Commander’s Corner (April 2024)

At our post’s “Welcome Home” Vietnam Veterans Recognition Social on March 21, we witnessed an evening of heartfelt connection and healing. We saw firsthand the power of giving our Vietnam veterans the recognition they’ve long deserved. The event was a reminder of their sacrifices and the importance of honoring all who serve, no matter the conflict.

Some shared emotional stories, revealing the deep scars left by their service and the harsh reception they faced upon returning home. These moments underscored our duty to separate the warrior from the war, affirming our commitment to respect and support ALL veterans.

I’m grateful for everyone who contributed to making the evening memorable, especially our Vietnam veterans, and Colt, owner of neighboring Luna’s Landing Dog Care, whose catering added warmth to our gathering.

To all who served: We stand with you, yesterday, today, and always.

In comradeship,
Aly Teeter, Commander

Students interview with Vietnam veterans

On March 18 our post comrades and Vietnam Veterans Joseph Mesa and Russ Seelig interviewed with students at Bellevue Big Picture School, a grades 6-12 choice school in the Bellevue Public School District. Students were interested in learning about veteran experiences in Vietnam… how they became involved, what moments stick with them still, and how their experiences they had there shaped the years since.

The school was very appreciative of the time Russ and Joseph spent with them. They each sat for two interviews with students, and then paired up for a final unscheduled session with two other students. According to the school, “This was a powerful afternoon for all. We are so grateful for you sharing your experiences and reflections… Thank you all for your help with this, for your service, and for your honesty and candor.”

Last World War II Post 3063 member passes away

On Thursday, January 18, 2024, VFW Post 3063 Comrade and our last World War II veteran, Edward “Ed” Roy Westing passed away at age 97 in Seattle. Ed was born June 19, 1926 in New York, NY to Carl and Anna (Brünges) Westing.

He was a WWII veteran, serving in the Army Air Force where he was stationed in the Pacific with the 20th Air Force. Ed graduated with a business degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1972 and worked at Westinghouse in Baltimore, Maryland as a technical writer for more than 20 years. He was passionate about chess, receiving a meritorious service award from the U.S. Chess Federation in 2019. For many years Ed wrote a chess column for the Jeffersonian Newspaper in Towson, Maryland, and was the longtime president of the Towson Chess Club and member of the Maryland Chess Association. Ed was also known for his love of movies and his impressive book collection. He relocated to Seattle in 2016 to be close to his daughter and enjoyed frequent visits to the Seattle Swedish Club and the National Nordic Museum. He was preceded in death by his wife, Judith, of 35 years. He is survived by his daughter Karen, son-in-law Chintan, and extended family and friends.

Lt Eagleson’s gravesite found at Wreaths Across America event

On Wreaths Across America Day Dec. 16, the post co-sponsored the Lake View Cemetery WAA event with the Seattle Sons of the American Revolution by providing an honor guard and guest speaker. Comrade Commander Aly Teeter spoke about the significance of the day and our post’s connection to the cemetery, which is our namesake, Lt James Eagleson. Lt Eagleson’s gravestone hadn’t been tracked down by the organizers but our commander managed to find it on the southern border of the cemetery.

Thank you to everyone who volunteered, from post members, to the Navigator Scouts, and friends who currently serve. It was a memorable and beautiful morning for honoring our fallen veterans.

The Navigation Case author presents at post meeting

Thank you to author John Happ for coming to our business meeting on Dec. 7 – Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day – to discuss his book about his father’s service in World War II. We all learned more about World War II operations in New Guinea, the toll it took on aviators and the importance of documenting our own personal histories. You can find his book, The Navigation Case, on Amazon.