Author Archive: Editor

Veterans Stand Down Held

The Stand-Down was held on 9/5/2023 from 9:00 AM to 3 :00 PM. There were approximately 60 different service providers available to Veterans, ranging from Legal services, Gear Issue, VA giving Flu shots and signing up Veterans to the VA. Food was provided by the Elks of Everett. Various Military providers were available including VFW. DAV and American Legion. VOA provided eye and hearing tests and reader glasses.

Representatives from all 8 posts in VFW District 1 were there. Edmonds was represented by Commander Duane Bowman and Jr. Vice Commander Carl Kurfess & Dennis Gibbs.

In the photo above, Commander Duane speaks with a veteran with Dennis Gibbs in the background. At right, Carl Kurfess is shown with District 1 Commander Terry Stinson and other District 1 VFW representatives.

Nothing But the Best for Our Troops

Nothing But the Best for Our Troops

by Duane Bowman (with text by Mike Denton)

Meals for troops in the field have always been problematic. In earlier centuries, dried, or salt cured beef and pork with a variety of beans, somme very hard break and whatever the troops could forage from the immediate vicinity were what comprised rations. No doubt the ‘C’ rations of WWII and beyond were an improvement. While I hear more recent vets do not have a really high opinion of the culinary quality of today’s MREs, I expect they are something of an improvement as well.

Navy sailors of prior generations lived mostly on that same salt meat, beans, hard tack bread and oatmeal, sometimes supplemented with fresh meat and vegetables/fruit early in a voyage. Fortunately, those of us who served in the 20th century, when refrigeration became available aboard ship, fared considerably better.

From the October VFW Dispatch

From the October VFW Dispatch

The following appeared in the VFW Dispatch for October, which you should all have received via email, however there seems to be some concern over how well informed we are about the process of PACT Act claims, and some scams that are appearing, so it bears repeating:

PACT Act claim sharks are targeting veterans at unprecidented rates. If you’ve been on social media or checked your email inbox recently, you’ve no doubt received countless solicitations from law firms or agencies advertising their assistance with your VA claim in the wake of the PACT Act.

From our National Veterans Service experts, here are some important things to remember:
NEVER pay for claims assistance. Presumptive claims are straightforward and can easily be handled by any VA-accredited claims representative.

File a claim for any PACT Act conditions. Contact a VFW Accredited Service Officer today to discuss the PACT Act and what it means for you.

Hold off on committing to a Camp Lejeune lawsuit until VA publishes how the offset will affect your settlement and benefits.

If you’ve been fighting for years, you may think a PACT Act claim will be complicated. Good news: Presumptive claims are some of the simplest claims because VA is conceding that your illness happened because you went somewhere bad.

Stay up-to-date with the PACT Act and what it means for your claim by visiting

VFW Post 8870 is All American!   

VFW Post 8870 is All American!   

At the District 1 School of Instruction held at Post 2100 in Everett on September 15, Edmonds Post 8870 was among those receiving the “All American” award. The All American award goes to Posts who meet or exceed requirements laid out for such things as membership growth and participation in a wide variety of VFW activities, such as Poppy distribution, and various Relief Fund efforts, above and beyond those required of “All State” status.  

VFW Post 8870 is All American!   

Of course, this award is for the past VFW year’s performance, so immediate Past Commander Carl Kurfess will wear the red & black All American cover, as would Jim Traner as Quartermaster for that period, were he still with us.   

In the photo, District 1 Commander Terry Stenson, and Department of Washington Commander Craig Dougherty present the certificate to Commander Duane Bowman.   

Well Done All!   

August Post Meeting

Speaker: Dennis Gibb – On Formerly Incarcerated Veterans  

August Post Meeting Speaker Dennis Gibb

Comrade Gibb, who served as a scout helicopter pilot in Vietnam and after a long career in the financial services, now works at Edmonds College, helping formerly incarcerated veterans to reestablish their lives following release. He presently works with some 40 such vets at the College who are furthering their education.  

Dennis spoke to the Post meeting to propose that we add a new piece to our relief fund beneficiaries in the form of assistance to some of his formerly incarcerated veteran clients at the college. He proposed starting with one such veteran who would be selected from the college group in consultation with the Relief Committee. Dennis sees this assistance as aimed at helping getting these vets into housing and other basic needs until they are gainfully employed and able to function on their own. The post leadership has approved this proposal and will present the plan to the membership at the September meeting. We would begin with one veteran in the program and limit the support to one year.   

August Post Meeting Draping Charter for Jim Traner

The Ceremony was performed for Draping The Charter in memory of our beloved Comrade Jim Traner & Comrade Reagan’s portrait of Jim displayed.  The minutes from the July meeting were read. 

The minutes were approved by the membership.  

The Quartermasters report was reviewed and approved by the membership.  

District 1. The District meeting will be on 09/09/2023 @ Post 2100 in Everett. Following the meeting there will be a School of Instruction that will go over the responsibilities/duties of Post officers.  

New Business:   

Comrade Joe Gray was nominated by Rose Gilliland to fill the vacant Quartermaster position. The nomination was 2nd by Brian Rowe. Upon a vote of the membership Joe Gray was elected as the new Post Quartermaster.  

The following appointments were made by Post Commander Duane Bowman.   Office of the Day: Jeff McKinney  Membership : Jeff McKinney  Judge Advocate: Rose Gilliland  

It was proposed by Dennis Peterson that we move $2,000.00 from the Post Foundation Fund to the Post General Fund. By a vote of the membership the funds will be transferred by the Quartermaster.  

The scholarships awarded in 2023 will be named the “Jim Traner Scholarship” in honor of Comrade Jim Traner.   

In the photo above at left, Charlie Gaul displays a leaded glass ornament he created honoring Traner’ s Vietnam unit, the 11th Armored Cavalry. 

Never Forget: September 11, 2001   

Never Forget: September 11, 2001   

On Monday, September 11, Several members of VFW Post 8870 attended the annual “Never Forget” observance at the 9/11 Memorial next to the downtown fire stations.  

Among those who spoke at the event was Post 8870 member & USMC Veteran Michael Reagan who recalled a private meeting he and a fellow Marine had with President George W. Bush and First lady Laura Bush in February 2002 to present portraits Reagan had drawn of the two:  

“The President of the United States walked up to me … looks at me in the face and he says, ‘They just killed 3,000 of our people and I am very angry.’ He was crying … the   president of the United States. All I could think in the back of my head was, ‘Something’ s gonna change,’ and it has.”   

A year later, Reagan started the Fallen Heroes Project, a nonprofit that commemorates people who died during 9/11 and the War on Terror, including information on their military service (if applicable) and their personal lives. Since then, he has drawn more than 9,000 portraits, mostly of soldiers, police officers and firefighters who had died in service to our country.  

Never Forget: September 11, 2001   

“9/11 means a lot to me,” Reagan said. “I walk by here every day, doesn’t matter what time of the day, and I stand here and think about all the people I’ve worked with. I love the firemen. I love the policemen. Everybody in Edmonds knows that. Because 9/11 changed this place. We’re here to honor you and the memory of a lot of firefighters who are no longer with us. I’m here to just do this project. Nothing else should matter on 9/11, other than 9/11.”   

Traner Memorial Services Held   

Traner Memorial Services Held   

A memorial service was held on August 20 for Comrade Traner at the  Edmonds Waterfront Center with a large group in attendance to remember Jim and support Terry and her family. Friends from Jim’s many affiliations around the Edmonds area, including representatives from VFW Post 8870, District 1 and Department, as well as many Rotarians and fellow fly fishers, were in attendance.  

On July 29 he was interred in ceremonies at Mt. Tahoma National cemetery.   

At top left, Commander Duane Bowman presents the flag  to Terry Traner at the memorial service and at bottom, members of VFW are present.   

Traner Memorial Services Held   

Recruiting at Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival   

Recruiting at Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival   

Past Commander Carl Kurfess represented the post at the VFW District 1 recruiting event during the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival over the weekend of September 9-10.  

VFW Post 2100 of Everett provides the logistics for this event and we have participated with them on it for the past few years.  

In the photo above, Past District 1 Commander Don Wischman is shown in front of the VFW booth.

A Few Reminders   

VFW Auxiliary

VFW Auxiliary: All VFW members are asked to encourage their family members to join our Post Auxiliary. Their function is, in part, to support Post activities such as Poppy distribution, raffle ticket sales etc. Both organizations could use the help.  

Gold Star Mothers

Gold Star Mothers are collecting used books for JBLM. Members are urged to bring their used books for deposit in a collection bin, which will be located near the entrance of the Legion Hall.   

VFW Polo Shirt

VFW Polo Shirts: For those who ordered the new VFW polo shirts, they are now available. Bring your $21.00 payment to the post meeting to pick up your shirt.   

VFW Post 8870 presents: “Honor & Remember” Raffle 

This is your opportunity to help our Post support Veterans in need, by selling raffle tickets to your friends & family. Of course you may wish to win this one-of-a-kind image for your own wall at home!  

Raffle tickets will be distributed to the members at the September Post meeting. If you can’t make the meeting contact Commander Duane and we will get tickets to you. We will offer 500 tickets at $ 10.00 each, to raise a total of $5,000.00 for our ongoing Post operations.  

Comrade Mike Reagan, is generously making this unique item available for our raffle. (In fact the whole project was Mike’s idea!)  

This project needs everyone’s participation   

Drawing will be held at the VFW Holiday Party, December 16, 2023.  Need not be present to win.   

"Honor & Remember" Raffle

First Prize!

Signed and framed,  Original SeaHawks Poster,  by our own famed Edmonds artist  Michael Reagan!  

(USMC Vietnam combat veteran & founder of the “Fallen Heroes” Project.)  
(Actual frame may differ from that shown)