Newsletter Articles

Website & Email

We are in the process of updating our website.  It’s a bit tired since I put it up 7 or 8 years ago.  Also, please refrain from sending emails to our website unless it pertains to VFW business.  We are getting a lot of “please pass this on” emails which we won’t pass on.  I probably have a couple of centuries of bad luck coming from not passing on these emails, but I know we all get too much stuff in our inboxes as it is.

The Last Word

I have a calendar with every weekend in August marked with a VFW event.  If it was anything else, other than fishing with my buddies, I would roll my eyes and complain.  However, its pretty darn hard complaining when it’s a BBQ with the Boy Scouts, an evening with my Post members and those from 1040 at a ballgame, or attending the National Convention.  And August is just the lead-up to when we really get busy with Voice of Democracy contests, Teacher of the Year, etc., Buddy Poppies, speaking in schools about Veterans Day, etc.  An active Post like ours participates in all these events and that requires getting off your duff and making things happen.  I can say without any hesitation, we don’t allow any moss to grow on our backsides, although if this rain doesn’t stop sooner or later, it will.  We have folks stepping up and volunteering for anything that is coming up and I want to thank each and everyone who does take part in Post activities.  As busy as we are, we can do more for our veteran community and we are investigating ways to do so.  I ask you to please attend Post meetings and, if you can’t, drop an email to us and let us know where and when you can participate after reviewing the Post’s calendar.

Post Presents Mike Reagan’s drawings of Medal of Honor Recipients to the Nisei Veterans Committee

Post Presents Mike Reagan’s drawings of Medal of Honor Recipients to the Nisei  Veterans CommitteeOn June 24th, the Post made a presentation to the Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC) a framed poster of the 21 Medal of Honor recipients from the 442nd Regimental Combat Team comprised of Americans from Japanese descent with a number of them from the Puget Sound area.  Mike had drawn the individual portraits and presented them to the Hawaii branch of the NVC earlier in the year.  Before he did so, he made the poster to the left and donated it to the Post to present to the local NVC in Seattle.  As some of you will recall, we have had several members of their organization speak to us and we were invited to a tour of their facility.  The presentation was made at their monthly meeting and Mike was invited to be the guest speaker.  Unlike our Post meetings, the widows and wives of members are invited to attend their meetings and they extended that invitation to our spouses.  As Commander Jim Traner was out of town attending the Annual Department Conference in Yakima, Senior Vice Commander Rock Roth made the presentation to a packed house of both their members and ours. After I took this picture in my office, we had a brass plate attached to the frame saying that this was “A gift to the Nisei Veterans Committee from VFW Post 8870, Edmonds, WA”.

Memorial Day Ceremony

Memorial Day CeremonyFred Apgar is shown here explaining the White Table to the audience estimated to be between 400 to 500 folks, by far the largest in history.  In addition, Mike Reagan was the honored speaker and moved the audience with his story of how he became involved in the Fallen Heroes Project.  The Boy and Girl Scouts carried and displayed posters of many of 2,600 portraits he has drawn to date.  Of course, our Post and the American Legion presented the colors.  Our Voice of Democracy winner, Katarina Nguyen, read her essay and did a fine job.  It was more or less a ceremony presented by Post 8870 and it was a day in which we remembered our fallen comrades with reverence.

Post Installs New Officers

District Commander Richie Richter installed the new officers for the year 2011-2012 at the June Post meeting.  Elected officers were:
Commander Jim Traner
Senior Vice Commander Fred Apgar
Junior Vice Commander Ron Clyborne
Quartermaster Elizabeth Mather
Chaplain Rock Roth
Judge Advocate Chuck Siljeg
Surgeon Al Boyett
1st Year Trustee Bob Crawford
3rd Year Trustee Les Abel

Annual Department Convention

Commander Jim Traner attended the annual Department convention held in Yakima, his old home town (although joining the Army provided a quick way out of town).  Not a lot of new ground was covered although the Department is moving more and more to communicating solely by  email and social networks.  I know some of the folks are complaining, but its one more good reason to get the younger folks involved—at least they can retrieve your email for you.  Carlos Almeda is the incoming Department Commander and will do a great job.  Outgoing DC is Jerry Herker who did a great job of moving the Department forward.   Commander in Chief Richard Eubank attended the conference and was the keynote speaker at the banquet on Friday night.  His message was simple, if we want to protect veterans’ rights we need to join veterans’ group.  The VFW has lost 700,000 members in the last 15 years or so.  It’s up to each of us to stop that tide.

Edmonds Night Out

We are again supporting the Edmonds Night Out for kids.  We will have a couple of folks manning a table giving out safety brochures and flags to the young folks who will be attending the event at the Frances Anderson Playfield on July 26th from 5PM to 8PM.  In addition, we will present the colors at the beginning ceremony.  If you would like to participate in the evening, please let the quartermaster know.

Buddy Poppies a Huge Success

Bob Crawford’s crew of volunteers outdid themselves raising slightly over $11,000, a record for the Post.   We had raised approximately $9,500 per fundraiser last year and the pessimistic side of my CPA brain budgeted $8,500 for this year.  Had we reached the $9,500 amount I would have been ecstatic, but to raise what we did was truly amazing.  Of course, Fred Apgar and his crew toasted the rest of us, but every bit helped, including Erv Schmidt’s annual table at the cemetery on Memorial Day where he raised over $300 from the folks attending the services.  I want to thank everyone who participated in the event.  I know it can be a bit cold, a bit windy, and a bit wet at times, but your service allows us to support the various projects that are important to veterans.  And a special thanks goes to Bob Crawford.

July 4th Parade & BBQ

OK folks, the parade is in a few days and I’d like to have as many folks as we can muster to march (walk) in it.  For you members who can’t make the meetings due to work schedules, this is a great opportunity to participate and be applauded for doing so.  We will form up at 11:30AM at 6th and Main Street.  The route is about a mile long, but we have vehicles for those of you who can’t walk.

As usual, the American Legion Post 66, VFW Posts 8870 & 1040, and Vietnam Veterans of America will march together and lead the parade.  Afterwards, we will meet back at the American Legion Hall (assuming it is still standing) for a BBQ.  All of your family is invited to join us for this event.  We will have hot dogs and hamburgers and refreshments of both the soft and not so soft drinks.  If you haven’t participated in the past, this is a great way to meet your fellow members.  Dress attire —gray or khaki slacks, blue or dark shirt, VFW cover.

The Last Word

I gave up trying to keep the newsletter to three pages (you folks who get it online won’t notice) Our Post is too active in the community and our Post members too involved in various activities to limit their recognition by keeping my page count down.  After Memorial Day I thought we would kick back for the summer.  Instead, we have so much stuff going on that I finally figured I’d have to pass out a sheet in the meeting listing everything because I knew I would be getting a ton of phone calls and emails asking for dates, times, and addresses.    The Post is active in the community and it seems every week when I attend Rotary I get fined a buck for having my picture in the newspaper (no—I will not pay again at our Post meetings).  The reason is that Fred Apgar does a great job of getting articles off to the various news outlets.  And finally, what can I say about our Buddy Poppy effort led by Bob Crawford; over $11,000 collected  by our members.  Those funds will all go into the relief fund and be used to assist veterans, active military personnel, and various causes such as Honor Flight, Voice of Democracy and Teacher awards, Boy Scouts, and many others. Thanks for all you do.