Author Archive: Editor

From the Commander’s Desk

From the Commander’s Desk

Greetings fellow Veterans, 

I just wanted to say a few words in reflection on this past year. 2021 has been a challenging year. A once in a lifetime (hopefully) pandemic has continued making life more challenging. Looking back at our activities, we were unable to do anything for Memorial Day, but we were able to have a Fourth of July parade, (although without the barbecue). We were able to award Eagle Scout certificates in August, hand out poppies at a September farmers market booth. We had Veterans present at the 9-11 Memorial in September. We were able to hand out poppies for Veterans Day at some stores in November, and had a Veterans Day event at our plaza, with coins presented. We had a Toy drive in partnership with Teri’s Toybox in November and December. We are planning a Christmas get together in December with our yearly raffle, toy drive and food drive. We were able to donate to most of our Relief Fund charities this year, see minutes of our meetings for details. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers that gave their time and effort to help us with these activities. However, we have ample opportunities to continue to help our fellow Veterans and our community by continuing to volunteer for these and other events in 2022. We will have our Student Essay and Teacher of the year winners honored at our January meeting. Our poppy drive for Memorial Day and Veterans Day is looking good, plenty of time to pick your shift in advance. 

Your Post continues to need your help. Help us to do the best we can. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Veterans Day Buddy Poppies

After a two year absence, members of VFW Post 8870 distributed Buddy Poppies at three store locations: QFC Westgate in Edmonds, QFC Speedway in Mukilteo and Town & Country Market in Mill Creek on Friday & Saturday, November 5-6. 

We were well received at all three locations, though participation by the membership was light and we could have used another two dozen or more volunteers spread among the three locations and include a fourth store that was available to us. 

Our efforts produced a total of $ 11,815 of which $ 4,654 came from Mukilteo, $ 3,621 from Mill Creek and $ 3,540 out of Edmonds. (Plus a bottle of wine to be auctioned at the Post meeting) 

A good result, all things considered, though it leaves us about $ 4,000 below our hoped for Relief Fund Budget for the coming year. 

Perhaps some of you may be able to make a special donation of your own, to help us make up the shortfall from our Veterans Day outing, especially those of you who were unable to participate on November 5 & 6, or were simply not yet comfortable with being out in the public to that extent. A few dollars here and there could make all the difference. Meanwhile, we hope to see you all at the November Post meeting.

John Shelton 
Les Abel 
Dan Doyle 
Carl Kurfess 
Al & Jo Boyett 
Charlie Gaul 
Rose & Alden Gilliland 
Herb Bender 
Dick Harsin 
Robert Little
Jim & Terry Traner 
Nathan Wortinger 
Duane Bowman 
Mike & Linda Denton 
Calvin Barnard 
Jim & Linda Blossey 
Robert Low 
Dan White 
Bill Fox 
Parnia Parvini

This stalwart group of 24 individuals staffed two tables at each of three stores in four shifts over the two days! 

Veterans Day Observance at the Edmonds Veterans Plaza

About 75 Veterans and friends attended our informal observance of the Day at the Edmonds Veterans Plaza at the usual 11:00 A.M time of November 11, recognizing both Veterans Day and the day and hour of the signing of the armistice ending World War I in 1918. 

Dan Doyle, Our Post Chaplain said a few appropriate words and Commander Kurfess oversaw the distribution of a new pin recognizing the widows of deceased Vietnam Veterans as well as Vietnam Veteran recognition pins to those who had not yet received them. The worst of the rain held off until after the ceremony. 

October Post Meeting

October Post Meeting

October Meeting Speaker: Mark Emiley, Project Healing Waters

Mark Emiley (pictured at tight) presented a very comprehensive Power Point Presentation on “Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc., which is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities, including education and outings. 

October Post Meeting

Local programs are to be found at JBLM, in Seattle, at American Lake and in Kitsap County. Participation is open to any veteran with a service connected disability. Ongoing core program activities include: 

Fly Tying – 5072 classes in 2019 
Casting – 1,685 classes 
Fly Rod Building – 1,552 classes 
Fishing Outings – 1,694 outings 

October Post Meeting

Christmas Toy Collection at Teri’s Toybox

Christmas Toy Collection at Teri’s Toybox

Since we are (again) going to be unable to hold our usual joint Legion/VFW Christmas party, we have arranged to collect toys at Teri’s Toybox in downtown Edmonds. Teri Soelter, store owner assures us that this program is a win-win for her and the toy drive and is happy to participate once again. By the time you receive this newsletter, Commander Carl Kurfess will have dropped the appropriately decorated and labeled box off at the store. 

We encourage everyone to drop by the store, purchase a toy and drop it in the box. We will collect the toys periodically between now and the pre-Christmas deadline, for delivery to the United Methodist Church, where the Edmonds Food Bank distributes toys for needy children. This was a very successful drive last year which we hope to repeat. (At right is Past Commander Mike Denton with Teri Soelter at the beginning of the 2020 toy drive) 

In Memoriam

General Colin Powell 1937-2021 

In Memoriam

He once said of himself, “Powell is a problem-solver. He was taught as a soldier to solve problems. So he has views, but he’s not an ideologue. He has passion, but he’s not a fanatic. He’s first and foremost a problem-solver.” 

Powell, who grew up in New York City, the son of Jamaican immigrants, served in the Army for 35 years. He was a man of many firsts: He was the first Black national security adviser, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of State. 

Military Trivia

by Carl Kurfess 

Military Trivia

The Bell AH-1 Super Cobra is a twin engine attack helicopter based on the U. S. Army’s single engine AH-1-Cobra. 

Cost is $ 10.7 million, speed 190 knots (218 mph) with a range of 365 miles. 

The AH-1 series, the backbone of the U.S. Marine’s attack helicopter fleet since 1971, is being replace by the next generation Bell AH-1Z “Viper” attack helicopter. 

Military Trivia

From the Bookshelf

by Fred Apgar

Citizen Sailors 

By Nathan Perl-Rosenthal 

In his book, Citizen Sailors, Nathan Perl-Rosenthal discusses the creation of American citizenship among mariners in post-revolution America. 

Prior to the creation of the United States, the concept of citizenship was not a major issue among seafaring nations. It was merely assumed that a mariner’s birthplace, spoken language, and country to which they were a subject, determined their nationality. However, the emergence of America as a sea power changed that assumption, which created an entirely different view of sovereignty and citizenship. America defended the right of British seamen, as well as mariners from other nations, to become American citizens. However, it was England’s view that once an individual was a British subject, they would remain so for the rest of their lives. 

Following the French Revolution in the early 1790’s, France and Great Britain went to war. America declared its neutrality and continued to trade with both. However, because of the ambiguity of determining citizenship, American sailors fell victim to both the English and French navies. Claiming them to be the enemy, American ships, cargoes, and crews were seized by both England and France as well as the numerous privateers, of both countries. Thanks to Perl-Rosenthal’s exhaustive research, readers are provided with a marvelous insight and details into the work of the privateers, impressment of American mariners, and attempts of Admiralty Courts to render “fair” decisions. 

The final chapter of the book details America’s response to Great Britain’s violations against its sovereignty. The impressment of American mariners became a national issue, and congressional legislation authorized the production of certificates of citizenship and the registration of American mariners. Interestingly, among the more than 100,000 sailors whose citizenship was protected through the registration process were more than 1800 black sailors. Unfortunately, their equal status as American citizens would fall victim to rising racism after the War of 1812. While a cumbersome process at the outset, in time, such documentation became accepted and standardized among seafaring nations. 

Edmonds Waterfront Center Flag Pole

Edmonds Waterfront Center Flag Pole

In the October newsletter you will recall a photo and short article about the purchase and presentation of a flag for the Edmonds Waterfront Center by VFW Post 8870 Auxiliary. 

That flag will be flown from the flagpole donated by three veterans organizations, among others. Ron Clyborne sent us this photo of the plaque (shown below) announcing the dedication of the flag plaza at the EWC to “Honor all Veterans”.

Edmonds Waterfront Center Flag Pole

Veterans Day is Coming

It’s Buddy Poppy Time! 

Veterans Day is Coming
Past Commanders Apgar and Crabtree at Central Market (now Town & country) in pre-COVID times.

We have gained permission from the stores to distribute Buddy Poppies for Veterans Day at four locations in our area, including QFC at Westgate in Edmonds, QFC at 196th & 76th in Lynnwood, QFC Speedway in Mukilteo and Town & Country Market (formerly Central Market) in Mill Creek. (Please note that the Fred Meyer location we used to use is not available this year)

Now we need YOUR help to staff those locations on Nov 5 & 6 with shifts from 10:00 to 14:00 and 14:00 to 17:00 at each location. Pick your store and times & sign up at the Post meeting on Oct.20 (The store scheduless were emailed to the membership and a sample appears on the following page) or email to Sr. Vice Commander Duane Bowman ( 

Some of us like to do one shift each day and there are always a few who choose to spend one or both days all day. We only ask that everyone do what they can. Family and friends are welcome to help as well. Please have your face mask with you. 

Be advised that we may need to move you to locations other than your first choice to even out staffing. 

Buddy Poppy Sign-UPs

All of our members should have received an email with sign-up sheets like this one attached, from which to select your location and schedule for Buddy Poppy distribution. Again, you will have an opportunity to sign up at the Post meetiing, or you can select your time and location and email to Vice Commander Duane Bowman ( 

The sign up sheets for the other three locations, QFC Westgate, QFC 196th & 76th and Town & Country Market (formerly Central Market) Mill Creek have exactly the same schedules, so pick your time and location and be ready to join us! 

In two early Poppy efforts at the Edmonds Summer Market, we collected $459.50 in donations on September 25 and approximately $ 1,000 on July 17. 

Buddy Poppy Sign-UPs

Among VFW members helping out those events were: Carl Kurfess, Duane Bowman, Rob Low, Phil Sacks, Dan Doyle, Mike Denton, Cal Barnard, Paul Russo. Les Abel let us into the hall to pick up the VFW canopy, poppies, tables, and chairs. 

It turns out we did not need the canopy, tables and chairs. The Market folks set them up for us free of charge. In September, we also handed out at least 3 VFW applications and 3 American Legion plus meeting information to veterans who are prospective members.

Buddy Poppy Sign-ups