Newsletter Articles

VFW Post 8870 Mourns the Passing of our Dear Friend and Comrade Jim Traner

Jim Traner, Vietnam combat veteran, Past Edmonds VFW Post 8870 and VFW District1 Commander and an extremely valued member of our Post, as well as the entire VFW Department of Washington, died of a sudden heart attack Saturday, morning while out fishing.

Jim will be greatly missed by our Post and all of us who depended on him for his friendship and to keep us on course financially and organizationally.

There will be two memorial services for Jim.

August 20, 2023  12:00 pm
Edmonds Waterfront Center
220 Railroad Avenue
Edmonds, WA

August 29, 2023 1:00 pm
Tahoma National Cemetery
18600 SE 240th St
Kent, WA 98042

Obituary from Beck’s Tribute Center:

In Memoriam: James M. Traner, Past Post & District Commander Vietnam Veteran

In Memoriam 
James M. Traner 
Past Post & District Commander Vietnam Veteran
In Memoriam
James M. Traner
Past Post & District Commander
Vietnam Veteran

We lost our long time comrade and friend on July 22. Jim died of a sudden heart attack while, of all things, attempting to boat a large salmon. Jim was a 50 year VFW member and a key member of our leadership staff for many years. His organizational and accounting skills will be sorely missed.

From our resident cartoonist, Post Commander Duane Bowman, a tribute to Jim Traner

From the 11th Armored Cavalry Veterans: (Addressed to Terry Traner & family)

From our resident cartoonist, Post Commander Duane Bowman, a tribute to Jim Traner

Please accept the condolences of the Troopers of the 11th Armored Cavalry’s veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia. Jim was a dedicated and courageous warrior, and in a crucial time, became one of us, one of our own. He served honorably and faithfully with the Legendary Blackhorse Regiment in the Howitzer Battery of the 1st Squadron from August 1967 thru March 1969. Exhibiting daring and courageous acumen, he was in the fore front, as the regiment completed its mission throughout large areas of Vietnam. James Michael Traner’s name will be published in our newsletter, Thunder Run, acknowledged solemnly during the Memorial Service at our annual reunion, and be enrolled on the scroll with our honored dead. As grateful Americans, we pause and salute a brave man, a recipient of the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry; he proudly honored our regiment. He wore the uniform, was willing to sacrifice, and even put his life on the line for his country, his family and his fellow man. Chaplain Bill Karabinos (11th ACVVC).

For a full Obituary of Jim‘s post service life visit (under Obituaries)

SGT James Traner Reporting as Ordered
From our resident cartoonist, Post Commander Duane Bowman, a tribute to Jim Traner

Edmonds Kind of 4th Parade – 2023

As we have done for many years, Edmonds veterans of VFW Post 8870 and American Legion Post 66 led off the annual 4th of July parade, which has been produced by the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce for over a century. Veterans able to do so walked the approximately 1-1/2 mile parade route and a few others rode in vehicles provided.

The parade was followed by our traditional barbecue at the Legion Hall, where the parade participants were joined by other family members and friends, to enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers and sides. Despite the reputation of our Pacific Northwest climate, the weather was sunny and warm, as we have come to expect for Independence Day in recent years.

Mike Reagan was honored by the local Kiwanis Club as the Citizen of the Year, for his long standing and continuing efforts to recognize our Fallen Heroes by creating hand sketched portraits for their families. Reagan has produced something in excess of 8, 000 such portraits since his “retirement”. Congratulations Mike!

Coming down Fifth A venue, parade participants encountered the first of two veteran (in both senses of the word) announcers in the person of Past 8870 Commander Jim Blossey, pictured here. Jim and his announcing partner on Main Street, Past Commander Mike Denton, have performed this function for over fifteen years.

June Post Meeting

Immediate Past Commander Carl Kurfess was honored with a plaque in recognition for his service as Post Commander for the last 2 years. At below, Kurfess receives the plaque from Commander Duane Bowman.

June Post Meeting
June Post Meeting

At the Department of Washington Convention in Spokane, Post 8870 was recognized as an All-State Post for 2022/2023. Hence the white hat you see on Carl’s head.

Great job by the officers and all members! 8870 has been an All State Post for most of the years your editor has been a member. The awarded commander wears it for the entire post to recognize the team effort and the Quartermaster for his/her individual performance.

June Post Meeting

Also at the convention, the Post newsletter that is written, assembled & distributed by Mike Denton was recognized at the State Convention as the best News Letter from a “Small Post.”

Legionnaires Celebrate 150 Years of Beans

One-hundred fifty years ago, Civil War veterans in Erie, Kan., determined that the best way to rekindle memories of fighting together would be by eating together. The menu was familiar: navy beans seasoned with pork, onions, salt and pepper.

Legionnaires celebrate 150 years of beans

Thus began the Old Soldiers & Sailors Reunion in the community of about 1,100 residents. The reunion evolved into a free community wide bean feed that today draws crowds from across the state and beyond.

The American Legion Family of George L. Hendricks Post 102 in Erie has led the massive undertaking for nearly 60 years, filling the cast-iron kettles, lighting the wood fires, tending to more than 1,200 pounds of beans and dishing them out free of charge. While beans may not be quite the dominant armed forces menu item they were in civil war days, all of us who have served have certainly eaten our share, whether afloat or ashore.

District 1 Recruiting Event Slated at Evergreen State Fair

District 1 Recruiting Event Slated at Evergreen State Fair

For the second year in a row, VFW District 1 will be holding a recruiting drive at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe. Beginning on August 24 and running until September 4, District 1 Post members will have the opportunity to recruit new Comrades at the fair.

There are four available slots each day; 10 AM to 3:30 pm, 3:30 to 9 PM with a 12:00 noon to 6:00 PM shift to augment the busiest part of the day. Members can also sign up for a float shift to help cover the busy time and still be flexible.

Each Post should plan to have members participate. We will have a link for you to sign up via signup genius to be emailed to you soon.

District 1 Reports 2022-23 Accomplishments

District 1 Reports 2022-23 Accomplishments
The All American Cover

Recognized as an All American District

  • First Purple Heart VFW District in the state.
  • Helped every city in Snohomish County to become Purple Heart Cities and the County itself.
  • Regularly recognize Snohomish County area EMTs, Firefighters, Police officers, Sheriff’s Deputies and Dispatchers.
  • Nominated and recognized the State Elementary and Middle School Teachers of the year.
  • Helped dedicate local Veterans and Gold Star Families Memorials.
  • Department of Washington Veteran of the Year chosen from District 1.
  • Cooties Pup Tent8, the ‘Crazy Eights’ was stood up in District 1.
  • Currently has 8 posts and is working to bring a 9th online in Stanwood, WA.
  • 16,270 hours of community service reported.
  • $172,906 donated to support a variety of veteran programs and institutions.
  • 58,222 miles traveled to perform a variety of services to veterans.
  • 2,711 veterans provided various forms of assistance.

May Post Meeting

Scholarship Awards 

Scholarship Awards

This year’s “Freedom” Scholarships were awarded to 5 deserving students as follows: 

Samantha Rohwer – Kamiak High School
Hannah Goerg – Mariner High school
Mya Sheffield – Mountlake Terrace High School 
Troy David Slocum – Archbishop Murphy High School 
Kyra Ross – Meadowdale High school 

Slocum and Ross were our guests at the meeting and both read their respective scholarship essays for the assembled membership. Both students’ parents were also on hand. Members of the Scholarship Committee also plan to attend the Senior A wards ceremonies at each of the winner’s high schools to recognize them. 

Kyra, left and Troy, right are shown with their award certificates. 

Senior Awards Night 

Senior Awards Night

All of our local high schools conduct Senior A wards ceremonies for their graduating students who have received academic, sports and community service awards. Members of our Scholarship Committee attended these events to recognize our Freedom Scholarship winners to their school community. 

At right is Kyra Ross of Meadowdale H.S. who was recognized at that school’s event by Committee member Mike Denton. 

Post Officers Elected and Installed for VFW Year 2023-24 

The elected and appointed officers for the 2023/2024 year are as follows: These members were installed to their positions by PAST District 1 Commander Jim Traner: 

Commander – Duane Bowman 
Sr Vice Commander – Rose Gilliland 
Jr Vice Commander – Carl Kurfess
Quartermaster – Jim Traner 
Chaplain – Dan Doyle 
1 Year Trustee – Don Stapleton 
2 Year Trustee – Mike Denton
3 Year Trustee – Kerry Watkins
Adjutant – Calvin Barnard 
Service Officer – Alden Gilliland
Judge Advocate – Jim Traner 
Surgeon – Bryan Rowe