News

From the Commander’s Desk 

  1. Watch the weather. It is Autumn now and it will be getting colder and wetter. Make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids, wear sunscreen, don’t be out in the sun too long (while it lasts). 
  2. The Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. This is a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances. It is relevant to Vietnam era Veterans. You can find more information at the following links: 
  1. Consider signing a Veterans Day card for a fellow Veteran. See the link below. The VFW has a special way for you to show our brothers and sisters they’re appreciated as we head toward Veterans Day. The VFW will be sending cards and we want to make sure a fellow veteran receives one from you. We know how much you care, so please sign a card for a hospitalized veteran or service member (at this link) and brighten their day. 
  2. Speaking of Veterans Day, this year it will be Friday, November 11th. We are planning a ceremony at our Edmonds Veterans Plaza at 11am. Our keynote speaker will be Mike Schindler of Operation Military Family. Pins, and a display from the Northwest Veterans Museum will be there. 

We will be be handing out Buddy poppies on Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5 at three stores: 1) QFC Westgate, 2) QFC Mukilteo, and 3) Town & Country Market in Mill Creek. As always, we need volunteers. Please attend our October 19th Post meeting for a chance to signup. 

September Post Meeting 

September Post Meeting

Summary of minutes of September Post Meeting

  • Guest speaker Dean Olson talked about the need for volunteers to assist people with hearing disabilities at the Edmonds Waterfront Center. 
  • New member Chuck Smith was introduced. Member acceptance was moved by Jim Traner/and 2nd by Duane Bowman & accepted by vote. 
  • Zoom recording of the Post meetings are now available on the post website. Quartermaster’s report was reviewed and approved. Members authorized the payment of small outstanding bills. 
  • Senior Vice Commander Duane Bowman led a discussion of upgrades to the display materials for the tables that we use during our fund raising efforts. 
  • Veterans Day Poppy distributions will be held November 4 and 5. Members are urged to sign up early, at the October Post meeting. 
  • District 1 School of Instruction was held on Sept 10, 2022. It as announced that the Community Service Report will be done on an individual member basis, ONLY ON LINE. (Instructions in a separate article in this newsletter. 
  • Don Stapleton will manage the Essay contest. 
  • The Bylaw update is in progress. 
  • Will have a Veterans Day ceremony on 11-11-2022, @ the Veterans Plaza. We need to find a speaker. 
  • It was moved by Brian Rowe & 2nd by Cal Barnard the Post spend approximately $120.00 to get 2 plaques for Rose Gilliland & Dennis Peterson to be awarded for their devotion and hard work that they have given to the Post over the years. 
Sept.Speaker Dean Olson
Sept. Speaker Dean Olson

Dean Olson joined us to speak about the need for volunteers to assist people with hearing disabilities at the Edmonds Waterfront Center, one of the many programs offered at the EWC. If you missed his presentation and are interested in this program, contact Olson at deanolson11@gmail.com. 

At age 4, Olson began experiencing minor hearing loss that ultimately progressed until — as an adult — he became profoundly deaf, requiring bilateral cochlear implants. Olson serves as president of Washington State Communication Access and was instrumental in getting a Senate bill passed in the State legislature requiring closed-captions on televisions in all places of public accommodation in Washington state – which was unanimously adopted and signed by Gov. Jay Inslee May 10, benefiting people who are hearing impaired. 

Edmonds Octoberfest 

Edmonds Octoberfest

Post 8870 participated with the Rotary Club of Edmonds Octoberfest event Sept. 23 & 24. We had 4 volunteers to hand out Buddy Poppies and make VFW membership applications available to festival visitors. Participating with Commander Carl Kurfess were Les Abel, Bryan Rowe and Pete Farmer. The members handed out a bunch of poppies & flags. and collected $ 21 in donations, as well as membership applications and VFW info. No applicants signed up on the spot. 

Above right, the post’s tent was broken out of storage for the event, and Commander Carl set up a separate tent for a display from the Northwest Veterans Museum, shown at left. 

Edmonds Octoberfest

Notes from VFW National 

Notes from VFW National

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: 

  • 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. 
  • NEVER PAY for claims assistance. Presumptive claims are straightforward and can easily be handled by any VA-accredited claims representative. 
  • 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.org/PACTActInfo. The VFW and our network of more than 2,000 accredited claims representatives will be by your side as we navigate through the interpretation and implementation of the PACT Act together. We won’t rest until every veteran receives the care and compensation they deserve. 

Reporting your Community Service Hours/mileage 

Instituting a new system 

At the beginning or the VFW year in July, Department introduced a new method for reporting community service as VFW members. We will no longer report through the Post Surgeon, but are to report individually and directly through the Department Web site. This is a program which VFW National is considering rolling out nationwide, for which our Department has been selected as a “Beta Test” group. 

To do so, log into the Members Only section of the Department of Washington site, (https://vfwwa.org/di/ vfw/v2/default.asp) using your VFW member number as your login name and your last name as your password. You will see an option for “Program Reporting” on the resulting page, which will take you to a page for entering your information like that appearing on page five of this newsletter. This page uses drop down boxes for some entries and requires typed text for others. 

If you are unclear about what is reportable, you may want to review the instructional pdf on Community Service Reporting, which you will find under the Programs tab, and go over those rules in detail. This pdf was prepared for the old CSR report form, so you can ignore that part of the pdf. The actual rules discussed about what is reportable are current. 

Let’s give this our best shot. 

Reporting your Community Service Hours/mileage

9/11 – Never Forget 

9/11 - Never Forget

Several members of Post 8870 attended the South County Fire Department’s annual observance of the 9/11 tragedy, held at the 9/11 Memorial on 6th Avenue, including Commander Carl Kurfuss, Quartermaster Jim Traner and resident artist Mike Reagan.

The event was hosted by retired Edmonds Fire Fighter Bronco Erickson, who was instrumental in the acquiring of the tower remnants used to create the memorial. 

At this year’s event, with the consent of Erickson, Vietnam Marine Veteran Jim Curtis, who started a Karate Studio a number of years ago, presented Reagan with a 10th Degree Black Belt. The Belt says “Umibushi” on it (apparently this translates to; “Warrior of the Sea.” ) 

9/11 - Never Forget

He included with it a 50th Anniversary book on Vietnam, “A Time To Honor”, inscribed: “This is to confirm that Marine Corps Combat Veteran Michael Reagan has been Awarded the title of, Dai Shihan and the rank of Ju-Dan in the Martial Art of Umibushi Goshin Jutsu”. 

If you have never attended one of these 9/11 events, consider it for next year. They are very moving occasions. 

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.