The European Gazette April - June 2023

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T he e uropean G aze TT e Department of europe

April / June 2023 Volume 3, No. 4
THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE of the VFW DEPARTMENT OF EUROPE Vietnam Veteran Appreciation Day p. 5 Memorial Day p. 18-21 46th Annual Department of Europe Convention, Garmisch - Partenkirchen p. 12-13

The European GazetteIN THIS ISSUE

3 Commander‘s Corner

4 Scout of the Year

5 Vietnam Veterans Appreciation Day

8 VFW Day of Service

9 Unknown Soldier

10 Fallen Firefighter Ceremony

15 Tuskagee Airmen

18 Memorial Day

VFW MISSION

TO FOSTER CAMARADERIE AMONG UNITED STATES VETERANS OF OVERSEAS CONFLICTS.

TO SERVE OUR VETERANS, THE MILITARY AND OUR COMMUNITIES.

TO ADVOCATE ON BEHALF OF ALL VETERANS

VFW VISION

ENSURE THAT VETERANS ARE RESPECTED FOR THEIR SERVICE, ALWAYS RECIEVE THEIR EANED ENTITLEMENTS, AND ARE RECOGNIZED FOR THE SACRIFICES THEY AND THEIR LOVED ONES HAVE MADE ON BEHALF OF THIS GREAT COUNTRY.

VFW CORE VALUE S TO ALWAYS PUT THE INTERESTS OF OUR MEMBERS FIRST TREAT DONORS AS PARTNERS IN OUR CAUSE PROMOTE PRATIOTISM HONOR MILITARY SERVICE

ENSURE THE CARE OF VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES SERVE OUR COMMUNITIES

PROMOTE A POSITIVE IMAGE OF THE VFW RESPECT THE DIVERSITY OF VETERAN OPINIONS

Veterans Creed

I am an American Veteran I proudly served my country

I live the values I learned in the military I continue to serve my community, my country and my fellow veterans

I maintain my physical and mental discipline I continue to lead and improve I make a difference

I honor and remember my fallen comrades

THE COVER

Entrance to the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, venue for the Department of Europe 46th Annual Convention.

Future VFW National Convention Sites

Phoenix, AZ - July 22-27, 2023

Louisville, KY - July 27 - Aug. 1, 2024

Columbus, OH - Aug. 9-14, 2025

Salt Lake City, UT - Aug. 15-20, 2026

Milwaukee, WI - July 31 - Aug. 5, 2027

San Antonio, TX- Aug. 5-10, 2028

Upcoming Dates - Events in July / September

July 4Independence Day

July 27Signing of the Korean Armistice

Aug31End of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Sep2VJ Day- 1945

Sep11Patriot Day

Sep15POW/MIA Recognition Day

Seo29VFW Day

Oct7Start of Operation Enduring Freedom

Oct18Recognition of Women in Military Service

Oct23Beirut Bombing

Nov 11Veterans Day

1 THE EUROPEAN GAZETTE Department of europe
WWI - 4,422 WWII - 72,243 Korea - 7,508 Vietnam - 1,579

is the official E-news publication of the Department of Europe, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Published four times per year (Mar., June, Sep., Dec.) by the Department of Europe, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U. S.

Edition:

Publish Date:

Sep. 30, 2022

Dec. 30, 2022

Mar. 30, 2023

June 30, 2023

Info. due to Editor:

Sep. 15, 2022

Dec. 15, 2022

Mar 15, 2023

June 15, 2023

The purpose of this magazine is to strengthen the efficiency of the Department of Europe, by getting information and decisions of National, the Department, Districts and Posts to the VFW members of Europe.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions are not necessarily those of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of Europe, or the National Organization.

Articles for consideration should be sent electronically to: lee.wolvertonvfw27@gmail.com

Volume 3, Issue 4, © June 2023. All rights reserved. The European Gazette E-news is at: https://issuu.com/vfw-europe

Lee R. Wolverton..........................................Editor / Design / Layout

If we work together, we can make things happen. If we do nothing, we have already failed.

Lee R. Wolverton

VFW Department of Europe on Facebook: VFW Department of Europe

Department of Europe Website: www.vfweu.org

https://issuu.com/vfw-europe

Depart. / Dist. Dates

Aug 19 1300 - Dist 1 Business MeetingKaiserslautern

Aug 191300 - Dist 3 Business MeetingIllesheim

Oct 141300 - DoE CofA - Illesheim

Nov 181300 - Dist 1 Business MeetingStuttgart

Jan 61300 - Dist 3 Business MeetingHohenfels

Jan 201300 - DoE CofA - Vilseck

Feb 171300 - Dist 1 Business MeetingSembach

Apr201300 - DoE CofA - Ansbach

Apr271300 - Dist 3 Business Meeting - Berlin

May 181300 - Dist 1 Convention - Wiesbaden

May 251300 - Dist 3 Convention - Kitzingen

Department of Europe Officers

2023-2024

Commander Mark Primmer

Senior Vice Commander Dwight Johnson

Junior Vice Commander John Casey III

Quartermaster Peter Mascetti

Asst. Quartermaster Robert Mowery

Adjutant Norberto Millet

Asst. Adjutant Lee R. Wolverton

Chief of Staff James Vergott

Chaplain Michael Konsavage

Service Officer Dwight Johnson

Judge Advocate Bobby White

Surgeon Derek Gibson

Inspector James Joyce

National Council Member Peter Mascetti

POW/MIA Norbert Isaak

District Commander’s

District 1 Commander George Gilgore

District 3 Commander Emilio Andujar Post Commander’s

27 - Wiesbaden Bobby L. Lee

605 - Paris Timothy J Povich

2566 - Baumholder William J. Walker

3885 - Erlangen Blain L. Bertrand

8862 - Vicenza David B. Wilder

9334 - Vilseck Angelo Aldridge

9342 - Ansbach Steven A Wynn

10312 - Augsburg Stanley W. Allgood

10436 - Kitzigen Robert J. Nowak

10506 - Berlin Ralph H Van Der Wyst

10557 - Hohenfels Thomas P Gingras

10614 - Kaiserslautern Dennis Walton

10692 - Grafenwoehr Gabriel T Foist

10708 - Illesheim Norbert Isaak

10775 - Spangdahlem Joshua Gorman

10810 - Stuttgart Brian L Buechner

12139 - Sembach Derek Gibson

12159 - Naples Christopher Singletary

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european GaZette

Department Comman epartment omman worD

Comrades,

I’m writing to you as the newly installed Commander of the VFW Department of Europe.

I wish to congratulate our Immediate Past Commander Angelo Aldridge, and all of the 2022-23 Commanders and Officers, for a successful year and outstanding 46th Annual Department Convention in Garmisch. Special thanks go to Comrades Pete Mascetti, Jim Vergott, Lee Wolverton, Tony Millet and the entire team for keeping us moving through the entire weekend.

As the first member of Benjamin Franklin Post 605 Paris to hold the position of Department Commander, I am honored and humbled to serve our great organization in this capacity. I look forward to working alongside our members to serve our veterans and communities.

The theme for the year is well known, albeit with a French touch – Au service de ceux qui ont servi – Serving Those Who Served. I believe that service is part of who we are and what we do. Service is the legacy and torch we pass to those who follow behind us.

In serving others, we must remember that we are a team. No one person has all the answers, and a sharing of knowledge is vital to help inform the body in order to have enriched discussion and decision making.

We have inherited from our predecessors a treasure trove of history and experience. It is our job to pick up the torch, add some fuel, and raise it higher.

In doing so, I would like to say, Work Hard, Play Hard. In that order. In everything we do, ask yourself, how will this help make our organization stronger?

We have been challenged by VFW National to increase our membership by 2% over last year. With this, the bar has been raised for achieving All-American at all levels, Department, District, and Post.

Achieving, and surpassing, 102% is more than possible, provided we all do our part. If we all recruit one each, we would show substantial growth in membership in just one year. Again, we have a talented and dedicated Membership team who are ready and willing to help, please do not hesitate to reach out and ask for their assistance and support.

I’ll close here to say that we will spend a lot of time talking with each other this year. I’m initiating monthly informal Department-wide virtual Town Hall style meetings, called “Coffee with the Commander,” to discuss Department programs and answer any questions members might have.

I look forward to these opportunities to connect with you and to collectively grow our Department.

In comradeship,

3 THE EUROPEAN GAZETTE Department
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I am the VFW DoE Chaplain, Michael Konsavage. I would like to congratulate all the newly VFW elected officers for the 2023-2024 year. Please send all information of departed and sick comrades to me. email: konsavage@hotmail.com

One of our first tasks is to clearly define the purpose of the Chaplain, that is, to spell out clearly why we exist.

Unfortunately, not everyone is on the same page when it comes to answering the question, “Why does your Post have a Chaplain?” Most comrades think we exist to read the prayers at the Post meeting. But is that why we exist? Is that the purpose of the Chaplain?

The Chaplain exists to minister to veterans and their families. And according to our Congressional Charter, the Chaplain “shall be concerned with the spiritual needs of the members, and by precept and example, point the way toward a high moral plane for the organization.”

It is the responsibility of the Post Chaplain to get to know the Post members if he or she is truly going to serve those who served. Here are a few suggestions that may be helpful:

First, make an effort to get to know your Post members. This is done by showing up regularly and spending time with your fellow comrades, not only at Post meetings, but at various times when members visit the Post.

Second, be friendly and take the initiative to introduce yourself to those you do not know. Remember, there should be no one in your Post who does not know you or how to get in touch with you.

Third, send birthday cards to your comrades. In addition to sending cards, it is a good idea to call each person on their birthday. Over the course of a year, you will have talked to everyone at least once.

Fourth, keep a calendar of significant joys and sorrows that members have encountered. Call them or send “Thinking of You” notes. It is important to our members that we remember and acknowledge the things that are important to them. It demonstrates we care about them.

Fifth, every WWII, Korean and Vietnam veteran should be contacted monthly. And who better to do this than the Chaplain. Remember, as VFW Chaplains, we not only honor our dead, but we care for and nurture those who are still with us.

Here is a small prayer for our Armed Forces.

O God Almighty, the Creator and Ruler of the Universe, we ask that You strengthen and protect the members of the armed forces of the United States of America. In the day of battle, may they be courageous and strong, resourceful, and capable, resolute and victorious. In the time of peace, may they serve with dignity and honor, as effective emissaries of goodwill for this Nation. May their devotion and loyalty to You and to their homeland inspire them in moments of challenge, and comfort them in tribulation and long separation from loves ones. And finally, we ask that they may return safely to serve You and our Country in the days and years to come. Amen.

We must be reminded that the Veterans of Foreign Wars is comprehensive in nature, embracing all religions and faith groups within its ranks. The Chaplaincy, being non-sectarian, must seek to minister to the needs of all, without regard to either church/synagogue/mosque affiliation or non-affiliation.

Scout of the Year Department of Europe

Timothy Povich, Commander of VFW Post 605 in Paris, France, was able to present the District 1 Award and check and the Department check to our Scout of the Year winner, Phillipe Stylianidis of Troop 112 Paris, this morning at the Eagle Court of Honor for the Troop. I pass on his thanks to District and Department for the recognition and the money! It was great to recognize him in front of his troop.

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DoE Chaplain Michael Konsavage

Vietnam Veterans Appreciation Day

March 29 is National Vietnam War Veterans Day, a day meant to pay tribute to veterans of the Vietnam War, including personnel who were prisoners of war or who were listed as missing in action.

Established as an observance in 2017 after the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act was signed into law by President Donald Trump, the day is also an opportunity to show appreciation for the involvement and support of allies during the Vietnam War.

On this day we honor those who, regardless of their personal feelings or family commitments, joined the service and served our country selflessly on the field of battle when their nation called.

5 THE EUROPEAN GAZETTE Department of europe
Comrade Robert Provost and Bill Murphy presenting Vietnam Commemoration Proclamation and lapel pin (8862)

Post 605 Annual Banquet Strengthens Franco-American Veteran Community

1 April 2023 – Benjamin Franklin Post 605 Paris, France welcomed over 60 guests to its Annual Banquet held at the Palais du Luxembourg, Paris for a wonderful evening of Franco-American unity with participants from the Union Nationale des Combattants / section d‘Issy-les-Moulineaux, VFW Auxiliary, Girl Scouts, and Boy Scouts. Awards were presented to students, and scouts, and Dr. Amelia Lyons, Associate Professor, University of Central Florida, gave a presentation on her work to learn from and teach students about the lives and sacrifices of Florida’s soldiers who gave their lives for the liberation of France. https://projects. cah.ucf.edu/fl-francesoldierstories/

In addition, VFW Medals of Commendation and Merit were presented to UNC, who then honoured Post 605 with the UNC Médaille du Djebel (a first for an international veterans organisation).

The evening concluded with VFW Department of Europe District 1 International Commander John J Casey installing Post 605’s newly elected officers - Congratulations Commander-elect Timothy Povich, who will assume command in June.

USAG ANSBACH

Community Fishing Event

On 20 May 2023 the Ansbach Family and MWR, supported by VFW Post 10708, Illesheim, Germany, VFW Post 9342 Ansbach, Germany, and American Legion Post 1982 Ansbach, Germany sponsored the Annual Youth Fishing Event.

This event is held at the Soldiers Lake on Urlas. This event has been taking place for the last 15 years and is provided free of charge. The function is non-profit, and the goal is to provide a benefit to the children.

A free lunch to all participants consisting of hamburgers and hotdogs were grilled by American Legion Post 1982 and served with chips, dips, and salads. Sodas and water were provided by VFW Post 10708 and VFW Post 9342. Each child that showed up for the event was given a fishing medal in recognition of the day.

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Vive l‘amitié franco-américaine !!

Post 10506 initiates Post School Project

VFW Post 10506 Berlin joined with a German Trade School class to make a design for our new post pin. The class had as part of this year’s program to make a new design for a grade this year. Post 10506 Adjutant Gish approached the class teacher with an idea to design our new post pin. The teacher thought that was a good project for the class. Adjutant Gish gave the class some information about what we would like to have on the pin and then they were free to make a design for us. The post picked one design for the post pin and one for our post patch. At the end of the design project, we handed out VFW Certificates to each student and the two top winners received a cash prize. In 2023 most young Germans have no recollection of the Cold War or the fact that Berlin Veterans served here during that time. We presented them with openness and answered their questions. Also, the post gave a grill party for the class, and everyone had a great time.

Commemoration of the Victory of May 8, 1945

Proud to represent VFW Department of Europe and Benjamin Franklin Post 605 at this moving May 8 ceremony. Thank you Maire André Santini for the invitation and for your generous support of our U.S. veterans. Thanks also to Union Nationale des Combattants / section d‘Issy-les-Moulineaux for your friendship and close cooperation.

78 years ago, freedom triumphed over oppression. Today we honored the Franco-American alliance that fought to defend our common values. May our remembrance together strengthen these bonds for the generations to come.

#vfwsalute

#NeverForget

7 THE EUROPEAN GAZETTE Department
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This year May 6 was the start of the second annual VFW Day of Service, marking the start of veteran-led community service projects to take place throughout the month.

Members of VFW Post 27 and members of the Wiesbaden community joined together to clean up the Franfurter American Children’s Cemetery.

Serving Project

LUNCHEON ON THE LAWN: #Still Serving Project of informing individuals of the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxic Act (PACT Act) at the ‘Lunch on the Lawn’ sponsored by Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR), United States Army Garrison-Italy (USAG-Italy) was severely impacted because of inclement weather and was relocated to an indoor facility. Because of these conditions (weather, parking, and time limitations) turnout was much lower than expected.

The space allotted to VFW Mediterranean Post 8862 in the indoor facility was in a room away from the main participants of the event, resulting in additional confusion and impacted on our ability to obtain much needed exposure.

Because of these restrictions fewer personnel than expected visited our table, however those that did were explained the PACT Act and given information and literature in the form of brochures, pamphlets and fact sheets pertaining to the PACT Act, in addition to the VFW PACT Act Representatives name and e-mail address for further information An estimated eighteen personnel attended these sessions.

Because of the importance of the PACT Act and its impact on so many active duty and retired military personnel, a table will be established at the annual ‘Buddy’ Poppy drives on 26-27 May 2023 in front of the Post Exchange, Caserma Ederle, Vicenza, Italy as an addendum to this important new medical legislation. Brochures, pamphlets, and fact sheets pertaining to the PACT Act were made available to all applicable personnel during the ‘Buddy’ Poppy Drive on 25-26 May 2023, Caserma Ederle, Vicenza, Italy. This was a four-day weekend for military personnel, so the number of personnel available dwindled significantly, however several personnel were provided information data on the PACT Act and seven veterans asked numerous questions and stated they were excited to know that the VFW and VA were looking out for veterans.

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VFW Mediterranean Post 8862Still

It was an incredible experience at the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery in France. For the first time in 35 years, the remains of an unknown U.S. Soldier from World War I were buried. The ceremony included full military honors, funeral procession, and burial with remarks by U.S. and French officials, a World War I-era 75 mm artillery salute, and historic World War I biplane flyover. As the ABMC speaker said today, “We do not know the story of the Soldier we honor today. But we know this.. he answered when his nation called. He crossed an ocean to a land he likely did not know. To fight for a cause, he may not have fully understood, yet this devotion to duty ultimately brought him to this day. This afternoon we bury him with his comrades in arms. While the headstone will read: Here rests in honored glory a Soldier known but to God…. He is no longer alone.”

Gemma McGowan (VFW Post 27 June 7, 2023)

9 THE EUROPEAN GAZETTE Department of europe
Graphic By James Yentz

USAG ANSBACH FALLEN FIREFIGHTER CEREMONY

4 MAY 2023 - Today the Ansbach Fire Department Hosted the Fallen Firefighters Ceremony. Fire units from the surrounding area were in attendance as well as Officers and Officials of the Bavarian Fire Department.

Coordination for the setup, ceremony, and luncheon was handled by Assistant Fire Chief Sabine Hausleithner and Comrade Dale Nagan.

Assistant Fire Chief Hausleithner began the ceremony as the Narrator and provided the opening remarks.

Fire Chief Stefan Groetschel provided the Opening Speech in which he acknowledged the visiting departments and guests. Next, he covered the feast of St Florian, which is celebrated on the 4th of May and coincides with International Firefighter’s Day along with the Firefighter Memorial Ceremony.

Chief Groetschel related the history of St. Florian and the Maltese Cross, the firefighter’s patron saint and symbol of dedication.

Fire Chief Groetschel then related the origin and operations of the Knights of St. John and how they evolved into an early form of firefighters. He then went on to describe the role of the firefighter in today’s society whose mission has expanded into a multitude of disciplines.

Assistant Fire Chief Hausleithner directed everyone’s attention to the missing man table at the center of the ceremony and described in detail its symbols and history.

The Firefighters Prayer by James E Tokley was then played as members of the Fire Department and VFWs 10708 (Illesheim) and 9342 (Ansbach) placed wreaths on the stands.

A roll call was then given for those firefighters lost in the line of duty followed by 30 seconds of “Sound Off” by the fire sirens.

After a moment of silence, Acting Garrison Chaplin Major Halladay gave the closing prayer.

At the end of the ceremony, the crowd moved to lunch provided by the firefighters and grilled steaks by VFW Post 10708, to the tune of “Dad I wanna be a Fireman”.

Photos provided by VFW 10708 Comrades Dale Nagan and Patrick Murphy. The article, including any errors or misspellings, was by Patrick Murphy.

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#STILLSERVING TOTE 12 oz. black canvas with black poly web handles. VFW Logo. 18" x 15"

1879 $16.95

#STILLSERVING

TUMBLER 16 oz. double wall stainless steel with plastic liner. Twist-on lid, slide-lock drink opening. Imported. Hand wash. 3129 $9.95

T-shirt of 100% cotton in navy blue with screen print full color VFW Emblem on left chest above pocket and full color Emblem on the back. Unisex sizing. Made in the USA. $25.95 $31.95

VFW GOLF BALLS 1 dozen Authoritee golf balls with VFW Logo imprint. Blended polybutadiene core for optimum hardness and compression for maximum distance, durable performance/low spin for longer straighter distance. 1116 $28.95

VFW GOLF TOWEL Black with white VFW Logo. Corner grommet and hook. 18 x 11". Imported. 1112 $8.50

PATRIOTIC DENIM APRON Waving U.S. flag printed above the phrase “Show your Support”. Multiple pockets and adjustable neck strap. Imported; decorated in the USA. 7239 $19.95

MAD E IN

#STILLSERVING LANYARD 100% polyester. Slide buckle release. Split ring and lobster clasp. Made in USA. 1882 $5.95

To place your order, call 1.833.839.8387 or go online to VFWSTORE.ORG Prices valid through 8/31/2023

Department of europe
MAD E IN EAGLE CAP Sixpanel, medium profile cap, hook-and-loop back adjuster. Made in USA. 7124 $24.95 FLAG PIN 1 x 1" 1717 $3.50 x 4". Made in USA. VFW LOGO CAP Embroidered VFW Logo. Patriotic flag design sandwich bill, structured, six-panel, medium profile with hook-and-loop back strap. Made in the USA. 7784 $21.95 MAD E IN MAD E IN
Back
Front with Pocket MAD E IN ZIPPER PULL 7/8" bronze finish Emblem on brass zipper pull. 1736 $4.00

The 46th Annual Department of Europe Convention was held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen from June 16-18. There was a lot of business taken care of during the two days. One of the main items being the election of the Department Officers for 2023-2024.

Congratulations to Mark Primmer, VFW Post 605 Paris, on being elected as the Department of Europe Commander.

Paul Spera, Past Commnader-in-Chief from 1995-96, was the VFW National Representative this year.

Spring Cleanup at the Fisher House on Landstuhl

On 23 April 2023 members of VFW Post 12139 Donnersberg partnered with the Kaiserslautern Military Girl Scouts to conduct a spring clean up of the Fisher House on Landstuhl which provides free lodging to family members who have service members in the military hospital. There were ten post members and over 35 girl scouts in attendance. They pulled weeds, raked leaves, planted flowers, and cleaned patio furniture.

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After work on PBS Tuskegee Airmen documentary, VFW

Naples – Italy member invited to D.C. film premiere

Shawn Winter of VFW Post 12159 “Monte Cassino”, located at the U.S. Naval Base in Naples, Italy, was invited to the February 9, 2023 premiere of “The Tuskegee Airmen : Return to Ramitelli” at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

In partnership with the World War II Foundation, this past summer in July & August -2022, he along with students majoring in communications and journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University traveled across Italy from Rome, Naples, the Amalfi Coast, and to central Italy to the sites of the Foggia Airfield Complex where located during World War II.

The national museum was filled to the brim, with an initial audience of hundreds and a waitlist of 100 more hoping for seats to watch the film. “We were originally limited to 350 people but everybody was able to get in,” Tim Gray, documentarian filmmaker and president of the World War II Foundation said.

Audience members were from the military corps, congressional members, entertainment and more. It was nice to see a mix of philanthropists, military veterans, soldiers and military students. To deliver the keynote address was General Charles Q. Brown Jr., the chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force. Brown, the first African American to hold the chief of staff position.

This documentary tells the story of the first all-Black unit of military fighter pilots and airmen and how their heroic success in the United States Air Force helped pave the way for desegregation in the military. The film, narrated by Darius Rucker lead singer and musician of the band “Hootie & the Blowfish”, features interviews with Tuskegee veterans and showcases more of a contemporary look of Italy today.

One notable guest was 98-year-old Tuskegee Airman and retired U.S. Army Air Force officer Lt. Col. Harry T. Stewart Jr., who received the 2023 Senator Bob Dole Leadership Award that night. He is featured in the film and shared his story at the premiere.

“The Tuskegee Airmen: Return To Ramitelli,” will air on public television and PBS stations nationwide in May 2023.

Submitted by: Shawn Winter, VFW Post 12159

“Monte Cassino”

U.S. Naval Base Naples, Italy

15 THE EUROPEAN GAZETTE Department of europe

GOLD STAR SPOUSES DAY

April 5

Rex Shuey, VFW Post 8862

You may or may not have heard of Gold Star Spouse Day.

A Gold Star Spouse is the spouse of a military member who died in the line of duty, a military officer presents their next-of-kin – often a spouse, parent, or child – with a Gold Star pin during that military member’s funeral rites. Military spouses undertake a lot of the burden of family life while their spouse is away serving the country. Their contributions to national success often go unseen, which is why we have events like Gold Star Spouse Day and Military Spouse Appreciation Day to honor the sacrifices of those who support the military without being a military member.

The Gold Star Lapel was first created and handed out in 1973, but its origin stretches further back than that. When World War I was in full swing, many families would display banners outside of their homes featuring a Blue Star for every immediate family member who was serving during the war. If a family member died in service, one of the blue stars would be replaced with a gold star to let their neighbors, as well as the community at large, know that they had lost someone in battle.

After the war was over, many Gold Star Mothers got together to support one another through their grief and loss. Eventually, they created Gold Star Mother’s Day, which is held on the last Sunday in September. This group and their dedicated Gold Star Day would eventually pave the way for Gold Spouse Day, which became officially recognized in 2010.

Gold Star Spouse Day can be a troubling time for Gold Star Spouses, as it often serves as yet another reminder of the loss of their loved one. If you would like to honor and uplift a Gold Star Spouse in your life, follow their lead. Don’t bring up tough conversations that they may not be ready or prepared for. Instead, spend time with them doing things they like. Treat them to a Spa Day, or take them out to a nice dinner. You could even just spend time with them at home and watch movies for a relaxing, rewarding and cost-free self-care day.

Make sure the Gold Star Spouses in your life feel like your relationship represents a safe space to relax, have fun, and talk about their feelings regarding their lost loved one – if they’re ready to do so.

If you are close to a new Gold Star Spouse, reach out and make sure they have access to resources as well as the benefits that they have a right to as a surviving spouse. One great source to share on Gold Star Spouse Day is Military One Source’s “Survivor’s guide to Benefits: Taking care of our Families”.

We ask that you join us in saluting Gold Star Spouses for their sacrifices and contributions to making and participating in making America Free.

National Police Week Wreath Laying Ceremony

On May 19, VFW Post 10708 Illesheim, Germany, and VFW Post 9342 Ansbach, Germany attended the National Police Week Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Sadowski Theater, Bismarck Kaserne, Germany. The VFWs are proud to provide support the military and civilian components in and around Illesheim and Ansbach.

This event pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers and K9s who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.

SFC Hunt, PMO NCOIC, provided the Opening Remarks followed by the Invocation led by SGT Lomeli. The Guest Speaker was Colonel Rebecca Hazelett who, as she spoke, was accompanied by a Fallen Officer’s Roll Call background slideshow displaying over 200 fallen police officers and K9s from the previous year.

After Colonel Hazelett concluded her remarks, there was a wreath laying ceremony followed by taps rendered by Commander Isaak of VFW Post 10708.

Afterwards there was a grill party at the base chapel supported by SSG Wood NCOIC of the Religious Support Office. The grilling of hamburgers was handled by members of VFW Post 10708. A special thanks to PAO for the use of some of their photographs.

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Sembach Blood Drive

On 25 April 2023 members of VFW Post 12139 Donnersberg supported the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) by volunteering at the Sembach Blood Drive held in the Sembach Fitness Center. The ASBP - also known as the Military Blood Program - is the official military provider of blood products to U.S. armed forces. Post members donated over three gallons of blood during the event. The donated blood and blood products are used for patients of all ages for many reasons—from cancer patients to those with battlefield injuries, military members and their families depend on blood donors every day. The post also conducted a Buddy Poppy drive and partnered with the Kaiserslautern Military Community Girl Scouts to hand out snacks after people donated.

Cemetery Visits

On 27 May 2023 members of VFW Post 10708 Illesheim, Germany, visited four local cemeteries. At the grave site of each former soldier a fresh flag was placed on the grave followed by the reading of two short sermons, then taps were played, followed by a 3rd and final sermon. Each member, Commander Norbert Issak, Comrade Dale Nagan, and Comrade Patrick Murphy rotated the reading of the sermons. The cemeteries visited were St Peters in Furth, the Furth City Cemetery, the city cemetery in Unterasbach, and the Zirndorf Forest Cemetery in Zirndorf.

VFW Post 10708 from Illesheim divides the responsibilities of various cemeteries with VFW Post 9342 Ansbach, Germany, each post replacing the flags on graves prior to Memorial Day. On June 11th, a ceremony will be held at Post 10708 where the old flags will be disposed of properly.

17 THE EUROPEAN GAZETTE Department of europe

VFW Post 27 members took part in Ceremonies on Clay Kaserne, Wiesbaden and Meuse Argonne American Cemetery.

Memorial Day

Remember and Honor

18 NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS

VFW Post 605 members paid tribute to fallen comrades during official Memorial Day services and poppy drives throughout France and the United Kingdom. With its members spanning multiple European countries and North America, Post 605 comrades paid tribute wherever they were to remember those who paid the ultimate price for the freedoms of today.

19 THE EUROPEAN GAZETTE Department of europe
Joel Young with District 1 VFW Wreath at Lorraine American Cemetery - Memorial Day 2023 Memorial Day 2023 in St. Avold - French veterans with unit flags Panarama of Lorraine American Cemetery from monument and chapel

On 24 May 25, 2023 VFW Post 10708 Illesheim, VFW Post 9342, and American Legion Post 1982 partook in the Memorial Day Ceremonies at Stork Barracks, Illesheim, Germany. Narrator Captain Hildebrand opened the event by welcoming Senior Military Personnel, Local Dignitaries, and distinguished guests and soldiers to the United States Army Garrison-Ansbach Memorial Day Celebration.

Army Garrison Ansbach Deputy Chaplain, Chaplain Halladay, provided the Invocation and was followed by the posting of the colors by the Ansbach High School 9th JROTC Battalion.

After the playing of the German and American National Anthems, Captain Hildebrand gave a brief history on the history of Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day.

Quilts of Valor were then presented to Comrade Clary and Comrade Murphy, both from VFW Post 10708, and SSG Mincey currently assigned to the 5/4 ADA Battalion. Remarks were then given by Ansbach Garrison Commander Colonel Aaron B. Dixon and 12th Combat Aviation Brigade Commander Patrick Schuck.

Five wreaths were then placed at various memorials in the park by representatives of the two VFWs, the American Legion, 12th CAB, and from Garrison.

The ceremony closed with the Reading of Roll Call, playing of taps (rendered by VFW Post 10708 Commander Norbert Issak), and the retirement of the colors.

Afterwards there was a cake cutting ceremony in the Community Center and served with coffee and soda.

20 NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS
Panarama of Lorraine American Cemetery from monument and chapel

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Mediterranean Post 8862 members, family members and friends traveled to the Florence American Cemetery yesterday to participate in the annual Memorial Day ceremony. After formation of U.S. and Italian organizations, posting of the colors, speeches from American and Italian dignitaries, wreath laying, and prayer, a touching series of coordinated events included the firing party‘s three volley salute, bugler sounding Taps and a two jet flyover.

21 THE EUROPEAN GAZETTE Department of europe

On 28 and 30 April 2023, VFW Post 8862 supported the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Vicenza, Italy and the Village of Torbole, Italy in the annual Colonel Darby Challenge 40 Mile Run and ceremony for remembrance of the 25 Soldiers that were killed in an accident along with COL William O. Darby and his Sergeant Major, John Evans.

to Mr. and

by at the ceremony rendering honors to the 25 American Soldiers that drowned in Lake Garda on April 30, 1945. Their dedication to this event is unparalleled.

22 NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS
Formation of VFW Mediterranean Post 8862, supported by the JROTC – Vicenza at the ceremony for Col. Darby and 25 American soldiers that drowned at Lake Garda on April 30, 1945. Senior Vice Commander Antwan Robinson presents a plaque Mrs. Ben Apple- Comrades Mark Oswald and Jeff Miller supporting the Colonel Darby Challenge 40-mile Darby Run along Lake Garda on April 28 with water, fruit and snacks pit stop.

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OF ASHES AND DUST

At the time of the Millennium three people struggle for survival in a small New Hampshire town as the world spins into chaos, not realizing that each harbors secrets that will eventually pit them against one another. The story evolves from the U.S. Government’s earlier two classified secret projects during the Vietnam War (the USAF ’s revelation about UFO s and Project Sixty-Seven). Of Ashes and Dust is a no-punches-pulled apocalyptic tale of mesmerizing intrigue and gut-retching survival told as an alternate-history thriller during the Last Days of a global Armageddon culminating in a totally unexpected and explosive ending.

Distinguished by sparkling prose and an immersive narrative style, Roman’s story of liberty and revolution offers readers more than a vision of an American dystopia and a terrifying global conflict, reflecting the faultlines of real-world politics. His descriptions of the state’s increasing encroachment on civil liberties have persuasive power, as does his plausible portrayal of the failure of governance and a gradual descent into anarchy.

— Publishers Weekly

Of special appeal to fans of dystopian novels, Of Ashes and Dust is a compelling read that showcases author Ron Roman’s genuine flair as a novelist with respect to his impressive originality and narrative driven storytelling skills...highly recommended, especially for community library Alternate History and Dystopian Fiction collections.

— Midwest Book Review

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ron Roman ( WWW.WRITERRONROMAN.COM ) was an Associate Professor of English, ESL, and Humanities who had taught with the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC- Asia) since 1996. He has written extensive travel, academic, and political articles for regional and national publications. He studied writing (both fiction and creative) for his third graduate degree (Humanities) from Wesleyan University. Currently, he resides in South Korea, where he writes and has acted in numerous Korean TV dramas and motion pictures, like Operation Chromite, portraying Admiral Forrest Sherman opposite Liam Neeson as General Douglas MacArthur.

OF ASHES AND DUST

Ron Roman

Available From Amazon Baker & Taylor

Ingram

Libby

Hoopla

Addison & Highsmith Publishers (294 pp.)

$29.99 hardcover

$9.99 e-book

ISBN: 9781592111787

November 22, 2022

Be a Life Member

Join our family!

Join the VFW National Home for Children family! Become a Life Member or an Associate Life Member and create a lasting bond between yourself and the mission of the National Home.

There are two types of membership:

VFW and VFW Auxiliary members and organizations are eligible to become Life Members. Life Members may vote for the trustees who represent their National Home District and approve any proposed changes to our bylaws and articles of incorporation.

Any individual or organization wishing to support the National Home’s mission can become an Associate Life Member. Associate Life Members do not have voting privileges.

Both member types receive a membership certificate and wallet card, and a Life Member Pin.

VFW National Home for Children 3573 S Waverly Rd Eaton Rapids, MI. 48827

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ vfwnationalhome/#_=_

Website: https://www.vfwnationalhome.org/

The origins of today’s VFW National Home for Children can be traced to a 23-year-old woman named Amy Ross. In 1922, Ross made it her mission to help find jobs for the thousands of unemployed veterans in Detroit.

THE BEGINNING

News of Ross’ efforts reached millionaire cattleman Corey Spencer, who gifted 472 acres of land near Eaton Rapids, Michigan, to build on Ross’ vision of supporting veterans.

On Jan. 7, 1925, the VFW National Home was founded, helping to fulfill the VFW pledge to “honor the dead by helping the living.” Later that spring, the Home welcomed its first family in an old frame farmhouse, Mrs. Pollett and her six children. Pollett had become suddenly widowed and lost her husband’s military pension.

THROUGH THE YEARS

Since its founding, the VFW National Home for Children has grown from an old frame farmhouse to a sprawling campus with playgrounds; park areas; and multiple buildings, including single-family homes, a community center and gymnasium, child care facility, guest lodge, chapel, and administrative offices.

Over the years, the National Home has evolved to meet the changing needs of America’s military and veterans’ families. Through it all, one thing has remained constant: the National Home’s commitment to honor our nation’s veterans and active-duty military by providing help and hope for their children and families.

The Mission

“The Veterans of Foreign Wars National Home for Children will provide children, youth and families of veterans, active-duty military, and members of the VFW and its Auxiliary opportunities for growth and development in a nurturing community, and by doing so will serve as a living memorial to all veterans.”

About Us

Born from the belief that America needs to care for the children and families of men and women who sacrificed for our country, the VFW National Home for Children is a place of healing, support and refuge. It was founded in 1925 as a place where the families left behind by war could remain together, keeping the family circle intact even when their servicemember didn’t come home. Today’s families face different challenges — reintegration, post-traumatic stress, high unemployment and rehabilitation from battlefield injuries, among others — and the National Home has evolved over our decades-long history to meet those changing needs.

24 NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS

Department of Europe Legacy members

Post Name Legacy Level

9334Aldridge, Angelo D. Gold

10312Allgood Stanley W. Gold

10775Andrew, Glenna M Gold

10436Andujar, Emilio Gold

8862Bankston, Thomas J. Bronze

10436Barber, Billy D. * Silver

27Barton, Clyde A. Bronze

10810Bateman, Gary M. Gold

10692Beatty, James M. Gold

10810Benard, Thomas R. Gold

27Bobbe Sr, Shawn J. Gold

9342Bodily, Cecil L. Gold

8862Borden, Johnny R. Bronze

8862Bostic, Mark C. Bronze

10810Boynton, Pierre Y. Bronze

9342 Brooks, Robert P. Gold

10810Buechner, Brian L. Bronze

27Campanas, James P. Gold

10692Cannon, Donald Gold

10692Case, John C. Gold

12139Casey, John J. Bronze

8862Clark, Tom A. Bronze

10708Classe Jr, Anthony V. Gold

3885Coleman III, Willie A. Gold

27Corea, Juanita C. Bronze

10692Creager, Donald R. Bronze

10312Desmarris, Gerard A.Bronze

8862Davenport, Terry D. Bronze

605Digilio Jr, John T. Bronze

10692Flick, Brian H. Gold

10692Flick Sr, Bob R. * Gold

10692 Foist, Gabriel T. Bronze

10692Fontenelle, Curtis J. Gold

10692Fuentes, Pierre J. Silver

8862Funk, Steven L. Gold

8862Furnish, Caroll E. Bronze

10692Gehring, Gregory J. Silver

605Gibson, Lon M. Gold

10614Gilgore, George J. Gold

8862Gillott, Bert A. Gold

10506Gish, Blane E. Bronze

10692Hadley, Benjamin F. Gold

9342Hall, Herbert Bronze

10692Hawley, Philip M. Gold

10810Hayman Collins, LisaBronze

8862Heaton, Alex O. Bronze

27 Heffernan, Michael G. Gold

8862Helie, Robert A. Bronze

8862Hendrickson, Richard B.Bronze

10692Hicks, David E. Gold

Post Name Legacy Level

9342Hirschman, Norman J.Bronze

10506Hooper, Carl Gold

15060Hoskin, Lawrence K. Gold

10557Howard, Lance W. Gold

10708Isaak, Norbert Gold

9342Johnson, Dwight Silver

10692Joyce, James R. Gold

12139Karraker, Mark A. Bronze

605Keenan, Kristina J. Gold

9334Kennedy, Jonathan Gold

8862Kennedy, Richard F. * Gold

10436Kirbye, John E. Gold

9342Kistner, Mark C. Gold

10506Konsavage, Michael F.Gold

15060Kuehn, Michael A. Gold

10506 Kuntz, Daniel J. Gold

10810Lally, William E. * Bronze

8862Lawery, Donald F. * Gold

10810 Leffler, John L. Gold

10810 Leffler, Robert J. Gold

8862Leonard, James L. Bronze

10692Lorenzo, James R. Gold

10692Lovmo, Russell D. Gold

10506 Luna, Mario A. Gold

8862Luste, Peter H. * Gold

15060Lytle, Victor S. * Gold

10810Marable, Devon A. Bronze

10436Mc Cluskey, Michael J.Gold

27Miller, Anthony E. Bronze

27Minsky, Robert R. Gold

3885Mishkin, Marc B. Gold

9342Miyamoto, Daniel K. Gold

27Moore, Andrew J. Gold

8862Moore, Thomas R. Bronze

10436Morgan, David L. Gold

12159Mormino, Joe A. Gold

8862Murley, Myron H. * Gold

10708Nagan, Dale R. Gold

27Neiderhiser, Adam T. Gold

2566Neilson, John C. Gold

10708Nelson, Walter A. Bronze

9342Nixon, Raymond S. Gold

8862Northen, Alice Silver

8862Northen, Matthew B. Silver

3885Ota, Todd H. Bronze

2566Otto, Matthew J. Gold

10692Palos, Jasson G. Bronze

8862 Peiffer, Robert R. Bronze

10614Peterson, Norman G. Gold

8862 Pfaff, Michael D. Bronze

10436Preston, Lee B. Silver

605Primmer, Mark D. Gold

10692Proctor, Ryan A. Bronze

12159Purham, Randy Silver

10692Quick, George Bronze

8862Quinn, Patrick I. * Bronze

605Reid, Ulysses T. Gold

10614Rewis, Thomas Bronze

8862Reynolds, Ronald Bronze

27Richardson, Stanley Gold

10614Ridenbaugh, Rudy L. Gold

3885Robbins, Leo V. * Gold

10692Rohr, Kenneth J. Gold

10775Schaaf, Mark A. * Gold

15060Schreiber, Mark A. Bronze

9342Schreiber, Thomas K. Gold

10810Schwartz, Robert N. Gold

605Shanahan Jr, John H. Gold

15060Shelton, Christopher L.Silver

27Sikes, Nicholas W. Bronze

9342Smith, Nay Bronze

10692Spohr, Gladwin K. Gold

8862St Hilaire, Shaun M. Gold

605Steiner, Charles J. Bronze

10775Strickland Jr, Jack L. Gold

10692Strosnider, William D.Bronze

15060Thomas Sr, David J. Gold

10506Van Der Wyst, Ralph H.Gold

27Vergott, James D. Gold

12139 Wagaman, Jeffrey H. Gold

27Wallent, Anthony Bronze

15060Webken, Jacob T. Bronze

8862Wilder, David B. Gold

3885Williamson, Jessie L. Gold

27Wolverton, Lee R. Gold

10692Worm, Kenneth S. Gold

8862Young, Anthony L. Gold

10810Young, Joel O. Gold

10775Zaiz, Richard A. Gold

* Indicates deceased member as of June 27, 2023

Post Name
Legacy Level
Gold88 Silver11 Bronze42 Total141

WE PROVE IT. GOT YOUR BACK. SOME SAY THEY’VE

Hosting service members and their families at morale-boosting events

Providing vital financial assistance to military families in need

Helping veterans recoup their earned benefits from the VA

Granting scholarships to student veterans for higher education

Testifying on Capitol Hill, leading the way for veterans legislation

Standing at the forefront in the battle

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