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Approximately 10,000 VFW and VFW Auxiliary members and guests are expected to attend the weeklong convention in downtown Charlotte, N.C., July 23-27. Live streaming will begin with the annual memorial service at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) on July 24, and continue for the duration of the convention beginning at 8:00 a.m. daily, and culminating with the election and installation of new VFW officers on Wednesday.
Monday’s lineup includes:
- The presentation of the VFW Armed Forces Award to the U.S. Army Special Forces
- The VFW Hall of Fame Award to Rob Riggle
- Appearances by many other notable guests
The new app ensures attendees will receive important notifications and reminders throughout the conference, have instant access to the daily agenda, the opportunity to connect with other attendees and more!
With an agenda packed with distinguished guests and presentations, a private performance from the renowned group The Oak Ridge Boys and the installation of the next VFW National Commander Brian Duffy, you won’t want to miss a single thing! Stay updated by searching #VFWConvention on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to follow us on social media or log on to www.vfw.org/conventionlive for regular updates during the convention.
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The chapter acquired the helicopter on permanent loan from the Niagara Aerospace Museum and hopes to build a memorial with a brick walkway and the helicopter as its centerpiece. The chapter is using multiple avenues to raise funds for the project, which is expected to cost tens of thousands of dollars.
A campaign to sell engraved bricks for the walkway has raised about $10,000, with hopes to raise $30,000 more, Smilinich said. “It’s open to all veterans, and it’s open to the whole community to put a brick there
If you are interested in a brick, they have a GoFundMe page set up.
This Veterans Day be sure to join us in front of the Kenmore Village hall at Delaware Rd. & Delaware Ave. Afterwards enjoy these discounts that this blog has curated for us and don’t forget to put that green light on outside from Green light Vet.
Also, Delta Sonic is giving us free car washes and oil changes. Be sure to support them as they support us.
THE FINAL TOAST!
They once were among the most universally admired and revered men in the United States .. There were 80 of the Raiders in April 1942, when they carried out one of the most courageous and heart-stirring military operations in this nation’s history. The mere mention of their unit’s name, in those years, would bring tears to the eyes of grateful Americans.
Now only four survive.
The 16 five-man crews, under the command of Lt. Col. James Doolittle, who himself flew the lead plane off the USS Hornet, knew that they would not be able to return to the carrier. They would have to hit Japan and then hope to make it to China for a safe landing.
But on the day of the raid, the Japanese military caught wind of the plan. The Raiders were told that they would have to take off from much farther out in the Pacific Ocean than they had counted on. They were told that because of this they would not have enough fuel to make it to safety.
And those men went anyway.
They bombed Tokyo and then flew as far as they could. Four planes crash-landed; 11 more crews bailed out, and three of the Raiders died. Eight more were captured; three were executed.
The Doolittle Raiders sent a message from the United States to its enemies, and to the rest of the world: We will fight. And, no matter what it takes, we will win.
Beginning in 1946, the surviving Raiders have held a reunion each April, to commemorate the mission. The reunion is in a different city each year. In 1959, the city of Tucson, Arizona, as a gesture of respect and gratitude, presented the Doolittle Raiders with a set of 80 silver goblets. Each goblet was engraved with the name of a Raider.
Every year, a wooden display case bearing all 80 goblets is transported to the reunion city. Each time a Raider passes away, his goblet is turned upside down in the case at the next reunion, as his old friends bear solemn witness.
Al so in the wooden case is a bottle of 1896 Hennessy Very Special cognac. The year is not happenstance: 1896 was when Jimmy Doolittle was born.
There has always been a plan: When there are only two surviving Raiders, they would open the bottle, at last drink from it, and toast their comrades who preceded them in death.
What a man he was. After bailing out of his plane over a mountainous Chinese forest after the Tokyo raid, he became ill with malaria, and almost died. When he recovered, he was sent to Europe to fly more combat missions. He was shot down, captured, and spent 22 months in a German prisoner of war camp.
The selflessness of these men, the sheer guts … there was a passage in the Cincinnati Enquirer obituary for Mr. Griffin that, on the surface, had nothing to do with the war, but that was emblematic of the depth of his sense of duty and devotion:
So now, out of the original 80, only four Raiders remain: Dick Cole (Doolittle’s co-pilot on the Tokyo raid), Robert Hite, Edward Saylor and David Thatcher. All are in their 90s. They have decided that there are too few of them for the public reunions to continue.
Do the men ever wonder if those of us for whom they helped save the country have tended to it in a way that is worthy of their sacrifice? They don’t talk about that, at least not around other people. But if you find yourself near Fort Walton Beach this week, and if you should encounter any of the Raiders, you might want to offer them a word of thanks. I can tell you from first hand observation that they appreciate hearing that they are remembered.
IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK, ESPECIALLY
TO THOSE WHO WERE TOO YOUNG TO
KNOW ABOUT THESE BRAVE HEROES.
Here is an email from Jim Bojanowski Past Erie County American Legion Commander.
I have been working with State Assemblyman Michael Kearns for the past few weeks along with many Post leaders from the southtowns on putting together a committee to obtain funds from local wealthy individuals, foundations, and Government to assist Veteran Post homes in Erie County in their upkeep and capital expenses. Areas we would like to assist with are roofs, bathrooms, electrical, parking lots, handicapped access, and potential disaster relief center setup. In other words – major capital needs for Post homes. We are talking trying to get millions of dollars, but we need to be organized in order to obtain this funding.
We believe it is appropriate to reach out to all Veteran Post’s in Erie County and would like your involvement to at least help us communicate to the rest of your organization.
Dennis Fitzgerald from the John Weber Post # 898 has tried to reach out to the other VFW Post, with no success.
I am also working to reach out to the AMVETS County Commander.
We plan on having a kickoff press conference at the Matthew Glab American Legion Post # 1477 located on 1965 Abbott Rd. in Lackawanna. This is to be held on Friday May 22 at 10:00 am, just before Memorial Day weekend.