Official Publication Department of Massachusetts H Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States H 43.4 November 2013
Comrades, We have only two thirds of our term left. I want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Remember as of January 1st, dues will be going up $10.00; so if you send your dues in now, you save that $10.00. It’s been quite a few years since we have achieved 100% Membership on the State level. At the time that I am writing this, we are about 80% of last year’s membership. Twenty percent to go. We can do it if we stick together and if we all have one mindset on membership. Remember 100% is not that far away. We should have all the programs done and waiting for the winners. Judging was not easy, but only a few Ron Smith can win. Community Service should still be going on State Commander and reports should be sent in on a regular basis. I am trying to visit each and every District and as many Posts as possible. I want you to know that if I don’t see you or talk to you, it is only because of time constraints. We have a new assistant Service Officer in the Western part of the State. His name is Scott Gagnon and he will help you in any and all ways that you need. He is also the District 9 Commander. He will be available three days a week. You can get his contact info by calling the State House office number. In March of 2114, the National Commander will pay us a visit and we will have the Banquet for him at Lombardo’s in Randolph, Massachusetts. Tickets will go on sale after the New Year begins. Please show him how grateful we are for all the work he has done and is still doing by purchasing tickets early. My staff at the State House is always there waiting to serve you. We, on the State level, are here to serve you and not the other way around. In closing, I would like to thank you for what you do and for what you are going to do. God Bless America and God Bless the VFW.
On behalf of my wife and myself, we would like to express our holiday greetings to everyone. Please have a happy, safe and enjoyable holiday season. We also wish you a healthy New Year. Commanders, Quartermasters and trustees, the June 30, 2013 and the September 30, 2013 audits are due at this time. Commanders, you should have received the bond at your home by now. If you haven’t, then your Quartermaster may not be bonded. All Post Quartermaster’s bonds expired August 31, 2013 if they are bonded with the Department of Massachusetts, Veterans of Foreign Wars. Post Commanders, it is your duty to attend all properly called District meetings or you must assign Stanley (Stan) T. King, PSC a representative (see Section 218 a (1) k of the State Quartermaster Bylaws). District meetings are where Post officers can get very important information that can help your Post. To all Post officers and members – we need your help. The department of Massachusetts has entered into a contract with Consult Tele-Communications of Londonderry New Hampshire to sell ads in our State Convention ad book. We need everyone to know that the employees of Consult-Tel-Communications will be going to businesses in Massachusetts soliciting for ads. We need your help to get the word out to anyone who answers a Post telephone. They should know that the department of Massachusetts has authorized the campaign for the sale of ads for the State Convention ad book. If a business in your area calls to find out if the VFW is selling ads, we need to assure them that we are, in fact, selling ads. Thank you for all your help in making the Department of Massachusetts a great Department to be part of. When we work together, we can accomplish our goals.
Yours in Comradeship, Ron Smith State Commander
Stan King Quartermaster
George Murray Gets Capped
Commander and Mrs. Smith
Somewhere in their visit across the state, Commander Ron Smith shares a relaxing moment with his wife, Jean.
What’s Inside the News...
Hyde Park native and Vietnam Veteran George Murray is shown here getting capped at the National Convention as the National Counsel Representative from Massachusetts.
Officers’ Reports............................ 1-3
National Council Member.................3
Calendar of Events............................4
District News................................ 9-10
Post News................................... 10-12
VFW Department of Massachusetts 24 Beacon Street State House – Room 546-1 Boston, MA 02133-1043 Telephone: 617-727-2612 Fax: 617-727-3876 Web site: www.vfwma.org
H H H MASSACHUSETTS VFW NEWS H H H
State Sr. Vice Commander
Greetings, Comrades: By the time you get this newspaper, we will be halfway through our year. I urge you to support Commander Ron Smith’s Special Project “National Military Services”. This is a VFW national program that provides emergency financial assistance to our deployed troops’ families in their time of need. It also provides free calling home on select days. Please do what you can to both retain our existing members and to recruit new ones. One thing I feel we need to do more of is let people in our city and towns know what we do. All of our Posts do good things in their communities; however nobody is made aware of it. We keep it to ourselves and don’t let our local Bob Graser news outlets know what is happening – “get some State Sr. Vice Commander ink”. If our young Veterans know what we do, as opposed to the stereotype (that we sit around a bar telling war stories), which we all know isn’t true – they will join us. We need to communicate! Times have changed and we also need to change. I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Happy New Year. Thank all of you for what you do. May God bless you, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the United States of America.
I hope everyone had a great learning experience at OTI. It was the best one I have attended. I would like you to know that the Computer Check in Kiosks are spreading to other VAMCs in the department. The computer check-in will allow you to avoid lines, review your personal data (and that of your next of kin) and edit the information at the Kiosk. You can also see your insurance on record. The primary purpose is to check in for your appointment(s) without going to the clerk and standing in line. The last screen will allow you to print out your appointments for the next 30 days. After this is done, you just take a seat and wait for your name to be called. The kiosks are located in several areas: In VAMC Leeds, they are Joseph “Joe” Grabon in Primary Care, Urgent Care and in the Laboratory State Surgeon areas. This may vary by location. To implement this new program your local VAMC will need volunteers to help train our veterans. Typically this involves 4 hours once a week. This is a good way to earn service credits for your Post. Don’t forget trying to organize a Blood Drive at your Post around Veterans Day and the upcoming holidays.
Bob Graser State Sr. Vice Commander
State Jr. Vice Commander My fellow Comrades, It has been my honor and privilege to serve as your Junior Vice Commander. It has been a busy, but rewarding experience. We are close to the halfway mark through our year, so our programs such as Voice of Democracy, Patriot’s Pen, Teachers Award and Membership should be in full swing. Last, but not least, Commander Ron Smith’s special project is VFW National Military Services. Please support it. In closing, remember: “NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS THAN THE VFW.” Joe Stavolta State Jr. Vice Commander
Joseph Stavolta Junior Vice Commander
Joseph Grabon State Surgeon
Patriot’s Pen Chairman
Joseph “Joe” Grabon Patriot’s Pen Chairman
Joseph Grabon Patriot’s Pen Chairman
State Inspector Dear Comrades, We are now six months into our 2013-2014 VFW year and I hope that by the time you read this article that the Posts and District of the Department of Massachusetts will be 100% inspected. If not, I would like to point out (for now and in the future) some of the problems and errors that I have observed. In doing so, I hope next year’s Post Commanders, Quartermasters and District Commanders will heed the advice I am about to give. I have found that the Quartermaster’s bond was not sufficient in many of the Posts. The Quartermaster’s bond should be greater than the grand total of all assets. Many Post who own their Post homes are not indicating the value of the property or the amount owed, if any. After completion of the inspection report, the original Edward (Buddy) Walsh State Inspector and copies are to be signed by the Post Commander, Quartermaster and Inspector. Mail the completed inspection to me at 78 Falcon Street, East Boston, MA 02128. DO NOT MAIL TO THE STATE HOUSE. If you encounter problems, have questions or need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me at 617-569-1379. I will be more than happy to assist you. As the Department’s Officers’ Report Chairman, I am taking this opportunity to remind all Department Officers and Chairmen that reporting their activities is very important. In order to accomplish this requirement, I am providing you with a couple of tips that may help you. As you complete an activity, record it on a calendar or in a diary so that all you need to do is refer to your calendar or diary when your report is due. The officer’s report for this year will be due May 10, 2014. If you keep track of your activities, it won’t be such a chore. Also mail the Officers’ Report to me at 78 Falcon Street, East Boston, MA 02128. I intend to give Commander Ron a binder filled with reports from all of his officers and chairmen. It would really be nice if District and Post Commanders also send reports. Thank you for your support and cooperation in complying with the above requests. I wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season and a healthy, prosperous New Year. Yours in Comradeship, Edward (Buddy) Walsh State Inspector & Officers’ Report Chairman
I would like to remind the Districts and the Posts that the entries for the 2013-14 Patriot’s Pen Essay contest are due to the Posts by November 1 and the Districts need to receive these entries by November 15. Districts must forward their winner to the Department Adjutant, William Madera, by December 1. Posts may forward to District one entry for each 15 entries received or fraction thereof. For example, if you received 18 entries, then you may forward two entries to your District. Districts can only submit one entry for the statewide judging. The theme for the Patriot’s Pen Essay contest is “What Does Patriotism Mean to Me?” Thank you for all your efforts in making this program successful.
State Chaplain I was going through some old file folders in a box in my attic and found a story I saved in 1992; saved it for some reason, which I forget at the moment. I did not know who the author was at the time, but have since learned he is Dr. Harry Clarke Noyes. The title is, “The Goose Story.” When fall arrives and you look up to the sky you will see and hear geese flying in a “V” formation heading South. Do you wonder why they fly that way? Science has discovered they fly that way because as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying this way in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds about 71% percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. [Comrades who share a common direction and a sense of commuFr. Joseph J. Gallick State Chaplain nity can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.] When a goose falls from the formation, it suddenly experiences drag and the resistance of trying to fly alone and quickly returns back to the formation to take advantage of the lift power of the goose directly in front. [Comrades, if we have the sense of a goose, we will stay in formation with our fellow comrades who are headed in the same direction.] When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose takes over. [Comrades, it pays to take turns doing hard jobs.] The geese honk in the rear of the formation as they fly to encourage those in the front to keep up their speed. [Comrades, an encouraging word goes a long way.] Finally, when a goose gets ill or is wounded by gunshots and falls out of the formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it recovers and is able to fly or until it dies. Then they launch out on their own or with another formation to try and return to their group. [Comrades, if we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other even when we fall.] Maybe I saved this story for my article! Fr. Joseph J. Gallick State Chaplain
H H H MASSACHUSETTS VFW NEWS H H H
A Note from Your National Council Member I had the pleasure of going to Kansas City for my first National Council Meeting in August. At that meeting I met the Council Members from all other states and had plenty of time to mingle and mix. Also at that meeting we had a chance to go over the National Budget (three full times) plus some other issues that needed to be brought before the Council and voted on. It was a very educational and enjoyable meeting and fulfilling three days. I learned a lot, but there is so much more. I look forward to our trip to The Eastern States Conference in October in Washington, D.C. I am sure that will be informative; plus it always gives us a chance to meet other members of the Eastern States. I have done some traveling around the state; I have always enjoyed that on my own, but mostly when on George D. Murray, PSC assignment from Committees I may be serving on. National Council Member I am looking forward to the State Commanders Banquet coming up November 23, 2013. I will be able to report on that next time. Also, the Canton Hospital Christmas Party is a big event and it is right on our doorstep. I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season, especially to those I won’t see. If I can be of any assistance to anyone, please feel free to call me on my cell at 617816-6870 or my home at 617-364-0579. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find and pm me on Facebook. George D. Murray, PSC National Council Member
The Editor Speaks
Nick Paganella Editor
Will you consider sending your story for the VFW News? Here’s a general guideline to help you construct your story. Use a separate piece of paper to answer these questions. Also, a close up photo of way back when and a recent photo sent along would be great. Did you: • Hold any officer’s position in any veterans organization? • If so, how long have you been a member? • Why do you think it’s important to have veterans’ organizations? • Are you on active duty now? Were you a National Guard or Reservist? • How long were you in the military? • Any family member ever serve in the military? • What position did you hold in the military? • Would you tell us some of your duty assignments? • Where, while serving, did you receive an injury? • Would you like to share your experience with the readers? • What would you say to a recent graduate about serving in the military? Thank you for your service. Nick Paganella VFW NEWS Editor email@example.com 20 Antrim Road Framingham, MA 01701 508-872 5895
NEWSPAPER DEADLINES for 2014
March Issue deadline: Saturday, January 25, 2014 It is important that the DEADLINES are adhered to. Please send to: Nick Paganella, Editor 20 Antrim Road, Framingham, MA 01701 firstname.lastname@example.org • (508) 872-5895
State Adjutant Dear Comrades, Here we are in November and the Holiday Season is upon us. That means we’re half way through the year! December 31, 2013 is our last day to pay your dues at the current rate. As of January 1, 2014 all Post dues automatically go up $10.00. So let’s all give a push and get the membership dues in before January 1st. All programs should be in progress. Our email is coming along but we still need 50 more to be 100% email ready. Because of the $10.00 raise in dues we urge Commanders to inform members about life membership. Don’t forget to order your Buddy Poppies for Memorial Day early. In an effort to assist Posts from struggling in the future I urge you to be up to date on taxes owed for all sold Bill Madera items in the Corporation. For more information please State Adjutant feel free to contact me at the Department office, 617727-2612. Given the responsibilities of the Quartermaster I suggest each Post get a CPA to review their books. Commanders let’s see if we can get 100% for our State Commander Ron Smith. Together we can do it. The Department is open Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 3:30 pm to help you in any way we can. Please keep our troops in harm’s way in your thoughts and prayers. Also remember to visit your comrades that are home bound. We’re the Department of Massachusetts! Let’s make it a banner year! Yours in Comradeship, Bill Madera State Adjutant
The deadline for the March issue is January 25, 2014.
VFW Salutes New Stolen Valor Law The Legislation Passed with Overwhelming Support
June 04, 2013, WASHINGTON –The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Stolen Valor Act of 2005 almost a year ago on the grounds that lying was protected speech, but justices on both sides of the 6-3 decision also provided a roadmap requiring any future legislation to be narrower in focus than just to penalize people for simple lying. Yesterday, the president signed the new Stolen Valor Act of 2013 into law. Said John E. Hamilton, National Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., “the new law is bulletproof against another constitutional challenge because the focus is now on the intent to profit from the lie – to obtain money, property or something of a tangible benefit or value – which is what con artists have been doing throughout history.” The VFW-supported legislation was introduced by Rep. Joe Heck and Sen. Dean Heller, both from Nevada. H.R. 258 passed overwhelmingly in the House two weeks ago and its Senate companion, S. 210, passed by unanimous consent two days later. Not every combat award is covered, but the ones most coveted will now have wannabe heroes facing up to a year in jail and $100,000 fines for each offense. Now protected by law are the Medal of Honor, service crosses, Silver Star, the Purple Heart and combat badges such as the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Combat Action Badge, STOLEN VALOR LAW, continued on page 4
The Massachusetts VFW News is produced by the Department of Massachusetts Veteran of Foreign Wars: Room 546-1 State House, 24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02133 in conjunction with American Graphics and Design, Inc. 700 W. Virginia St., Suite 700, Milwaukee, WI 53204 President, Jenny DeBack; Graphic Designer, Cindy Chic; Composition Specialist, Ellen Imp • www.agad.com
H H H MASSACHUSETTS VFW NEWS H H H
KOREA The Forgotten War’s 60th Anniversary
Cape and Islands Chapter Host Korean War Ceremony
It was so gratifying to receive over 250 requests for the Korean War Appreciation Certificate, which was signed by DoD Chuck Hagel. The certificate was provided by the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee based in Arlington, Virginia in commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War. Experiencing the conversations of some who requested it by phone and reading the e-mails and the notes sent in by regular postal mailings renewed exhilarating feelings each time they were received. Some of the remarks displayed true devotion to duty to our beloved country. Here’s a sample of a few of their quotes: “After all these years!” Another was, “I thought they forgot about us.” And another, “We didn’t have a high school class reunion ’cause all the graduating class officers were killed in the war.” It was gratifying that the ladies at the Triumph Enterprises in Alexandria, Virginia who were contracted to provide the Certificates responded to the late entries beyond the cutoff date. Some requests came from those who moved to far away states in the country, such as Arizona, Oregon and California.
The Cape and Islands Chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association (KVA) hosted a ceremony commemorating the 60th anniversary of that War’s ceasefire at the Korean War Memorial at Veterans Memorial Park in Hyannis. Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Jimmy Dishner and Kangho Park, Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Boston were speakers. Mr. Park said, “We Koreans will never forget the role your American sons and daughters played in our nation’s survival.” Further acknowledging the many veterans present, he said: “We thank you and we honor you. But most importantly, we remember you.” The Master of Ceremonies also acknowledged the leadership role that VFW member John ‘Jake” O’Rourke had played in its preparation, to include visiting the Korean Consulate in Boston to secure the participation of Mr. Park. Besides being the Commander of the Cape and Islands Chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association at the time of his death in June, Jake O’Rourke was also serving as the Senior Vice Commander of VFW District 17 and the Commander of VFW Post 2578 (Hyannis). Next to the memorial to John F. Kennedy overlooking Hyannis Harbor, the Korean War Memorial in Hyannis (see pictures) is an eight-foot bronze statue on a three-foot granite base, showing an Infantry rifleman charging up a hill against enemy positions. It’s based on an award-winning “Picture of the Year” entitled “The 38th Parallel” taken in 1951 by Army combat photographer Donald D. Duquette, who was present with his wife at the ceremony. Don Duquette is the current Commander of VFW Post 2578 (Hyannis) and in 1951 had been assigned to document the combat actions of the 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division near the town of Suwon, Korea. The statue’s granite base contains the names of 24 Cape South Korean Counsel (Boston) Kangho Park expressing his nation’s thanks Cod Korean Veterans killed in action. The numerous veterans in attendance to American Veterans during the 60th included many members of the VFW, The Anniversary of the Korean War ArmiAmerican Legion, Marine Corps League stice during ceremonies held in Hyannis at the Korean War Memorial. and AMVETS, as well as the KVA.
Seen here at the festivities on July 27 at the Commemorative 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Korean War Armistice at the Sheraton Pentagon City in Arlington, Virginia are, L-R: VFW Past National Commander-in-Chief Clifford Olsen, VFW MA Editor Nick Paganella and VFW Mike Figlioli, Veterans Service Officer out of the Washington, D.C. office.
Law Enforcement Program Chairman The VFW has some outstanding programs. One of them is the Law Enforcement Gold Medal Award. Each year the Veterans of Foreign Wars selects a Law Enforcement Officer to receive the VFW Gold Medal Award. The District and Post Commanders are encouraged to submit a candidate for this award to the Law Enforcement Chairman no later than November 1, 2013. The candidate selected will be forwarded to the Department Headquarters no later than January 1, 2014. The Department Headquarters will submit the candidate to National Headquarters by February 1, 2014. Eligible candidates for the award is as follows: any individual who serves in a municipal, county, state or federal unit tasked with enforcement of the laws pertaining to their area of responsibility. The award does not apply to individuals employed by private companies or security services. Criteria for the award that candidates must have demonstrated is as follows: (1) Consistent excellence in the performance of their duties. Recognition by their colleagues or those they serve. (2) Consistent dedication to their official responsibilities over a period of years and continuous responsibilities and skills within their profession. Documentation required for all candidates: (1) Nomination letter containing the candidate’s Name, Title, Address and Phone Number. (2) One page resumé of the candidate’s overall background. (3) One page resumé of the candidate’s background in their field. (4) One page listing of the candidate’s accomplishments and awards in their field. (5) Photograph (preferably a headshot) of candidate. Yours in Comradeship, Albert L. Williams Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Massachusetts Law Enforcement Chairman
Boston Police VFW Post 1018 500 Morton Street Dorchester, MA 02124 617-282-4055 Cell: 617-224-6404
STOLEN VALOR LAW, continued from page 3 Combat Medical Badge, Combat Action Ribbon and Combat Action Medal. “The VFW salutes Congressman Heck, Senator Heller, their co-sponsors and President Obama for following through on a very sensitive issue that everyone who has worn the uniform cares deeply about,” said Hamilton, who earned three Purple Hearts as a Marine Corps rifleman in Vietnam. “We want all con artists to pay a very severe penalty – and a very public price – for daring to steal the valor of those too few who survived and of the great many who did not.”
Pictured, L-R: Combat Photographer Donald Duquette, Hyannis VFW Post 2578 Commander; his wife, Virginia; and VFW Life Member Joseph Gentile, with the Hyannis Korean War Memorial in the background.
Calendar of Events 2014 Tentative Schedule January 11th, 10:30 a.m. COUNCIL OF ADMINISTRATION Melrose January 12th, 1:00 p.m. VOICE OF DEMOCRACY/ PATRIOT’S PEN BANQUET Double Tree/Milford March 3-6 NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE Washington, D.C. March 8th, 12 Noon COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF’S BANQUET Lombardo’s Randolph March 15th, 10:30 a.m. COUNCIL OF ADMINISTRATION Avon Post 8892
April 6th, 12 Noon STATE PRESIDENT BANQUET Auburn Elks Club April 27th, 10:30 a.m. LOYALTY DAY USS Massachusetts May 10th, 10:30 a.m. COUNCIL OF ADMINISTRATION Pepperell May 25th, 10:00 a.m. MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONIES State House May 25th, 1:00 p.m. MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONIES Bourne National Cemetery June 5-8th STATE CONVENTION Best Western-Marlborough
H H H MASSACHUSETTS VFW NEWS H H H
In Memoriam ATHOL POST 650 Adams, John Quincy MEDFORD POST 1012 Busby, James R. Forcier, Ovide A. Friend, Edward M. Keating, John H. Koerber, Elliot P. Larson, Stanley C. O’Donnell, Richard Tracey, S. Patrick NATICK POST 1274 Fader, Horace E. NEW BEDFORD POST 1531 Mulligan, John J.
NORTH BROOKFIELD POST 3439 Gaudette, Theodore Ezra Lane, John J. FLORENCE POST 8006 Papillon, Donald Mandeville, Bernard James Keith M. Jackson Candidate for State Surgeon 2014-2015 “Together We Can Build A Stronger VFW”
VA Health Benefits VA provides world-class health coverage to millions of Veterans, but we want to serve even more of you. Did you know… • Most of the estimated 1.3 million uninsured Veterans are eligible for VA health care? • If you are enrolled in VA health care, you don’t need to take additional steps to meet the new health care law coverage standards? • It takes only minutes to apply online for VA health care and request an appointment? • VA offers online medical records that let you stay in control of your health care and even refill a prescription? • Women Veterans can get comprehensive primary care, breast and cervical cancer screenings, maternity care and other specialized services? • As part of America’s largest integrated health network with more than 1,700 sites of care, your VA medical providers have real-time access to medical and prescription information so you get the highest quality care anywhere in the country? Join the more than 8.7 million Veterans enrolled in VA health care. Explore VA health benefits today and consider applying now. And share this with the Veterans you know so they, too, can benefit from VA health care.
NamVets Host Stand-Down The NamVets Association of the Cape and Islands and Cape Cod Academy hosted a Second Annual Health & Informational Stand-Down for Veterans living on Cape Cod. During the Stand Down, free health services for vets were provided by more than 30 local agencies, which included haircuts, acupuncture, a dental check, bone density scan and ultraviolet check for skin cancers. Free transportation from Hyannis and lunches were provided to attendees. The Massachusetts Department of Veteran Services and the Bourne Military Cemetery also provided information on their services. A keynote speaker was Congressman William Keating who then visited with the VFW members in attendance, expressing his appreciation for their military service and ensuring that the Vets knew how to contact his office for assistance.
VFW Member and Korean War veteran Joseph Gentile is shown holding a bag of informational flyers he was provided at the veterans’ 2nd Annual StandDown in Cape Cod.
Keith M. Jackson Candidate for Surgeon
MELROSE POST 2394 Carli, Amando Daley, John J., Jr. DiNocco, Donato Penny, Francis Puglia, Vincent Roberts, George Sarni, Ralph
PLYMOUTH POST 1822 Lally, Martin Maher, Roy Pasiuk, Edwin Peck, Kenneth
VFW Member and Korean War veteran Joseph Gentile prepares to undergo a free dental examination by Dental Technician Faith Kapolis of Polish Dentists of Brewster.
I bring more than 30 years of leadership experience as a soldier and a professional in the civilian workforce. I have a vast amount of experience serving our veterans and veteran organizations since 1994 at the Post, District and State Level. I will strive to do my very best to accomplish our goals and to fulfill my responsibilities as the State Surgeon. I have the time, energy and resources and I am committed to continue our efforts for the good and the betterment of this Great Department of Massachusetts and for the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
Candidate for State Surgeon 2014-15 Jeff Najarian Comrades, My name is Jeff Najarian and it is my pleasure and honor to announce to you my candidacy for your State Surgeon for 2013-2014. I’ve been married 38 years to Mary and have two grown sons, Adam and Paul (who is currently serving as a Captain, US Army Engineers). I am 63 years old and a lifelong resident of Rockland; graduate of Univ Mass, Dartmouth (GI Bill) and two BAs (in Political Science and Sociology); an avid military shoulder patch collector and amateur military historian. Enlisted in the US Army in 1969, serving in Vietnam 1970-71 at 2nd Field Force, Artillery; originally trained in communications (coding/decoding encryption); my last assignment was as the Jeff Najarian NCOIC of Transportation at the AFEES Candidate for State Surgeon Station in Chicago, Illinois. 2014-2015 I joined the Abington VFW Post 5737 in 1974; became a Life Member in 1996; transferred to my hometown VFW Old Colony Post 1788, Rockland in 2004 and went through the chairs; served as Post Commander 2007-09 and made All-State and All-American Post Commander in 2009; also served many years as Post VOD Chairman. I have been involved with District 12 since 2006, going through the chairs and serving as the District VOD Chairman for many years and served as District 12 Commander from 2010-2012. At the State Level, I was a member of the Council of Administration as the District 12 Commander; State VOD Chairman 2011-2013; appointed to the Budget Committee for 2010-2011; and appointed to the new Fundraiser Committee in 2013. At the National Level, I received an appointment to the 2012 VFW Convention in Reno, Nevada for the General Resolutions Committee; and was appointed National Aide-de-Camp for 2012-2013. I’ve been a member of the Military Order of the Cootie since 2006; Hospital Chairman for the Grand of Mass and Pup Tent 14 since 2006; elected the Seam Squirrel (Cmdr) in 2008 to the present; elected Blanket Bum (Sr. Vice Cmdr) for the Grand in 2008 to the present. Life Member of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 50; Life Member and& Past Commander of US Veterans-Vietnam Era Post 2; Member and current Sr. Vice Cmdr of American Legion Post 147; Life Member and Past Commander of Vietnam Veterans of America, Southern Connecticut Chapter 251; and President of the Rockland Allied Veterans Council. I have a deep commitment to the VFW and to Veterans. While all veterans’ organizations do their part, I have found over the years that the VFW has the deepest commitment to, and is the best avenue, for helping veterans. My hope is to start in the Chairs serving as your State Surgeon and to work my way up to State Commander. Going through the Department Chairs, I hope to gain the experience and knowledge that will allow me to be an effective Commander, able to make the right decisions to best serve the VFW Membership and all veterans. I hope that I can count on your support! Thank You! Jeffrey P. Najarian Candidate for State Surgeon
H H H MASSACHUSETTS VFW NEWS H H H
In Memory – William F. Jermyn
John Francis “Jake” O’Rourke
3/15/1943 – 9/19/2013
February 4, 1931 – June 18, 2013
William (Billy) F. Jermyn, age 70 of Sanford, Florida passed away peacefully at home on September 19, 2013 after a brief illness. A native of Hingham, Massachusetts, he leaves behind his beloved wife of 47 years, Nancy and loving children: son Chief Petty Officer Keith Jermyn, USN and wife Lisa of Hingham, MA and daughter Karla Jermyn Teegarden of Sanford, FL. Adoring grandfather (Pappy) to Nicolas, Kalli and JT Jermyn of Hingham and Dylan Teegarden of Sanford; and cherished brother of Dorothy Galo and Martha Schuka of Hingham, Nancy Wilkie of Rockland, MA, Carol Staffier of Avon, MA, and Marjorie Perry of Dania Beach, FL and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by parents Howard and Hope Jermyn of Hingham and brothers Howard Jermyn of Washington, ME and Dick Jermyn of Weymouth, MA. Billy was a US Navy veteran serving from (1961-1967) as a sail maker aboard the subtender USS Fulton AS11. An expert tree surgeon, he was retired from the City of Sanford Public Works Department and was a former Town of Hingham elected official: Superintendent of Hingham Tree and Park Department. At the age of 44 he ran in the 1987 Boston Marathon crossing the finish line in (3h 48m 12s). He was an avid motorcycle enthusiast, traveling from Alaska to Costa Rica and just about every state in between on his Harley, earning him the coveted “Iron Butt” Award from Easy Rider magazine. Also a talented artist, he could make you anything from anything at all. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Rolling Thunder Charities, Inc., P.O. Box 327, Neshanic Station, NJ 08853. Billy donated his body for scientific research and will be cremated thereafter. His living will ends with the following passage: “Burn what is left of me and scatter my ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow. If you must bury something, let it be my faults, weaknesses and all prejudice against my fellow man. Give my sins to the devil and my soul to God. If by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you. If you do all I have asked, I will live forever.”
John Francis “Jake” O’Rourke, 82, of South Yarmouth, passed away on June 18th, due to a heart attack. Jake was the Post Commander of the Dennis F. Thomas Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2578 in Hyannis and had been elected in May 2013 as the Senior Vice Commander of Massachusetts VFW District 17. Jake was very active in veterans’ organizations, including the VFW, Korean War Veterans Association of Cape Cod, American Legion Post 206 where he was Senior Vice Commander and The Marine Corps League. His picture in full dress Marine uniform appeared frequently in local newspapers during military-related commemorative events. He was the owner/operator of Jake’s Clam Bakes with his wife, Ann. Friends and fellow veterans waited in line for almost an hour to pay their respects at his wake. Two aged veterans in dress Marine On June 18th we lost a great American uniforms stood silently at each side of Jake’s Hero, Jake O’Rourke went home to open casket, where he lay reposed in his be with the Lord. Jake (on the right) uniform. At his funeral mass, the coffin was and his best friend Bob Spellman, escorted into and out of the church by two these two Marines (both in their 80’s) dozen uniformed members of The American have stood at Troops in the Spotlight Legion and Marine Corps League. for nine years. We were blessed to Enroute to the Bourne National Military know Jake, and honored to have Jake Cemetery, the funeral procession was escorted as part of our Cape Cod Cares for by Yarmouth Police and Massachusetts State the Troops family. Our thought and Police. At traffic rotaries and intersections, prayers are with his wife Ann and his police officers halted traffic, stood at attention children. Jake, you will be missed! and saluted as the hearse passed by. The Yarmouth Deputy Chief of Police, Steven Xiarhos, escorted and accompanied the O’Rourke family members. Chief Xiarhos’ son, Nicholas, was a Corporal in the USMC when he was killed by a roadside IED in July 2009.
Combat veteran still on duty By Cynthia McCormick May 23, 2013 HYANNIS – If anybody understands what combat veterans endure, it’s Korean War veteran John “Jake” O’Rourke of South Yarmouth. In November 1950 he fought with the U.S. Marines to escape entrapment by an overwhelming force of Chinese soldiers near North Korea’s Chosin Reservoir. “There was thousands of them coming at you,” said O’Rourke. “I’m lucky I’m here.” Although little known today, Chosin is considered one of the most savage battles in American history and of epic importance in the history of the Marine Corps. Although the ambushing Chinese troops outnumbered them by more than 6-to-1, the men who became known as the “Frozen Chosin” managed to reconnect with American forces after a 13-day, 78-mile journey to the Sea of Japan in record cold temperatures. On Sunday, O’Rourke will show his appreciation for veterans of Korea and other wars by standing at attention during a 24-hour event sponsored by Cape Cod Cares for the Troops at Capetown Plaza in Hyannis. This will be the ninth year the organization has sponsored the event – and every year O’Rourke, who is 82, has taken a shift standing at attention on a flatbed truck to honor troops past and present, event organizer Michelle DeSilva of Brewster said. “He’s just one of those people who always offers to help, always shows up,” DeSilva said. “He’s just so proud of his service to this country. It overflows into everything he does.” The event is “a great tribute,” O’Rourke said. “It’s a wonderful feeling to be there with them all.” O’Rourke calls himself a “grand slam commander,” holding the top leadership position for the Korean War Veterans of Cape Cod and at the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts in Hyannis. He is also vice district commander for the VFW. “It keeps the phone busy,” said O’Rourke, who also runs a clambake catering business called Jake’s Clam Bakes with his wife, Ann, and other family members. His involvement with veterans organizations is fairly recent, O’Rourke said. He said for years he kept his distance. “I wanted to forget. But that’s hard to do,” O’Rourke said. “As I get older, it’s sort of on my mind more.” O’Rourke said he found he likes helping fellow veterans and being around them. When he travels off-Cape, he wears a baseball cap with the words “Chosin Few” – which many people think alludes to a religious organization, O’Rourke said. He was a 19-year-old resident of Cambridge when he shipped out to Korea. JAKE O’ROURKE, continued on page 7
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Memorial Day 2013 Korean War Veterans Memorial, Hyannis Barnstable Post 206 American Legion members, Hyannis Marine Corps League Detachment #125 and the Cape Cod Korean War Veterans Association proudly celebrate Memorial Day in Hyannis on Monday, May 27, 2013. Post 206 Legionnaire Bob O’Gara (left), Barnstable Police Off. Steve O’Brien and commander Jake O’Rourke salute the flag during O’Brien’s moving rendition of the National Anthem on Monday, May 27 at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Hyannis. JAKE O’ROURKE, continued from page 6 “Just out of high school. They took the hockey stick away and gave me a rifle,” O’Rourke said. After landing at Inchon and taking part in the liberation of Seoul, O’Rourke advanced to North Korea with the 1st Marine Division. Plans to mop up the war quickly ended when the Marines, along with American soldiers, British commandos, Australian troops and other U.N. forces, were surrounded by more than 100,000 Chinese Communist fighters pouring in from Manchuria, O’Rourke said. In the 2010 documentary “Chosin,” one veteran described the Chinese human wave assault as being like a buffalo stampede. “I didn’t think I’d get out of there alive,” O’Rourke said. “It’s just something that’s tattooed on your memory. It never leaves.” Winter conditions near the Chosin Reservoir were “absolutely terrible” with temperatures reaching 40 degrees below zero, O’Rourke said. Weapons and C-rations froze, he said. “What kept a lot of the guys alive was Tootsie Rolls.” Barnstable Post 206 American Legion Senior Vice The U.S. Air Force saved lives Commander Jake O’Rourke takes a moment to by dropping packages containing recall those who have served at the Korean War Vet- cold-weather gear, including furerans Memorial on Ocean Street in Hyanis last Vet- lined caps and gloves, O’Rourke erans Day. Credit Sean Walsh. said, although he still suffered frostbite on his fingers and toes. The Chinese attackers arrived with just the clothes on their backs and mules carrying munitions, he said. They froze in great numbers. “The weather was our enemy. It was also our ally,” O’Rourke said. After Korea, he was posted to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and traveled the world, spending New Year’s in Paris and Christmas in Rome, where he had an audience with the pope. O’Rourke left the Marine Corps in 1954 and went to Suffolk University with the intention of becoming a teacher. “But I couldn’t handle those kids,” O’Rourke said. “I was taught by the nuns.” Instead he went into business, eventually owning a nightclub and part of a Chinese restaurant in Falmouth, a ski lodge in New Hampshire and Gateway Marina in South Yarmouth. These days, O’Rourke is doing what he can to draw attention to the Korean War, sometimes called “the forgotten war.” He and friend Fred Sozio of Sandwich – whom he called another member of the “Frozen Chosin” – traveled to Boston on Tuesday to petition the Korean consul general for a medal for the Chosin Reservoir campaign. “We have a ribbon, but we don’t have a medal,” O’Rourke said. He plans to wear his “undressed blues” Sunday for his stint at attention, since he thinks his dress blues might be a little too tight. Some shakiness in his legs might reduce his time at attention from the hour he has stood in other years to 15 minutes this year, O’Rourke said. But for however long he is there, O’Rourke said, he promises to give the event his all. “It’s doing something for the troops and recognizing the troops in the past and present,” he said.
Canal Run for the Troops The Fifth Annual Canal Run was held in Buzzards Bay on October 5, 2013 as a fundraiser for Cape Cod Cares for the Troops (CCC4T). After the attendees and participants were led in the Pledge of Alliance and singing of our National Anthem, and tribute was paid to the Cape Cod residents who have been killed in action during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, four Vietnam Veterans were called forward to cut the start ribbon and to begin the 5 kilometer and 10 kilometer races. Despite an overnight rain, the sun broke through clouds for an hour. Entrance fees paid by runners, donations by attendees and local businesses, and sales of T-shirts generated funding for Cape Cod Cares for the Troops, a nonprofit organization started in 2005 by 12-year-old Dylan DeSilva and which, to date, has mailed over 15,000 large boxes of toiletries and comfort items to active duty service members stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as items to orphanages in those countries and to service members recovering in military hospitals. Each year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts on Cape Cod (Posts 2578, 3086, 3152, 8607, 9917, 10274) and the Mens’ and Ladies’ Auxiliaries of Post 8607 provide David Cantara (left) founder and cosubstantial financial donations to CCC4T, chair of Patriot Rovers with service dog as well as VFW Post members participating “Nick” (center). Nick is named in honor as volunteers who package the 1,500 large of Nicholas Xiarhos, USMC, who was boxes of items that are mailed in Novem- killed in action and was awarded on ber, so that they are received and distributed October 6 to Curtis Frye III who served to service members before Christmas. This two tours in Iraq. At right is VFW Disyear, Post 9917 (Brewster) has already trict 17 Commander, Anthony Manfredi, who is also the Post 5899 Service Officer. donated $1,500 to this cause. Vietnam Veterans recognized before the start of the race: VFW District 17 Commander, Anthony Manfredi, VFW Past Commander Post 5988 Ted Theis, an unidentified individual and VFW Post 5988 (Bourne) member David Neal, Assistant Deputy Superintendent, Community Relations in the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office.
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“SAVE THE GRAND”
“Listen Cooties…the Military Order of the Cootie ‘Grand of Massachusetts’ needs your help! The Grand is in eminent danger of losing its charter. The ‘Supreme’ requires 1 minimum of two Pup Tents AND a minimum of 125 ‘registered’ members to retain the grand. We currently have two pup tents in Massachusetts, PT 34 out of Salem and PT 14 out of Brockton and we are working on getting on out in western Massachusetts. But in both PT’s combined, we are hovering around 85 members. We need your assistance and membership! Many of us have been trying to recruit new members or get old members reinstated. While this has helped, it is going very slowly. There are a number of Cootie ‘Life Members-at-Large’ in Massachusetts that are unassigned as a result of their Pup Tent folding. Please consider joining/transferring to one of the two current PTs in existence, so that we can get the membership to keep the Grand in Massachusetts! Of course, we would hope that you would be an active member, especially if you lived near one of the two PTs. However, we would not require or expect you to travel any distance to attend a meeting. What is important now is membership…membership…membership! The Grand of Massachusetts (and its Pup Tents) have a long tradition and history and we pride ourselves in our motto: “Keep ’em smiling in beds of white” (referring to our main duty of visiting veterans in VA Hospitals). However, at this time, we are listed at Supreme as only a Provisional Grand (due to not enough members). While we hope that many of those Life Members-at-Large out there will answer the call…we know that this will not be enough! We are calling on all of the VFW Membership for help! We need current VFW members, who have held a Post office (or above) or served on any committee/program, who would be willing to join one of our Pup Tents! Again, it would be terrific if you became an active member, but we would not expect you to assist in any other way unless you so desired. Please contact me as soon as you can if you wish to join the ‘Cooties’ and assist us in keeping the Grand in Massachusetts. If you have any questions or if I can be of any assistance, please contact me on my home phone at 781-792-0140 or my cell phone, which is 781-985-4721. Hoping to hear from many of you soon! Regards, Jeff Najarian Seam Squirrel (Commander), Pup Tent 14 Grand Blanket Bum (Sr. Vice Cmdr.), Provisional Grand Hospital Chairman
A group poses at the Massachusetts State House for the dedication of the POW/MIA Chair. This photo was taken at the Office of Robert DeLeo, the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Women Veterans On June 14, 2013 the Department of Massachusetts Veterans of Foreign Wars sponsored the first Women Veterans State House Day. It was an all day event starting at 9:00 a.m. in the Gardner Auditorium. We had a small group of women veterans in attendance. It turned out to be a very pleasant, informative and enjoyable day. The women veterans were able to speak intimately with the Senators and Representatives that participated in the event. There were discussions about veteran’s services offered by the Commonwealth, and we also were able to give our input as veterans about what services need to be improved. What was very nice about the event is the informal nature of the day. The legislators were interactive and interested in our input. Each participant was able to speak about who they were and any experiences they wanted to share. The feeling of comradeship was enjoyable. Finally, we took a tour of the Veterans Suite on the 5th floor, West Wing of the State House. The attendees were received by the Veteran Organizations warmly and given information about the benefits of membership. All in all, it was a great day that I wanted to share with you. Joy Cumming State Women Veterans Committee Chairman
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District 5 VFW Hosts VA Hospital Cookout District 5 Department of Massachusetts Veterans of Foreign Wars hosted a cookout for the patients at West Roxbury VA Hospital on Sunday, June 2, 2013. Patients were treated to a cookout meal consisting of chicken, kielbasa, green beans, potato salad and watermelon. It was a beautiful sunny day, so most patients were able to come out to the picnic area. Volunteers delivered a meal to the rooms of patients that couldn’t come out. Volunteers came from Posts and their Ladies Auxiliaries in the District, including Foxboro Post 2626, Braintree Post 1702, Avon Post 8892, Needham Post 2498, Dedham Post 2017, Brookline Post 864, Sharon Post 7238 and Medway Post 1526. Frank Curran District 5 Hospital Chairman 508 446-0267
Pictured, front row, L-R: Gail Madera, Jean Smith, Helen O’Brien, Dorothy Gallagher, Past District Commander Carmen Dello Iacono and District Hospital Chairman Frank Curran. 2nd Row, L-R: District Commander Lenny Desmarais, Diane Cassidy, Carmela Desmeule, Past District President Jackie Franke, State Adjutant Bill Madera, John Tynan and Fred Dolan. Back Row, L-R: District Junior Commander Matt Ching, Bill Topham, State Senior Commander Ron Smith, Recreational Therapist Bruce Pierce, Paul Bergeron, Barbara Jarvis, Peter Leach, Ed Cahalane, District Senior Vice Commander Warren Wright, John Hallisey and Bob DeShiro. Not pictured: District Trustee Mike Wright.
VFW District 7 Picnic
Held in Western Massachusetts in the town of Southwick on August 25 All photos and text recorded by the Editor Pictured is VFW State Judge Advocate Brian Martin and Billy Minahan with Eric Segundo hiding in the background. These two are partners in the “QUE AND A HALF MEN” barbecue team situated in the north shore town of Rockland. They travel along the east coast each summer competing in the Kansas City (KCBS) Barbecue Society. They rank 72 out of 2,200 teams in the USA. They have been invited to compete and cook this past October in the world championships in Kansas City, the “American Royal” competition. They display here many of their trophies that they have earned, ranging from Vermont to Maryland. They were awarded “Rookie of the Year” for New England. “There is pretty good prize money awarded to the winners” said Brian. They have been cooking for three years and have taken classes from the leading champions all over the USA in barbecue cooking. Their women folk help with the many tasks that need to be done. This is the first time that they have cooked in a catering type of event. This is not their normal function; they only cook in competition. But District 7 Cmdr Segundo’s influence pressured them into performing their cooking skills for the picnic. Pamela Conners, widow of Past State Commander Mike Conners (2005) is seen her with her dad, Eugene Fitzgerald. Pamela served in the Army Nurse Corps from 1995-1997 and is a Legionnaire. Among the many places she was assigned were Ft. Sam Houston, Ft. Dix and Bethesda. Her dad, Eugene, was an army medic with the 13th Battalion attached to the 40th Division in Korea. He is a member of Post 6714 in West Springfield. When asked Eugene how long he was a member in the VFW, he said, “Too damn long!”
Sue Glidden of Post 7352, Forrest Park and Dept. President Veronica Woods of Millbury speak of future plans for the Auxiliary.
Commander Larry and Linda Wilson of Post 265 in Chicopee. Linda is Past President of Auxiliary 625 and Past District 7 President.
Gardner and Mildred Perish of Post 9397 in Hampden.
“My job here is to coordinate the District picnic for the District Commander and the District President with my chair people” said Past State President Patty Paul. A member since 1994, Patty is in Post 625 in Chicopee. “I’ve been doing this for 15 years. This is fun.”
Working together in the clean up detail are Eric Segundo and Past State President of the Ladies Auxiliary, Janet Masciotra. Janet served as the Forest Park 7352 President for 10 years. Eric then told me that, I (the Editor) termed the unit as the Forest Hills Unit in the last edition of the September issue of the VFW News. Janet added, “Forest Hills…that’s a cemetery.” I noted that Eric didn’t do much cleaning up. He just let Janet do most of it.
Juliet Mason, National Council Member representing Massachusetts and Vermont, gladly relayed to me the name and correct spelling of the District 7 Auxiliary President Sandy Mercure (pictured in the white sun shade). Also pictured is Patty Paul on the far left and State Auxiliary President Veronica Woods is holding the microphone. Eric Segundo, the Webmaster of the VFW Website is contemplating his next fundraiser.
Keith and Lisa Jackson. Keith is Roland Durrell, an Army veteran of Post Commander of District 15 and Lisa is with 1272 has been a VFW member since 1955. the Ladies Auxiliary in Townsend-6538.
Sherri Grabon hails from Florence, Massachusetts. She is the State Guard of the Ladies Auxiliary.
Tony Pellegrino, came all the way from Somers, Connecticut. He is a WWII vet who served in the Infantry in Belgium, France and Germany. Been a member of the VFW for 31 years. “DAMN RIGHT” was Tony’s answer when ask if he was proud of his service.
Shown here after they all “rode the pig” are: PSP Barbara Martin, PSC John Martin, PSP Patty Paul and PSC Tom Paul. Riding the pig is a great photo op for all. Purple Heart recipient and Senior Vice Commander of District 7 in Hampden County, Brian Willette, helps with the clean up. Willette served in Afghanistan with the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and is a member of Post 801 in Holyoke.
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District 17 VFW Honors Local Commander
Pictured is District 15 Commander Keith Jackson, along with the District Officers for 2013-2014. The District 15 Commander’s Project is the Wreaths Across America Program. Along with Fort Devens, their goal is 422 wreaths to place on all the graves of Veterans buried at the Fort Devens Post Cemetery located on Patton Road in Devens, Massachusetts.
Kansas City, MO, July 16, 2013 – The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States announced that Anthony Manfredi has achieved All-American status as a District Commander. Manfredi, Commander of District 17 in the Department of Massachusetts, is one of only 40 VFW District Commanders selected worldwide for All-American Commander. National Commander John Hamilton said, “The criteria for this honor are based on outstanding achievements in membership growth and participation in other VFW programs that benefit veterans and their communities. The title of All-American Commander is the most prestigious honor given by our organization.” This is the second District All-American awarded to Tony. He also was awarded District 17 All-State Commander for the second time this year. Six Posts in District 17 received All-State Commander Awards this year.
Departure Ceremony for Deploying National Guard Unit Massachusetts VFW District 17 officers Anthony Manfredi and Felix Banis were present at Camp Edwards on July 23, 2013 talking with deploying soldiers, getting email addresses, signing up new members and arranging for ongoing support via mailed packages as company elements of the 3-126th Aviation Battalion, Massachusetts Army National Guard conducted its deployment ceremony and family day activities. The formal ceremony included a talk by MA ANG General Paul Smith, multiple promotions of soldiers and presentations of awards for duty performance. The battalion is deploying to Afghanistan. It had previously deployed to Bosnia, then three times to Iraq. Many family members were present and following the ceremony, they examined several of the unit’s helicopters, which were readied for flight to Afghanistan following final pre-deployment training in Texas. Many members of these units, to include its Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel O’Connell and First Sergeant Stephen Shaw, are members of VFW Post 5988 in Bourne, Cape Cod. Besides being District Commander, Tony Manfredi is also very active as the Post 5988 Service Officer.
Specialist Robert Foster, son Trevor, grandfather Byron Campbell and other family members. Mr. Campbell is a World War II veteran who participated in the Normandy landing.
VFW District 17 Commander, Anthony Manfredi, explaining VFW membership benefits and signing up Sergeant Lynch, MA ANG, who had recently returned from Afghanistan.
VFW District 17 Commander, Anthony Manfredi, talks with Massachusetts Army National Guard (ANG) Command Sergeant Majors prior to the departure ceremony.
VFW District 17 Commander, Anthony Manfredi, pauses during his discussion with Captain Paulette.
Boston Fire Department Bagpiper and VFW member plays at the conclusion of the deployment ceremony.
VFW District 17 Commander, Anthony Manfredi, poses with Massachusetts Army National Guard (ANG) Command Sergeant Majors and the A Company, 3-126th Aviation Battalion Guidon bearer.
VFW District 17 Commander, Anthony Manfredi, poses with MA ANG Sergeant Lynch and his completed VFW membership application.
VFW District 17 Commander and Post 5988 Service Officer, Anthony Manfredi and Alpha Company First Sergeant Stephen Shaw, member of VFW Post 5988, arranging for VFW District 17 support that will be provided during the unit’s deployment to Afghanistan.
Post 545 National VFW Headquarters has set up agreements with Colleges and Universities nationwide. This photo is from a recent Student Veterans of America agreement that was filed with the North Shore Community College. Pictured is North Shore Community College Veterans Representative Kristine Babcock, Past State Commander Tim Smith and Student Veteran President Ryan Gregory. The memorandum in the photo is available for distribution from the State House Office.
Besides staying busy with Wreaths Across America and Student Veteran “gigs”, Steven Paine, District 10 Sr. Vice Commander and Tim Smith presented the Haverhill VFW Post 29 Outstanding VFW Community Service Award. This is the second year in a row that they have been awarded this award.
Pictured here is the Fortunato VFW Post 545 members with the Student Veterans.
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Boston Police- Post 1018 - Dorchester
These photos were taken at the Ladies Auxiliary Fall Programs Kickoff at Post 662. Photos submitted by State Photographer John Robarge.
Post 929 Framingham VFW Post 929 donated a POW/MIA flag to a local school. Shown here raising and adding the POW/ MIA Flag at Cameron Middle School in Framingham is, L-R: Principal Michelle Melick, Commander of VFW Post 929 Wayne Anthony, Assistant Principal Patrick Johnson, Quartermaster of VFW 929 Lynn Hess, head custodian Steve Hewins and Service Officer of VFW 929 Nick Paganella. When the brief ceremony concluded, Principal Melick voiced her feelings. “I think it’s important to honor those people who have served their country. It’s also important for kids to understand the sacrifices that have been made so that they can experience the freedom they have.” VFW Commander of Post 929 Wayne Anthony ended with, “We discussed the idea of donating a flag to the school because of the response we received from the Cameron students interest in the Patriot’s Pen Essay contest that the VFW sponsors each year. We also have other schools in our plans.”
When a soldier returns from a foreign war, most times his war begins again with picking up his/her life when they return to the home they were protecting. To assist in the transition and help them regain footing the VFW’s National Military Services supports a variety of urgently-needed programs for troops and military families. With this in mind, the Boston Police VFW Post 1018 in Dorchester, Massachusetts (at 500 Morton Street) held a fundraiser and the proceeds went directly to these services. The fundraiser was a Golf Tournament with over 25 sponsors and over 90 golfers. It was held on the public Franklin Park Golf Field. The event raised nearly $10,000. In addition to raising funds, they raised the awareness of the availability of these programs for our own troops in Massachusetts.
Post 1524 As things are developing at the Department and various Post levels, the State House Recognition Day is December 9th and the National Recognition is December 14th at 12 Noon. Out of 18 communities and various VFW Posts participating in this year’s Wreaths Across America program at the present time, nine organizations Pictured is the group supporting the Witch City VFW are supporting the effort Post 1524 in Salem. to have wreaths placed at the Massachusetts Veterans Cemetery in Bourne. VFW Post 545, 794, 1524 as well as District 15 (Devens Cemetery) are currently actively participating in this program. The Department of Massachusetts VFW Ladies Auxiliary are supporting both The National Cemetery in Bourne and the State Cemetery in Winchendon.
Post 1544 Milford Post 1544 presented a program to honor the victims of the 9-11 horror. Post members, as well as the Milford Police Honor Guard and Bagpipers were in attendance. The event was held at the Milford Senior Center on September 11, 2013.
Post 1018 Pig Roast
Pictured, L-R: State MA VFW Commander Ron Smith, local Union 35 Bill Doherty and Commander Albert Williams of VFW Post 1018.
State Senior Vice Robert Graser with PNC Cliff Olson are seen at the Pig Roast sponsored by the Police Post 1018. Photo submitted by the state project chairman Jorge Castro.
Post 2016 Amesbury VFW Post 2016 Newsletter received an Award for their VFW Post Newsletter. Over the past several years the Post Quartermaster/Newsletter Editor Dennis Iworski has achieved top honors at the National Convention. Pictured are District 10 Sr. Vice Commander Steven Paine, Amesbury Post Commander Russell Saboo, Quartermaster/Newsletter Editor Dennis Iworsky and VFW Post 2016 members.
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Needham’s VFW Manson Carter Post 2498 Hosts Paralyzed Vets Dinner and “Las Vegas Night” On September 19th, the Needham Veterans of Foreign Wars, Manson Carter Post 2498, hosted its annual Dinner and “Las Vegas Night” for Boston area Paralyzed Veterans at the Post’s building on Junction Street. Each year, Post 2498 welcomes paralyzed veterans for a lavish dinner and “Las Vegas Night”, where the veterans play card games for selected prizes. The night began when the three specially-equipped buses arrived from the VA hospitals in West Roxbury and Brockton. Twenty-five veterans, their nurses and volunteer assistants arrived and were seated at specially elevated tables (to allow for wheelchairs) for a full sirloin steak dinner, from salad to dessert, all cooked by the VFW Post staff. Volunteers from the Post acted as waiters. After dinner, the “Las Vegas Night” began; each guest was given chips to play poker or blackjack. All the dealers were VFW Post volunteers and they made certain that all players were winners and had a great time. According to Post Senior Vice Commander Dan Keane, “Our mission as members of the VFW is to let these veterans have a fun night out, enjoy a delicious meal and play some cards. It’s a good evening for them and for our volunteers.”
Post 8818 On Sunday, May 26, 2013, the VFW Mt. Auburn Post 8818 held a special “Love and Honor” event at its home in Cambridge. The phrase “May We Never Forget” prompted the Post to arrange this special service of remembrance for its Post leaders over the past sixty years. It was a tribute to all present and past Charter members and all present and past Commanders and survivors of each category. Over 100 members and their families and friends attended the early morning breakfast event. The event was a lovely time to remember Post Commander Norman Polacke our Past Commanders and members…a good and Post Officer of the Day Thomas time was had by all. “Doc” Grande.
Past Post Commander John Rocca (standing) with Bagpipers – Members of the Edward O’Callahan Group. Ralph Sabatino and guests.
Ernie Doyle, Needham VFW member, deals cards for a blackjack game at the Las Vegas night and dinner held at VFW 2498. Photos by Jeffrey Weller
Paralyzed Veteran arrives via special van to Needham VFW Hall.
Post 6538 Homeless Veterans Chairman of District 15, John M. Whittemore is seen presenting a check for $405.00 to Susan Gariepy-facility, RN of Veteran Hospice Homestead located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. These monies were raised by Townsend Post 6538 during their Meat Bingo.
Post 6539 As a 30-year VFW member, John Wilson is serving as Commander of Westford Post 6539 for the past four years. John is shown here assisting the manager of the club, Brian Fitzpatrick, in barbecuing a complimentary luncheon for the Officers of District 15. Fitzpatrick has a total of 32 years affiliation with the club. The District 15 Commander Keith Jackson says, “We all look forward to the luncheon by Westford each year.”
Pictured here, L-R, are the newly elected officers of Mt. Auburn Post 8818, Cambridge, Massachusetts. They are: Adjutant Anthony Macauda, Chaplain Brenda Cook, Commander Norman Polacke, Sr. Vice Commander John Rocca, Quartermaster James Scalese and Post Advocate Edward Boudrot. Absent when the photo was taken was Jr. Vice Commander, Bernard Flynn.
Members of VFW Post 10274, District 17, has been working cooperatively with Cape Cod Veterans, Inc. (CCVI) for several years, jointly raising funds and visiting Walter Reed Army Hospital to comfort wounded service members and deliver gifts. Many members of Post 10274 are also VFW Post 10274 Commander Richard Sayers (L) members of Cape Cod Veterand Cape Cod Veterans board member Terry Clen ans, as are District Commander (R) making a donation of $500 to the Walter Reed Anthony Manfredi, Vice ComHospital Quality of Life Foundation this past June. mander Felix Banis and Quartermaster Richard Riehle. Last June, during a trip to Walter Reed, the Cape Cod Vets handed out thousands of dollars in TD Bank Gift Cards, Challenge Coins and shirts. On September 8th, CCVI member Terry O’Donnell conducted a fundraiser at his business, entitled “The 1st Annual Sand Dollars For Soldiers”. He raised over $12,000 for CCVI. In turn, on September 15th CCVI/ Sandy Cantin Post 10274 donated over $6,000, as they do every year, to pay for transportation and meals stands aside for the most severely wounded Warfighther favorers from Walter Reed and Spaulding Hosite poster. pital to come to the Cape to enjoy, relax Tending to and reflect. VFW Post 10274’s Honor the crowd Guard were on hand to welcome these at the VFW recovering heroes. Post 6539 in Post 10274 has donated $300 to VFW Westford for District 17 for sending packages to the past three deployed National Guard units from the CCVI and Post 10274 members with years, Sandy stated, “I wish there were more vet- Cape; CCVI will also be providing an Wounded Warfighters at Sesuit Harbor, erans who would visit the Post.” additional donation for this purpose. Barnstable this past September.