pen Contest
VFW Post 8870 proudly sponsored the state of Washington VFW winner Harrison William Baxter in the Elementary Youth Essay Contest. Mr. Baxter is a 5th grader in Madrona K-8 located in Edmonds, WA.
An American Patriot
The definition of patriot is “A person who vigorously supports their
Country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.” as defined in Webster’s Dictionary. To me a patriot means a person who will defend their country any way possible.
There are a few main reasons why I love the United States of America. First, I love that we can make free choices and can be individuals.
I also like how we have equal rights. No matter of our color, religion, or gender, we call all do the same things and we treat each other the same. Everybody can vote, own property, and even have the same job. Lastly, everybody in the United States of America has access to education. So no matter if you are a boy or girl you can get an education.
We can protect and defend the United States from pollution, narrow minded people, and poor leaders. Pollution is a horrible thing and sadly there is a lot of it. It comes from cars, factories and boats. Another thing we can defend is judging other people. We need to protect ourselves from passing judgement because it could take away our freedom and ability to be individuals. We also need to elect responsible people who won’t make laws that take our freedoms away. That leader should also value education and a variety of view points.
I protect and defend the United States by helping my community. I pick up trash and clean public areas. I keep in control of pollution by walking or riding my bike to a friend’s house or the bus stop. I support leaders and officials who value education and rights for all. I do this because I think that those are very important things. I also work really hard in school so I can be a leader someone will look up to.
An American Patriot is a person who loves the United States of America and its values. An American Patriot is a person who is willing to stand up for the United States’ principles. I am an American Patriot because I love this country and all my freedoms. These freedoms exist because of the patriots before me. I am willing to do all that I can everyday to ensure that the United States values that I hold dear stay safe, today and in the future.
Buddy Poppy Program
A flower that evokes the memories and emotions of war is the red poppy, which became associated with war after the publication of a poem ” In Flander’s Field”, written by Col. John McCrae of Canada.
The VFW was the first veterans’ organization to adopt the poppy and develop a national distribution campaign. For more that 75 years, the VFW’s Buddy Poppy program has raised millions of dollars in support of veterans’ welfare and the well being of their dependents.
Today, VFW Buddy Poppies are assembled by disabled, needy and aging veterans in VA Hospitals and domiciliaries across the country and are distributed by VFW Posts and their Ladies Auxiliaries. The minimal asessment (cost of the Buddy Poppies) to VFW units provides compensation to the veterans who assemble the poppies, provides financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans’ rehabilitation and service programs and partially supports VFW National Home for orphans and widows of our nation’s veterans.
“In Flander’s Field”
by John McCraeIn
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead.
Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw,
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us, who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow,
In Flanders Fields.