Newsletter Articles

February Post Meeting 

February Speaker 

Dennis Gibb - Scout Helo pilot in Vietnam

Dennis Gibb – Scout Helo pilot in Vietnam

Gibb, who also joined our post ranks at this meeting, spoke first about his experience as a scout helicopter pilot in Vietnam. Although most combat aircraft in Vietnam aimed for altitudes and speeds that helped them avoid anti-aircraft weapons, U.S. Army crews of the lighter scout helicopters flew low and drew fire – to set up shots for artillery, or the Bell AH-1G Cobras circling above. These hunter-killer missions, among the most hazardous of the Vietnam War, tested the resolve of the OH-6 pilots and the aerial observers sitting beside them. Their survival depended on well-honed instincts and razor-sharp reflexes, along with plenty of luck. After many such missions, Gibb received injuries which ended his service and still impact him today. 

Dennis Gibb - Scout Helo pilot in Vietnam

After a long career in the financial services, he now works at Edmonds College, helping formerly incarcerated veterans to reestablish their lives following release. He presently works with some 40 such vets at the College who are furthering their education. This new career is a reformation of sorts, following some mistakes for which he is paying restitution to this day. 

New Members Sworn In 

New Members Sworn In

Craig Dougherty Department of WA Sr. Vice Commander. (at left) Adminstered the oath to two new members, (LtoR) Bryon Wada and Dennis Gibb. Both were introduced and proposed for membership by Membership Chair Jim Traner and approved by voice vote of the assembled members. 

New Members Sworn In
New Members Sworn In

Mike Reagan presented a portrait of Harlow “Bud” Hart to Craig Dougherty

Harlow was a very close personal friend of Craig. 

Mike Reagan presented a portrait of Harlow “Bud” Hart to Craig Dougherty.
Mike Reagan presented a portrait of Harlow “Bud” Hart to Craig Dougherty.

Vietnam War Veterans Day – March 29 

Vietnam War Veterans Day - March 29

Vietnam War Veterans Day commemorates the sacrifices of Vietnam veterans and their families and is part of a national effort to recognize the men and women who were denied a proper welcome upon returning home more than 40 years ago. 

The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act, signed into law in 2017, designates March 29 of each year as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 establishes the day as a national observance. However, it is not an official holiday in any part of the United States. 

Vietnam War Veterans Day - March 29

Most states celebrate “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” on March 29 or 30 of each year. Though there is some debate, March 29 is generally viewed as a more appropriate date. On that day in 1973, the last combat troops were withdrawn from Vietnam and the last prisoners of war held in North Vietnam arrived on American soil. It is also the date President Nixon chose for the first Vietnam Veterans Day in 1974. Among local observances is the event at left, which takes place at the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center, 5011 Bernie Whitebear Way, Seattle. (Ft. Lawton) 

Celebrating Women’s History Month 

Military Women’s Memorial 

Celebrating Women’s History Month Military Women’s Memorial

March being Women’s History Month, it would seem in order to salute our sisters in arms who have served alongside us throughout our country’s history and do so today in greater numbers than ever. A short introduction to the Military Women’s Memorial located with the cemetery at Arlington, VA seems a step in the right direction. 

The Military Women’s Memorial is a one-of-a-kind tribute to the more than 3,000,000 American women who have served since the Revolution. The Memorial features an education center, interactive exhibits, and a world-class collection of military women’s stories. The Military Women’s Memorial is located at the ceremonial entrance to Arlington National Cemetery, Memorial Avenue & Schley Drive, in Arlington, VA. 

Celebrating Women’s History Month Military Women’s Memorial

The Military Women’s Memorial honors and tells the stories of women, past and present, who serve our nation. The Memorial celebrated its 25th anniversary in October 2022. 

We are the leading memorial and education center honoring women’s contributions to the service of our nation. As the only historical repository documenting all military women’s service, we educate and inspire through innovative and interactive exhibitions, our world-class collections, and engaging programs and events for all generations. We honor the commitment, contributions and experiences of every woman who serves in, or with, the Armed Forces.” 

Our National VFW Essay Winners 

Our National VFW Essay Winners

In the left hand image, VFW National Commander Tim Borland (right) and VFW Auxiliary President Jane Reape (left) present Voice of Democracy first place winner Scotland Stewart (center) with his $35,000 award. Stewart represents Post 1893, Winchester, TN.

At right, they present Patriot’s Pen first place winner Leighton Peters (center) with her $5,000 award. Peters is from Rice Lake, WI, representing Post 2204. 

Exposed to toxins? Your Compensation Awaits.

Exposed to toxins? Your Compensation Awaits

The PACT Act adds more than 20 presumptive conditions for burn pits, agent orange and other toxins, extending VA benefits and compensation to more toxic exposed veterans than ever before. 

The Act advances a top priority of VA and the VFW — getting more veterans into VA care. Three new categories of veterans will be phased into receiving hospital care, medical services and nursing home care. 

The VFW has developed a quick and easy questionnaire to help you determine your potential eligibility. Check your eligibility at this VFW web page:

Carl’s POW Trivia: Challenge Coins 

Challenge Coins
Challenge Coins

A challenge coin is a small coin or medallion (usually military), bearing an organization’s insignia or emblem and carried by the organization’s members. Traditionally, they are given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale. In addition, they are also collected by service members. In practice, challenge coins are normally presented by unit commanders in recognition of special achievement by a member of the unit. These are typically called a “Commander’s coin for excellence”. They are also exchanged in recognition of visits to an organization. 

According to the most common story, challenge coins originated during World War I. Before the entry of the United States into the war in 1917 American volunteers from all parts of the country filled the newly formed flying squadrons. One such pilot was shot down and found by the French. Not recognizing the young pilot’s American accent, the French thought him to be a saboteur and made ready to execute him. He had no identification to prove his allegiance, but he did have his leather pouch containing the medallion. He showed the medallion to his would-be executioners and one of his French captors recognized the squadron insignia on the medallion. They delayed his execution long enough for him to confirm his identity. Instead of shooting him they gave him a bottle of wine. 

Back at his squadron, it became tradition to ensure that all members carried their medallion or coin at all times. The challenge coin tradition has spread to other military units, in all branches of service, and even to non-military organizations as well as the United States Congress, which produces challenge coins for members of Congress to give to constituents. Today, some challenge coins are given to members upon joining an organization, as an award to improve morale, and sold to commemorate special occasions or as fundraisers. Commanders of units have a special fund with which they can order “Commanders coins”.

National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force 

From the Travels of Fred Apgar 

National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force

Located just a few miles from Savannah, in the town of Pooler, is the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force. The museum was founded as a means of recognizing the devotion to duty and sacrifices of the more than 350,000 members of the Eighth Air Force during WW II. 

On 19 January 1942, the VIII Bomber Command was activated at Langley Field, in Virginia, and less than a month later, the Command was reassigned to Savannah Air Base in Georgia (which is now Hunter Army Airfield). On 22 February 1944, VIII Bomber Command was re-designated as the Eighth Air Force. 

Combat operations for the Eighth Air Force began on 17 August 1942 when a flight of 12 B-17s attacked a German marshalling yard (railroad) in France. During WW II, the Eighth flew daytime strategic bombing missions against targets throughout Europe. 

The Combat Gallery is the largest area of the museum. A restored B-17 sits in the middle of the exhibit hall. The plane is a tribute to the “City of Savannah” which marked 5,000 airplanes processed through the airfield in 1944. Also on display is a P-51 and a Boeing-Stearman Model 75 Kaydet, the most widely used aircraft to train pilots during WW II. 

By mid-1944, the Eighth Air Force had reached a total strength of more than 200,000, and by the end of the war in Europe, more than 350,000 Americans had served in Mighty Eighth. At peak strength, the Eighth Air Force had forty heavy bomber groups, fifteen fighter groups, and four specialized support groups. 

National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force

The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force is a must-see for anyone with an interest in WW II and the air war conducted by the Army Air Corps. It is a wonderful tribute to the more than 350,000 men and women who served in the Eighth Air Force in the WW II European Theater.

January Post Meeting 

Before our business meeting began, awards ceremonies were held for our Post winner of Patriots Pen, Voice of Democracy and Teacher of the year. Shown below with Don Stapleton, are Voice of Democracy winner Maverick Cradduck at left and 5th grade essay winner Cataleya Moore who were present and read their essays to the assembled membership. Two other younger winners, Harper Seal and Fletcher Seal were not able to be present, but we hope to have them at a future meeting. 

Our Teacher of the Year Olivia Peterson

Our Teacher of the Year is Olivia Peterson of Serene Lake Elementary in the Mukilteo School District. Peterson teaches 5th grade at Serene Lake and is aid to incorporate a variety of activities to creatively engage kids in the curriculum. 

For Veterans Day, Peterson had students write essays to acknowledge and honor the day and the people who served. Peterson is shown at left being introduced by Don Stapleton. 

We inducted two new members into the Post at the January meeting. Shown below as they take the oath are, at left, Darryl Roberts a Navy Veteran of Vietnam and on the right, Katherine Lindsey, an Army nurse, also serving in Vietnam. Please help us to welcome these new comrades to our ranks. 

Darryl Roberts a Navy Veteran of Vietnam and Katherine Lindsey, an Army nurse
Commander Rose Gilliland, in recognition of her ongoing
service to the Post

Commander Carl Kurfess presented a plaque to Past Commander Rose Gilliland, in recognition of her ongoing service to the Post, both during and since her command period. Well done, Rose! 

Past Commander Fred Apgar, present via our Zoom hook-up, expressed thanks for our support in replacing the fence surrounding the Captain John Herbert Dent, USN Family burial plot at the Old Bethel Presbyterian Church in Jacksonboro, South Carolina. 

Fred has done an exhaustive tour of historical places in the east since leaving our area a few years ago and found this burial place of an honored veteran in very poor condition. Fred reports that he was successful, 

Captain John Herbert Dent, USN

Dent was an officer in the United States Navy during the Quasi-War, (with France) the First Barbary War, and the War of 1812. He was acting captain on the USS Constitution during the attacks on Tripoli in 1804. 

2023 “Buddy Poppy” Schedule 

2023 “Buddy Poppy” Schedule

Senior Vice Commander Duane Bowman announced the schedule for Poppy distribution for Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day will be on May 25 and 26, with Veterans Day to follow on Friday November 4 and Friday November 10. The Veterans Day schedule will be something of an experiment, spreading the work out over two weeks, due to the holiday itself falling Saturday. Times and locations will be announced at a later date, but put those dates on your calendar. We need everyone who who is able to participate, in order to fund our long list of relief fund projects.