News

In Memoriam

Charter Draped for Two Departed Comrades 

We are mourning the loss of and draping our charter for two Life Members of Post 8870 this month. In addition to the recent loss of our dear friend and comrade Robert (Buck) Weaver, we learned recently of the passing during 2019 of William Garber. Garber was a resident of Greenbank, Whidbey Island and has not recently been active in the post. Regretfully, we have no other information about Garber, his life or his service, but still we mourn the loss of another comrade in arms. Rest in peace William, along with your brother Buck. 

VFW Auxiliary

VFW Auxiliary

The Auxiliary, like the post itself is meeting via Zoom. The May meeting was scheduled for May 14 at 12 :00 noon, at which officers were to be installed for the coming years. The new officers are: 

President: Jo Boyett
Sr. Vice Pres.: Carrie Bridgford
Jr. Vice Pres: none
Treasurer: Patsy Ethridge Neal 
Conductor: Carrie Bridgford
Guard: Carrie Bridgford
Trustee: Janet Callahan. 

“Virtual” Post Meetings Inaugurated

Virtual Post Meetings Innaugurated

The photo above shows how our post meeting looked last month, and apparently will continue in the foreseeable future, as long as the Covid19 pandemic keeps things shut down. The meeting was held online in the “Zoom” application. Past Commander Jim Traner, who maintains a pro level Zoom account for his business, kindly allowed the use of his account and set the link up for the meeting. The link was then sent out to all members on the email list to allow everyone to join on line. 27 members joined us. (The photo reflects a smaller number and I believe was taken early as members were logging on.)

Elections of officers for the coming year were held, and the slate selected at the April staff meeting (also held in the Zoom format) was proposed and unanimously approved by all in attendance. The only change in officers from last year is Alden Gilliland as our new Post Service officer. Alden is working his way through the Service Officers training materials and is ready to do what he can to help veterans in need. 

A proposal to fund the Veterans flagpole and memorial plaque at the new Edmonds Waterfront Center (formerly the South Snohomish County Senior Center) in the amount of $ 2,000.00 from the Post Relief Fund was made with a unanimous favorable vote. 

Our usual Memorial Day observance at the cemetery has been cancelled as has our Poppy Drive at the local stores. We are planning a “virtual” poppy drive, using online ads which will be discussed in more detail elsewhere in this newsletter. 

We have also learned this week that the annual Edmonds 4th of July parade and fireworks will not be held this year. Crowds at those events approach 20,000, far above the size of gathering permitted under current health guidelines. 

We urge all members to log on to the link which will be sent via email for our May 20 meeting. The meeting will start at 6:00 PM , as usual. (p.s., you’ll have to make your own dinner.) 

2020-21 Post Officers to be Installed

2020-21 Post Officers to be Installed

Elections were held at the April Post meeting for Post 8870 leadership for the coming year. Here is the list of officers for the next VFW year, to be installed at the May meeting. 

Commander: Rose Gilliland 
Sr. Vice Commander: Carl Kurfuss 
Jr. Vice Commander: Duane Bowman 
Quartermaster: Dennis Peterson 
Chaplain: Dan Doyle 
Adjutant: Jim Murdock 
Judge Advocate: Jim Traner 
Surgeon: Jay Hansen 
Service Officer: Alden Gilliland 
Trustee: Mike Denton 
Trustee: Kerry Watkins 

Memorial Day Observance Covid Style

Every year on Memorial Day, the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery Board chooses one or more Edmonds veterans, or groups of veterans to be honored with ceremonies, speeches, music and presentations of memorabilia. The plan for 2020 was an observance of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and some specific Edmonds resident veterans of that conflict. Due to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, the annual ceremonies at the cemetery have been cancelled for this year. 

Memorial Day Observance Covid Style

As part of the preparation for the event, Edmonds resident sketch artist, and Post 8870 member Michael Reagan prepared a sketch portrait of the late John W. (Wild Bill) Crump, which was to have been presented to Crump’s family on Memorial Day. Crump was an Army Air Corps pilot, flying P40, P47 and P51 fighters out of England against Germany, accompanied by his pet coyote “Jeep”. Those interested can find details of his Air Force career and his many contributions to the Edmonds community, not to mention the story of “Jeep” (to our knowledge, the only coyote ever to fly second seat in an Air Corps combat mission) at a web site prepared by his son Bob which you will find at: http://wildbillcrump.com/

Since were were unable to follow the original plan, Reagan and a few members of our Post gathered (appropriately socially distanced of course) on Sunday, May 3 at the Edmonds Veterans Plaza to present Reagan’s portrait of their father to two of Crump’s sons. The portrait is of Crump in the cockpit of his fighter with “Jeep”. 

In the photo are, (L to R) Mike Reagan, Erik Crump and Bob Crump. 

March Post Meeting Cancelled Due to Corona Virus!

March Post Meeting Cancelled Due to Corona Virus!

No doubt you have all been following the news regarding the Covid-19 pandemic over the past month or so, and have seen the announcements coming out of Federal, State and Local governments calling for cancellation of larger group gatherings and warnings to those of sensitive groups. (People over the age of 60 and others with certain existing medical conditions, which, unfortunately includes many of us.) 

Your Commander has, in discussion with the other Post officers, decided that the risk is great enough for many of our members to cancel our usual meeting on the third Wednesday. 

Commander Gilliland and your Post officers will do our best to keep you informed of further developments and to continute planning for our usual activities going forward. Meanwhile, as our Comrade Ron Clyborne suggested to us today, consider spending some time at the Edmonds Veterans Plaza, thinking of all of our comrades who have gone before us. If you are there at the right time of day, there is an excellent chance you will encounter Mike Reagan and others of of our membership. (But not too closely we hope) 

Wash your hands a lot. Keep away from large crowds. Try to avoid physical contact with other people. Stay well and we will meet soon. 

Teachers of the Year Feted at Feb. Post Meeting

Teachers of the Year Feted at Feb. Post Meeting
Marilyn Roberts

Marilyn Roberts teaches at Marysville Middle School. Ms Roberts has been a friend of the Post since then Commander Fred Apgar responded to her call for Buddy Poppies to distribute to and with her students for Memorial Day several years ago. 

It is with great pride that we report that Ms. Roberts was also awarded District 1 Teacher of the Year. 

Teachers of the Year Feted at Feb. Post Meeting
Tamera Harber

Tamera Harber, American History Teacher at Everett High School. Ms Harber spoke to us about teaching her students about the importance of Memorial Day and Veterans day and how she uses the poem “In Flanders Fields” as a teaching tool. 

Julie Bivens, Who teaches at Serene Lake Elementary in Mukilteo, was unable to be with us. 

Wild Bill Crump… and “Jeep”

Wild Bill Crump… and Jeep

Planning has been underway for the annual Memorial Day ceremonies, held every year at the Edmonds Cemetery. The theme chosen for this year is observance of the 75th anniversary of World War II. We expect to honor veterans of that war still among us, as well as those who have since passed on. 

One of those to be so honored is a local veteran know to aviators everywhere as “Wild Bill” Crump. Crump flew P-51s among other aircraft and was rather unique in his choice of “co-pilot”, his pet coyote named “Jeep”, adopted as a pup. Crump claimed that Jeep flew five combat missions with him. 

As part of the observance the cemetery board asked Mike Reagan to prepare one of his famous sketch portraits. Crump’s family selected the photo of Bill and Jeep from which Reagan prepared the drawing shown here. If you want to know more about Bill Crump, see his web site: http://wildbillcrump.com/ 

Dan White Inducted into OCS Hall of Honor

Dan White Inducted into OCS Hall of Honor

Post 8870 member Dan White was recognized at the February Post meeting for his appointment to the OCS Hall of Honor. Induction is automatic for any OCS graduate who has received the Medal of Honor or attained general officer rank. Other nominees are selected based on their distinguished service in their civilian and military careers. A computerized kiosk provides photos and biographies of all inductees. Congratulations to Dan. 

Dan is a Seattle (and Doe Bay, WA) native. He joined the Army in 1946 and was part of occupation forces in Korea. After he completed Field Artillery Officer Candidate School at Ft Sill, OK and Airborne School, he served again in Korea. He became part of the Army Reserve in 1953 and retired as a Colonel in 1989. Awards include a Bronze Star for Meritorious Service and the Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters. Dan received degrees from Western Washington Univ and the UW. He was a teacher and college administrator. 

National Legislative Action in Support of Veterans

Representative T.J. Cox (D-CA) recently introduced VFW-supported H.R. 6082, the Forgotten Vietnam Veterans Act. This important legislation would allow veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam from Nov. 1, 1955, to Feb. 27, 1961, to receive wartime benefits. “More than 3,000 veterans served in Vietnam from Nov. 1, 1955, to Feb. 27, 1961, ten of whom were killed in action,” said VFW National Legislative Service Associate Director Matthew Doyle. “However, veterans who served in Vietnam prior to Feb. 28, 1961, are not considered wartime veterans and likewise are ineligible for certain VA benefits. The VFW is proud to support this legislation, which would change the statutory definition of Vietnam veteran to include those who served in the Republic of Vietnam beginning on Nov. 1, 1955. 

National Commander William “Doc” Schmitz called for “accountability for failure to grant benefits to Vietnam and Post-9/11 veterans suffering from toxic exposures” during a special joint hearing of the Senate and House Committees on Veterans Affairs. The VFW expressed its frustration with the Department of Veterans Affairs’ lack of urgency in providing benefits to individuals who suffer from conditions associated with toxic exposures, especially when there is science to back up veterans’ claims. “The VFW proposes a permanent, comprehensive, and evidence-based framework of granting presumptive benefits for toxic exposure,” said Schmitz. “Veterans who were exposed to burn pits and now suffer from pulmonary conditions and rare cancers should not have to wait decades for benefits – like Vietnam veterans did.” Schmitz reminded committee members that the VFW has led or played a major role in every reform or expansion of veterans benefits since the institution of the VA.