Author Archive: Editor

Commander Represents Post 8870 at District 1 Events 

Commander Carl Kurfess represented Post 8870 at recent District 1 events, including the VFW booth at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe and the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival. Both of these events were “Show the Flag” opportunities for our local District 1 Posts, at which members of several area Posts distributed Buddy Poppies and offered membership information to veterans who may wish to join our ranks. 

The first photo shows Kurfess at the VFW booth at the fair in Monroe. followed by another in front of Everett Post 2100’s truck in Mukilteo and last but not least, getting a rock climbing workout in Mukilteo. 

Well done Commander! 

Veterans Day Buddy Poppies 

Veterans Day Buddy Poppies

Buddy Poppy Chair and Sr. Vice Commander Duane Bowman wants you all to know that we will be distributing Buddy Poppies and raising money for our Relief Fund in advance of Veterans Day which is closing in on us fast! 

Veterans Day Buddy Poppies

We will be at three stores again this year, including QFC Westgate in Edmonds, QFC Speedway in Mukilteo and Town & Country Market in Mill Creek. These three locations have always been our best producing stores. 

The dates will be November 4th and 5th. We will operate from 1100 to 1800 on Friday, Nov. 4th and 1030 to 1800 on Saturday the 5th. Members, are urged to sign up for as much time as they can spare and encouraged to bring spouses and other family members and friends to help. If you can’t handle a full shift, come and do what you can!

Sign up forms will be available at the September and October Post meeting. We encourage everyone. 

August Post Meeting 

August Post Meeting

There was no speaker at the August meeting. 

Results of the business meeting: 

  • Quartermaster’s report was reviewed and approved. 
  • The Post General Fund is still a bit light. Donations are welcome. 
  • Relief Fund budget for the year was reviewed and approved. 
  • Reminder for all, Buddy Poppies for Veterans day are scheduled for November 4 & 5. 
  • Membership possibilities were discussed including recruiting opportunities at the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival on Festival 9-10-2022 & at the VFW Booth at the Evergreen State Fair. (See article on those two events) 
  • As of now we are putting a hold on having a booth at the Edmonds Market. 
  • August & September Hero’s Café meetings were announced. 

POW/MIA National Recognition Day 

POW/MIA National Recognition Day

On the morning of 22 November 1966, 1st Lt. Joe Crecca (call sign Dogwood 2)was scheduled to fly his 87th combat mission. Joe was the back-seater of an F-4E Phantom and while striking a POL storage facility in Ha Gia, North Vietnam, his plane was shot down by an SA-2 missile. The pilot, 1st Lt. Gordon Wilson, was killed upon impact, but Joe successfully ejected and was immediately captured upon landing on the ground.For the next 2,280 days, Joe was held any the infamous Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton) in Hanoi, North Vietnam. 

We met Joe several year ago, when he visited VFW Post. (Joe is shown at left with Past Commander Fred Apgar at that meeting) Crecca described the beatings and torture he experienced at the hands of his North Vietnamese captors in detail and the harsh conditions and meager rations, often spoiled and infested with insects. Crecca played a pivotal role in our country’s accounting of the Americans who had been held in captivity. While a POW, Joe memorized the names of over 700 of his fellow POW’s and was able to provide a comprehensive list upon his release. By the time of his repatriation on 18 February 1973, Joe had been promoted to the rank of Major, and he remained in the Air Force for another five years. For the next 27 years, Joe was a pilot for Flying Tigers and its successor, Federal Express. Joe and his wife, Joan, who hails from Liverpool, England, reside in North Bend, Washington. 

Many thanks to Fred for reminding us of Major Crecca and all of our POW/MIA comrades. 

Can You Identify This Weapon? 

Can You Identify This Weapon?

We have run “Can you identify”…articles in past issues, featuring Army, Air Force and Marine Corp weapons, aircraft and vehicles, but finally, here is one for all of our Navy veterans, particularly the older ones. 

This weapon system is the 40mm Bofors Quad Mount anti aircraft gun system, commonly known as the “Pom Pom” gun. The gun crew consisted of seven men for twin mounts: the gun captain, a pointer, a trainer, and four loaders. Your editor once served as a loader on one of these aboard USS Winston, AKA-94, an attack cargo vessel and can attest that the weapon could dispense a full clip as fast as it could be loaded, delivering around 80 to 90 rounds per minute. The guns were controlled remotely by Mk-51 gun directors which were located on the Bridge level above, though some were manually aimed early on. 

In the age of jet aircraft and anti-ship missiles, this weapon system was obsolete and being phased out of service aboard Navy ships at the time of your editor’s service, but it found other uses in ground installations and aboard aircraft well into Vietnam. 

September is Suicide Prevention Month 

September is Suicide Prevention Month

On average, 17 veterans die by suicide each day. While VA reports a slight decline in veteran suicides from years past, the number must be reduced to zero and remain there. VA’s Don’t Wait. Reach Out. campaign encourages veterans who are struggling to seek help before they reach a crisis point. 

The solution to suicide prevention involves everyone. For any veterans in crisis, you are not alone. The Veterans Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone (988, press 1), text (838255), or online chat, VeteransCrisisLine.net. 

September is Suicide Prevention Month

New Department “Scout of the Year” Award Announced 

The Department of Washington, at the 2021 State Convention, instituted a new Washington State Scout of the Year Award to recognize and honor any Scout in any Scouting Program of any rank and any age in Washington State. 

Several Washington State VFW members and members of the State Scout Team expressed the desire to be able to recognize Scouts for their contribution to their community demonstrated in the form of Scout spirit, leadership, heroism, community service, or citizenship; not just Scouts in the National categories. 

Scout Nomination: To nominate your Scout of the Year, the Scout Unit leader should submit a nomination form highlighting the Scout’s accomplishments demonstrating their character, spiritual awareness, or skills which exemplify their contribution to their community, to their local VFW Post by February 1st. Nomination form available at www.vfwwa.org/programs/scouting program. 

NOTE: Your closest local VFW Post may be found on the National VFW web site: VFW.org, select the “Find A Post” tab. 

VFW Post Activity: The Post will select a single Scout in each program level (in both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts) to pass on to the Local District by March 1st. 

VFW District Activity: The Local District will select a single Scout in each program level (in both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts) to pass on to the State Scout Team Chairman by April 1st . 

Awards: First Place certificates will be awarded for each program level in Boy Scouts (Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Sea Scouts, Venturing, STEM Scouts and Exploring) and Girl Scouts (Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadets, Seniors, and Ambassadors). These First-Place winners will then be judged for an overall Washington State Scout of the Year Award with a financial stipend. 1st Place will be $500, 2nd Place $300, and 3rd Place $200.

July Post Meeting

We had 14 Veterans present plus three attending by zoom. 

July Post Meeting
Early arrivals enjoy a meal prior to the meeting. 

Probably the most significant item on the agenda, was replacing Cal Barnard, who has resigned as Quartermaster to assume the appointed position of Adjutant. Past Post and District 1 Commander Jim Traner was nominated and elected as our new Quartermaster. Traner, who is a local CPA, has long served as the Post’s financial advisor with our elected Quartermaster, as well as serving as a Department of Washington Trustee, auditing the books of the state organization. 

Sign up for District 1 VFW Booth @ Evergreen State Fair Aug. 25-29 and Sept. 3-5

District 1 has scheduled a booth at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe, to be staffed by members of District Posts. The purpose of the booth is to represent VFW and promote membership. We need volunteers for each shift to talk about VFW and accept membership applications. We are also able to distribute poppies, with the proceeds to be split between the on-duty posts of each shift. S

hifts are 10:00-16:00 (1st shift) and 16:00-22:00 (2nd shift) There will be 2 admission tickets and 2 parking passes provided for each shift. Two admission tickets and parking passes will be provided for each shift. 

If you can participate, let Commander Kurfess know as soon as possible, or sign up at the August meeting

In other Post business: 

  • The Quartermasters report was reviewed/approved & all bills were approved for payment. 
  • Buddy Poppies for Veterans Day is scheduled for November 4 & 5. 
  • It was approved that the Quartermaster will “e-pay” all expenses. Signatures are not required for checks. 
  • A proposal was approved to change Post by-laws to allow keeping our meeting minutes in an electronic format. 
  • A booth at the Edmonds Market & at the Edmonds car show were discussed. 

VFW Youth Essay Contests Underway 

The following article is being published in our local media to promote our annual Youth Essay Contests. If you have family members or friends who qualify in these age groups, please encourage them to apply. 

Every year, Edmonds Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8870 sponsors a group of student essay contests, along with the rest of the VFW throughout the nation. Applications are made available through the local schools but students may also enter directly by filling out the application and submitting their entry to VFW Post 8870 prior to Oct. 31. Home schooled students are welcome to participate. The Oct. 31 deadline may seem a long way off, but it’s not too soon to start thinking about these competitions, which are also scholarship opportunities: 

Voice of Democracy – audio essay competition for high school students. 

Patriot’s Pen – essay contest for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. 

Youth Essay – contest is open to elementary students in grades 3-5. 

VFW sponsors these contests to promote patriotism and help students further their education by awarding more than $2 million in educational scholarships and incentives, to regional, state and national winners. 

This year’s theme for the Patriot’s Pen written essay contest is “My Pledge to Our Veterans,” and the theme for the Voice of Democracy audio essay competition is “Why is the Veteran Important?” The younger essayists are asked to write on “Why are Veterans So Important to Us?” 

Contest rules and entry forms can be found via the following link to the VFW Department of Washington web site: https://vfwwa.org/di/vfw/v2/default.asp?pid=79734

Entries may be submitted to Edmonds VFW Post 8870, PO Box 701, Edmonds, WA 98020 

Edmonds Kind of 4th Parade! 

Edmonds Kind of 4th Parade!
VFWPost 8870 color guard, with our comrades from Post 66 American Legion, once again lead the parade (L-R) Adjutant Cal Barnard, Chaplain; Dan Doyle, Sr. V. Commander Duane
Boman; and Commander Carl Kurfess

For many years our local veterans groups have provided the color guard to lead our “Edmonds Kind of 4th Parade and 2022 was no exception. 

This year’s parade featured over 80 entries of local groups, from our local community.

Parade announcers were, once again, Past Commanders Jim Blossey and Mike Denton, who have performed that role for over ten years.

Edmonds Kind of 4th Parade!

VFWPost 8870 color guard, with our comrades from Post 66 American Legion, once again lead the parade

Right is one of the entries in the children’s parade, which precedes the main parade and features our local youngsters, who bring considerable creativity to their entries. (no doubt with a bit of help from Mom & Dad) Always nice to see these young patriots waving their flag. 

Below is the Northwest Jr. Pipe band, providing a bit of Marching music. 

Edmonds Kind of 4th Parade!
Edmonds Kind of 4th Parade!
Les Abel catching a ride with Terry Crabtree 

Followed by the annual BBQ 

Of course, we can’t have Independence Day without our annual picnic/barbecue at the Legion Hall. Approximately 60 members of Post 66 American Legion and VFW Post 8870 and their guests enjoyed hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and assorted other sides following the parade. Your editor was pleased that his comrades had left some food for him, since he always arrives a bit late after announcing duties. 

In the photo below are a few of the members and guests who attended. 

Followed by the annual BBQ

Post 8870 General Fund Depleted 

It is that time of the year, once again, when Post expenses tend to exceed revenues significantly, as annual payment for such things as the Post officers security bonds, purchase of supplies for Buddy Poppy events etc., come due, and our general fund is rapidly being depleted. 

Other than the modest share of annual dues that is returned to the Post, our general fund is entirely dependent on donations from members and friends of the Post. A great many of our present roster being Life Members, who pay no annual dues to VFW, they do not generate even that modest sum. Further complicating matters, is the ongoing impact of the COVID pandemic, which has significantly reduced meeting attendance, where our monthly raffle and meal donations also contribute to our coffers. 

If members could see their way to a modest donation (or even one not so modest) to the general fund, it would be very helpful. It’s our post, let’s take care of it. 

At present, our Relief Fund is in good shape and we expect ongoing Buddy Poppy events to keep it so, however, those funds cannot be used for Post operations. 

Thanks for considering a donation.