Newsletter Articles

Chaplain’s Corner—Rock Roth

I have the very great honor of serving as your Post Chaplain. What are my qualifications for holding this important position? Few! I have, during my almost 32 years in the Navy, been an operator. My dealings with chaplains were primarily during religious services or on a number of very difficult and highly emotional occasions when I with the chaplain ‘notified’ the next of kin of the death of a squadron or shipmate. I‘m not sure how important these ‘contacts’ would appear on my resume. However, on my resume, and for your consideration , I would like to include the following: (1) I am a devote Christian which means that I believe that Christ is my personal Savior, (2) I strongly believe we are and must remain ‘One Nation Under God’ if we are to be a force for good in this world, (3) I strongly believe in “Americanism as defined as follows – ” An unfailing love of country: eagerness to defend it against all enemies; undivided allegiance to the flag; and a desire to secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.‖ (Americanism was defined by the Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, United Spanish War Veterans, VFW, the National Commanders of the American Legion and Disabled Americans Veterans of the World War at a conference held in Washington, in February 1927.)

As I hope you are aware, we in VFW Post 8870 are honored and blessed to have at least two members who are much more qualified to serve as Post Chaplin than I. They are Dexter Miller and Ed Gray. We will continue to look to them for help, support, and guidance. I, as your chaplain, also need the help, support, and guidance from you, my VFW Comrades, to keep me informed of those in need, those for whom our prayers will be offered. If you need my help or have information on a ‘Comrade in Distress’, please telephone me at either of the following numbers: 206-533-9873 (H) (also my fax number) or 356-8869 (C). My email address is

Tour de Terrace Parade

Post member Mike Reagan was the Grand Marshall at the July 29th parade in Mountlake Terrace and 8870 members Jim Adams and Jim Harkness were majored participants. Jim Adams carried our Post‘s flag in the parade while Jim Harkness determined the parade route was too steep and long so he rode in the front seat of Reagan‘s car and waved to the folks along the route. I haven‘t received any reports that the two were confused with each other but Jim enjoyed the ride. This was a bit of a last minute organization and Jim Adams stepped up to carry the parade, bum knee and all. So a special tip of the hat to Jim Adams.

Free Admission to the Puyallup Fair

Military Appreciation Days are September 12th and the 19th at the Puyallup Fair. All active, reserve and retired military and National Guard and their dependents, plus disabled veterans are admitted free on those two days. And to top it off, you will get 50% off all of the midway rides including the Roller Coaster. Let me know if anyone actually rides the Roller Coaster and I will do an article on you.

Flag Retirement Party

The Scouts (Cub and Boy) had a flag retirement ceremony at the Nile Country Club and VFW Posts 8870, 1040, and American Legion Posts 66 with two other Posts had a picnic for the Scouts. Unfortunately, most of the Scouts were on an outing so members of 8870 and 66 outnumbered everyone else. However, the food was good, the weather was nice, and we all had a good time. Trustee Les Abel is going to approach the new Fire Marshall in Edmonds and seek permission to have the flag retirement ceremony conducted in Edmonds were it was held for a number of years before the previous Fire Marshall decided, for unknown reasons, to ban the burning of flags in the City park.

American Legion Post 66 Votes to Put Building up for Sale

Since a large number of our Post are also members of the American Legion in Edmonds, I thought I would pass along the latest news regarding that Post‘s home. As many of you know, the building is badly in need of repair. The roof needs replacing as does the siding. The floors have been damaged due to roof leaks. Therefore, at the August meeting of Post 66, a resolution was passed to sell their building. We wish Post 66 the best and, hopefully, they will find a buyer and a new building quickly. If you know of anyone that is interested in purchasing the real estate, let Ron Clyborne (452-771-1303), their listing agent, know.

National POW/MIA Recognition Day

There are 1,741 American personnel listed by the Defense Department’s POW/MIA Office as missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War, as of April 2009. The number of United States personnel accounted for since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 is 841. About 90 percent of the 1,741 people still missing were lost in Vietnam or areas of Laos and Cambodia under Vietnam’s wartime control, according to the National League of Families website (cited in the United States Army website).

The United States Congress passed a resolution authorizing National POW/MIA Recognition Day to be observed on July 18, 1979. It was observed on the same date in 1980 and was held on July 17 in 1981 and 1982. It was then observed on April 9 in 1983 and July 20 in 1984. The event was observed on July 19 in 1985, and then from 1986 onwards the date moved to the third Friday of September. The United States president each year proclaims National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Washington state also proclaimed POW/MIA Recognition Day on the third Friday in September.


On Saturday, August 20th, 10 members of the Post (excluding Mike) and a number of spouses attended a presentation by Mike at the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field. Thanks to Phil Sacks, the Museum of Flight waived the entrance fee for VFW members. It was a great presentation since there was enough time to see several video clips that various news organizations had done about the Fallen Heroes Project including national broadcasts by NBC and ABC, At the conclusion of the presentation, Mike presented a portrait to the family of Bill Holloman, a Tuskeegee Airman who had passed away. Two Tuskeegee fliers were present in the audience for the presentation.

Tha Last Word

I‘ll be in San Antonio when you receive this newsletter attending the National Convention. I keep trying to limit the number of pages I publish but to no avail. I think I‘ll give up on that goal. The Post is too active and there is too much information to convey to the members to arbitrarily limit the page count. We have added a couple of columns this month for the Chaplain and the President of the Ladies Auxiliary. And please note, the header on page one now reads “…and Ladies Auxiliary” as this newsletter will now be mailed to their members. We have had the best Chaplains over my years as Commander in Ed Gray and Dexter Miller and we have another fine one in Rock Roth. We are blessed in that department (pun intended). President Ehlers of the Auxiliary makes a plea for membership and all of you who have wives, daughters, etc. should consider making a gift of a life membership for them. Like my wife and daughters, they may still be working and not have time to be active in the Auxiliary, but they are the strongest supporters of veterans and veterans‘ issues that I have found in our society. So stop by the next meeting and pick up an application from the ladies. Both the Post and Auxiliary must grow their membership this year to remain strong and viable.

The Pictures on the Banners

HM2 Charles L. Milam, Navy, 5/14/81-9/25/07 from Lake Forest Park;  Cpl. Steven Rintamaki, USMC, 6/17/83-9/16/04 from Lynnwood;  1st Lt. Nicholas A. Madrazo, USMC, 11/14/82-9/9/08 from Bothell.  Carrying the banner from our Post are Jeffrey Carlock (in the dress whites) and next to him is John Harrison.   Brian Seguin from Post 1040 is on the right.

The Pictures on the Banners