At the National convention there was a lot of gray hair (mine included), and I walked away firmly convinced that VFW would be that much stronger if we could involve our younger veterans in all levels of VFW. Over the last few years, I’ve watched a lot of inertia when it came to adopting what I felt were beneficial resolutions to change the National By-Laws and Manual of Procedure. Every organization needs to adjust to the times while retaining its core values. What we need at both the Post, Department, and National level is the energy and the input of the younger members, not just their membership dues. We can pass on to them what we know to minimize the learning curve, but it will be up to them to change VFW to meet their needs and those of the generations of veterans to follow them.
Who is This Good Looking Couple?
The couple left were married shortly after VE Day in England. He was stationed in England prior to participating in the Normandy Invasion as a paratrooper. She, on the other hand, pulled the strings of a 2 star general to make sure he didn’t miss the wedding day. Further on you’ll get the “Rest of the Story” and a picture of them at the last Post meeting. (Excuse the quality of the picture—a copy of a copy I suspect). Click here for the answer.
Here are the Dietrich’s 62 years later. Looking good and certainly a delightful couple as anyone who knows them will tell you. Read their story shared at the last meeting.
At the August 12th meeting, Congressman Jay Inslee honored Edmonds portrait artist and Post member, Michael Reagan, for his work with the Fallen Heroes Portrait Foundation. Earlier this year, Congressman Inslee read into the Congressional Record a proclamation recognizing and praising Reagan for his unselfish commitment to providing surviving families with portraits of their loved ones who had lost their lives while engaging in the country‘s War on Terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan.
While presenting a copy of the resolution to Mike, Mr. Inslee noted that the portraits that Mike draws and provides free of charge to Gold Star families brings ―great comfort to family members and helps in the healing process.‖ Commander Jim Traner presented Mike with a check in the amount of $1,000 to support the wonderful work that he does and commended Reagan for the love, support, comfort, and peace he furnishes to the families of his fallen comrades.
To date, Mike has provided over 2,600 portraits to the families of our Fallen Heroes. As an expression of his thanks to Congressman Inslee for the national recognition that he had brought to the Fallen Heroes Project, Reagan presented a portrait of the Congressman to him. Guests who attended this presentation included Mayor Mike Cooper, State Senator Marilyn Chase, County Council member Stephanie Wright.
This is tough to present properly, but I will try to give you folks who don‘t attend meetings an idea of Mike‘s work. Mike is reading a poem that a Gold Star mother wrote to Mike at the presentation at the last meeting. However, I want all of you who haven‘t seen his work up close to look at some of the 2,600 portraits that Mike has drawn. What you see are a sample of the 12 poster collages of Mike‘s drawings of KIA‘s primarily in Iraq and Afghanistan. Multiply 2,600 times the family members that have been impacted by his work and you understand why our Post supports his efforts and will continue to do so.
You will be receiving , if you already haven‘t, a bill for your dues as your membership expired 6/30. If the Post receives your payment by September 30th, your dues will be reduced to $20. After that, they will increase to the usual $25. Hey—that is a 20% savings so pay early and take advantage of putting $5 into your pocket. Better yet, consider a life membership. And if you know anyone who is a member at large (unaffiliated with a Post), remind them that they are paying $35—that is $15 too much. Give them an application to our Post.
The Post joined Post 1040 for a ball game between the Everett Aquasox and the Tri-City Dust Devils (love that name). We had a great turnout and enjoyed an entertaining game including one play that allowed an Aquasox batter to reach first on an error and subsequently score on the same play with a second error. I didn’t keep a score card for the game, but it would have been a tough one to record as the ball was touched by what seemed to be about half of the Dust Devil’s team. If you didn’t make it, you missed one heck of good time including a fantastic fireworks show following the game. We will make sure we do this again next year.
Al Wilcox, long time Post member passed away on July 13th at the age of 90, Al was a Marine fighter pilot in WWII and the recipient of the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Al founded Wilcox Construction and his son, Bob, who is a Vietnam Veteran, is a candidate for the City Council. It is tough losing members like Al and the other WWII veterans who did so much for this country.
Two new members were inducted into the VFW at the last meeting. William Benn served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam and Bert Claudio served in the Navy. I would like everyone to reach out to these members at the next meeting and introduce yourselves to them personally. We have had a number of new members over the last couple of months and it is up to the older members to make the new members feel welcomed to our Post. We have a very friendly group of individuals in our Post so let‘s use some of that charm whenever you see a new member.
You can become a VFW Life Member by making a one-time payment as shown below. You can also pay for your Life Membership through an installment plan, with an initial $35 payment and an mount billed over an 11-month period as shown in the table below.
|81 and Older||$170||$15.45|
A Legacy Membership is open to Life Members. There are three levels, Gold, ($1,200), Silver ($800), and Bronze ($400). Unlike the Life Membership where the Post no longer is the recipient of an annual dues rebate when a member passes, the Post continues to receive a return of dues from National for Legacy members who pass thus leaving a lasting positive impact on the Post‘s financial well being. The Legacy Membership is tax deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law. Like the Life Memberships, an installment plan is available. This is a great way to continue giving to the Post and to VFW long after you and I are gone and have left the Post to the next generation of veterans.