February newsletter available for download

Ballard Eagleson VFW Post 3063’s February newsletter is available for download here. Highlights of February’s issue include: Commander and Quartermaster commentaries; Post sends care packages to deployed members; Changing times requires emphasis on recruiting, membership; Officer Profile: Bill Griffith, Post 3063 Chaplain; and DoD Extends Online Exchange Shopping to Veterans.

DoD Extends Online Exchange Shopping to Veterans

Courtesy of


The Department of Defense announced a policy change that will extend limited online military exchange shopping privileges to all honorably discharged veterans of the military.


The veterans online shopping benefit will be effective this Veterans Day, Nov. 11.


While shopping privileges exclude the purchase of uniforms, alcohol and tobacco products, it includes the Exchange Services’ dynamic online retail environment known so well to service members and their families. This policy change follows careful analysis, coordination and strong public support.


“We are excited to provide these benefits to honorably discharged veterans to recognize their service and welcome them home to their military family,” said Peter Levine, performing the duties for the under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.


“In addition, this initiative represents a low-risk, low-cost opportunity to help fund Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs in support of service members’ and their families’ quality of life. And it’s just the right thing to do,” Levine added.


The online benefit will also strengthen the exchanges’ online businesses to better serve current patrons. Inclusion of honorably discharged veterans would conservatively double the exchanges’ online presence, thereby improving the experience for all patrons through improved vendor terms, more competitive merchandise assortments, and improved efficiencies, according to DoD officials.


“As a nation, we are grateful for the contributions of our service members. Offering this lifetime online benefit is one small, tangible way the nation can say, ‘Thank you’ to those who served with honor,” Levine said.

Changing times requires emphasis on recruiting, membership

By Harold Rodenberger


Citizens of this great country over the years have formed many organizations. There are civic, fraternal, sporting, patriotic, religious, scholastic and work related groups. In fact, there are organizations designed to appeal to almost every interest.


Organizations bring like-minded people together just for fun, as in the case of our sports teams’ fan clubs; for sharing ideas, as in the case of cooking, quilting and book clubs; and for help achieving a better life, as in the case of religious, scholastic, business and union organizations.  Some people belong to many organizations and some people belong only to one or two.


People use organizations to help them achieve a better life and even, in some cases, to survive. In turn, no matter how large the organization or how good its mission, it must have members to survive. Though once a great organization, The Association of Switchboard Operators is just a memory alongside the Ballard Local of the West Coast Shingle Weavers’ Union.


The VFW was founded to provide benefits to our Armed Forces veterans who served in combat areas. Foremost among these was camaraderie with fellow veterans, assistance for comrades in distress and furthering patriotic ideals. In addition, strength in numbers allows our voice to carry more weight with politicians from the local to national level.


In addition to helping others, the VFW helps our members. Our VFW Service Officers help qualified veterans file for medical care and disability benefits. We give financial grants, scholarships, and  there are other programs to help our members and their families. To check out additional benefits go to:


When I first joined the VFW, there was emphasis on camaraderie with most posts having a canteen and kitchen with lower priced food and beverages giving their members a place to gather with fellow veterans. As time passed, attitudes changed and our post closed its clubroom as have many posts across the nation.


Today’s VFW members want to be more involved in helping fellow vets and the community. Our post typifies this changing attitude by doing many activities that support our community and especially our fellow veterans.


The key to attaining these goals is membership. Without a growing, or at least stable membership, our voice on Capitol Hill, our ability to aid our comrades in distress and resources to help our community all diminish.


Most of our members know of the benefits of belonging to the VFW but many qualified veterans don’t know about us or may have the outdated idea that we are a bunch of old fogies, hanging out in the bar telling war stories. To get the word out about the new VFW and to encourage our members sign up new recruits, we have various incentive programs.


On our post level, when we sign up new members we know that we are helping vitalize and strengthen our own post. The more members we have the more dynamic we are, the more dynamic we are the more we can accomplish for our members, other veterans and our community.


At department level, if you sign up five new or reinstated members this year, you will receive a Silver certificate and a ticket to enter the “Fishing for Membership” raffle. Sign up ten and, in addition to another raffle ticket, you will get a Gold certificate and a Recruiter’s Baseball cap. Every additional five members earns another raffle ticket.


The raffle drawing will be held at our state convention and the twenty winners will also receive a fishing license, lunch and bait for a trip departing from Westport. The biggest fish will also win a prize.


Members who earn a Silver certificate also will be entered in four $50.00 cash drawings at our state convention.


At national level, there are several attractive incentives for recruiters.

  • 5, 10, 15 – shamrock pins with the appropriate number.
  • 25 – Commander-in-Chief membership coin and citation.
  • 50 – National aide-de-camp cap and citation.
  • 75 – VFW leather travel bag.
  • 175 – Commemorative medallion set.
  • 250 or more – $1,000.00 stipend toward attending the VFW National Convention and a distinctive cap, citation and name tag.
  • The VFW member who signs up the greatest number of new or recovered members greater than 250 by July 1, 2017, will win Recruiter of the Year and will receive a $1,000.00 stipend toward attending the convention; reserved seating at the opening session; a special cap, citation and name badge plus the Commander-in-Chief’s Crystal Eagle.


In addition to these incentives our Commander in Chief, Brian Duffy, is offering a special “Pot O’ Gold” member drawing. For every five new/reinstated members recruited between July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 you will receive one chance and for each increment of 25 new/reinstated members you will receive an additional 10 chances to be one of three winners who, along with a guest, will accompany Chief Duffy on an all-expense paid trip to Ireland in the fall of 2017.


You might think it’s a little late in the year to be trying for any of these awards but there are still five months to qualify and remember that in each new VFW year there are prizes like these (except the trip to Ireland) so recruit for this year’s prizes but also plan for succeeding years.

There’s a new chef in town

Kay Seelig is the new chef for our third Thursday socials. You may remember Kay from the great tasting spaghetti she made for some of our fundraisers.


Kay brings a wealth of cooking experience to this new gig. She has cooked both as a hobby and as a professional and once cooked her way through Julia Child’s famed 100 Master Recipes from “The Way To Cook” in a single year.


Over the coming months you will experience menus ranging from the merely wonderful to the near exotic. We will publicize her selections via our newsletter and website so you can check in advance to see what delicacy will be served next.


Kay wants to be as inclusive of special needs as possible. If you have a food allergy or other special dietary resection let us know at least a week in advance of the social and Kay will provide alternatives where possible.