Author Archive: Editor

Edmonds Kind of 4th Parade – 2023

As we have done for many years, Edmonds veterans of VFW Post 8870 and American Legion Post 66 led off the annual 4th of July parade, which has been produced by the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce for over a century. Veterans able to do so walked the approximately 1-1/2 mile parade route and a few others rode in vehicles provided.

The parade was followed by our traditional barbecue at the Legion Hall, where the parade participants were joined by other family members and friends, to enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers and sides. Despite the reputation of our Pacific Northwest climate, the weather was sunny and warm, as we have come to expect for Independence Day in recent years.

Mike Reagan was honored by the local Kiwanis Club as the Citizen of the Year, for his long standing and continuing efforts to recognize our Fallen Heroes by creating hand sketched portraits for their families. Reagan has produced something in excess of 8, 000 such portraits since his “retirement”. Congratulations Mike!

Coming down Fifth A venue, parade participants encountered the first of two veteran (in both senses of the word) announcers in the person of Past 8870 Commander Jim Blossey, pictured here. Jim and his announcing partner on Main Street, Past Commander Mike Denton, have performed this function for over fifteen years.

June Post Meeting

Immediate Past Commander Carl Kurfess was honored with a plaque in recognition for his service as Post Commander for the last 2 years. At below, Kurfess receives the plaque from Commander Duane Bowman.

June Post Meeting
June Post Meeting

At the Department of Washington Convention in Spokane, Post 8870 was recognized as an All-State Post for 2022/2023. Hence the white hat you see on Carl’s head.

Great job by the officers and all members! 8870 has been an All State Post for most of the years your editor has been a member. The awarded commander wears it for the entire post to recognize the team effort and the Quartermaster for his/her individual performance.

June Post Meeting

Also at the convention, the Post newsletter that is written, assembled & distributed by Mike Denton was recognized at the State Convention as the best News Letter from a “Small Post.”

Legionnaires Celebrate 150 Years of Beans

One-hundred fifty years ago, Civil War veterans in Erie, Kan., determined that the best way to rekindle memories of fighting together would be by eating together. The menu was familiar: navy beans seasoned with pork, onions, salt and pepper.

Legionnaires celebrate 150 years of beans

Thus began the Old Soldiers & Sailors Reunion in the community of about 1,100 residents. The reunion evolved into a free community wide bean feed that today draws crowds from across the state and beyond.

The American Legion Family of George L. Hendricks Post 102 in Erie has led the massive undertaking for nearly 60 years, filling the cast-iron kettles, lighting the wood fires, tending to more than 1,200 pounds of beans and dishing them out free of charge. While beans may not be quite the dominant armed forces menu item they were in civil war days, all of us who have served have certainly eaten our share, whether afloat or ashore.

District 1 Recruiting Event Slated at Evergreen State Fair

District 1 Recruiting Event Slated at Evergreen State Fair

For the second year in a row, VFW District 1 will be holding a recruiting drive at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe. Beginning on August 24 and running until September 4, District 1 Post members will have the opportunity to recruit new Comrades at the fair.

There are four available slots each day; 10 AM to 3:30 pm, 3:30 to 9 PM with a 12:00 noon to 6:00 PM shift to augment the busiest part of the day. Members can also sign up for a float shift to help cover the busy time and still be flexible.

Each Post should plan to have members participate. We will have a link for you to sign up via signup genius to be emailed to you soon.

District 1 Reports 2022-23 Accomplishments

District 1 Reports 2022-23 Accomplishments
The All American Cover

Recognized as an All American District

  • First Purple Heart VFW District in the state.
  • Helped every city in Snohomish County to become Purple Heart Cities and the County itself.
  • Regularly recognize Snohomish County area EMTs, Firefighters, Police officers, Sheriff’s Deputies and Dispatchers.
  • Nominated and recognized the State Elementary and Middle School Teachers of the year.
  • Helped dedicate local Veterans and Gold Star Families Memorials.
  • Department of Washington Veteran of the Year chosen from District 1.
  • Cooties Pup Tent8, the ‘Crazy Eights’ was stood up in District 1.
  • Currently has 8 posts and is working to bring a 9th online in Stanwood, WA.
  • 16,270 hours of community service reported.
  • $172,906 donated to support a variety of veteran programs and institutions.
  • 58,222 miles traveled to perform a variety of services to veterans.
  • 2,711 veterans provided various forms of assistance.

May Post Meeting

Scholarship Awards 

Scholarship Awards

This year’s “Freedom” Scholarships were awarded to 5 deserving students as follows: 

Samantha Rohwer – Kamiak High School
Hannah Goerg – Mariner High school
Mya Sheffield – Mountlake Terrace High School 
Troy David Slocum – Archbishop Murphy High School 
Kyra Ross – Meadowdale High school 

Slocum and Ross were our guests at the meeting and both read their respective scholarship essays for the assembled membership. Both students’ parents were also on hand. Members of the Scholarship Committee also plan to attend the Senior A wards ceremonies at each of the winner’s high schools to recognize them. 

Kyra, left and Troy, right are shown with their award certificates. 

Senior Awards Night 

Senior Awards Night

All of our local high schools conduct Senior A wards ceremonies for their graduating students who have received academic, sports and community service awards. Members of our Scholarship Committee attended these events to recognize our Freedom Scholarship winners to their school community. 

At right is Kyra Ross of Meadowdale H.S. who was recognized at that school’s event by Committee member Mike Denton. 

Post Officers Elected and Installed for VFW Year 2023-24 

The elected and appointed officers for the 2023/2024 year are as follows: These members were installed to their positions by PAST District 1 Commander Jim Traner: 

Commander – Duane Bowman 
Sr Vice Commander – Rose Gilliland 
Jr Vice Commander – Carl Kurfess
Quartermaster – Jim Traner 
Chaplain – Dan Doyle 
1 Year Trustee – Don Stapleton 
2 Year Trustee – Mike Denton
3 Year Trustee – Kerry Watkins
Adjutant – Calvin Barnard 
Service Officer – Alden Gilliland
Judge Advocate – Jim Traner 
Surgeon – Bryan Rowe 

District 1 Elections 

Our 2023-24 District Commander is Terry Stinson of VFW Post 7511 in Monroe shown below. 

District 1 Commander Stinson

Our own Carl Kurfess is the new Sr Vice Commander and Jim Traner is the Judge Advocate. 

The balance of the District 1 Staff: 
Jr. Vice Commander, Chris Cote of Post 921 
Quartermaster, Don Wischmann, Post 2100 
Adjutant, John Beam, Post 1040 
Chaplain, Ricky Andrew, Post 7511 
Surgeon, Elmer Johnson, Post 921 
Officer of the Day, Michael Bowling, Post 7511 
Trustee #1, Courtney Griffith, Post 9417 
Trustee #2, Dave Ortega, Posst 7511 
Trustee #3, Doug White. Post 9417 

The new District website is up and running, where members will find more detailed information about each of the new District staff: https:// You may also sign up to subscribe to the District newsletter on the web page. 

Memorial Day Observance Edmonds Memorial Cemetery 

Members of Edmonds VFW Post 8870 participated once again in the Edmonds Memorial Day Ceremony at the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery on Monday, May 29, 2023. Over 25 Post 8870 members, wives, family members and American Legion Post 66 members attended. Post 8870 members marched in the opening ceremony and the Honor guard raised the flag. Post Scholarship Winner Troy Slocum read his essay. Post member Chris Edwards played Taps. Post Commander Carl Kurfess read the White Table ceremony. Korean War Veteran and Purple Heart recipient Phil Sacks rang the bell for the fallen. 

Memorial Day Observance Edmonds Memorial Cemetery

Speakers included Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson, who reminded the audience that “Edmonds is a Purple Heart City, where we honor and remember those who were wounded or killed in combat.” 

“We remember your sacrifice, your pain, and those who were robbed of their future so we could have ours,” he concluded. “Your sacrifices will never be forgotten.” 

(The Purple Heart Medal is awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces who were wounded in combat action or posthumously to the next of kin of those who are killed or die of wounds received in action. 

Nelson was followed by keynote speaker Marine Sgt. Robert Olivarez, the Junior National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. 

Memorial Day Observance Edmonds Memorial Cemetery

“This is a day to pay tribute to those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice,” Olivarez began. 

“What they gave defined and made possible our freedoms and our way oflife. We owe them a debt that cannot be repaid.

(Photos courtesy Larry Vogel, MyEdmondsNews)