Wed, March 3, 2021. We will meet at Acacia. Dinner @ 6:30pm.
Honorably Discharged male or female U.S. military veterans are WELCOME to join us --- any religion, any color.
General James McConville; U.S. Army senior officer; advisor to the Secretary of the Army. See: Resources/U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff
Admiral Mike Gilday; U.S. Navy senior officer; advisor to the Secretary of the Navy. See: Resources/U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff
1st Wednesday of month (6:30 pm) @ Acacia. Dinner provided. If you cannot attend, Zoom will be used until COVID-19 is resolved
Our programs support our service members while they are on the front line, as they are being discharged and long after they return. Your tax-deductible donation will be immediately directed to the VFW programs where your support is most urgently needed.
February 21, 2021 --- by Post Commander Christophersen
Harold "Rod” Rodenberger
District #2 Commander
VFW Dept of Washington
I was the only representative from our District at the Mid-Winter in Olympia. While I was honored to physically sit in for you at the Mid-Winter, it was good to see you, Nestor Tamayao and Linda Fairbank from our District on Zoom. I have a packet for you. There was no name plate for District 2, as there were for the other District Commanders in attendance. State Commander Traci Williams told me that since you had told her you would not attend, a name plate for District #2 was not made. That was resolved by yesterday.
Traci asked if either Vice Commander was available and was OK with me sitting in for you when told they were not. The District #3 Commander, sitting next to me, seemed a bit miffed that I was there --- as I was only the Chief of Staff. But when he learned that I am a Past District #2 Commander, he mellowed. Oddly enough, when I talked to the State Chief of Staff, Joshua Schreck, to get the District #2 packet for you --- he told me that one was not available --- so he gave me his copy to give to you.
Besides the District #2 packet, I accepted an award for "Hal Rodenberger” for the number of new members you personally recruited, which I will deliver to you; and I accepted a very attractive glass-encased placard, along with a check for $75, for the 2020-2021 Youth Essay 2nd Place winner for the 5thGrade in the Patriot’s Pen named Alexa Ali of the Our Lady of Guadalupe from Vashon Post 2826. In addition, Alexa gets a golden 2” diameter medallion with the VFW Maltese Cross in full color on one side and her name engraved on the other, which I will also deliver to you, so you can present it to the Post 2826 Commander Michael Mattingly. Those were the only awards for District #2.
When I got home yesterday from Olympia, I realized that State Commander Traci Williams did not, to my knowledge, announce the dates for the remaining 2 Statewide events for 2021:
- Something called "The Gala” which apparently is to celebrate the 100th birthday for VFW in WA State, to be held in May 2021
- The main State VFW Convention in June
I had not heard about this "Gala” until Traci mentioned it. I checked to State VFW web site and could not find it; neither are the dates/location of the main State VFW Convention in June. Please find out the dates & locations for both these events and notify the District #2 Post Commanders as soon as you find out --- so we can plan for it.
As a Sidenote, I recommend that you take note of the name Todd Gruchalla. He is the VFW Dept of Washington Service Officer. He is phenomenal. He is a member of the Port Orchard VFW Post 2669 and is a Navy Lifer who now dedicates his life to helping veterans. He spoke to the attendees --- he is very impressive. His phone is (206) 341-8287.
While I am thinking about it, also take note of the name Drew James. He is the VFW Dept of Washington Iraq/Afghanistan Committee Chair and Past Post Commander of the Monroe VFW Post 2711. He is running for State Surgeon this June 2021. With his dark, long beard, he looks like the drummer from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; but when he spoke at an after conference sidebar, this veteran of multiple tours in Iraq/Afghanistan proved to be a powerful speaker.
It was noticeable that there were about 30-40 other veterans, along with me, who stuck around after the conference to hear Drew --- matching the number that stayed to hear the equally impressive Joshua Schmidt’s Parliamentarian Class that immediately preceded Drew. It was encouraging that there are local VFW members who stood out besides the visiting VFW guest from National --- who this time was the Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief, Matthew "Fritz” Mihelcic. I also noted that the State has north of $1.2 million in CDs in addition to over $500,000 in the General Fund.
There are several VFW members, who, in addition to Drew, Joshua and Traci, also belong to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). I stood up and asked Drew to explain why the IAVA was separate from the VFW --- since, by definition, anyone in IAVA is eligible for VFW membership. He said that they are working on that. A known barrier is that IAVA members are younger with careers and raising families on their mind --- chumming up with retirees is not top of mind. A concern begging for a solution.
Yours in Comradeship,
District #2 Chief of Staff
VFW Dept of Washington# # #
February 18, 2021 --- by Post Commander Christophersen
I arrived at the VA Hospital about 9:30am. My appointment was not until 10:45am but I wanted to be sure I was not late. I pulled into the lower parking area where, in the past, I have found a spot about 50% of the time. All spots require a Disabled Pass but then all the veterans parking there have those. As I drove in, my first clue that there were no available spots was the steady stream of cars coming out --- said clue was soon confirmed.
I went back out to get on the normal path that spirals upwards for 4 levels to the top of the VA parking garage. I quickly realized that it was going to be a while before I found an available spot --- as there were 6 cars in front of me, traveling at 2 mph. After 3 levels of no joy, I was just hoping that there was room on the top.
I had seen a sign on the way in that overflow space was available at the South parking lot. We were stalled a tad when some genius decided to do a U-turn. Finally, at the 4th level, I found a spot. When I got to Bldg 101 and walked in, I was screened, given my yellow bracelet, and told to come back 5 minutes before my appointment. If I desired, I could wait on the 4th floor.
I walked over to the main VA building to get a bite to eat in the canteen. Afterwards, I walked back to Bldg 101 to go wait on the 4th floor. While there, I had to use the Men’s room. For the first time in my life, I found myself looking at a one-piece toilet. No lid. Not a joyous moment as my physical requirement demanded that I sit down. Yuk☹☹☹
When it was my turn, I went back downstairs and was told to fill out some paperwork. When that was done, I was guided to a table where some fellow gave me my COVID-19 vaccine shot. I did not even feel it. I was then taken to a large room, given a timer, which had been set for 15 minutes, and told to sit down.
When the timer went off, I was told. I was to turn it off, stand up, put the timer on my chair and wait to be called. I did all that, confirmed that I felt fine and was told that I could leave. I did notice a slight soreness in my left arm on the way home. Now I do not feel any soreness or any other sensation. It was 11:00am when I pulled out of the VA garage.
# # #February 16, 2021 --- by Post Commander Christophersen
It was just confirmed that we can use Acacia for our VFW meeting on Wednesday, March 3rd. Thom is looking up what the last dinner vote was that we took when we last met. He remembered Polish Dogs and whatever else went with it.
You will still have to wear a face mask and maintain 6’ social distancing which is pretty easy to do since Acacias has us set up in their large chapel. We will get there by 6:30pm; our meeting will start about 7:00pm depending on members having finished their dinner.
Zoom will be set up for those that want to attend remotely.
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December 23, 2020--- Dr. Chris Vanderwalker, Medical Director, VA Puget Sound Health Care System
We plan to open 3 micro-clinics in Edmonds, Olympia, and Puyallup by the end of April 2021 --- and a new Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Everett in late 2021.
VA Puget Sound will be closing the Valor Healthcare clinics in Lake City, Federal Way and Bellevue on January 31, 2021. During the period from February 1st to the opening of the micro-clinics, VA Puget Sound will have virtual teams with primary care, social work, pharmacy, nutrition, and mental health ready to go for Veterans who receive care at one of the 3 Valor Healthcare clinics.
Veterans who receive care from Valor Healthcare will be transferred to new locations based on their zip code and proximity to the nearest VA Puget Sound care site. There is limited availability in the new Edmonds clinic, so some Veterans will be assigned care in Seattle. Our clinics do offer video care appointments, so it is not necessary to travel to Seattle to receive care.
You can find a full list of those options at https://www.va.gov/find-locations/.
Our new micro-clinics are:
· Edmonds Clinic: 21616 76th Ave, Edmonds, WA 98026
· Puyallup: Sunrise Medical Center, 11102 Sunrise Blvd, Puyallup, WAS 98374
· Olympia: Olympia Medical Center, 500Lilly Rd, Olympia, WA 98506 (pending)
Patients interested in seeking care at any of the VA Puget Sound sites, should call (253) 582-8440, Ext 71234.
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