New Member

New Member—Al Favre

VFW 8870 New Member Al Favre

Al is originally from Bronx, New York and attended Maritime High School aboard the SS John W Brown (Liberty Ship) in New York. He joined the Navy August 1965, serving for 2 years as a Machinists Mate. He served in Vietnam aboard the USS Bexar APA-237, an attack transport, for nearly 2 years. Al holds a Coast Guard license as a Marine and Chief Engineer and is thus in the Merchant Marine. He is CEO of a Seattle company providing services to the commercial and passenger vessel industry. He volunteers as Chief Engineer for the historic steamer Virginia V. He and hi wife Diana reside in Mukilteo.

New Member Norman Goldstein

New Member Norman GoldsteinNorm is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. He enlist-ed in the Navy at age 19 in November, 1942 and served until December, 1945. He served in the Pacific from mid-1944 until the end of WWII. He was a torpedo man and was based on both Guam and Saipan. He maintained and restocked torpedoes. He bivouacked with the Marines onshore. In civilian life he was an educator with a Masters in Education and a basketball coach. He coached at Ballard High School in the 1950’s and taught Chemistry. Norm was later Assistant Principal in Mountlake Terrace. Norm and Dorothy have been married for 70 years and have 2 children. They reside in Edmonds.

New Members

James “Craig” Kunard Sr.

Craig is originally from Spokane, WA and served in the Navy 1968-1972. Vietnam service was aboard the USS Enterprise with CAG 13 and VA 196 from Aug 1970-Feb 1971. Duties included Plane Captain and organizational maintenance. Educated in Aviation Electronics, Business and Project Management, his civilian career was an Operations Manager. He has 3 sons and 6 grandchildren. He and Carolyn Louise live in Mukilteo.

Paul Russo

Paul is originally from Baltimore, MD. He spent 1970-80 in the Army Reserve, but enlisted in the Navy in 1980 where he served for 23 years before retiring. His specialty was photojournalism. Assignments included Beirut, Lebanon, Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Other stations include Diego Garcia, Antarctica support, Italy and Sicily. He’s been a Public Affairs Supervisor on the USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Carl Vinson. Awards include Navy Recruiting Service Ribbon, Humanitarian Service Medal and Operation Deep Freeze Medal. He has BA and BS degrees from the University of Maryland and a Masters Degree in Education from Old Dominion University. He is a part-time substitute teacher in Kitsap County and enjoys coin collecting. He and Laurie Ann reside in Lynnwood.

New Member Profile—Lyle Branchflower

Lyle Branchflower enlisted in the Navy during the summer of 1961 and reported to duty as a Naval Aviation Cadet for Pre-Flight in Pensacola, Florida the following September. During that first week of active duty he learned two things right off. First, do not smile when the drill instructor asks you if your mother sent you here to screw up the whole damned Navy, and second, he knew he was getting out as soon as his 6 year military obligation ended.

Actual flight training began in T-34’s at Saufley Field Florida in January 1962. From there he went to Meridian, Mississippi to begin jet training. During that time, the Navy was transitioning older fighter squadrons in-to Phantom II (F4H later designated F4B) squadrons. That meant they needed to fill the training pipe line with Radar Intercept Officers immediately. Lyle was in the first class sent to Brunswick, Georgia for Radar Intercept Officer Training. The urgency of the training was ramped up a notch with the Cuban Missile Crisis. Lyle received his wings and commission and went to Miramar Naval Air Station (California) for further training in the Replacement Air Group (RAG) and then to VF-142 for deployment on the U.S.S. Constellation to the Western Pacific.

Enroute from San Diego to Yokosuka in May 1964, the Constellation received new orders. Go to Point Yankee (coordinates in the northern portion of the South China Sea). Remain on station. During the next couple of months the Constellation went from Point Yankee to the Philippines and back and forth and back. The Air Group trained and made occasional sorties over Vietnam.

On August 4th, the ship’s Claxton horn sounded and the loudspeaker came on, “GENERAL QUARTERS. GENERAL QUARTERS. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. GENERAL QUARTERS.” The U.S.S. Maddox and the U.S.S. Turner Joy were under attack. Fighters were launched into the night skies. Lyle was in the aircraft that was vectored to the Maddox and Turner Joy. They were flying at 50 feet. Lyle had three radar contacts. High anxiety voiced from Combat Information Centers on the destroyers. Inky black night. No visual contact of a PT boat. Lyle was unwilling to launch a missile without a visual even though there were three radar contacts and only two U.S. ships in the area.

President Johnson and Congress acted. A retaliatory strike was planned. Aircraft were launched on a raid against PT boat bases and supply depots in Hai Phong Harbor in North Vietnam. War had begun. Everett Alvarez began his 8 ½ year stay in the Hanoi Hilton.

The next several months merged into one continuous day and night of Combat Air Patrol (CAP), occasional photo escort missions into North Viet Nam and Laos, and bombing escort missions. They didn’t lose another aircraft for the duration of the cruise.

In February 1965, Lyle returned to Miramar Naval Air Station and began training for a new deployment to the Western Pacific in 1966. His active duty obligation was due to end in July of 1966, but he applied for an “early out” in order to go back to school in January 1966. His request was forwarded up the chain of command with a recommendation of “disapprove.” In Pearl Harbor, aboard the U.S.S. Ranger Lyle’s request came back approved. Had the approval arrived a day later, the Ranger would have passed the International Date Line and the admiral would have put an operational hold on him.

Lyle joined a reserve squadron at Willow Grove Naval Air Station outside of Philadelphia. Invariably, a pa-per or a test was due after serving his reserve weekends, so as soon as his reserve requirements were over, he separated from the Navy. A squadron mate chided him for foregoing the “easy money” reserve pay. Two weeks later, the squadron was called to active duty.

Lyle tells his friends who served as grunts that they just don’t understand how difficult service as a naval officer was. He would tell them that even though the stewards made the beds daily, they only put on fresh sheets once a week. Baked Alaska was only served on Thursdays in the ward room. And movies in the ready room could be interrupted by flight operations.
Lyle is pleased to join the VFW.

New Member Profiles

New Member Mike Denton

Mike Denton

Mike grew up in Spokane and Edmonds. He served active duty with the Navy 1962 -64. He was a Radioman aboard the USS Castor (AKS-1) in the Taiwan Straits, Quemoy-Matsu and Vietnam. As a reservist, he served on the USS Whitehurst DE634 1964-65. Mike attended Shoreline Community College and has a business degree from the University of Washington. He is retired from a career in advertising. He and Linda have two sons and reside in Edmonds.



Benton Webb

Benton was born in Lafayette, TN and enlisted in the Navy in Nashville in 1943. He served in the Pacific Theatre, Solomon Islands. He was with the 152nd Landing Craft Repair Unit (LCRU) as a 1st Class Ships Cook 1943-45. He returned to Norfolk, VA Naval Base in July, 1945 and got married. He and Mary Eliza-beth were in New York City Times Square for the VJ Day celebration. They were married for 65 years. He was a member of VFW Post 3694 in Seattle after the war and served as the Post Athletic Director. Benton is a retired baker and served as a General Manager for Hansen Bakery and Best Pie. He resides in Bothell.

New Members

Allen Noyes


Loren is a Seattle native and attended Lincoln High School. He served in the Army 1952-1969, primarily in the Army Security Agency. He served in Korea October 1953-54 attached to the 3rd Infantry Division. He also served in Germany Occupation 1954-55. Loren left the service as a Captain. His civilian occupation was a Lineman and Construction Inspector. Loren and Jean live in Edmonds and have a daughter.


David Mirgon


David is from Richfield, WA. He served with the Air Force 1951-1956. He was with Military Police and performed security duties. He served in Korea Jun 1952 – Mar 1954. David has a Masters Degree from the University of Washington in social work administration. He resides in Edmonds and has 5 daughters. David is holding a book published by the Kore-an Government for service men and women who served in Korea.


Roy Raudebaugh

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Roy is originally from Lynnwood, WA where he resides now. He served in the Army 1966-68 and Vietnam 1967-68. Trained as a radio operator, the Army chose to have him cook on board a Landing Craft Utility (LCU). He was part of the 97th Trans-portation Company, Cam Ranh Bay, RVN. LCU’s, with a crew of about 10, were 115 ft in length and could carry 50 short tons. With a front ramp, they were used to deliver cargo and personnel along the coast of Vietnam. Roy has an AA degree in Air Transportation Management from Green River Community College. He is retired from Boeing. He and Gabriele have one son.

New Member—Jeffrey T. Spleen by Pete Farmer, Membership Chair

VFW 8870 New Member _Jeffrey SpleenJeff has been a VFW Life member at large, meaning he wasn’t affiliated with a particular Post. He retired as a CWO2 from the US Coast Guard in May 2013.  He initially joined August 1983. Jeff had two separate enlistments with a 5-year break to go to school.  He received imminent danger pay in 2010 while serving aboard USCG Cutter Marion as part of a task force off Indonesia. Other posts included Seattle, Honolulu, Boston and New York. His specialties were in Finance/Supply & Food Service. Awards include six Good Conduct Medals, two Commendation Medals and Permanent Cutterman Insignia. Originally from Oakland, NJ, Jeff now resides in Mountlake Terrace. He works as a chef and in contracting/supply. Other interests include fishing, woodworking and he is a private pilot.

New Members

New Member Gil Loomis

Gil Loomis

Gil’s hometown is Lynnwood, WA where he now resides. Gil has been a VFW Life Member at large. Corporal Loomis served in the Army Infantry from 1947 until 1952. He was in Korea for Occupation duty beginning in 1948. When war broke out in 1950, Gil was with I Company, 31st Infantry, 7th Infantry Division. He was shot in the hand and forearm, suffered frostbite and was eventually evacuated from the battlefield. Awards include Purple Heart w/ 1st Oak Leaf Cluster, Korean Service Medal w/ 3 bronze service stars and the Good Conduct Medal. He is head of the Lynnwood Chapter of Disabled American Veterans.


New Member Kenneth Hicks

Kenneth Hicks

Ken is an Orting, WA native. He was in the Air Force 1969-73 and served in Vietnam 1971-72. Ken performed C-54 maintenance at Tan Son Nhut AB and also as a flight mechanic with the 377th CAMS with 200 sorties. Stateside, he was based at Lackland AFB, Shepard AFB and McClellan AFB. Awards include the Good Conduct Medal. Ken has a BS Mechanical Engineering from University of Washington and is a retired engineer at Boeing. He and Carol reside in Edmonds and have a son and daughter. Ken is a member of Cascade Warbirds.


Terry Crabtree

Terry Crabtree

Terry is originally from St Louis, MO. He was in the Army 1964-67 and served in Vietnam 1965-66 as part of the 864th Engineer Battalion, Military Assistance Command. He was an Engineer equipment operator/mechanic and Demolition Specialist/Port Construction at Cam Ranh Bay, Phan Rang, Tui Hoa and An Khe. Stateside included Ft Leonard Wood, MO, Ft Hood and Ft Wolters, TX. Terry completed Executive Management Program at University of Washington. He was a Construction Manager for Bechtel Inc and worked and lived on every continent except Antartica. Met Josephine in Kuwait where they were married. They reside in Mulkiteo and have 2 children and 2 grandchildren.


New Member Joseph Zahara

Joseph Zahara

Joe is originally from Manitoba, Canada. He served with the Marine Corps 1964-68 and a long tour in Vietnam 1965-67 as a rifleman, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division.  Joe was awarded a Purple Heart.  He is a member of the Disabled American Veterans. He has retired from the Hospitality Industry. He and Sheila reside in Woodinville. They have 2 sons and 3 grandchildren.

New Members

New Member: Oleg A Chudak

Oleg A Chudak

Oleg is a native of Lutsk, Ukraine and enlisted in the Washington Army National Guard in 2007. He served in Iraq 2008-09 with the 161st Infantry Battalion of the 81st Brigade, primarily performing convoy security duties. He is currently a Specialist on Active Guard with the 81st BCT and performs military funeral honors in NW Washington. Awards include the Army Commendation and Army Achievement Medals. He has an Associates in Business degree and resides in Seattle.

New Member: Glenn P Jones

Glenn P Jones

Glenn is from Concrete, WA and enlisted in 2004.  He served in Iraq 2008-09 with the 161st Infantry Battalion of the 81st Brigade Washington Army National Guard. He performed convoy security and security operations duties. He is currently a Sergeant on Active Guard with the 81st BCT and performs military funeral honors in NW Washington. Awards include the Army Commendation Medal. Glenn resides in Everett.

New Members


Edgar R Shepherd

Edgar R Shepherd

Edgar is a Life Member transferring from Post 2100. He is a native of Traford City, PA. He served with the Navy 1942-45 in the South and Northwest Pacific. He worked in Fire Control aboard the USS Helena CL-50, a light cruiser and USS Louisville, a heavy cruiser. The Helena was sunk by a Japanese torpedo July, 1943, in the Battle of Kula Gulf. Edgar is an Edmonds resident.

John E Rogalski

John E Rogalski

John is a Life Member transferring from Post 15040, Pennsylvania. A Philadelphia native, he served with the Army 1966-68. He served in Vietnam with the 69th Engineer Battalion at Can Tho 1967-68. He is retired and resides in Everett with wife Maxine.

Don Stapleton

Don Stapleton

Don, a native of Yakima, WA, served with the Marine Corps Reserve 1955-57. He switched to the Air Force in 1957 and retired as a Master Sergeant in 1978. He served in Vietnam 1971-72 at Tan Son Nhut Airfield where he assisted with direction and control of tactical airstrikes, search and rescue operations and command briefings. He also served in the United Kingdom and at various stateside bases. Awards include the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star. Don is a retired Boeing employee. He resides in Edmonds.

New Members

Ann Marie Jackson

Ann Marie Jackson

Ann Marie entered active duty with the US Army in 2004 and is currently stationed at JBLM. Her hometown is Las Vegas, NV. She served in Iraq in 2008 and Afghanistan in 2012. Other posts include Korea and Germany overseas and Ft Campbell, KY. She has worked in military police, medic and human resources positions. Awards include Army Achieve-ment Medal (4) and Good Conduct Medal. She has a BA in Criminal Justice. Ann Marie lives in Tacoma and has 3 children with 1 granddaughter on the way.


Mark Schildknecht

Mark Schildknecht

Mark grew up in the Sequim area and resides there now. Mark enlisted in the US Marines in 1963 and served until 1967. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam 1966-67. He was in avionics and aircrew (CH-46 helicopter). Units included 1st MAW, HMM164 and MAGII. Awards include the Combat Air Crew Insignia, Good Conduct Medal and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Dominican Republic). Mark is Commandant of the Mount Olympus Detach-ment #897 of the Marine Corps League in Port Ange-les. He is retired from trucking. Mark and Diana have 3 children and 3 grandchildren.