September/October 2010 Checkpoint by TheShu

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SePTemBer | oCToBer 2010                                                                                                              

                                                                  NEws from Vfw’s froNT lINEs
Water Balloon Battle

Students Re-enact Civil War with VFW Assistance
VFW has long been knoWn For its commit-
ment to America’s youth. From sponsoring youth sports
to working with Boy Scouts, Post members across the
country show they care.
    Post 983 in Henderson, Nev., a suburb of Las Vegas,
took its commitment to youth a step further. Post mem-
ber and school volunteer James Edwards led fifth-grade
students from Edna Hinman Elementary and J.M. Ullom
Elementary schools in a three-month study of the Civil

                                                                                                                                                                                   PHotoS CoURtESy of MoNa SHiEld PayNE PHotogRaPHy
War, culminating in a re-enactment of the Battle of Bull
    Dressed in period uniforms, the students used water
balloons as weapons, a welcome relief on the 94-degree
day in May 2009.
    Edwards told the Las Vegas Sun that the program is
intended to bring history alive and teach discipline to
the students. Each fifth-grade class became a regiment
for three months, their teachers were colonels.
    Students learned to march in formation and lead
troops. When a leader is killed or wounded in battle,
they learned, the next ranking soldier has to take over.
In the process students had to earn their ranks such as
standard bearers, corporals and sergeants.
    During the pre-battle inspection, Edwards asked the
students, “Sergeant, who will replace you if you fall?
Private, are you ready to replace the corporal if she gets
    He noted how the front-line troops kneeled so the        Students from Edna Hinman Elementary and J.M. Ullom Elementary schools participate in a Battle of Bull Run
back line could throw water balloons over their heads.       re-enactment using water balloons in May 2009. Post 983 in Henderson, Nev., sponsored the program, which
Students also had a supply line to maintain.                 was the culmination of a three-month study on the Civil War.
    “That mimics what happened in real battle,” Edwards
said. “It took 20 to 30 seconds to reload. They have to go      “It turned them around,” she told the Sun. “They        the battle, only three students were missing any assign-
through the frustration of standing there and being shot     don’t want to miss school. It helped with grades. They     ments.
at, while they wait to get their order to fire.”             wanted to participate.”                                        Edwards said VFW will continue the program annu-
    Teacher Stacy Skinner noted that the history pro-           She said when the program began, 10 of her students     ally so that the students can one day come back as par-
gram made an impact on the students’ attitude toward         had more than 20 missing assignments. By the day of        ents to watch their own children in the re-enactment.

     wHAT’s INsIDE CHECKPoINT                                “It took 20 to 30 seconds to reload. They
Extra! Extra!, Page 2
• Free calls for troops
• Upcoming Programs deadlines
                                                              have to go through the frustration of
                                                              standing there and being shot at, while
• Exam-free life insurance

WWII Vets Active at Posts, Page 3
Here are 120 more WWII veterans who contribute
their time and effort in official positions to keep
their Posts operating efficiently.
                                                              they wait to get their order to fire.”
VOD Winners Converge on Washington, Page 4-5                                                 —James Edwards, school volunteer and member
VFW’s premier scholarship program brings all 54                                               of VFW Post 983 in Henderson, Nev.
Department winners to the nation’s capital to crown
this year’s national champ.

National Teachers of the Year, Page 6
Representing Michigan, Kentucky and North
Carolina, VFW’s top citizenship education teachers
explain their passion for America and patriotism.

Wyoming’s Own Hollywood Star, Page 7
Marine Pfc. Chance Phelps’ story inspired a movie,
a charitable foundation and a special place of honor
at his Post in Wyoming.

Membership Reveals Marketing Campaigns,
Page 8                                                       above left, dressed in period costumes, students wait patiently in the Nevada heat for the battle to begin.
Here’s what savvy VFW recruiters can expect over             above right, water balloon “ammunition” is hurled through the air by the “soldiers” during the re-enactment.
the next six months as the national Membership
Department targets three groups of veterans.

                                                                                                                                      CHECKPOINT • SEPTEmbEr / OCTObEr 2010 • 1
exTra! exTra!                                                 Allen “Gunner” Kent, Adjutant General
                                                                                                    lEADErsHIP PErsPECTIVEs

TrooPs GET TWo FrEE cAlls PEr MoNTH
Starting this month, VfW’s Operation Uplink program will
                                                              Offer Students a Veteran’s Perspective
provide two free calls a month to U.S. troops serving over-   VFW’s 111th birthday is Sept. 29, and our members                  Voice of Democracy entry and a $10,000 U.S. savings
seas. troops can connect with their families and friends      can celebrate by demonstrating why we remain                       bond for the top middle-school essay.
back home at military Moral, Welfare and Recreation in-       popular within our communities. Specifically, Post                    And for the hard-working teachers who provide
                                                              members can take advantage of                                      outstanding lessons, VFW also offers the National
ternet Cafes.
                                                              VFW’s “Veterans in the                                             Citizenship Education Teachers Awards (see page 6
   “We are thrilled to now offer two calls per month,” said
                                                              Classroom Month” in                                                                   for last year’s winners). The top ele-
linda ferguson, manager of special programs for VfW’s         November, which also                                                                  mentary-, middle- and high-school
National Military Services. “We can connect so many more      kicks off our annual es-                                                              teachers will each receive $1,000,
families now. and for anyone who has ever had a loved one     say contests for students                                                             as will their schools. We will pres-
serve overseas, they know how special that call is.”          to earn cash awards.                                                                  ent the 2011 teacher awards at the
                                                                  Posts can get started                                                             VFW National Legislative Confer-
Following is the schedule of Free call days:                  by contacting schools at                                                              ence next March in Washington,
   Sept. 5 & 29           March 13 & 27                       the beginning of the fall                                                             D.C.
                                                              semester. Tell teachers                                                                   VFW members can obtain more
   oct. 3 & 17            april 10 & 24
                                                              your Post members can                                                                 information about these programs
   Nov. 11 & 25           May 8 & 29
                                                              provide “living history pre-                                                          at www.vfwdepartmentresources.
   dec. 15 & 25           June 5 & 19                         sentations” to their classes.                                                         org. By simply clicking on the Cross
   Jan. 1 & 16            July 4 & 24                         A veteran’s perspective of what                                                       of Malta next to “Program Infor-
   feb. 14 & 27           aug. 7 & 28                         it was like to actually serve in a                                 mation” members can access such items as:
                                                              war zone is something students                                           • VOD and Patriot’s Pen student entry and
   for more information, access
                                                              simply cannot get through text-                                            advancement forms.
                                                              books.                                                                   • Brochures explaining VFW’s teacher awards,
                                                                  Savvy Posts will notify teachers of the date (see                      Veterans in the Classroom, VFW Day and
                                                              Extra! Extra! “Pay Heed to Program Deadlines” at                           national scholarship programs.
                                                              left) students must submit their Voice of Democ-                      Let your local schools and teachers know that
PAy HEEd To ProGrAM dEAdlINEs                                 racy and Patriot’s Pen essays to qualify for the grand             even at 111 years old, VFW stands ready to help them
VfW has three school-related programs that honor and          prizes: a $30,000 college scholarship for the winning              educate the nation’s future leaders.
recognize students and teachers. the program deadlines
begin in November. Keep your program chairmen aware
of these dates.                                               Larry Maher, Quartermaster General

Voice of democracy and Patriot’s Pen                          Recognize Good Performance
youth Essay contests:                                         Everyone appreciates recognition for a job well done,                    • Award plaques for major milestones
   Nov. 1: deadline for students to submit entries to         and this can be even more important when working                           or accomplishments.
Posts.                                                        with volunteers. Sometimes we get so busy that we                      Take the time to communicate Post goals clearly
   Nov. 15: deadline for completion of Post judging.          forget to make that extra effort. However, there are               and listen to what members have to say. Volunteers
   dec. 6: deadline for completion of district judging.       lots of tools available to show our appreciation. Here             value clear communications and openness.
   Jan. 7, 2011: deadline for completion of department        are just a few from 1001 Ways To Reward Employees                      These ideas work whether you are running an
       judging.                                               by Bob Nelson (Workman Publishing, 1994):                          office, managing a corporation or leading a group of
   Jan. 15, 2011: deadline for department winners to be             • A personal thanks given verbally. This works               volunteers. It’s important to recognize the outstand-
       received by VfW National Headquarters.                          best if you are specific about what they did              ing work of those who support you. You’ll feel good
   for more information, contact Kris Harmer, programs                 and give it soon after the work or project you            about it, your employees or volunteers will feel good,
manager, at (816) 756-3390, ext. 117, or e-mail kharmer@               are recognizing.                                          and you’ll encourage more outstanding work. It is a                                                            • A personal, handwritten note. Some                         win-win situation.
                                                                       leaders create their own cards out of
                                                                       construction paper with “Bravo” or
                                                                       “Wonderful” written on the cover.
                                                                       Once again, be specific and timely.
                                                                    • Create a special wall for recognition in your
                                                                       Post home. Put up photos of major events,
                                                                       photos of members receiving awards, letters
                                                                       from the community, special citations or
                                                                       anything that recognizes extra efforts and
National citizenship Education Teacher Awards:                      • Post a chart to track progress on a goal you
   Nov. 1: deadline to send entries to Posts.                          are trying to achieve as a team. Celebrate
   Nov. 15: deadline to send entries to districts.                     when the goal is met.
   dec. 15: deadline to send entries to departments.                • Celebrate major team accomplishments with
   Jan. 15, 2011: deadline to send entries to VfW                      a group outing, such as a baseball game,
       National Headquarters.                                          bowling event or dinner out together.
                                                                    • Publicly recognize your volunteers’
   for more information, contact tammy Beauchamp, pro-
                                                                       accomplishments and contributions at
grams coordinator, at (816) 756-3390, ext. 287, or e-mail
                                                                       a Post meeting.

ExAMs NoT rEquIrEd For lIFE INsurANcE
VfW’s Member insurance department proudly sponsors
the Senior term life insurance Program.                                EdITor             Checkpoint is an award-winning         VETErANs oF ForEIGN WArs             VFW WAsHINGToN oFFIcE
    the policy provides up to $25,000 in benefits and is             tim dyhouse          newsletter published six times a          National Headquarters               VfW Memorial Building
                                                                                          year in January, March, May, July,          406 W. 34th Street                200 Maryland ave., N.E.
guaranteed issue, meaning no medical exam and no health           AssIsTANT EdITor        September and November. its               Kansas City, Mo 64111               Washington, d.C. 20002
questions to answer. you cannot be turned down for cover-          Janie Blankenship      purpose is to provide VfW depart-             (816) 756-3390                     (202) 543-2239
                                                                                          ment, district and Post leaders with        faX 816-968-1169                    faX 202-543-6719
age if you are age 45-75, and coverage cannot be cancelled          sTAFF WrITEr          information to enhance their job            Checkpoint e-mail:                 e-mail:
because of age or any change in health. if death occurs             Kelly Von lunen       performance and furnish them with  
                                                                                          a more comprehensive understand-
for non-excluded reasons, the plan will pay 125% of your          GrAPHIc dEsIGNEr        ing of the organization.
initial annual premium the first year and 250% of the ini-           Julie Knapp                                                         VfW department, district and Post publications
                                                                                          Correspondence can be sent                     may reproduce sections of Checkpoint. all other
tial premium the second year. thereafter, the full benefit                                to the editor at VfW National                   publications must receive editor’s permission.
                                                                                          Headquarters.                                      internet address:
amount will be paid for death from any cause.
                                                                                                                                                  annual subscription rate: $6
    for more information, visit or                                                                                           © September / october 2010
call 1-800-749-6983.

588 Recognized to Date

World War II Veterans Leading
VFW Posts from Coast to Coast
The CheCkpoint sTaFF exTends a hearTy “Thank you” to all
our World War II Post leaders, members and veterans. And we want to recognize
those who still devote time and energy to VFW causes.
   Listed below are 120 WWII veterans who serve VFW Posts in official capacities.
Checkpoint has recognized a total of 588 such Post leaders since the March/April
2009 issue.
   We have received an unexpectedly large number of names, so please be patient if
you are waiting to see your submission printed. Names published to date are those
received through approximately the end of March 2010. The backlog is significant,
but not insurmountable. We will continue to feature this section in subsequent issues
until every WWII Post leader whose name is submitted is recognized.
   If you would like to recognize a WWII veteran who currently serves your Post,
please send us his or her name, official Post position and your Post’s location. Send
information to:                                                                         Name                     Position                 Post/location
       Checkpoint                                                                       Robert Kirkpatrick       Trustee                  Post 1586, Hastings, Pa.
       Attn: WWII Leaders                                                               Arthur R. Koeser, Jr.    Surgeon                  Post 1230, Sheboygan, Wis.
       406 W. 34th Street                                                               Clair Koontz             Sr. Vice Cmdr.           Post 1586, Hastings, Pa.
       Kansas City, MO 64111                                                            Cliff Kuhl               Jr. Vice Cmdr.           Post 4362, Scappoose, Ore.
       E-mail:                                                         Ray Lawver               Trustee                  Post 6846, Geneva, Ohio
                                                                                        Leroy Lehrke             Trustee                  Post 7727, Cleveland, Ohio
                                                                                        Harvey Manson            Trustee                  Post 1641, Rumford, Maine
Name                      Position                  Post/location                       Joseph A. Martinez       Trustee                  Post 7732, Kenner, La.
Russell Adams             Trustee                   Post 941, Harlan, Iowa              Charles G. Mayer         Trustee                  Post 7817, Westboro, Wis.
Andy Anderson             Surgeon                   Post 2350, Elko, Nev.               John F. McCarthy         Quartermaster            Post 253, Salem, N.J.
Lucien Arsenault          Jr. Vice Cmdr.            Post 1641, Rumford, Maine           Ricardo Medina           Commander                Post 7688, Questa, N.M.
Armondo C. Azzinaro       Commander                 Post 8955, Westerly, R.I.           Charlie Milnes           Sr. Vice Cmdr.           Post 6174, Eldridge, Iowa
Garold C. Bahnsen         Commander                 Post 7817, Westboro, Wis.           Thomas Monson            Chaplain                 Post 63, Boise, Idaho
Roland Bailey             Trustee                   Post 4820, Port Neches, Texas       Joseph Morency           Adjutant                 Post 6977, York Beach, Maine
Otis Barnes               Surgeon                   Post 4820, Port Neches, Texas       Joseph C. Morreale       Sr. Vice Cmdr.           Post 7732, Kenner, La.
Don Behm                  School Liaison            Post 1238, Bellevue, Ohio           Albert Moulton           Quartermaster            Post 6977, York Beach, Maine
Robert J. Bigelow         Commander                 Post 4657, Carpenter, Wyo.          Robert G. Mugford        Chaplain                 Post 8771, Sudbury, Mass.
John Braden               Asst. Chaplain            Post 3203, Dallas, Ore.             Eugene Murphy            Trustee                  Post 1586, Hastings, Pa.
Nelson Briley             House Committee           Post 3065, Baltimore, Md.           Durward A. Newhard       Commander                Post 3334, Jefferson, Ohio
Blair P. Browne           Dist. 8 Quartermaster     Post 10080, Pylesville, Md.         Loren E. Ochse           Jr. Vice Cmdr.           Post 10300, Potlatch, Idaho
William Bullers           Judge Advocate            Post 6301, Johnsonburg, Pa.         Hubert O’Hearn           Commander                Post 8546, Salem, N.H.
Manuel Cabral             Judge Advocate            Post 4864, Citrus Springs, Fla.     Peter P. Orlando         Commander                Post 10336, Maynard, Mass.
Charles Campanella        Trustee                   Post 3068, Buffalo, N.Y.            Jack Peffer              Color Guard              Post 8755, Sheffield, Pa.
Albert Campbell           Trustee                   Post 3348, Seattle, Wash.           Donald P. Peirce         Quartermaster            Post 8771, Sudbury, Mass.
John J. Casey, Jr.        Chaplain                  Post 10336, Maynard, Mass.          Charles E. Pepper        Commander                Post 8771, Sudbury, Mass.
David A. Cawman           Judge Advocate            Post 253, Salem, N.J.               John Primerano           Jr. Vice Cmdr.           Post 6977, York Beach, Maine
George Cherry             Trustee                   Post 6301, Johnsonburg, Pa.         William Reese            Commander                Post 7727, Cleveland, Ohio
Victor Chirillo           Trustee                   Post 6301, Johnsonburg, Pa.         Louis Renna              Jr. Vice Cmdr.           Post 8955, Westerly, R.I.
Woodrow Chmieleski        Sergeant-at-Arms          Post 8546, Salem, N.H.              Glen Reno                Quartermaster            Post 2494, Irving, Texas
James J. Cox              Officer of the Day        Post 8904, Center, Texas            Alfred Richard           Officer of the Day       Post 1641, Rumford, Maine
Floyd C. Culver           Chaplain                  Post 1675, Osburn, Idaho            Frank Rose               Trustee                  Post 8546, Salem, N.H.
Donald Damer              Honor Guard               Post 7302, Hemlock, Mich.           Joseph J. Ruggiero       Quartermaster            Post 3230, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Calvin V. Davis           Commander                 Post 8309, Fruita, Colo.            William Ruprecht         Surgeon                  Post 7727, Cleveland, Ohio
Clarence Deavers          Jr. Vice Cmdr.            Post 6957, Haysville, Kan.          Jacob R. Ryser           Jr. Vice Cmdr.           Post 3699, Indio, Calif.
David E. Dell             Commander                 Post 10739, Parkton, Md.            Alfred Sabatini          Asst. Adjutant           Post 8546, Salem, N.H.
Pat Dellaquila            Chaplain                  Post 6301, Johnsonburg, Pa.         Harry Sappington         Dist. 8 Guard            Post 3065, Baltimore, Md.
George Demento            Honor Guard               Post 1586, Hastings, Pa.            Walter Schulhauser       Trustee                  Post 1675, Osburn, Idaho
Robert Dill               Jr. Vice Cmdr.            Post 4820, Port Neches, Texas       Thomas Schultz           Trustee                  Post 253, Salem, N.J.
Blaise Dornisch           Sr. Vice Cmdr.            Post 6301, Johnsonburg, Pa.         Avery Scribner           Chaplain                 Post 10100, LaBelle, Fla.
Alfred Drapeau            Trustee                   Post 1641, Rumford, Maine           Francis Scudder          Chaplain                 Post 3065, Baltimore, Md.
Jules Robert Dube         Sr. Vice Cmdr.            Post 1641, Rumford, Maine           Jim Sheppard             Quartermaster            Post 4820, Port Neches, Texas
William B. Dumas, Sr.     Commander                 Post 4442, Valley Grove, W. Va.     Donald G. Shipp          Jr. Vice Cmdr.           Post 12032, Calhoun City, Miss.
Jeffrey Elmquist          Service Officer           Post 6301, Johnsonburg, Pa.         William H. Smith, Jr.    Quartermaster            Post 10336, Maynard, Mass.
Robert Fitch              Color Guard               Post 8755, Sheffield, Pa.           Herb Stafford            Commander                Post 4820, Port Neches, Texas
Chester Foret             Chaplain                  Post 4820, Port Neches, Texas       Andy Stone               Chaplain                 Post 1403, Benson, Minn.
Clarence E. Freeland      Chaplain                  Post 10080, Pylesville, Md.         Les Thompson             Trustee                  Post 6957, Haysville, Kan.
Chester Galazka           Judge Advocate            Post 7727, Cleveland, Ohio          Walt Thompson            Chaplain                 Post 4362, Scappoose, Ore.
Joseph P. Gandolfo        Commander                 Post 3230, Brooklyn, N.Y.           Maurice Toups            Adjutant                 Post 4820, Port Neches, Texas
Charlie Gearhart          Guard                     Post 941, Harlan, Iowa              John H. Tschirhart       Historian                Post 4443, Austin, Texas
William Giovacchini       Adjutant                  Post 8955, Westerly, R.I.           Harlan W. Tucker         Commander                Post 8065, Bowie, Md.
Steve Gnall               Guard                     Post 7727, Cleveland, Ohio          Sylvester Uphus          Commander                Post 2853, Sauk Centre, Minn.
James Grabe               Trustee                   Post 7727, Cleveland, Ohio          Forest Viles             Sr. Vice Cmdr.           Post 4362, Scappoose, Ore.
George Guaglianone        Jr. Vice Cmdr.            Post 6301, Johnsonburg, Pa.         Clare Wagner             Surgeon                  Post 1238, Bellevue, Ohio
Alexander Hastie          Adjutant                  Post 10336, Maynard, Mass.          Dewane Wall              Officer of the Day       Post 1403, Benson, Minn.
Howard Hendrickson        Chaplain                  Post 941, Harlan, Iowa              C. Robert Walsh          Quartermaster            Post 7858, Bernardsville, N.J.
James M. Hindle           Chaplain                  Post 10473, Old Fort, N.C.          Warren A. Walters        Officer of the Day       Post 3065, Baltimore, Md.
Carl Hult                 Chaplain                  Post 2053, White Cloud, Mich.       Frank Weber              Quartermaster            Post 4362, Scappoose, Ore.
Edward Hunter             Commander                 Post 8755, Sheffield, Pa.           William L. Weeks         Adjutant                 Post 10300, Potlatch, Idaho
Bill Huntington           Trustee                   Post 3699, Indio, Calif.            Art Weisz                Guard                    Post 1238, Bellevue, Ohio
Carl A. Imbrogno          Commander                 Post 6301, Johnsonburg, Pa.         Jim White                Judge Advocate           Post 4820, Port Neches, Texas
John Imbrogno             Trustee                   Post 6301, Johnsonburg, Pa.         Arthur Whitlock          Trustee                  Post 7727, Cleveland, Ohio
Louis Imbrogno            Quartermaster             Post 6301, Johnsonburg, Pa.         Dennis Wills             Trustee                  Post 4820, Port Neches, Texas
Royce C. Kahlor           Trustee                   Post 8771, Sudbury, Mass.           Stanley J. Zabinski      Commander                Post 1612, Chicago, Ill.
Edward Kennedy, Sr.       Trustee                   Post 253, Salem, N.J.               Joseph J. Zelazny, Jr.   Trustee                  Post 3699, Indio, Calif.

                                                                                                                              CHECKPOINT • SEPTEmbEr / OCTObEr 2010 • 3
                            ‘A Special Moment’

                            Voice of Democracy Winner Defines ‘Hero’
                            Madison Mullen, The 2010 Voice of Democracy national winner, first heard                     She concluded with a story about a battle in Afghanistan the very day Jackson died.
                            of the scholarship competition as a junior at Olentangy Liberty High School in Powell,   1st Lt. Brian N. Bradshaw and Pfc. Aaron E. Fairbairn of the 25th Infantry Division
                            Ohio. It wasn’t a teacher or counselor who first advised Madison to enter the essay      were killed in the attack.
                            contest, but her mom, Michelle.                                                              “Despite the crowd at Michael Jackson’s funeral days later chanting ‘thank you
                                As a senior at Brush High School in Brush, Colo., in 1984, Michelle wrote a VOD-     Michael,’ wouldn’t it be more appropriate and powerful for all of us to join with Brian
                            winning essay based on the theme “My Role in Upholding Our Constitution.” She            and Aaron’s family in prayerfully whispering: ‘Thank you Brian, thank you Aaron.’ Yes,
                            placed fifth in the state.                                                               America still has heroes.”
                                Madison placed seventh in her district competition as a junior. When the con-
                            test approached her senior year, Madison was ready to try again. Her essay on “Does
                            America Still Have Heroes” would make her the winner of a $30,000 scholar-
                            ship in March 2010.
                                Madison said she was surprised to learn that she was the winner at the
                            state level and was elated for the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C., and
                            represent Ohio.
                                “When I was in the final two, I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I was so to-
                            tally overwhelmed when they announced that I had won. I made eye contact
                            with my dad, and he was tearing up and I did, too. It was a special moment that
                            I will never forget.”
                                Madison’s first call after being awarded the scholarship was to her mom,
                            who had stayed home with her sisters. Her mom told her she had watched the
                            ceremony on the Internet, as had Madison’s grandparents in California.
                                “She told me everyone was so proud,” Madison said. “That made it so spe-
                                Madison is using her scholarship at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio,
                            where she is pursuing a communication’s degree as a pre-law requirement.
                            She also is on the university’s speech team.

                                        FiVe essenTial QualiTies oF heroisM
                            Sponsored by Post 3279 and its Ladies Auxiliary in Delaware, Ohio, Madison
                            chose to analyze the word “hero” in her essay.
                                “I’ve personally adopted five essential qualities of heroism,” she wrote.
                            “Service, conviction, selflessness, bravery and sacrifice—all powerful charac-
                            ter traits that capture the true meaning of heroism.”
                                She noted that the “media circus” following Michael Jackson’s death on
                            June 25, 2009, made the singer appear to be the “hero of all heroes.” She dis-
                                Madison wrote that the heroes of today are found in the military and that
                            the American people as a whole do not truly appreciate the heroism.
                                “True heroes are the people around us who selflessly serve others,” she
                            wrote, “make sacrifices with conviction and even sacrifice their lives.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                               PHotoS CoURtESy of 2010 Vod faCEBooK PagE

                                                                                                                            Voice of democracy department winners toured
PHoto CoURtESy SaRa goiNg

                                                                                                                            the nation’s capital in March. they visited such
                                                                                                                            sites as the lincoln Memorial, arlington National
                                                                                                                            Cemetery and ford’s theater. the National
                                                                                                                            World War ii Memorial, Korea and Vietnam
                                                                                                                            Veterans Memorials also were on their site-
                                                                                                                            seeing excursions.

                            4 • CHECKPOINT • SEPTEmbEr / OCTObEr 2010
       VfW PHotoS

                    Above left: National Vod winner, Madison Mullen, accepts her $30,000 scholarship from then-Commander-in-Chief thomas J. tradewell,
                    Sr., and then-ladies auxiliary President Jan tittle in March. Mullen is using her scholarship to attend Miami University in oxford, ohio.
                    Above: all department winners wearing their Vod jackets congregate for a photo at VfW’s legislative Conference in Washington, d.C.

                                                            2009-10 VOD Winners
Winner                             state                         Winner                         state                         Winner                        state
John Travis Shrontz                Alabama                       Lena Savell            Latin America/                        Madison Mullen                Ohio
Emily Ripley                       Alaska                                                 Caribbean                           Elissa Stiles                 Oklahoma
Darylle Garcia                     Arizona                       Daniel Wendt           Louisiana                             Jane Whitmore                 Oregon
Haley Kesterson                    Arkansas                      Seth Dorman            Maine                                 Margaret Brown                Pacific Areas
Shelby Getsla                      California                    Colin Francis          Maryland                              Adam Weaver                   Pennsylvania
Robert Wilson                      Colorado                      Travis Maider          Massachusetts                         Megan Gonsalves               Rhode Island
Rose Carver                        Connecticut                   Alyssa McAlvey         Michigan                              Matthew Morris                South Carolina
Andrew Bell                        Delaware                      Cole Remmen            Minnesota                             Scott Dykstra                 South Dakota
Claire Rossell                     D.C.                          Pearl Ugwu-Dike        Mississippi                           Daniel Chase Stewart          Tennessee
Victoria Inman                     Europe                        Emily Stebbins         Missouri                              Amanda Reed                   Texas
Nicolas Leeper                     Florida                       Kristina Lee           Montana                               Caitlyn Howe                  Utah
Brittany New                       Georgia                       Jackie Lemmer          Nebraska                              John Caswell                  Vermont
Heather Osborn                     Hawaii                        Sara Going             Nevada                                Benjamin Rossell              Virginia
Isaiah Qualls                      Idaho                         Evan West              New Hampshire                         Anthony Zendejas, IV          Washington
Brianna Wesley                     Illinois                      John Finnegan          New Jersey                            Johnna Leary                  West Virginia
Joe Wisniewski                     Indiana                       Kaitlyn Frederick      New Mexico                            Kyle Werstein                 Wisconsin
John Bartling                      Iowa                          Laney Feraldi-Ackerman New York                              Chrisanna Lund                Wyoming
Jessica Bauerle                    Kansas                        Samuel Johnson         North Carolina
Sophia Brown                       Kentucky                      Reed Christensen       North Dakota
                                                                                                                                      CHECKPOINT • SEPTEmbEr / OCTObEr 2010 • 5
Recognizing Teachers: A VFW Tradition

VFW Honors Educators With National                                                                 Veterans in the classroom
                                                                                           November is Veterans in the Classroom Month. Now is a great time
Citizenship Education Teacher Awards                                                       for Posts to contact local schools and schedule a visit to speak with
For each oF The pasT 11 years, VFW has recognized three exceptional                        students.
teachers for their outstanding commitment to teach Americanism and patriotism.                Target grades K-6 for a “living history presentation” about your
    Posts in every Department submit nominees. More than 1,150 teachers earned             military service. Try to reserve a time during National Veterans
nearly $218,000 in VFW awards in 2009-10. National winners are selected in three
                                                                                           Awareness Week surrounding Veterans Day on Nov. 11.
categories: elementary school (K-5), middle school (6-8) and high school (9-12).
    Each winning national-level teacher received $1,000 for personal professional de-
velopment, and another $1,000 went to their schools. The awards were presented dur-
ing the VFW National Legislative Conference in March in Washington, D.C.
    “Honoring America’s teachers has been a tradition for nearly 100 years,” Steve Van
Buskirk, VFW’s director of Programs, said. “Next to parents, they hold the key to rais-
ing up young civic-minded patriots who will perpetuate the values that have made this
nation great.”

                                a FaMily aFFair
Post 9283 in Southgate, Mich., sponsored the nomination of Patricia Mazure, a teacher
at William C. Taylor Elementary in Trenton, Mich.
    Mazure’s patriotism is a family thing. Her son, Michael, kept an American flag in
his F-16 jet during combat missions in Iraq. The flag later was presented to Mazure’s
                                    Her students acted as pen pals with troops sta-
                                 tioned in Iraq, who responded with videos depicting
                                 their jobs and interaction with Iraqi children. Stu-
                                 dents also made a “Veterans Memorial Wall” at the
                                 school, using their own family members and friends.
                                    Mazure’s husband is a Navy veteran, one of her two
                                 sons is an Air Force vet who has served two tours in
                                 Iraq and one of her two daughters graduated from the      Horicun, Wis., Post 8057 auxiliary President Helen Stearns and auxiliary Patriotic
                                 U.S. Naval Academy. In her 60s, Mazure has taught         instructor laurel ann Wiese (second and third from right) teach students how to
                                 fifth grade at Taylor for 15 years.                       properly fold a U.S. flag. Post 9392 in lowell, Wis., hosted the Veterans in the
                                    “As long as I get up every morning, I continue to      Classroom session for Christian Homes Educating families, a home-schooled
                                 love my job, and I feel I am doing my job well, I don’t   group of some 30 students.
                                 see a reason to retire,” she told The [Southgate] News-
                                 Herald. “Why would you want to leave something like
Patricia Mazure

                             club inVolVeMenT
Mark D. Leet, a teacher at Simons Middle School in Flemingsburg, Ky., was nominated
by Post 1834 in Flemingsburg.
   “He is well-respected for his immense dedication of educating not only his stu-
dents, but his entire community,” said Rick Johnson, who nominated Leet for the
                                   Leet earned his bachelor’s in education and mas-
                                ters in administration from Morehead State Univer-
                                sity in Kentucky. He has taught at Simons since Au-
                                gust 2001.
                                   Simons Principal Lesia Eldridge asserts that the
                                school’s social studies scores on standardized tests
                                have steadily increased “due to his dedication and
                                encouragement of his students.”
                                   Leet organizes the school’s Civil War Days, in
                                which students re-enact historic events. He also leads
                                the school’s Y-Club, a school organization chartered
                                by the Kentucky YMCA.
                                   When he takes groups of Y-Club students to Wash-
Mark d. leet                    ington, D.C., one of the requirements to be eligible is
                                participating in the Patriot’s Pen essay program.          district 2 Commander Jason Stearns explains Vietnam War memorabilia
                                                                                           with students. Posts 9392 and 8057 collaborated to host the event in 2009,
                                                                                           and planned to host another in 2010.
                             TraVeling Teacher
Nominated by Post 9100 in Chapel Hill, N.C., William V. Melega teaches at Chapel Hill
High School.
    In July 2009, Melega traveled to Korea as part of the Korean Studies Workshop
for American Educators. He experienced the culture throughout the country to better
understand the history he teaches. When a trip to the DMZ was canceled, he hired a
private tour company so he could learn more in order to accurately teach his students
                               about its importance today.
                                                                                                        “Honoring America’s
                                  And in 2008, he received a grant to travel to Pearl
                               Harbor. While there, he organized a videoconference                       teachers has been a
                                                                                                         tradition for nearly
                               from the school to there so that the students could
                               “meet” Pearl Harbor survivors. More than 500 stu-
                               dents watched Melega interview the vets.
                                  Melega also has taken students on field trips to
                               Civil War battlefields, Washington, D.C., and Europe.
                                  “Students today aren’t interested in learning just
                                                                                                         100 years.”
                               about times, dates and places in history,” Melega wrote
                               in The Chapel Hill News. “And I’m not interested in                                    —steve Van Buskirk,
                               teaching history that way, and I never will. I am in-                                   VFW’s director of Programs
                               terested in telling my students about people like them
William V. Melega              who make history.”

Chance Phelps’ Story Touched Many

Wyoming Post Honors Subject of Hollywood Movie
in norThWesTern WyoMing sits the town of Dubois, situated on Wind River.
Dubbed as an “authentic western town” by its nearly 1,000 residents, Dubois is home
to thousands of elk in the winter, and mule deer and moose also are at a premium.
    But on April 9, 2004, the quiet little town made national headlines when one of its
own was killed in Anbar province in Iraq.
    Serving with 3rd Bn., 11th Marines, 1st Marine Div., Pfc. Chance Phelps was shot in
the head while fighting Iraqi insurgents in Ramadi.
    Only a week earlier, Phelps talked with his mom, Gretchen Mack.
    “He said, ‘Mom, I’m fine.’ He sounded great,” Mack told the Associated Press. “It
was really good to be able to talk to him. It made us feel better.”
    After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Phelps told his mom that when he was old
enough, he was going to enlist.
    “He told me, ‘I absolutely have to go. I’ve got to do something,’” Mack said. “He was
very in tune politically. He just possessed this quality that he had to be in the thick of
things all the time.”

                                                                                                                                                                                   PHotoS CoURtESy of CHaNCE faMily aNd PoRtRait CoURtESy of MiCHaEl REagaN
    An avid hunter and fisher, Phelps spent his summers in Dubois with his father,
John, a Vietnam vet and artist. (Phelps had moved with his mom to Colorado when he
was in elementary school.)
    And so the community grieved for the family when the 19-year-old Marine was
killed in the Middle East.
    Post 10056 in Dubois, where John also is a member, hosted a get-together on the
day of Phelps’ funeral on April 17, 2004. Quartermaster Hugh Livingston said the Post
dedicated a room to Phelps on that same day.
    “It was just a small way to always remember,” he said. “Everyone here thinks a lot
of that family. I had his older sister on my bus route when she was just a little kid.”
Turns out, Phelps would be remembered by folks from as far away as Delaware.

                            VFW FeaTured in MoVie
When Marine Lt. Col. Michael Strobl volunteered to escort Phelps’ remains back home,
he didn’t realize how the experience would forever change him. Nor did he know an
extensive article he wrote chronicling his experience would turn into an HBO movie
starring Kevin Bacon as Strobl.
    “Chance Phelps was wearing his St. Christopher medal when he was killed on
Good Friday,” Strobl wrote. “Eight days later, on April 17, I handed the medallion to his
mother. I didn’t know Chance before he died. Today I miss him.”
    Strobl’s article, which appeared in both the San Francisco Chronicle and Marine
Corps Gazette, details his journey from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, to Phila-
delphia, Minneapolis and ultimately Billings, Mont., before a long drive to the funeral
    “The funeral director had driven five hours up from Riverton, Wyo., to meet us,”
Strobl wrote. “He shook my hand as if I had lost a brother.”
    Strobl met many members from Post 10056, which also was included in his article           artist Michael Reagan drew the above
and later in the movie, “Taking Chance.”                                                      portrait of Marine Pfc. Chance Phelps
    While the movie was actually filmed in Montana, Dubois hosted the movie pre-              and mailed it to the Phelps family.
miere in the high school gymnasium.                                                           Reagan has so far completed more than
    Livingston said Kevin Bacon was even in attendance at the premiere.                       2,200 portraits of fallen afghanistan
    “It was really something to see,” he said. “Turned out to be a good movie.”               and iraq troops. Right, Chance Phelps’
    Certainly, the movie did its part to let the nation know about the sacrifice of Phelps.   grave is visited by complete strangers
Livingston, who is on the local cemetery board, said the caretaker told him that nearly       nearly every day.
every day, complete strangers show up to visit Phelps’ grave.
    “We’re off the beaten path, too,” he said. “Some of these people are coming from
quite a distance to visit Chance.”
    Strobl never could have known how his journey’s story would take on a life of its
                                                                                                      chance Phelps Foundation
own by honoring one young Marine.
    “It had been my honor to take Chance Phelps to his final post,” Strobl concluded.
                                                                                                       Helps Grieving Families
“Now he was on the high ground overlooking his town. I miss him.”
                                                                                               In 2008, Chance Phelps’ mom, Gretchen Mack, established the
                                                                                               Chance Phelps Foundation. Mack and her daughter, Kelley Phelps-
                                                                                               Orndoff, raised funds for the foundation by walking 1,500 miles
                                                                                               from Twentynine Palms, Calif., to Dubois, Wyo.
                                                                                                  The foundation’s purpose is to offer a place for Gold Star families
                                                   at left, Phelps prepares for his
                                                                                               as well as veterans and their families a ranch for rest and relaxation.
                                                   deployment to iraq in 2004.
                                                   Below, Phelps hard at work in                  Mack envisions a place where families could connect and heal
                                                   iraq. the 19-year-old was killed            with one another. Right now, the foundation works with a Dubois
                                                   on april 9, 2004, in Ramadi.                ranch, which donates blocks of time for the families.
                                                                                                  Mack hopes the foundation can eventually purchase an existing
                                                                                               ranch or build one.
                                                                                                  Last month, the star of HBO’s “Taking Chance,” Kevin Bacon, per-
                                                                                               formed in Dubois with his band, The Bacon Brothers, to raise funds
                                                                                               for the foundation.
                                                                                                  Veterans are encouraged to contact the foundation if they re-
                                                                                               quire transportation assistance to and from medical appointments
                                                                                               or if they are interested in continuing their education.
                                                                                                  For more information about the Chance Phelps Foundation,
                                                                                               e-mail or write: Chance Phelps Foundation,
                                                                                               P.O. Box 1715, Dubois, WY 82513.

                                                                                                                                       CHECKPOINT • SEPTEmbEr / OCTObEr 2010 • 7
SEPTEmbEr | OCTObEr 2010                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   NoN-PRofit oRg.
                                                                                                                            VfW NatioNal HEadqUaRtERS • PUBliCatioNS                                                                                                                        U.S. PoStagE
                                                                                                                            406 WESt 34tH StREEt, KaNSaS City, Mo 64111                                                                                                                        PAID

Posts with the most
 Rank	 	Post	No.	 	Location	                                                                  	Members
                                                                                                                                                                                  VFW	POSTS	OF	1,000	MEMBERS
                                                                                                                                                                                  OR	MORE	AS	OF	JUNE	30,	2010

 1	  1114	 Evansville,	IN	............................... 2,587                                                                   6	 4372	 Odessa,	TX	....................................1,776
 2	 1503	 Dale	City,	VA	.................................2,120                                                                    7	  628	 Sioux	Falls,	SD	..............................1,769
 3	 9972	 Sierra	Vista,	AZ	........................... 2,017                                                                      8	  972	 Terre	Haute,	IN	.............................1,766
 4	 6506	 Rosedale,	MD	.............................. 1,969                                                                       9	   27	 Wiesbaden,	Germany	..................1,755
 5	 1146	 St	Clair	Shores,	MI	.......................1,797                                                                        10	 392	 Virginia	Beach,	VA	........................ 1,711
Rank	       No.	 Location		                    	Members

11	      4647	 North	Highlands,	CA	........1,661                27	     1273	 Rapid	City,	SD	...................1,340       44	    10436	 Kitzingen,	Germany...........1,175               61	   3982	 Santa	Clara,	CA	.................1,053
12	          63	 Boise,	ID..............................1,605   28	    7330	 Oakville,	CT	........................ 1,338    45	      8541	 San	Antonio,	TX..................1,172          62	   5263	 Fort	Sill,	OK	........................1,047
13	      2485	 Angeles	City,	                                   29	      788	 Cedar	Rapids,	IA................1,337         46	      3579	 Park	Ridge,	IL	.....................1,168       63	   2702	 Huntsville,	AL	................... 1,042
	               	 Philippines	.........................1,556    30	    4809	 Norfolk,	VA	..........................1,332    46	       1275	 Lima,	OH	..............................1,168   64	   3838	 Cape	Girardeau,	MO	.......1,033
14	     10097	 Fort	Myers	Beach,	FL	......1,544                 31	     1326	 Bismarck,	ND	.....................1,286       46	      3282	 Port	Orange,	FL..................1,168          65	   4075	 Frankfort,	KY	.....................1,032
15	      2503	 Omaha,	NE	.........................1,508         32	    9534	 Mannheim,	Germany	......1,285                  49	    10033	 Taegu,	Korea	........................1,161       66	   3106	 Leesville,	LA	....................... 1,019
16	      7686	 Alamogordo,	NM	.............1,494                33	    5958	 Titusville,	PA	.......................1,281    50	      7674	 Fort	Walton	Beach,	FL	..... 1,145               67	    1433	 Glendale,	AZ	.....................1,009
17	      7234	 Ocean	View,	DE	................1,463             34	   10047	 North	Las	Vegas,	NV	.......1,268               51	     6796	 Dallas,	TX	............................1,106     68	     360	 Mishawaka,	IN	.................1,008
18	       1296	 Bloomington,	MN	.............1,441              35	   10420	 Murrells	Inlet,	SC	............. 1,247         52	       7175	 Millington,	TN	.....................1,101      69	    5951	 Bossier	City,	LA	............... 1,007
19	         2111	 Chula	Vista,	CA	................1,440         35	       379	 Yakima,	WA	....................... 1,247     53	     8696	 Palm	Coast,	FL	..................1,082           69	   2995	 Redmond,	WA.................. 1,007
20	        401	 Albuquerque,	NM	............ 1,433              35	     8951	 West	York,	PA.................... 1,247       54	      9927	 Kettering,	OH	...................1,080          71	      131	 Lincoln,	NE	........................1,006
21	      9785	 Eagle	River,	AK	.................1,425           38	    8862	 Vicenza,	Italy	..................... 1,245     55	       1810	 Brentwood,	PA	..................1,078          71	   3586	 Salt	Lake	City,	UT	............1,006
22	        1512	 Lemon	Grove,	CA	.............1,423             39	      969	 Tacoma,	WA	.......................1,237       56	      7564	 West	Fargo,	ND	................1,075            73	   4548	 Jacksonville,	AR	...............1,005
23	      6873	 Abilene,	TX	........................1,420        40	      549	 Tucson,	AZ	.......................... 1,193   57	    10692	 Grafenwoehr,	Germany	..1,070                     74	     891	 Asheville,	NC	.................... 1,003
24	       1599	 Chambersburg,	PA.............1,411              41	      1170	 Middletown,	KY	................1,190         58	     10132	 Hobe	Sound,	FL	............... 1,066
25	       1079	 Elyria,	OH	...........................1,389     41	   10209	 Spring	Hill,	FL	.....................1,190     58	      9186	 San	Antonio,	TX............... 1,066
26	      1308	 Alton,	IL...............................1,386    43	     5555	 Richfield,	MN	.....................1,188      60	      6251	 Cheektowaga,	NY	............1,055

Four Groups Targeted for Recruitment

Plan Local Recruiting to Coincide With National Headquarters Campaigns
during The nexT six MonThs, VFW’s Membership Department plans to                                                                                                                                                              • Ads on, as well as direct mail and e-mail in March in
market to veterans in four specific demographics: those fighting in current conflicts,                                                                                                                                          conjunction with Women’s History Month.
women, Vietnam War and the 1991 Persian Gulf War.                                                                                                                                                                             • Designated VFW Department women veteran chairpersons, who advise
   Being aware of these campaigns at the Department and Post level, a VFW Mem-                                                                                                                                                  fellow Department officers on recruitment and retention of local
bership staff member says, allows officers and recruiters to synchronize local efforts                                                                                                                                          women vets.
with materials coming out of National Headquarters.                                                                                                                                                                      “Ideally, recruiters will stage events around Veterans Day and Women’s History
   “Be sure to read your General Orders for exact dates for campaigns and advertise-                                                                                                                                   Month and take advantage of the national ads,” Danderson said.
ments,” Troy Danderson, Membership’s associate director, said.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      VieTnaM VeTs
                                                                                 younger VeTs                                                                                                                          Although Vietnam veterans make up a large portion of VFW’s membership already,
Danderson, an Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran, says VFW wants “current conflict                                                                                                                                       another current recruitment initiative targets vets of that war. It includes:
vets”—that is, Iraq, Afghanistan and other Global War on Terrorism veterans. This                                                                                                                                             • A direct-mail recruiting piece to arrive in-home near Veterans Day.
effort includes:                                                                                                                                                                                                              • A Veterans Day recognition mailer for current VFW members.
         • A redesigned website,, which will launch in September.
         • Year-round advertisements in Stars and Stripes overseas print editions,                                                                                                                                                                    gulF War VeTs
           which are provided free in deployment zones.                                                                                                                                                                As the 20th anniversary of the 1991 Persian Gulf War lies ahead, VFW has planned a
         • Ads in Military Times and on, and                                                                                                                                             related targeted campaign, featuring:
  websites to coincide with Veterans Day 2010.                                                                                                                                                             • Ads on, and
    “This is not a media blitz,” Danderson said, “but rather a targeted campaign.”                                                                                                                                              • VFW’s new Tell-a-Friend feature, which will launch around the same time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and be featured in the November/December issue of VFW magazine.
                                                                                    WoMen VeTs                                                                                                                                    Look for additional information in the coming months.
She Serves started in 2008 as a national campaign. VFW continues its efforts to re-
cruit women veterans into its ranks with:                                                                                                                                                                                For more information, refer to page 50 of the September 2010 issue of VFW
        • A redesigned, which launched in July, and monthly                                                                                                                                          magazine.
          eSalute e-mails for those who sign up.

                                                                                                                            Photos from the War Zones
Do you have photographs of a VFW member currently serving on active
duty in Iraq or Afghanistan? If so, Checkpoint would like to publish them in
an upcoming issue. If we use your photo, you will receive a free, three-year
subscription to Checkpoint.
   Please include an overseas e-mail address, along with the name, rank,
service, unit and location of the GI. Send your photos to:

War Zone Photos
406 W. 34th Street
Kansas City, MO 64111

You also can send high-resolution images via
e-mail to the editor at:


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