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Summer 2011

91st Annual State Convention

Periodicals

TEXAS VFW NEWS — 1ST PLACE WINNER 2010 National Publications Contest


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The official publication of the Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars

www.texasvfw.org

Youth Leadership Conference, page 14 Post and Ladies Auxiliary 10377 of Belton, Texas lead valuable discussions with Central Texas students at the Central Texas College (CTC) campus.

Honoring Veterans in New Way, page 24 Texas VFW Post 880 raises funds through a unique ceiling tile project.

Serving Veterans Since 1899

What Does The Texas VFW Offer You? Camaraderie with fellow Veterans • Community Networking & Involvement • Remembrance Programs • Full time support of today’s service members • Programs for families and youth • Full Time Watchdog on Capitol Hill & at the Texas Legislature • Free representation in VA claims • An award-winning magazine Contributions: Letters, manuscripts, stories, materials, or photographs are welcomed but cannot be returned unless sender provides SASE. Texas VFW News will not be responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and drawings. Submission of articles and letters implies the right to edit and publish all or in part. Please send your comments, suggestions, ideas and Post activities to: Texas VFW P.O. Box 14468 Austin, Texas 78761 or by email to dan@texasvfw.org Opinions expressed herein are those of the writers and are not to be construed as those of the publisher nor as official views of the Texas VFW, the National VFW or any of its agencies, unless otherwise made manifest by writers or spokespersons acting on behalf of the foregoing. Advertising of products and services herein does not imply endorsement or approval of the Texas VFW. Advertising is accepted on the premise that the merchandise and services are accurately described. Ads that contain fraudulent, deceptive or misleading statements or illustrations, or in the opinion of the Texas VFW News may be offensive, are not knowingly accepted. If you encounter noncompliance, please tell us. For Information Regarding: Unit reunions, general orders, taps, seeking, District Meetings and other topics please visit www.texasvfw.org.

In the News

4 Commander’s Column 5 Surprise Van Donation 6 Wall of Honor 7 Act of Kindness Helps Veteran 8 Rededication Ceremony 9 VA Clinic Groundbreaking Ceremony 10 1st Air Cav Transports Women to Meeting 11 1st Air Cav Conducts Rare Operation 12 Post 8904 Installation Ceremony 13 VFW 100th Anniversary Pistol Raffle 15 Texas VFW Foundation 16 Membership Application 17 Post News 18 Texas VFW Gear 19 Texas VFW Accessories 20 Loyalty Day Events 21 “D-Day” Events 22 Memorial Day Events 23 Independence Day Events 26 91st Annual State Convention Coverage Back Cover Memorial Day Flag Placement Join us on facebook for up-to-date information, photos of VFW events and breaking news relevant to Veterans.

Flippable Online Version of this magazine is available at www.texasvfw.org. Summer 2011

ABOUT THE COVER United States Navy Honor Guard from the Houston Navy Recruiting District open the 91st Annual State Convention in Houston, Texas June 30, 2011.

91st Annual State

Convention

Periodicals

TEXAS VFW NEWS — 1ST PLACE WINNE R 2010 National Publica tions Contest

Texas VFW Summer 2011

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STATE COMMANDER’S COLUMN Greetings, It was wonderful to see the great attendance at the Convention and the recent Officers’ Training Seminar and I thank all who took the time and the interest in our VFW to attend. Both events were tremendously successful thanks, in large part, to a tremendous staff in the Department of Texas Headquarters. Sue and I would like to express our personal thanks to all of you for the well wishes we received. The message from the Convention and OTS is one of Membership. We, as an organization, face strong challenges ahead of us and, if we are to keep our numbers and effectiveness strong, we must strive to GROW our organization and our Department instead of being satisfied to watch it decline. At the OTS, I challenged each Post Commander with a mission. The Post’s mission this year is 104% of your previous year’s membership. Can this be accomplished? Yes! To reach it Posts will need to focus their energy on finding and recruiting new members, retaining those we have now and reinstating those whose membership has lapsed. Every member is a valuable member and we must seek out and retain each one. The coming year will be busy for all of us. Starting with the National Convention in San Antonio, we all will be kept busy working with our Posts. Now, I’ve spoken about the work ahead of us, but make sure you also take the time to enjoy the camaraderie and the brotherhood and sisterhood of our VFW. We are a great organization with the greatest members in the greatest State in the nation and we need to make sure everyone is aware of that. br proud of your service to your nation, be proud of your service to your community and be proud of your membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars. As the year progresses, I look forward to visiting you around the state. If your Post or District has a special event that you wish me attend, please let me know. At the same time, if I or any of the Officers or Staff can assist you in your mission, just give a call. My sincere thanks for all that you do — you ARE the VFW! God Bless you all.

The Official Publication of the Department of Texas, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Texas VFW News (USPS 008-177). Periodicals Postage Paid at Austin, Texas and additional mailing offices. Subscription price of $20.00 per calendar year for non-members. Free to all members in good standing. Published Quarterly by the Department of Texas, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., 8503 North IH-35, Austin, Texas 78753 Volume LXVI, Number 1, © July 2011. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Circulation Dept., VFW, 406 W. 34th St., Kansas City, MO 64111. Members Change of Address: Forward address changes to: Data Entry, VFW, 406 W. 34th St., Kansas City, MO 64111. Be sure to furnish your old address, also your Post number, when requesting change to new address. To ensure accuracy, please clip and enclose your present address as printed on a recent copy of the Texas VFW News magazine. Advertisers: Electronic Media Kit available at www.texasvfw.org, or request a printed Media Kit at dan@texasvfw.org.

Roy Grona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Editor Dan West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Assistant Editor www.medianation.net . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Graphic Design DEPARTMENT HEADQUARTERS........................................ (512) 834-8535

2011-2012 DEPARTMENT OFFICERS Commander John Spahr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8787 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 14468 Austin, TX 78761 Sr Vice Larry Velasquez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2397 . . . . . . . . . . 4829 Golden Eye, Corpus Christi, TX 78413 Jr Vice Sylvia Sanchez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8936 . . . . . . . . 1906 Ashprington Dr. San Antonio, TX 78251 Adj/Qm Roy Grona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3377 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 14468 Austin, TX 78761 Judge Advocate Ken Burton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9182 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 14468 Austin, TX 78761 Surgeon Doc Howard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3359 . . . . . . . . . . . 2517 Golden Oaks Dr., Garland, TX 75044 Chaplain Bob Dickerson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2451 . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 341136, San Antonio, TX 78234 Chief Of Staff Harry Munn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 202 Hewitt, TX 76643 Inspector Larry Konarik . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8587 . . . . . . . 200 Clear Springs Rd., Georgetown, TX 78628 Immediate Past Commander Wayne Depute . . 6378 . . . . . . . . . . . . 324 Windward Dr. League City, TX 77573 Council Member Al Cantu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2397 . . . . . . . . . . . 4009 Tripoli Dr., Corpus Christi, TX 78411 Asst Adj Dan West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3413 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 14468 Austin, TX 78761 Asst Qm Carlos Sustaita . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8787 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 14468, Austin, TX 78761 Deputy Inspector John Lozanski . . . . . . . . . . . . 5076 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1215 Cedar Ridge Rd, Heath, TX 75032 Deputy Inspector Larry Hume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8904 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 1024 Center, TX 75935 Deputy Inspector Bruce Alford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9174 . . . . . . . . . . . . 6130 Ridge Oak, San Antonio, TX 78250 Deputy Inspector Richard “Dick” Prewett . . . . . 8932 . . . . . . . . . . . . P.O. Box 18473 Corpus Christi, TX 78430 Deputy Inspector C.W. “Pete” Kinson . . . . . . . . 9299 . . . . . . . . . . 400 Sw Gordon #417, Burleson, TX 76028 Deputy Inspector Joe Vargas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9173 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10436 Tomwood, El Paso, TX 79925 Officer Of The Day Lonnie Garza . . . . . . . . . . . . 3413 . . . . . . . . . . 1769 Jacobs Ct, New Braunfels, TX 78130

DEPARTMENT VETERANS COUNSELORS Service Officer/Waco Sandra Covin . . . . . 6008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 701 Clay St., Waco, TX 76799 Service Officer/Houston Julio Harros . . . 3413 . . . . . . . 6900 Almeda Road, Houston, TX 77030

*** FINAL NOTICE *** At the 2011 State Convention the Texas VFW Council of Administration made the difficult decision to discontinue quarterly mailing of the “Texas VFW News” and instead provide a once-a-year mailing with the remaining issues published online. Limited printed copies will be distributed to each Texas VFW Post for those members who do not have access to a computer. After facing the reality of rising costs of printing and mailing, this decision enables us to preserve precious financial resources, while lessoning our environmental impact. After this issue, current and back issues of the “Texas VFW News” will be available online at www.texasvfw.org or at your Post.

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2011-2012 DISTRICT COMMANDERS James Blaine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7875 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3011 Cr 2730, Honey Grove, TX 75446 Robert Lafleur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2775 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3528 Whippoorwill, Orange, TX 77630 Lary Harrington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8627 . . . . . . . . . . 1007 Green Meadow Dr., Richardson, TX 75081 Ingeborg “Inge” Conley . . . . . . . . . . 12075 . . . . . . . . . . . 17411 Ebeys Landing Lane, Humble, TX 77346 Keith Foley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12058 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Po Box 14468, Austin, TX 78761 Francisco “Frank” Garcia . . . . . . . . . . 8932 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Po Box 4333, Corpus Christi, TX 78469 Ralph Rodriguez, Jr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6873 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Po Box 113, Clyde, TX 79510 Lilly Harwell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2512 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Po Box 34, Childress, TX 79201 Rodney “Rod” Raulston . . . . . . . . . . . 8919 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3901 Mcconnel, El Paso, TX 79904 Terry Rowe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8560 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6668 Cr 1100, Sulphur Springs, TX 75482 Daniel M. Hinojosa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8134 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 305 Cr 678 E., Natalia, TX 78059 William “Bill” Mcmenomey . . . . . . . . 4008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Po Box 188, Kempner, TX 76539 James Mansfield . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8878 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Lackland Cr, Wichita Falls, TX 76306 Glenn James . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8551 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235 Primrose, Freeport, TX 77541 Norman Macey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4816 . . . . . . . . . . . . 16907 Caldwell Pointe Ct.., Humble, TX 77346 Ricardo “Rick” Ramirez . . . . . . . . . . . 8788 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 416 E. Water Lily, Mcallen, TX 78504 Don Kirkley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3893 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Po Box 632190, Nacogdoches, TX 75963 Antonio Vasquez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 . . . . . . . . . . 2441 Ne Loop 410 #510, San Antonio, TX 78217 James Van Rite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4695 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5011 Buffalo Ct N, Fort Worth, TX 76119 Jeff Steele . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6290 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 707 Huisache St., Refugio, TX 78377 Melvin “Mel” Parker . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6284 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5305 Clinton, Odessa, TX 79762 E.J. “Tex” Kennedy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8925 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1797 A Fm 812, Cedar Creek, TX 78612 James Gunter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5872 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 Talford St., Fairfield, TX 75840 Paul Wilbanks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7103 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1300 La Acres, Athens, TX 75752


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Texas VFW Post 76 and Valero Volunteers Surprise Veterans with Van Donation

A CHERISHED DAY THE ROUGHLY 400 MILITARY VETERANS and family members who gathered at VFW Post 76 in downtown San Antonio one recent Sunday thought they were there for a barbecue and raffle, courtesy of the Valero Volunteers, and music from the company’s High Octane Band. They were — but it turned into more. Valero I/S Manager and volunteer Mike Green pulled one of the company’s white, 15-passenger vans into the parking lot and told stunned post members the vehicle was theirs to keep, bringing hardened war veterans to tears and prompting cheers and highfives all around. The post’s volunteer Honor Guard, which travels to provide military funeral services, had grappled with raising money to buy such a van. They won’t have to worry about that now, thanks to Valero. “It was an unbelievable reaction from them,” Green said. “Their chaplain even prayed over the van and blessed it with holy water. There was just an amazing display of gratitude from the VFW post members for all Valero had done for them.” The idea for the event began as a Valero Volunteers project to show gratitude to the armed services, as “May is Military Appreciation Month.” The post’s Honor Guard provided colorguard services at the last Thanksgiving dinner at Valero, and shortly after, discussions began on what Valero could do to help the post, the oldest in Texas. A letter from the post indicated that members wanted to raise money for a van for the Honor Guard, whose volunteers had to use their own vehicles to drive as far as 140 miles to fulfill their mission of providing free full military memorial honors at non-military cemeteries.

The Valero Volunteers moved forward with plans for the barbecue, co-coordinated by Green and Aviation Coordinator Connie Harrison. But the decision to donate the pool van came just a few days before the event — with just enough time to have a metal shield made and affixed to the driver-side door, displaying the Honor Guard seal. The volunteer cooking team, led by Sammy Nieto, began slow-cooking brisket and making other preparations at 2:00 a.m. that day, and approximately 30 volunteers assisted at the event. The raffle also served as a diversion, to prompt post members and guests to gather in one area, setting the stage for the van’s surprise entrance.

“IT WAS A WONDERFUL EVENT AND A DAY WE’LL ALL CHERISH FOR A LONG TIME,” said Sylvia Rodriguez, Director-Community Relations. “The Honor Guard members exemplify volunteerism to the utmost, as they continue to serve in their retirement years without any expectations of recognition or rewards. It was quite an honor to be a part of this special day on behalf of Valero, with so many dedicated Valero Volunteers on hand.” The event was extra special to Valero volunteer Andrea Alfaro, a Supply Chain Execution Analyst who brought her father and met many VFW members and their families. “My father ran into his childhood best friend, an Honor Guard member, who he hadn’t seen since the Vietnam War,” she said. “He thought he was killed in the war! It was a memorable reunion. And the VFW members couldn’t say ‘thank you’ enough for Valero’s efforts and the van donation.”

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Wall of Honor — Texas VFW Post 8200

Carl Williams at the Wall as it looks today. ONE OF THE ATTRACTIONS in Liberty Hill that its citizens can truly be thankful for is the Wall of Honor at the VFW. Located in downtown at Veterans Park, the Wall of Honor began as a single thought that soon became a literal dream come true when, on July 7, 1994, Post member Carl Williams made a request to erect a monument on the Post’s property to display the names of area residents who had served with honor in the U.S. military. The response was unanimous! Then Post Commander Forrest Pierce delegated Williams to head a committee and to work with two community members, Lola King and Mildred Seward, instructing them to identify eligible veterans, past and present, who were Liberty Hill residents with at least thirty days in the U.S. military service and discharged honorably. The original structure consists of three upright granite tablets. The center tablet, a 7ft by 2ft black granite slab, is dedicated to those who have died while in military service. The beautiful gray/blue granite tablets on each side of it were made by Stasswender Memorial and erected by the VFW on May 29, 1995. Today, they bear the names of more than 700 veterans who served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. The collaboration of the VFW, Liberty Hill residents and businesses, and friends of the community made it all possible. Prior to Memorial Day 2006, the Living Stone Co. of Llano was selected to install two more gray/blue tablets, each one adjacent to the existing gray/blue tablets. These extensions from the quarry in Elberton, Georgia, matched perfectly. The Wall of Honor is located on the grounds of the Liberty Hill VFW Post 8200 and is well lighted twentyfour hours a day. The public has unrestricted access to

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Carl Williams, U.S. Congressman JJ ‘Jake’ Pickle, Commander Forrest Pierce, Rick King, and Gene Allen. This was the dedication ceremony for the Wall on May 29, 1995. Jake was the keynote speaker for the ceremony. the monument and the surrounding park atmosphere is inviting and comfortable. Also there to enjoy is the Rose Arbor Memorial Garden built by Rick and Dee Dee King in 1992 and a Live Oak tree ceremoniously named the Liberty Hill Liberty Tree in honor of Korean Veterans. Community memorial services are conducted at the Wall on patriotic holidays by the Post with assistance from the local scout groups. Past Post Commander Paul Litfin has stated, “The VFW strives to be a positive influence in the Liberty Hill community and Post 8200 is committed to the maintenance and upkeep of the Wall of Honor, park, garden, and monument. This Wall records the names of these brave men and women who have served in the fighting forces of our great nation so that all may see their noble deeds live forever.”


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ACT OF KINDNESS HELPS VETERAN Members of Texas VFW Post 9761 obtained and repaired a motorized wheel chair and then donated it to local veteran Mr. Bobby Buckles.

WELCOME NEW STATE COMMANDER JOHN SPAHR, a Gold Legacy Life Member of Capital City VFW Post 8787, Austin, was elected as the State Commander for the Department of Texas at the 91st State Convention in Houston, Texas on July 1, 2011. John joined the VFW in 2001 at Post 8587, Georgetown, Texas. John has held several offices at the Post, District and Department levels, including Post Commander, County Council Commander, District Commander, State Officer of the Day, State Chief of Staff and National Aide-de-Camp. John was an All State Post Commander in 2004; Captain of the All State District Commanders’ Team in 2007-2008; and a recipient of the J.T. Rutherford Award in 2007-2008. Spahr served as the State Legislative Chairman 2008-2009 and served on the National Legislative Committee. Comrade Spahr served in the US Air Force from 1965 to 1968 with the 2146th Communications Group at Osan AFB, Korea where he was a Communications Center Supervisor. His awards include the Korean Defense Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. Comrade Spahr is a retired Deputy Fire Chief. His hobbies include World War II history and VFW events. John and his wife, Sue, live in Georgetown, Texas. Sue is a member of the Ladies Auxiliary to VFW Post 8787. Texas VFW Summer 2011

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TEXAS VFW POST 6899 ATTENDS REDEDICATION CEREMONY Ceremony held for Trinity County Courthouse, Groveton, Texas

Honor Guard chairman Ron Linden leading “Pledge of Allegiance.” L to R: Commander Tom Fry, Judge Doug Page, Quartermaster Ron Linden and Junior Vice Lyle Ford.

VFW POST 6899 HONOR GUARD presented colors, lead “Pledge of Allegiance” and retired colors for the rededication ceremony of the Trinity County Courthouse 1914-2011. Trinity County received a five-million dollar grant for restoration and the ceremony was held 1000, Friday, July 22, 2011 in Groveton, Texas. National, state, county and local officials were in attendance.

OOD Gene McLeod, District 19; Commander Don Kirkley; Junior Vice Lyle Ford; Commander Tom Fry. 8

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TEXAS VFW MEMBERS ATTEND AUSTIN VA CLINIC GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY The new 66,000 square foot building is set to be completed in 2013

TEXAS VFW MEMBERS FROM POSTS 8925 AND 8787 ATTENDED a groundbreaking ceremony at 7901 Metropolis Drive in Austin, Texas on Friday, June 17, 2011 for a new VA Outpatient Clinic to be completed in the spring of 2013. The new location will be at the intersection of Metropolis Drive and Metlink Road near State Highways 183 and 71 in South Austin. Speakers at the event included U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett, 25th District of Texas, and Mayor of Austin, Lee Leffingwell. The current 60,000 square-foot Austin Outpatient Clinic is located at 2901 Montopolis Drive and provides primary care, urgent care, and more than 20 areas of specialty of care. An additional 16,000 square-feet of leased space at the Southgate building on I-35 close to Oltorf houses Mental Health, Health Care for Homeless Veterans, and Home-Based Primary Care services. All operations at the current clinic and Southgate Building will be moved to the new Austin Outpatient Clinic when it is completed to offer Veterans the convenience of obtaining their outpatient medical care at one location. The new Austin Outpatient Clinic will be the largest free-standing clinic of its type in the nation with 184,000 square feet and will offer expanded VA services to Veterans in the Austin area, including Mammography, Gastroenterology, Imaging, Orthopedics, Urology and additional space for the Women’s Clinic as well as all current services. Other services to be considered for future expansion are Chemotherapy, Ear Nose and Throat, General Surgery, and Oncology.

(Middle photo) Tex Kennedy of Pilot Knob Post 8925 (left) and John Spahr of Capitol City Post 8787 (right). (Bottom photo) Past Post Commander G.T. “Lupe” Alvarez (left) and Post Sr. Vice Commander Juan Tijuernia (right) of Pilot Knob VFW Post 8925. Texas VFW Summer 2011

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1st AIR CAV TRANSPORTS AFGHAN WOMEN TO FEMALE SECURITY MEETING

by Sgt. Richard Wrigley 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div. PAO

CAMP MARMAL, AFGHANISTAN — Afghan women attending a female security shura at International Security Assistance Force Regional Command North headquarters along with members of RC North’s Female Engagement Team depart a UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter from Task Force Lobos, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, June 21. Two air crews from TF Lobos transported the attendees and members of the FET from other Coalition bases within northern Afghanistan. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Richard Wrigley

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1st AIR CAV CONDUCTS RARE SLING LOAD OPERATION IN AFGHANISTAN Crew members participated in vigorous drills in preparation for operation Staff Sgt. Joe Armas, 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div. PAO

CAMP MARMAL, AFGHANISTAN — Soldiers from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, conducted a rare sling load operation July 6, utilizing a CH-47F Chinook helicopter to transport another Chinook helicopter from Camp Kunduz to Camp Marmal. Hovering over the airfield at Kunduz, the transporting Chinook helicopter gradually lowered. As a cloud of dust lifted, crew members stationed on top of the other helicopter stood ready to bond the two airframes together, setting the stage for the pending sling load to commence. The realization of what was about to occur imbued one of the crew members with emotion as he waited to execute his task. “It was an adrenaline rush for sure,” said Sgt. Shawn Hartford, a Chinook helicopter mechanic, assigned to Company B, 615th Aviation Support Battalion, 1st ACB, originally from Elko, Nev. Aside from the adrenaline rush, Hartford said that as the aircraft lowered and he did his part to join the two airframes together, his main focus was on utilizing the basic skills required to conduct the sling load procedure in a safe manner. Hartford, along with the other crew members involved, had a considerable amount of experience conducting sling load operations, although an operation of this magnitude and in this type of environment was a first for the vast majority of them. “I couldn’t begin to fathom how many sling loads I’ve conducted in my career,” said Sgt. 1st

Class Christopher Vann, Company B, 615th ASB, 1st ACB, originally from St. Hedwig, Texas. “This is the first time that I’ve taken part in a sling load operation like this.” He added, “This particular mission was unique also because all of the logistics that went into the operation to make this happen.” To ensure smooth and safe execution, the crew members went through vigorous preparation drills that acted out different scenarios that could possibly come about during the actual sling load procedure. The preparation drills paid great dividends in the end, according to Hartford. “After the drills, everyone knew where they needed to be, what they needed to do and when they needed to do it,” said Hartford. Vann agreed with that assessment. Not everything went according to plan during the process, he added. “When we predicted the aircraft would act a certain way as it lowered and it didn’t, all of the crew members reacted accordingly as a result of the training we did prior to execution,” said Hartford. Transporting the Chinook across the northern Afghan landscape required extensive pre-mission planning as well, according to Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jeremy Rossi, a CH-47 Chinook pilot with Company B, Task Force Lobos, 1st ACB, originally from Syracuse, N.Y.

Rossi touched on the challenges this unusual mission presented. Rossi explained that at certain airspeeds, the sling-loaded Chinook with its aerodynamic structure could in essence deviate from the helicopter above and create its own flight path: an issue that wouldn’t arise during most other normal sling load operations. “The main challenge for us was keeping our aircraft in trim (balancing the flight controls) so that the sling-loaded aircraft wouldn’t move back and forth or sway side to side,” he said. Once the flight arrived at Marmal, crew members on the ground helped carefully guide the sling-loaded aircraft down toward its final landing spot. The sling-loaded aircraft, which was transported to Marmal for maintenance purposes, finally touched ground safely. Roughly 100 feet above, cargo hooks disengaged as the bond between the two airframes finally broke. The transporting helicopter took off amid another brilliant cloud of dust that had engulfed those within the vicinity. Vann, summing up the whole experience, noted that preparation and teamwork saved the day, and that being part of this operation was a hallmark accomplishment for everyone involved. “It was absolutely amazing and the highlight of my career to see an operation like this executed in such a successful manner,” he added.

A CH-47F CHINOOK CARGO HELICOPTER from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, sling loads another Chinook cargo helicopter while another aircraft streams by in the background. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Richard Wrigley, 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Division Public Affairs)

1st ACB, help guide the aircraft toward the ground. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Richard Wrigley, 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Division Public Affairs)

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TEXAS VFW POST 8904 INSTALLATION CEREMONY Gailon Fletcher of Nacogdoches Post 3893 was the installation officer.

Front to back: Commander John Piersol, Jr. Vice Gary McKey, QM Larry Hume, Chaplain Jim Johnson, Adjutant Mike Langford and Surgeon Dr. Robert Hughes.

Preparing lunch: Second from left is Aux Sr. Vice and Shelby County Service Officer Charlotte Allen; red and white shirt Aux Treasurer Theresa Hume. Below: (Far left) post member Jim Cox (Army Baseball cap), far right Auxiliary President Becky Yates and QM Larry Hume.

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MILITARY ORDER OF THE WORLD WARS YOUTH LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE 26-30 June, 2011 — Post and Ladies Auxiliary 10377 of Belton, Texas lead valuable discussions with Central Texas students at the Central Texas College (CTC) campus.

George Shott, new member of Post 10377, discusses the meaning of the US Constitution to high school students from around Central Texas. Students hold up their copy of the June/ July 2011 VFW Magazine on Patriotism. The article on “What is an American?” was a lead-in to the Constitution presentation.

Ellen Birrell, a JROTC Cadet and one of the 36 students attending the Youth Leadership Conference, reads an article titled: “What Unites Us as a Nation.” 14

Texas VFW Summer 2011


Texas VFW Foundation “Many, many thanks to the “On behalf of myself and my

Texas VFW! You helped me

keep my day bright and you

family, we really and sincerely want

helped me save my house from

of the Texas VFW for helping us in

Magnolia Doerr, U.S. Army Veteran

to thank each and every member

foreclosure.”

our great time of need.” Jesus Sanchez, U.S. Marine Veteran

“Thank you Texas VFW Foundation, Sponsors,

“Dear Texas VFW, I really am

and affiliates for all the

rent and electric bill, it helped

you have given me and

grateful for your help with my

assistance and support

bridge a financial slump

my family in our times of

Carol Rowland, U.S. Air Force Veteran

Danile Deveze, U.S. Marine Veteran

that I was in.

financial hardship.”

The Commissioners of the Texas Veterans Commission met recently and decided that the Texas VFW Foundation DID NOT MEET the threshold to get a second grant for the Texas VFW Veterans Assistance Program. A program that has helped thousands of veterans across the state with emergency financial assistance from WW II to OIF/OEF Vets as well as surviving spouses.

• The Texas VFW Foundation Veterans Assistance Program is available to any Texas veteran with an honorable discharge regardless of where or what time they served. • Funds for this program come from individual donations from veterans and veteran supporters like yourself, and from charitable foundations. • The Veterans Assistance Program is not an entitlement program and not all veterans who apply will receive a financial grant and those awarded a grant will not directly receive any funds.

• The applicant will have to work with a Service Officer from a Federal, State or Veterans Service Organization or with their local military command if still in the military before application can be processed. • Applications can be found at the Featured Links section on the Texas VFW Web Site www.texasvfw.org or by emailing the Foundation at foundation@texasvfw.org or by calling 1-800-997-7096.


Yes, I am a war veteran and want to continue my Legacy of Service to America. Please fill out the VFW Membership Application below and mail in, or sign up online at www.texasvfw.org > About > Membership and follow link.

Lobbying for Veterans & Military Providing Disaster Relief Name: _________________________________________________Email: _________________________________________ Community Volunteerism First Middle Last (Suffix – Sr., Jr., etc.) Funding College Scholarships Address:____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone Cards for Troops Supporting Youth Groups City:______________________________ State:____________ Zip:______________ Phone:____________________________ Emergency Financial Assistance Date of Birth: _____________________________ (MM/DD/YYYY) Supporting Memorials Assisting Veterans with Earned Entitlements

Military Service: p Army Current Status: I served in:

p Air Force

p Coast Guard

p Navy

p Marines

p Active Duty p Veteran p National Guard/Reserve p Pre-World War II p Korean War 1950-54 p Desert Shield/Storm p Afghanistan 2001 p World War II p Korea 1955 p Bosnia/Kosovo 1995 p Iraq 2003 p WW II Occupation p Vietnam 1958-75 p Global War on Terrorism – Expeditionary 2001 p 1945-55 (Europe, Korea, Japan) p Expeditionary Operations 1958-2003 (Thailand, Grenada, Libya, Panama, Haiti, Somalia, etc.) p 1945-90 (Berlin)

Qualified recipient of: p Imminent Danger/Hostile Fire Pay

p *SSBN Nuclear Deterrent Patrol*

*Period Covered: ______________________________________ (Required for applicants with no other reported qualifying service). I would like to join the Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars as a: p Annual Member ($35)

p Life Member*

p Life 12 Mo. Install* ($35 Initial payment)

Life Membership Fee Schedule Attained age on 12/31

Through age 30 31 – 40 41 – 50 51 – 60 61 – 70 71 – 80 81 and over

One Time Payment

Life 12 Month Payment Plan

$425.00 $410.00 $375.00 $335.00 $290.00 $225.00 $170.00

$40.39 $39.02 $35.84 $32.20 $28.11 $22.20 $17.20

Installment Payment Plan Terms and Conditions: The VFW Life Membership installment plan allows any VFW member/applicant to purchase a Life Membership by making either 11 or 23 monthly installments after an initial payment of $35.00. The member/applicant will be issued a “Provisional Life” membership card and can elect, upon receipt of first monthly invoice, to pay via check, credit card or ACH Debit. The monthly fee (Shown in the payment schedule above) includes a $1.75 monthly service fee. The applicable Life Membership fee is to be determined from the schedule using the applicants age on December 31 of the installment plan year in which the application is submitted, regardless of actual date of birth. A permanent Life Membership card will be issued upon completion of this agreement. No refund of any portion of current year annual dues will be made. A “Payoff amount” will be printed on each monthly invoice, allowing the member the option to pay in full at anytime during the installment plan, thereby avoiding additional service fees. If the member pays off early, no additional monies will be collected.

I attest by forwarding this application that I am a citizen of the United States, that I qualify for the VFW and that my Campaign Service was honorable, and that I have never been discharged under other than honorable conditions or I am still serving honorably in the armed forces of the United States of America. I further give authority to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States to verify my entitlement to membership in the VFW and that if no proof can be found or provided that I am subject to discharge from the VFW without refund. Signature:___________________________________________________________________Date: ______________________________________________ Include membership payment by check or money order (DO NOT SEND CASH) or pay by credit card.

p Mastercard p Visa p Discover p American Express

Credit Card Number:_________________________________________________________

Exp. Date: ____ ____/____ ____ $_____________________ Mail to: Texas VFW • P.O. Box 14468 • Austin, Texas 78761

For questions call: (512) 834-8535


P o s t

N e w s

CHRISTMAS ARRIVES EARLY FOR THE ACB CAMP MARMAL, AFGHANISTAN — It’s Christmas in July for the Soldiers of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade. Command Sgt. Major Glen Vela poses with care packages sent to his troopers by the Texas VFW that arrived July 21. The care packages consisted of magazines, toiletries and other necessities for the Soldiers. The Texas chapter publically adopted the brigade prior to the ACB’s deployment to Afghanistan in late May. The partnership between the 1st ACB and the Texas VFW exemplifies the support of one generation of combat veterans to another. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Joe Armas, 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Division Public Affairs)

REMEMBERING A WWII VETERAN STEPHENVILLE — GEORGE B. SPARKMAN, 88, a local business owner, died Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at a local nursing home. Burial was held at Erath Gardens of Memory Cemetery. George was born Nov. 5, 1922 to the late Lewis Napoleon and Olivia Pittman (Patrick) Sparkman in Jean. He married Mary Lorena Menefee on Jan. 25, 1942 in Stephenville. She preceded him in death on May 16, 2002. Mr. Sparkman was a World War II veteran and a member of Washington Street Baptist Church, Stephenville Masonic Lodge #267, and Stephenville Eastern Star #805, where he served as Worthy Patron. He was a member of American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars where he held numerous local and state offices and was a past state commander for Veterans of Foreign Wars. Mr. Sparkman also served as a troop leader for the Boy Scouts, Troop 40, as his sons and grandsons achieved rank of Eagle Scout. Survivors include his sons George L. Sparkman and wife Sue of Mansfield; Bob Sparkman of Stephenville; Duane Sparkman and wife Vickie of Stephenville; his brother-in-law Gene Menefee and wife Betty of Granbury; his five grandsons Neil Sparkman and wife Carlene; Christopher Sparkman; Shaun Sparkman and wife Sharon; Jason Sparkman and wife Afreen; Jordan Sparkman; and his four great-grandchildren Avery, Mason, Dallas, and George; along with many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by three brothers, J.L. Sparkman, Bill Sparkman, Rodney Sparkman and two sisters, Beatrice Mason and Katy Bankhead. Texas VFW Summer 2011

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Get Your Official “Texas VFW” Gear Auxiliary Logos Now Available

Texas VFW Ball Cap — $16.00 Show your Texas Pride with a our new “Texas VFW” Ball Cap, complete with Texas VFW, Texas flag and your choice of emblem embroidered on the front. Available in White, Red and Blue: one size fits most. Imported.

Navy Polo Shirt with Pocket Texas VFW and your choice of emblem on right chest. 53% Cotton, 47% Microfiber, dri-balance performance material. Imported. VFW Logo Men’s pocket shirt – Stock #7942 VFW Logo Ladies’ no pocket shirt – Stock #7944 Men’s Aux Emblem – Stock #7948 Ladies Aux. Emblem No Pocket Shirt – Stock #7946 S-XL – $33.00 2XL – $34.50 3XL – $36.00 4XL – $38.00

VFW Emblem W7359 – White R7359 – Red B7359 – Blue VFW Ladies Aux. Emblem W7966 – White R7966 – Red B7966 – Blue VFW Men’s Aux. Emblem W7967 – White R7967 – Red B7967 – Blue

Caps & Shirts now available with Ladies and Mens Auxiliary Emblems!

Texas VFW Polo Shirt What better way to show off your Texas attitude than with a “Texas VFW” shirt. Made of 100% cotton knit with “Texas VFW” and your choice of emblem embroidered on left chest. Customized buttons with the five point Texas Star with Texas spelled out reminiscent of the first Texas flag known as the “Bonnie Blue” flag. Patriotic collar and sleeve cuffs with the Texas Flag image on left sleeve. Imported. VFW Emblem – Stock #7360 VFW Emblem Ladies Style – Stock #7361 Men’s Aux Emblem – Stock #7949 Ladies Aux Emblem & Style Shirt – Stock #7947 Price $35.00 for S-XL; 2XL Add $2.50; 3XL Add $4.50; 4XL Add $5.50. For custom embroidery options you can may up to 2 lines of text on the right chest for an additional $5.00.


THE OVERSEAS CAP WAS THE FIRST INTRODUCED IN WORLD WAR I AND IS AMERICA’S FIRST MILITARY UNIFORM ITEM DENOTING WAR TIME SERVICE.

Light weight style overseas cap with the Cross of Malta Emblem, letters VFW above the Post number and state name. Additional lettering is available at .88 per letter or numeral. No reduction in price if state name is abbreviated. *STATE AND POST NUMBER TO BE ON CAP. *SIZE 8 AND LARGER ADD $5.00. *FORT KNOX STYLE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST. *CAP MAY BE LETTERED WITH THE WORDS “VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS” for an additional $18.69; LIFE MEMBER embroidered for an additional $8.90; or a Life Member patch for an additional $2.55. Green, lightweight, shade51. Allow 8 weeks for manufacture except during April, May, June, & July. During these months allow 10 weeks.

1849 Texas VFW Men’s Bulova Quartz Medallion Watch

Price: $249.00 Note: If there is a need to exchange or return jewelry items, please contact the Supply Department for return authorization before doing so. Watches have, in the past few years, become very stylish and the factories change the appearance of them often. Therefore, the watch you receive may differ in appearance from our illustrations, but will be as good or better in quality.

TEXAS VFW Velour Throw

Beautiful, soft and luxurious microfibre throw, with TEXAS VFW embroidered in corner. Machine washable for easy care. 100% polyester. 50” x 60”

1992 — $28.99

Limited Quantities! ORDER TODAY!

Light-weight, versatile jacket with TEXAS VFW and Cross of Malta laser etched on the left chest. Microfiber fleece, full-zip front, hidden zip side pockets, draw-cord bottom.  Imported.

7356 – Navy Blue 7357 – Charcoal Gray $35.00 S-XL $37.00 2XL $39.00 3XL

A C C E S S O R I E S

Quality Bulova watch with date feature and two-tone silver and gold clasp band. Medallion VFW emblem on face with Texas VFW.

V F W

Price: $32.95

T E X A S

M6251 Light Weight Members Cap, Gold Piping


C e l e b r a t i o n

&

R e m e m b r a n c e

Loyalty Day Events — Celebrations from Around the State Texas VFW Post 856 — Edward G. Hutchins Post 856 met at the

Post home on April 30, 2011 to conduct services for their Loyalty Day Program. After the program the VFW sponsored lunch for all the participants and any prospective new members.

Texas VFW Post 2427 — Members showed their spirit for their Loyalty Day Parade by supplying and decorating a truck and trailer complete with speakers and music.

Texas VFW Post 8904 — Post Quartermaster Larry Hume with Granddaughter and Auxiliary Life Member Camryn Sisk.

Texas VFW Post 12058 —

(Far left) Members of the Kyle-Buda Post observed Loyalty Day by gathering at the Post home for a reading of the history of Loyalty Day. Attendees enjoyed camaraderie and lunch.

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Texas VFW Summer 2011


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R e m e m b r a n c e

Remembering “D-Day” ON THE MORNING OF JUNE 5, 1944, U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe gave the go-ahead for Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious military operation in history. On his orders, 6,000 landing craft, ships and other vessels carrying 176,000 troops began to leave England for the trip to France. That night, 822 aircraft filled with parachutists headed for drop zones in Normandy. An additional 13,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover and support for the invasion. By dawn on June 6, 18,000 parachutists were already on the ground; the land invasions began at 6:30 a.m. The British and Canadians overcame light opposition to capture Gold, Juno and Sword beaches; so did the Americans at Utah. The task was much tougher at Omaha beach, however, where 2,000 troops were lost and it was only through the tenacity and quick-wittedness of troops on the ground that the objective was achieved. By day’s end, 155,000 Allied troops — Americans, British and Canadians — had successfully stormed Normandy’s beaches. Nine months two days later Germany lay in ruins with all the AXIS powers in Europe defeated.

Texas VFW Post 4695 —

Chaplain King read a D-Day story to 120 members. Commanders from 19 posts were present.

Texas VFW Post 3278 —

Members enjoyed a D-Day presentation along with light refreshments.

Texas VFW Post 12058 —

The Post observed D-Day by listening to Gen. Eisenhower’s speech prior to the invasion and also FDR’s speech after the invasion. Two WWII veterans were in attendance and shared their experiences.

Texas VFW Post 2427 —

In honor of D-Day, Mayor Grethen Fagen requested that Chaplain Steve Allison provide an opening prayer at the June 6, 2011 Tomball city council meeting held at Tomball City Hall. The pledges to U.S. and Texas flags was led by Diane Whitney. The Mayor later offered a proclamation and photos with veterans.

Texas VFW Summer 2011

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R e m e m b r a n c e

Memorial Day — Honoring and Remembering

Texas VFW Post 6552 —

Texas VFW Post 6797 —

Members and Scouts participated in Memorial Day by placing flags at graves.

Texas VFW Post 3278 —

The Post and Ladies Auxiliary hosted a traditional service at Eastlawn Memorial Park in Brownwood, Texas honoring those killed in the conflicts of war and also veterans who served in the armed forces.

Veterans and active military service members participated in the Post’s annual Memorial Day Breakfast.

Texas VFW Post 3413 —

Members of post 3413, San Marcos, Texas, staked several hundred yard flags in honor of Memorial Day.

Texas VFW Post 8904 —

President Becky Yates assists granddaughters Jade and Madie Yates with their flowers for the Memorial Wreath.

Texas VFW Post 4695 — Bluebonnet Hills Memorial Cemetery — Commander Jim Van Rite and District 21 President Sue Van Rite read the Table of Remembrance ritual. Also present were Jeff King, Lloyd Goodwin, and two new members of the post. After a moving ceremony, Post 4695 invited the public to a free luncheon. There was roast and potatoes, green beans, potato salad, coleslaw and desserts. Table covers were red, white and blue stripe with flags and Buddy Poppies on every table.

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Texas VFW Summer 2011


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Independence Day — A Day of Celebration

Texas VFW Post 12058 —

Post Color Guard marched with flags and rifles in “Red, White & Buda” Independence Day Parade.

Texas VFW Post 4695 —

Post members grandchildren (L-R) Emarie Collins, Cherie Overman and Cloie Bates make sparkle art while awaiting their turns to sing at the Post’s Independence Day celebration.

Texas VFW Post 9182 —

Left to Right: Commander Mike Mastrangelo, Congressman Pete Olson (22nd District of Texas), and City of Katy, Mayor Don Elder.

Texas VFW Post 8904 — Uncle Sam and Mrs. Sam (Aux Treasurer Theresa Hume).

Photo by Rodney Smith

Texas VFW Post 912 —

Post 912 members were the Grand Marshalls in the Baytown July 4th parade.

Texas VFW Summer 2011

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H o n o r i n g

Ve t e r a n s

TEXAS VFW POST 880 HONORS VETERANS IN NEW WAY Members raise funds through unique ceiling tile project

Post Commander Raul a Rodriguez and Gilbert D. Gallardo, Project Chairmen, display ceiling tile. AS A VETERAN OF THE VIETNAM CONFLICT, I joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars in San Antonio and was drawn to a display of ceiling tiles recognizing war veterans at a veteran’s post. A job opportunity with the U.S. Coast Guard brought me to Galveston Island in 1996, where I later joined Galveston’s VFW Post 880. With the ceiling project in mind, the opportunity for the project in Galveston surfaced after the post home sustained storm damage during Hurricane Ike on Sept. 13, 2008. It soon evolved into a means of raising funds to help restore the damaged ceiling. By February 2009, post members approved the project, and gradually our veterans’ information began to emerge on the canteen overhead. It has become an interesting conversation piece for our visitors. It is an honor and a pleasure, as project officer, to assist veterans, their family members and friends research information on the Internet to be placed on the tiles. It is interesting to learn of the wars they served in, the duty assignments and medals and awards earned, using information from the service member’s discharge papers and separation documents. Most of us never hear of a veteran’s personal experiences — and we may never know because many of them just don’t talk about it. The following are a just a few examples of our tributes to our veterans: • Pvt. Raymond C. Paul, U.S. Army, World War I, 68th Engineer Regiment, VFW Post 880’s namesake, died Oct. 6, 1918, interred at St. Mihiel American Cemetery, Thiaucourt, France, hometown Texas City. •P  vt. Ismael R. Valdez, U.S. Army, World War II, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Purple Heart, Normandy Invasion Utah Beach. • Sgt. Amos Timothy Estes, U.S. Marine Corps, Second Nicaraguan Campaign in Central America and World War II-Asiatic Pacific,

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Texas VFW Summer 2011

Gilbert Gallardo carefully installs tiles on the Canteen overhead. Bougainville, Solomon Islands, lived to be 100 years old. •P  vt. First Class Theodore R. Martinez, U.S. Army, World War IIAsiatic Pacific, Mindoro Island, Fortress, Corregidor, Company D, 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team. • Pvt. Jaime Chapa, U.S. Army, Korea, 38th Parallel (DMZ), 1st Cavalry Division, 7th Cavalry Regiment, Purple Heart, came home missing one of two dog tags, was about to be left for dead. • Cpl. Julian Romo Licerio Jr., U.S. Marine Corps, Dà Nang, Vietnam, 3rd Marine Division, Purple Heart, wounded five times. •F  irst Sgt. Albert Vassallo, U.S. Army, World War II-Asiatic Pacific, New Guinea, Mindanao, Philippine Islands, Battery D, 487th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion, Past Post 880 Commander, Bronze Star for actions as a sharp shooter for downing enemy aircraft. • Lt. Col.nel John Paul Heggers, U.S. Army, Vietnam, Ninth Medical Laboratory 44th Medical Brigade, Legion of Merit and Bronze Star medals. •C  apt. Carlos M. Ippolito, U.S. Army, World War II-Normandy, Metz, Alsace-Lorraine, Saar River, Germany, 318th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry Division, served under Gen. George Patton’s Third Army. There are many other accounts of our brave veterans. This tribute is made possible with the assistance and graphics know-how of Craig Malmberg and Mindi Strimple of AB Sign Shop in Galveston. Our sincere thanks for services rendered. Our profound and heartfelt “Thank You” on this Memorial Day to all our military servicemen and women, past and present, for faithful service to our county, and who live up to Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s rallying cry of “Duty, Honor, Country.” The display is open to the public. Please visit us at VFW Post 880, 1014 24th St., at Avenue K in Galveston. For information, call 409-763-2257. By Gilberto D. Gallardo, Special to The Daily News, Published May 30, 2011


Your Donations stay in

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Our State

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When you give to your VFW Department mailings, you can take heart in knowing that you’re helping veterans right here in our state. Your gifts are urgently needed for important VFW Department programs like Veterans Service. With thousands of troops returning home, the time to act is now. Please give generously.

Texas VFW Summer 2011

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6/29/11 2:42 P


STATE AWARDS FOR 2010-2011 J.T. RUTHERFORD

A.R. “Russ” Richards, Post 4010, Missouri City Larry Konarik, Post 8587, Georgetown Joe McDaniels, Post 7873, Pottsboro

ALL-STATE DISTRICTS

District 8 Commander Ralph Rodriguez, Jr. District 28 Commander Larry Konarik

COMMANDERS SPECIAL RECOGNITION

Jim Hoffman, Post 9299 Alvarado

DANNY HENRY OUTSTANDING POST COMMANDER AWARD

Janis Arteaga, Post 8587 Georgetown

QUARTERMASTER

Jack Green, Post 1836 Lufkin

CHAPLAIN

Robert Russell, Post 8566 Bacliff

SERVICE OFFICER

Charles Smith, Post 3894 Waxahachie

PAST DISTRICT COMMANDER

James “Red” Towers, District 28

POW/MIA

District 16, Post 2494, Irving

HOMELESS VETERANS

Post 12024, The Woodlands

MOTORCYCLE UNIT

No submissions this year

AUXILIARY

Margaret Gonzalez, LA 2397 Corpus Christi

PUBLICATIONS

Post 6796 Dallas Post 12075 Humble Post 912 Baytown

COMMUNITY SERVICE POSTS

Division I – Post 6873, Abilene Division II – Post 2427, Tomball Division III – Post 3413, San Marcos Division IV – Post 3992 Mt. Vernon Division V – Post 8904 Center Division VI - Post 12075 Humble

BUDDY POPPY Public Promotion 1st Post 2559, West Tawakoni 2nd Post 2205 Denton Memorial/Inspirational 1st Post 9174 San Antonio 2nd Post 12058 Kyle 3rd Post 1475 Amarillo Artistic/Decorative 1st Post 2559, West Tawakoni 2nd Post 2494, Irving 3rd Post 4149 Midland

JUNIOR GIRLS

Post 4149, Midland

GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Law – LtCol. Seth McKee III, Post 6873 Abilene Fire – Russell Johnson, Post 4815 San Antonio Paramedic – Tim Pike, Post 7873 Pottsboro

SCOUT OF THE YEAR

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David Glover, Troop 219, Post 6873 Abilene Texas VFW Summer 2011

9 1 S T

A N N U A L

Dan West, State Assistant Adjutant

THIS YEAR OVER 1,000 TEXAS veterans and auxiliary members participated in the Texas VFW 91st Annual State Convention in Houston, Texas. Starting with the golf tournament on Wednesday, June 29th 2011, sponsored by District Four, teams of four played 18 holes of golf even with temperatures reaching 101 degrees. All had a great time and District Four volunteers staffed the event, under the direction of Convention Chairman Eric Shumaker. At the final Council of Administration meeting for the 2010-2011 year, Sate Commander Wayne DePute recognized several Districts for their outstanding performance in membership growth and community service projects. Prior to the opening ceremonies and throughout the convention, attendees had the opportunity to visit with and purchase services and keepsakes from over 30 different vendors, including VFW products and Texas VFW branded merchandise from the National VFW Emblem & Supply Store. All hands where on deck for the opening ceremonies with the Navy Honor Guard from the U.S. Navy Recruiting District in Houston, Texas. The National Anthem was performed by Amber Heady a member of the Ladies Auxiliary in District 21 evoking a strong sense of patriotism with all those present. After introductions and salutations from the State Commander, the top 25 Posts in the State were recognized as All State Posts and presented their awards by State Commander DePute and National VFW Commander-in-Chief Richard Eubank. After the awards, State Adjutant/Quartermaster Roy Grona took control as the Master of Ceremonies and introduced our key note speaker, Lieutenant Colonel Joanne MacGregor, Commander of the Texas Army National Guard’s Recruiting and Retention Battalion and Texas VFW member, who spoke about the mission of the Texas Army National Guard in Iraq and how superbly the soldiers of the Texas National Guard have performed with difficult mission assignments there and in Afghanistan.

Lieutenant Colonel Joanne Macgregor was followed by a presentation from First Sergeant William J. Bernreuther of the 1st Air Cavalry Division on how the Texas VFW has supported their active duty soldiers when deployed but also while stateside through the Adopt-A-Unit agreement between the 1st Air Cavalry and the Texas VFW. Later that evening, hospitality with live music was opened for member networking, fellowship and dancing to popular music from the 1960’s to today. Business meetings for both the VFW and Auxiliary followed the next day that included reports from committee chairman, recognition of Honor Roll Posts, individual recruiting awards and nominations for state leadership positions. At the State Awards Banquet Master of Ceremonies State Adjutant/Quartermaster Roy Grona, asked State Commander Wayne DePute and National VFW Representative Commander-in-Chief Richard Eubank to present all of the State level awards to the winners who were called to the awards platform individually (see insert for list of awards and winners). On Saturday, VFW and Auxiliary meetings reconvened, nominations reopened and elections held with John Spahr elected to lead the Texas VFW as the State Commander for the 2011-2012 year. The following were also elected to the following State positions; Senior Vice Commander – Larry Velasquez; Junior Vice Commander – Sylvia Sanchez; Quartermaster – Roy Grona; Judge Advocate – Ken Burton; Surgeon – Thomas “Doc” Howard; Chaplain – Robert Dickerson. At the installation ceremony held later that afternoon, State Commander John Spahr announced his appointments (see page 4) and thanked the many people and Posts that helped him in his VFW career, most especially his wife Sue. State Commander Spahr and State Auxiliary President Sharon Helton are energized about serving the Comrades and Sisters of the Texas VFW for 2011-2012.


S T A T E

C O N V E N T I O N ALL STATE DISTRICTS District 8 District 28

ALL STATE POSTS

rs ward Winne J.T. Rutherfos Ricrdhards,ALar ls nie Da Mc ry Konarik, Joe (L-R) Rus

rict Winnerser All State Dist Pute, District 8 Command

Wayne De (L-R) State Commander arik, t 28 Commander Larry Kon Ralph Rodriguez Jr., Distric ank. Eub d hief Richar National Commander-in-C

Post 8587, Georgetown Post 76, San Antonio Post 6873, Abilene Post 8787, Austin Post 3892, Harker Heights Post 7873, Pottsboro Post 9182, Katy Post 9078, Round Rock Post 10454, Grapevine Post 5076, Garland Post 3413, San Marcos Post 6008, Hewitt Post 4695, Hurst Post 6115, Elgin Post 4709, Conroe Post 5872, Fairfield Post 2427, Tomball Post 12075, Humble Post 2438, Bay City Post 12058, Kyle Post 8925, Pilot Knob Post 3278, Brownwood Post 4136, Eastland Post 3966, Devine Post 4692, Bryan Post 8904, Center Post 8551, Sweeny

Texas VFW Summer 2011

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Members of the The Woodlands, Texas VFW Post 12024 Honoring and Remembering all who served and sacrificed for our Freedom

2011 Summer Texas VFW Magazine  
2011 Summer Texas VFW Magazine  

The offiicial magazine of the Texas VFW.

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