Post 2485 History

 Angeles City Post 2485

"Post 2485 History"

Chartered: April 12 1987

Original Location: Angeles City, Philippines

New Location:

Commander-in-Chief: Norman G. Staab

POST COMMANDERS

YEAR

COMMANDER

YEAR

COMMANDER

1987-88

Joseph Carsley

1997-98

Lafayette Donaldson (AS)

1988-89

Joseph Carsley

1999-00

B.K. Hubbard (AS/AA)

1989-90

Richard Norrell

2000-01

Jerry Prinz (AS/AA)

1990-91

Eugene Herrman (AA)

2001-02

Jerry Prinz (AS)

1991-92

Bob Zaher (AA)

2002-03

Buddy McGuire (AA)

1992-93

Bob Zaher (AA)

2003-04

Buddy McGuire

1993-94

Ed Lyons (AA)

2004-05

Al Mitchell

1994-95

Ed Lyons

2005-06

Al Mitchell

1995-96

Ken Schaefer (AA)

2006-07

Dale Barsy (AS)

1996-97

Ken Schaefer

2007-08

Dale Barsy

1997-98

Lafayette Donaldson (AS)

   

AA = All American AS = All State

2007 marks the 20th anniversary of VFW Post 2485 in Angeles City, Philippines. From humble beginnings, the Post has grown in membership to become the second largest overseas VFW post and the fifteenth largest post in the entire VFW organization. This history begins with a brief synopsis of the first 19 years of VFW Post 2485, followed by a more detailed summary of 2006 – 2007.


 


 
April 1987 - June 2006 Synopsis
 
VFW Post 2485 was officially established on 12 April 1987 with Joseph Carsley as commander and a total membership of 30. There was no Post Home. Meeting space had to be borrowed from locations in Angeles City and nearby Clark Air Base. The Post remained homeless for the next two years. Nonetheless, commendations were received from National Headquarters for accomplishments in Americanism, Buddy Poppy, Safety, Youth and Community Programs.
In May 1989 a small house was rented on Santol Road, about a block away from the south perimeter fence of Clark Air Base. This converted domicile would serve as the Post Home for the next 10 years. Though far from ideal, the structure provided enough space for a combination canteen and meeting room, office facilities, and game areas including darts, cards, and horseshoes in the back yard. Many improvements were made over the years, both inside and outside, to enhance its use and attractiveness as a VFW Post Home.
Joe Carsley
Richard “Whitey” Norrell was the second commander of VFW Post 2485. During his one-year tenure, a Children's Operation Fund program was first conducted by the Post to help disadvantaged indigent Filipino children realize more normal lives. This program, which focuses on cleft palate and cleft lip victims, was the brainchild of comrades Cliff Wilsey and Bob Zaher before adoption by the Post. Ten operations were funded that first year. The program continues to this day with many grateful families and their children benefiting from the concern and generosity of Post 2485 members and other benefactors around the world. By 2007, over 1,200 operations had been conducted.
The next commander, third since the Post was established, was Eugene Herrmann. He was the first of many commanders over the years to achieve All American status for himself and VFW Post 2485. Membership had grown to over 180 veterans. Programs were proceeding apace and the future looked bright. Then Mt. Pinatubo erupted and turned everything akimbo. The Post Home was wrecked and deemed inoperable. The American troops on Clark Air Base, except for some security personnel, evacuated en masse on 10 June 1991. The base would never again function as an U.S. military facility. Clark Air Base was officially turned over to the Philippine government in November 1991.
Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, VFW Post 2485 refused to die and became stronger than ever. Incoming Commander Bob Zaher spearheaded an aggressive and successful program to restore to functional use the little rented house serving as the Post Home. VFW programs hardly missed a beat as the Post members banded together and pressed forward. The Post took over responsibility from the Clark AB Chiefs Group for assisting the Angeles City chapter of the Pearl Buck Foundation. This worldwide organization helps abandoned Amer-Asian children. Post 2485 spent a great deal of time and money providing upkeep for Pearl Buck Home and sponsored a gala Christmas party every year for the children. Bob Zaher was the perennial Santa Claus for the event. Post 2485 stayed involved with the Pearl Buck Foundation until the Angeles City chapter closed its doors in 2002.
 
Bob Zaher
By the time Comrade Zaher turned over the reigns of Commander in July 1993, he and VFW Post 2485 attained All American status both years and membership had ballooned to over 400. VFW Post 2485 was now part of District VII (Philippines) under a new realignment promulgated by National Headquarters.
 
The new Post Commander, Ed Lyons, continued the All American trend, achieving this his first year. It marked four years in a row as All American for Post 2485. Not bad for a post only seven years old. By the time Ed Lyons completed his second year as commander, Post membership had climbed to over 500.
Meanwhile, many Post 2485 members were elected to positions elsewhere in the VFW organization. Ralph Milward was elected Commander, Department of Pacific Areas before transfer to Post 2485. Joseph Carsley replaced him as Department Commander the next year. Carsley, a previous All American Commander at the District level, achieved All American status at the Department, and was appointed Vice Chairman of the National VOD Committee. Jesse Foster was designated Department of Pacific Areas Service Officer of the Year. Paul Morgenthal was elected Commander of District VII.
Ken Schaefer became the new commander in 1995. Like his predecessor, Commander Schaefer achieved All American status for himself and Post 2485 his first year in office. During this time, Cliff Wilsey was designated National Recruiting aide-de-camp and Bob Zaher was elected Commander, Department of Pacific Areas, replacing Joe Carsley.
Ken Schaefer
During Comrade Schaefer's second year as commander, VFW Post 2485 was registered with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission as a Non-Profit Corporation. This was an important change in status in order to function in aforeign country without hassles from government agencies. Commander Schaefer was appointed to the National VFW Veterans Resolutions Committee. He also became chairman of a steering group created to establish a permanent Department of Pacific Areas office in the Philippines.The idea of a permanent Department office came from Bob Zaher who was
achieving All American status for the Department. The Post received the National VFW Safety Award as membership passed the 700 mark. He also became chairman of a steering group created to establish a permanent Department of Pacific Areas office in the Philippines. The idea of a permanent Department office came from Bob Zaher who was achieving All American status for the Department. The Post received the National VFW Safety Award as membership passed the 700 mark.
Lafayette Donaldson served as Commander, Post 2485 for the next two years, achieving All State status both years. It was during his tenure that the “Grave Diggers” group was formed (11 Nov 1997) for the care and maintenance of the Clark Air Base Cemetery, which Post 2485 had been overseeing since 1994. The Post was awarded the National Americanism Award and Commander Donaldson was made de-camp. Membership in the Post was over 800. Lafayette Donaldson
 
In 1999, VFW Post 2485 found a new home. Over $250,000 had been raised during the previous two years to make this move a reality. On the corner of Pinatubo Street and Santol Road, next door to the old home, the new structure would prove ideal for VFW functions. It was completely renovated from an existing foundation and tailored to the needs of Post 2485. Separate restaurant and bar areas, conference room, office rooms, a business center, and pool table area complemented the design. Comfortable furniture, excellent flooring, tasteful and appropriate wall décor, and ample parking spaces made the new home the envy of many VFW Posts. The permanent Department office was established in the new home. It was set up by Department Quartermaster Tom Elliott with funds provided by the Department ($25,000) and Grand ($5,000).
 
VFW Post 2485 - New Post Home
 
The first Post 2485 General Membership Meeting in the new facility was held on Sunday, 11 July 1999, shortly after B. K. Hubbard took over as the next commander. The official Grand Opening took place on Sunday, 14 November 1999, the same day the VFW Post 2485 web site became active. It was only fitting that the post made All American that year (1999 – 2000) for the sixth time. Other honors included Department awards for Outstanding Achievement in Community Service, Outstanding Post Adjutant (Ken Schaefer), Outstanding Post Programs Chairman (William Feldt), and Post of the Year. The Department Commander also issued Appreciation Awards to Department Quartermaster Tom Elliott and Department Adjutant Joe Carsley. Membership soared to over 1,000.

Jerry Prinz
 
 
 
All American status continued in 2000 – 2001 under the leadership of Jerry Prinz, the next commander. During his two years in office, the Post received many more awards including National Recognition for outstandingachievements in Americanism, Youth Activities, Safety,Community Service, and Voice of Democracy. In addition,there were many individual awards presented to VFW Post2485 members.
Bob Zaher was honored as All American District VII Commander and Paul Morgenthal was dubbed All State Quartermaster. Department Quartermaster Tom Elliott became, concurrently, the Department Adjutant. In 2002 there were nearly 1,200 members in VFW Post 2485.

Buddy McGuire
 
 
Buddy McGuire took over as commander and, like Comrade Prinz, achieved All American status his first year in office. The 11 November Veterans Day Commemorations that year (2002) typified what has always been an important event for VFW Post 2485. It began with memorial rites at the Clark Cemetery where about 300 people had gathered. United States Veterans groups from Angeles City, BarrioBarretto in Olongapo, La Union, and Baguio were represented as well as a local chapter of the Australian Returned and Services League (RSL).
The Philippine Air Force (PAF) provided a band and firing salute and the Fleet Reserve Association conducted the traditional three bell-ring ceremony. Visiting dignitaries included representatives from the PAF 600th Air Base Wing command, The Angeles City and Mabalacat Mayors' offices, the American Cemetery in Manila, the Retired Activities Office (RAO) in Angeles City, and the RAO in Subic, among others. A picnic at the Post Home completed the day. Raffles and auctions were conducted to raise money for worthy causes. By the end of Comrade McGuire's two-year stint as commander in July 2004, membership was approaching 1,300.
Al Mitchell became the 11th commander of Post 2485. During his two-year tenure, the numerous interfaces he and his staff had with outside organizations reflected how VFW Post 2485 reached out to the community and got involved with other agencies. Post 2485 members attended functions conducted by American Legion Post 123, the Vietnam Veterans Association, the Masonic Lodge, the Shriners, the American Embassy, the RSL, and the Angeles City Businessmen's Association, among others. They attended the Battle of Bamban Hills Memorial Ceremony in Tarlac, Luzon; the ground-breaking ceremony for the Captain Colin P. Kelly, Jr. Peace Memorial Shrine in Barangay Bical, Mabalacat; and the Annual Bataan Death March commemorations at Camp O'Donnell, Capas, Tarlac; among other events.
Al Mitchell
 
Post 2485 involvement with local school children was noted by the Malabanias School in Angeles City which presented the Post a Certificate of Appreciation “For Supporting School Programs and Activities.” Another Certificate of Appreciation was received from the VFW National Headquarters for support of the Political Action Committee (PAC). Recognizing Post 2485's work within the community, the VFW National Ladies Auxiliary donated $1,000 for the Children's Operation Fund.
A total of $21,000 was spent for 57 children’s operations during Comrade Mitchell's last year as commander.
By the end of June 2006, the Grave Diggers membership stood at 778. The total VFW Post 2485 membership was 1,423. Of this total, 1,350 were life members, 49 were continuous, 19 were new, and 5 were reinstated.
 
July 2006 – June 2007
 
To facilitate referencing or research, this year’s history is organized into seven major categories:
 
I. LEADERSHIP
II.PROGRAMS
III.EVENTS
IV.MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES
V.AWARDS AND HONORS
VI.POST HOME
VII. MEMBERSHIP
 
Several VFW Post 2485 leaders reviewed the draft of this history to ensure the accuracy of the information. Any errors that may have slipped through the editing process are ultimately the responsibility of the historian, as are comments and reflections accompanying the data.
The departure from the usual format and the inclusion of narrative and photographs was done to satisfy three primary objectives: (1) to "put a human face" on historical events in recognizing those who served, (2) to make it easier to find a particular item of interest, and (3) to enhance the readability of the document.
 
I. LEADERSHIP (Return)
 
A. The top three elected officers were as follows:
Post Commander: Dale Barsy
Senior Vice Commander: John Flaherty
Junior Vice Commander: Larry Heilhecker
 
B. Other elected officers included:
Quartermaster: William G. Simpson (July – September 2006)
Guy “Bob” Dodson (September 2006 – June 2007)
Judge Advocate: Albert Mitchell
Chaplain: Lafayette Donaldson
Surgeon: William “Cecil” Johnson
Trustee One Year: Tony Power
Trustee Two Year: Tom Elliott
Trustee Three Year: Bob Dodson (July – September 2006)
Dennis Carlton (December 2006 – June 2007)
Post Home Committee One Year: David Crowe (July – December 2006)
Charlie Dwyer (December 2006 – June 2007)
Post Home Committee Two Year: Charlie Dwyer (July – December 2006)
John Reveille (December 2006 – February 2007)
Joe Hambley (February – April 2007)
Post Home Committee Three Year: John Reveille (July – December 2006)
Joseph Hambley (December 2006 – February 2007)
Paul Gasperson (February – June 2007)
 


Elected Officers 2006–2007

 


Senior Vice Commander:
John Flahert

Commander:
Dale Barsy

Junior Vice Commander:
Larry Heilhecker

Chaplain:
Lafayette Donaldson
 

Surgeon:
William “Cecil” Johnson

 

Trustee One Year:
Tony Power

 

Trustee Two Year:
Tom Elliot

Trustee Three Year:
Dennis Carlton




PHC One Year:
Charlie Dwyer

 

PHC Two Year:
John Reveille

PHC Three Year
Paul Gasperson
 
 
C. Of the 37 appointed positions, many were filled by individuals already named, serving in elected offices. Names not previously mentioned included:
Gerald Chaplin (Adjutant)
Allen E. Coates (Safety Officer)
Jack Dietz (Post Home Committee)
Eddie Jernigan (Assistant Adjutant)
Lowell Johnson (Historian)
Dave Lockhart ( Officer of the Day)
Ralph Milward (Service Officer)
Steve Piechocky (Post Home Committee)
Jerry Prinz (Roving Ambassador to the Philippines)
Harry Smith (Post Home Committee Chairman 1 July 2006 – 20 January 2007,
Community Activities. Harry was also the contracted Canteen Manager from
20 January – 30 June 2007)
William Wadsworth (Community Activities)
Okey Warden (Roving Ambassador in the U.S.)
Cliff Wilsey (Membership and Budget committees, Children’s Operation
Program Chairman)
 
 
 
 
 
Appointed Officers 2006-2007
Adjutant: Gerald Chaplin  Post Home Committee: Jack Dietz
 Assistant Adjutant: Eddie Jernigan
 
D. The 2006 – 2007 elected and appointed representatives of VFW Post 2485 brought in a wealth of talent and experience in VFW activities. Most had previously served in the Post in some capacity. Three (Lafayette Donaldson, Jerry Prinz, and Al Mitchell) were Past Post Commanders.
E. At least ten of the elected/appointed officials had formerly (prior to this year) held positions at the District VII (Philippines), Department of Pacific Areas, or National levels.
1. Commander Dale Barsy, who also served on the 2006 – 2007 Post Relief
Committee and on the Post Home Committee, was a previous District VII Chairman of the Voice of Democracy/Patriot’s Pen Program.
2. Quartermaster Guy “Bob” Dodson, who was also Chairman of the Budget
Committee and part of the Membership and Post Relief committees, was a previous All State Quartermaster for the Department of Pacific Areas.
3. Judge Advocate Albert Mitchell, who was also the Past Post Commander and a Post Home Committee member, was a previous Senior Vice Commander of District VII.
4. Surgeon and Hospital Chairman William “Cecil” Johnson had served several years as the Department and District VII Service Officer.
5. One-year Trustee and Library Chairman Tony Power had been the Department Quartermaster for three years.
6. Two-year Trustee Tom Elliott had been a trustee for District VII, Commander of the Department of Pacific areas, and National District 16 Council Member for two years (1999 – 2001).
7. Three-year Trustee and Webmaster Dennis Carlton was previously Assistant Adjutant for Department of Pacific Areas.
8. Service Officer Ralph Milward had served in several positions at the Department level, including Commander in 1994.
9. Roving Ambassador Jerry Prinz had been consistently involved at District and Department levels, achieving All State status as Commander of District VII in 2003 – 2004, was Department Grand Commander of the Military Order of the Cootie in 2005 – 2006, and served as Department Inspector for several years.
10. Cliff Wilsey, the preeminent membership recruiter, has been the perennial Life Membership Chairman for the Department of Pacific Areas as well as a Trustee for District VII.
 
F. VFW Post 2485 members in higher-level positions during 2006 – 2007 included the following:
1. Bob Zaher (National Council of Administration for District 16, Department of Pacific
Areas Chief of Staff and Convention Book Chairman)
2. Ken Schaefer (Commander, Department of Pacific Areas)
3. Al Mitchell (Commander, District VII Philippines)
4. Tom Elliott (Vice Chairman for the National POW/MIA program)
5. Cliff Wilsey (Department Life Membership Chairman, District VII Three Year Trustee)
6. Tony Power (Department Quartermaster}
7. Larry Heilhecker (Department and District VII Cemetery Chairman, District VII Trustee,
and District VII VOD/Patriot’s Pen Chairman
8. Cecil Johnson (Department and District VII Service Officer)
9. Bill Simpson (District VII Quartermaster)
G. It should also be noted that Chaplain Donaldson was the American Legion Post 123 Commander and Harry Smith was the Post Canteen Manager for most of the first six months of 2007.
 
II. PROGRAMS (Return)
 
A. Children’s Operation Fund (COF)
1.The COF is probably the most visible example of how VFW Community Service
programs can touch people’s lives. The program focuses on cleft lip and cleft palate operations for Filipino children. The transformation of these kids’ facial features was dramatic.
 
Before After
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2.  Conducting the operations within Angeles City hospitals cost approximately $300 for a cleft lip correction and $350 for a cleft palate procedure. The price varied somewhat, depending on the severity of the disfigurement. Particularly challenging procedures cost more than these averages.
3. Thirty-one operations were performed during July 2006 – June 2007 at a total cost of
$10,350.00.
4. To support this effort, the COF program received monetary assistance in excess of
$11,000 from individuals and groups throughout the year.
 
B. Cemetery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Clark Cemetery looking south A burial in progress
toward the main entrance
 
1. The Clark Cemetery, located just west of a new Shoe Mart (SM) Shopping Mall near the main gate of Clark Air Base, has been officially maintained by VFW Post 2485 since 1994. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Philippine Clark Development Corporation (CDC) enables Post 2485 to maintain the burial grounds until 2031. The CDC continued to maintain the areas outside the cemetery.
 
 
Clark Cemetery looking east with SM Shopping Mall and Mt. Arayat in the background
 
2. Though VFW Post 2485 does the work within the cemetery grounds, maintenance of the facility is monitored at the Department level. The VFW National Headquarters is also involved, allocating money from the Commander in Chief’s discretionary fund. This year, National donated $3,500 and twelve 4’ X 6’ flags: six U.S. and six Philippine.
 
3. Because the money from National is insufficient to cover all the upkeep expenses, there is a charge for each burial, and an infusion of money from Veterans’ Day raffles, and donations from organizations and individuals.
a. During 2006 – 2007, it cost over $900 per month to maintain the cemetery. Part of this expense was wages for three Filipino employees who put in 500 – 700 man-hours per month for the project.
b. The charge per interment, beginning in August 2006, was 8,000 pesos (about
$174 at the June 2007 exchange rate) for a crypt burial and 1,000 pesos ($22) for a cremation burial. This was the first increase in 30 months.
c. One thousand dollars ($1,000) from the Veterans’ Day raffle held on 11 November 2006 were transferred to the Cemetery Fund.
d. Organizations besides VFW National donating funds included VFW Post 10033 (Daegu, Korea), Pup Tent 303 (Daegu, Korea), VFW Post 9555 (Yokota AB, Japan), VFW Post 9991 (Bangkok, Thailand), Fleet Reserve Association (Honolulu, Hawaii), VFW Post 9957 (Taipei, Taiwan), and Kokomos Restaurant in Angeles City.
e. Individuals donating money included Dorothy Dowlin of San Jose, California; Dan Wine from VFW Post 4463 in the United States; as well as Dennis Carlton, Steve Massie, Jim Lary, Ken Schaefer, and Gary Hougan, all from VFW Post 2485. There were other donors whose names were not recorded or remained anonymous.
 
4. The principal Post 2485 individuals responsible for taking care of the Clark Cemetery were Larry Heilhecker (Chairman), Ed “Shipmate” Rubio (Maintenance Supervisor), and Rubio’s replacement Ray Lombardi. In September, these veterans plus the Filipinos involved in burial detail were outfitted with new black uniforms.
 

Larry Heilhecker Ray Lombardi Ed Rubio
 

 
 
 
Burial detail
 
5. In the past year (July 2006 – June 2007), 31 veterans were interred in Clark Cemetery.
a. Thirteen were members of VFW Post 2485:
 
  Name Rank Service Burial Date  
 
Barbee, Donald E.
Barker, Robert A.
Brown, Kenneth R.
Ciron, Mariano F.
Finn, Thomas J.
Gerber, Helmut A
Ignacio, Marcelino
Lyon, William G.
Marlette, Veto J.
Palucis, Edward A.
Richardson, Oscar E.
Tincknell, Lynn R.
Wells, Hadley O.
TSgt
SSgt
SP4
MSCM
TSgt
SFC
CWO2
GM3
SFC
SA
MSgt
END3
MSgt
USAF
USA
USA
USN
USAF
USA
USA
USN
USA
USN
USA
USN
USAF
19 December 2006
5 October 2006
29 December 2006
29 May 2007
24 July 2006
6 August 2006
27 September 2006
5 January 2007
7 July 2006
6 October 2006
27 February 2007
29 August 2006
19 July 2006
 
 
Two of these veterans – Lyon and Ciron – had participated significantly in Post activities.
 
 
William Lyon served in the United States Navy during the 1950s, earning the Korean Service Medal. After his military service, he an entrepreneur businessman, making his fortune in electronics while living n California.
When Comrade Lyon moved to Angeles City, Philippines, he joined VFW Post 2485 where he became a staunch supporter of VFW programs. He regularly donated a substantial amount of money to the Children’s Operation Fund (COF) and prepared COF donation boxes which he placed throughout the city.
Bill Lyon was a founder of the new Post Home and could always be counted on for financial help when the need arose. In his passing, VFW Post 2485 lost an exceptional benefactor and good friend. He touched many people with his generosity and comradeship. He will be sorely missed.
Lyon, William G.
 

 
William Lyon served in the United States Navy during the 1950s, earning the Korean Service Medal. After his military service, he became an entrepreneur businessman, making his fortune in electronics while livingin California.
When Comrade Lyon moved to Angeles City, Philippines, he joined VFW Post 2485 where he became a staunch supporter of VFW programs. He regularly donated a substantial amount of money to the Children’s Operation Fund (COF) and prepared COF donation boxes which he placed throughout the city.
Bill Lyon was a founder of the new Post Home and could always be counted on for financial help when the need arose. In his passing, VFW Post 2485 lost an exceptional benefactor and good friend. He touched many people with his generosity and comradeship. He will be sorely missed.
 

Ciron, Mariano F.

 

 

Mariano “Jun” Ciron was also an active supporter of VFW programs and was a life member of VFW Post 2485. A man of exceptional culinary skill (he was an Admiral’s Steward in the Navy), he would, on occasion, whip up some special delights for the members. People still talk about that large caldron of world-class chili he provided for one of the Department conventions.

Jun could always be counted on for financial support of VFW programs, giving generously to many causes. He was a member of the unofficial Post Golf Team, developing many friendships on and off the course. The popularity of Comrade Ciron was evident at his funeral and post-burial reception. Several persons eulogized him at the cemetery, including his brother – a two-star general. Well over a hundred people filled the Post Home afterward. His passing affected a multitude.

 
b. Other veterans, not members of Post 2485, buried in the Clark Cemetery during July 2006 – June 2007 included:
  Name Rank Service Burial Date  
 
Adrian, Jon C.
Blanchfield, Gary A.
Dorsh, William S.
Escanan, Soloman B.
Eyman, Robert C.
Gilmour, Robert M.
Hardy, Beverly E.
Jurey, Steven N.
McGowan, Richard D.
Milan, Lewis E.
Mosqueda, Eriberto V.
Neff, Hal F.
Paguio, Domingo M.
Pasamonte, Alfredo S.
Petitte, Jack W.
Prettyman, Kenneth S.
Robertson, Erwin B.
White, William R.
MSgt
MSgt
RM1
Philippine Scout (PS)
PNC
TSgt
PFC
CDR
SKCS
PFC
RM1
A1C
LSC
PVT
ATC
GYSgt
AO1
AMSC
USAF
USMC
USN

USN
USAF
USMC
USN
USN
USA
USN
USAF
USN
PS
USN
USMC
USN
USN
19 September 2006
25 September 2006
14 September 2006
31 August 2006
22 June 2007
8 July 2006
22 December 2006
22 June 2007
19 January 2007
4 October 2006
19 May 2007
6 November 2006
12 July 2006
16 January 2007
22 June 2007
25 September 2006
30 March 2007
17 July 2006
 
 
6. Burial ceremonies for non-members of Post 2485 were often conducted by other posts. VFW Post 1147 conducted ceremonies for Blanchfield, Eyman, Jurey, McGowan, Milan, Petitte, Pettyman, and White. American Legion Posts 4 and 123 conducted ceremonies for Robertson and Gilmour respectively.
7. On 27 October 2006, American Legion Post 123 conducted military ceremonial honors for USA Sgt Maurice K. Fortune, who was buried at Clark Cemetery in 2004. /address>
8. Infrequently, VFW Post 2485 conducts burial ceremonies outside Clark Air Base. Such was the case on 6 May 2007 when USAF MSgt William Dunlap was put to rest in El Retiro Cemetery in Dau, Mabalacat just north of Angeles City.
 
El Retiro Cemetery in Dau, Mabalacat, Pampanga, Philippines
 
8. Other VFW Post 2485 members buried outside Clark Cemetery included USAF SMSgt Edward J. McDaniel, who was interred at Holy Mary Cemetery on 30 August 2006, and USAF MSgt David L. Sellers, who was buried at El Retiro Cemetery on 9 December 2006 with a ceremony conducted by American Legion Post 123. USMC CPL Ronald Williams was cremated and honored at his home in the U.S. during August 2006.
 
C. Voice of Democracy/Patriot’s Pen
 
Without any United States Military bases in the Philippines, the number of eligible students (U.S. citizens) for VOD/PP programs is not very large nor centrally located. John Flaherty, the chairman of these activities, put in a lot of “road work” to find entrants from Angeles City and Manila. Among the schools approached included Holy Angel, Holy Family, L’Altra Montessori, R. F. Kuzma, and an International School in Angeles City. Manila schools included Faith Academy and Manila International.
 
  Steve Albright
 
Steve Albright, a senior at Faith Academy, won the VOD competition at the Post, District, and Department levels, speaking on “Freedom’s Challenge.” In addition to cash prizes and awards at these levels ($300, gold pin, briefcase, certificate, and plaque), he won a national scholarship and a trip to the Community Service Conference in Washington D.C. in which winners from all 54 Departments participated. Albright was awarded the Department of Kansas and Auxiliary Robert R. Whipple Memorial scholarship for $1,000. Rarely has a student sponsored by VFW Post 2485 finished this high in the competition.
Lorelie Bollenbach, an eighth grader from L’Altra Montessori School in the Villa Sol Subdivision of Angeles City, beat out 17 other students to become the Patriot’s Pen winner for VFW Post 2485. Writing on “Citizenship in America,” she went on to win the District VII competition. She was awarded $300, a gold pin, executive folder, certificate, and a plaque. Her father, Grant “Bo” Bollenbach, is a Life Member of Post 2485.
 
III. EVENTS (Return)
 
 

Al Mitchell
 
 
 
 
A. An Appreciation Night was held 12 August 2006 in honor of Al Mitchell who had just completed two years as Commander of VFW Post 2485. Arranged by Bob Zaher, there was a cocktail hour followed by a “surf-and-turf” dinner and a brief ceremony. It was a well-deserved recognition for Comrade Mitchell who became Commander, District VII (Philippines) for 2006 – 2007.

 
 
 
B. Patriot Day was commemorated by the Post on 11 September 2006 with a free breakfast for the Post members and their guests. It was hosted by Post Commander Dale Barsy. Department Commander Ken Schaefer delivered a speech.
 
 
C. Veterans Day – 11 November 2006
 
Veterans Day has always been a big occasion for VFW Post 2485, and 2006 was no exception. Reflecting the historical beginning of the commemoration -- known as Armistice Day in 1919 until
re-designated in 1954 – the ceremony began precisely at the
eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. This was the time and date officially ending World War I.
It had been drizzling all morning on that Saturday of 11 November. Although it dampened the ground, it did not dampen the spirits of those wanting to pay tribute to the veterans. There was a large crowd, with umbrellas dotting the throng of attendees. Anyone not arriving early had to park on the main road fronting the cemetery grounds.

There were several guest speakers, including Naval Captain Mike Brooks, Defense Attaché fromthe U.S. Embassy; Lt. Col. Van Dine from JUSMAGPHIL; Mr. Gerald Charleston, representing the Veterans Administration; Mayor Morales from Mabalacat, and Major Gananacial of the 600th Air Base Wing (Philippine Air Force). The 600th ABW also provided a band, riflemen for a traditional gun salute, and a bugler for taps. Other invited guests in attendance included District 16 National Council Member Bob Zaher, who represented the Department of Pacific Areas, and an official of Peregrine Development Corporation. Eduardo Apacible, from a VFW Post in Puente, California, and a veteran of the Desert Shield and Desert Storm Campaigns, was also in attendance.
Post Commander Dale Barsy chaired the proceedings, delivered a speech, and participated in the placing of a wreath with Van Dine, Charleston, and Zaher. Chaplain Donaldson conducted the prayers.
Following the rites at the Clark Cemetery, there was a picnic at the Post Home with live entertainment complementing a barbecue of ribs, chicken, hamburgers, and hot dogs with all the trimmings. Door prizes were handed out and a raffle was conducted. A net profit of $6,500 was taken in from the raffle, providing much needed funds for Post projects and community activities.
Awnings protected the revelers who ate outside to enjoy the band as the light rain continued to fall. The large turn-out of veterans and their families capped a highly successful day of remembrance.
 
 
D. Captain Collin P. Kelly, Jr. Peace Memorial Ceremony
 
On 22 November 2006, representatives of VFW Post participated in a ground-breaking ceremony for a Capt. Collin
P. Kelly, Jr. Peace Memorial Shrine on Clark Air Base.
Those in attendance included National Council Member Bob
Zaher, Department Commander Ken Schaefer, District VII
Commander Al Mitchell, and Post Commander Dale Barsy.
The event was sponsored by the Mabalacat Tourism Office
and the 600th Air Base Wing of the Philippine Air Force.
 
 
 
Capt. Kelly was one of the first American heroes of World War II. He was killed while trying to belly-land his B-17 bomber aircraft on a field in Mabalacat, Philippines on 8 December 1941. The plane had been shot up by a Japanese fighter. The rest of the crew had bailed out before Kelly made the fatal attempt to land the aircraft.
The purpose of the shrine was not for the glorification of Capt. Kelly. In the words of the Mabalacat Tourism Office, the shrine was “…for the use of war history as a tool for the promotion of goodwill, peace, and friendship among nations.”
The ground-breaking took place next to the old Kelly Theater, one of the buildings on base named in memory of Capt. Kelly when American troops were stationed at Clark Air Base. A statue of Capt. Kelly was brought out from the Clark Museum for the ceremony and returned after the rites.
 
E. Christmas Parties
 
The day before Christmas, Post 2485 hosted a Christmas party for members’ children. About 40 youngsters showed up for the fun. One hundred dollars was used from the Commander’s Fund to provide gifts, prizes, food, and decorations. There were additional gifts brought in by the members to exchange with other children. Elizabeth Barsy arranged games and activities. Bob Zaher was Santa Claus. A good time was had by all. Later the same day, the Post Home employees were given a party. Food was catered and games were played with much frivolity.
 
F. Bataan Death March Memorial Ceremony
 
 
 
The ceremony was held at mid morning on 9 April 2007 at the Capas Memorial Shrine in Tarlac. The general quietness allowed somelocal birds to be heard in the surrounding area. They were likely thrushes, shrikes, swallows, or maybe bulbuls, all known to frequent the area. Though not as mournful as the plaintive cry of a loon, the flute-like notes of a ground-thrush and chattering calls of shrikes, if that was what they were, seemed to add to the serenity of the moment.
 
 
In such a peaceful setting, it became almost difficult to imagine the hell-on-earth experienced by earth experienced by those incarcerated there 65 years ago after enduring the horrendous death march from Bataan. When former PFC Eufracio Bugarin, a survivor of the ordeal, spoke at the ceremony, he temporarily broke down recalling family members and comrades who never made it through the war. Despite the many years that have passed, memories remained as fresh as yesterday.
Other orators included the honorable Judge Lorenzo Manaay , Jr. whose father died in the death march, and Post Commander Dale Barsy. Chaplain Donaldson delivered the prayers and Steve Massie played taps. Additional Post notables in attendance included National Council Member Bob Zaher, Department Commander Ken Schaefer, District Commander Al Mitchell, Webmaster Dennis Carlton, and Post Junior Vice Commander Larry Heilhecker, a principal organizer of the ceremonial.
Eufracio Bugarin  
 
Commanders Schaefer and Barsy participated in the traditional laying of the wreath, accompanied by Judge Manaay, representatives from the Veterans Administration and JUSMAG in Manila, and Kane Family representatives of the Battling Bastards of Bataan organization. Members of the 600th Air Base Wing of Clark Air Base conducted a gun salute.
The total number of people in attendance was not large, but at least 16 veterans’ organizations from throughout Luzon, Philippines were represented. It was a fitting remembrance of the many brave soldiers who were part of this significant event in World War II history.
 
G.Anniversary Picnic
 
 
To commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of VFW Post 2485, a picnic was held at the Post Home on 12 April 2007. The portion of Pinatubo Street directly in front of the Post Home was closed off to traffic. Awnings, chairs, and tables were set up to accommodate the spillover from inside. A small band with singers provided entertainment. All members in attendance were given commemorative key chains and provided a free meal of lechon baca or prime spare ribs, corn-on-the-cob, and potato salad. Over two hundred happy people attended the affair.
 
H. ANZAC Day – 25 April 2007 Coconut

Australia New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) Day ceremonies were attended by VFW Post 2485 members at La Union and in Angeles City. The La Union rites were held at the Coconut Grove Resort.
In Angeles, there was a ceremony at the Clark Cemetery. The 25 April date commemorates the dawn landing by Australian and New Zealand soldiers on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. They fought against the Turks for 240 days in terrible conditions without a victory. The only positive aspect was a clandestine withdrawal during hours of darkness. Over 10,000 ANZAC troops died in the campaign which had a profound effect on the citizenry of Australia and New Zealand. Although ANZAC Day marks the anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, the date is used as a National Day of Remembrance to honor those who fought in all wars. It is similar to American Veterans Day and Memorial Day
. American troops were not at Gallipoli but have served with ANZAC forces in other conflicts, including Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East. It is appropriate that Americans join their Aussie and Kiwi comrades in commemorating this special time of remembrance, peace, and unity known as ANZAC Day. VFW Post 2485 members were proud to be a part of it.
 
I. Installation of Officers
 
The VFW Post 2485 elected and appointed officers for special dinner and ceremony on Saturday, 12 May 2007. The large turnout of members and their guests filled the main dining area of the Post Home. An excellent “surf-and-turf” meal was followed by congratulatory speeches made by National Council Member Bob Zaher and Department of Pacific Areas Commander Ken Schaefer before the new officials took their oaths of office. The event was described by some long-term members as one of the best of these affairs ever held in the Post.

J. Memorial Day

 
 
 
By tradition, VFW Post 2485 and other local veteran’s organizations always celebrate Memorial Day on 30 May. The 2007 rites were conducted by American Legion Post 123 of Angeles City. A ceremony was held at the Clark Cemetery, followed by a barbecue at the Legion Post. There was a large turnout with many Post 2485 members in attendance. Memorial Day is one of the oldest annual observances in our country’s history. It began in 1866 following the Civil War. The 30 May date was established in 1868 with flowers and other grave decorations being an integral part of the commemoration. Adhering to this well-established tradition, small American and
Legion. Filipino flags are placed near grave markers at the Clark Cemetery and wreaths of flowers are placed on the grounds. Speeches are made, followed by a gun salute and playing of taps. This year’s program was, as usual, well-organized and well-received; a credit to our fellow comrades in the American Legion.
 
K. World War II Orphans Lunch
 
On Sunday, 3 June 2007, a special group of Americans arrived at the Post Home for lunch. There were about twenty of them from at least eleven different states stretching from California to Delaware. They belonged to an organization called “American World War II Orphans Network (AWON).”
The AWON was formed in the 1990s and is comprised of individuals who lost at least one family member in World War II. There are approximately 800 members in the organization. They get together periodically to provide mutual support to one another in sharing a mutual grief that can never be forgotten. The trip to the Philippines was the first time organizational members have traveled anywhere overseas as a group.
Most of the people making this trip were daughters of fathers killed in the Philippines after General MacArthur returned. Many had never before been to the Philippines. Their itinerary included Leyte, Corregidor, Bataan, and the American National Cemetery in Ft. Bonifacio, Manila where they spent Memorial Day. They visited the Clark Cemetery in Angeles City and were on their way to Capas and Cabanatuan. All the daughters expressed the strong emotions they felt in seeing places where the fathers whom they really never got to know spent their last days on earth. The Memorial Day commemoration at Ft. Bonifacio was particularly moving. Some found their fathers’ names on the wall of the missing. In the words of these “orphans,” it was a “healing memorial.”
Although their visit to VFW Post 2485 was brief, it was quite remarkable. Harry Smith cooked them a much welcomed American-style lunch while Joe Carsley, Cliff Wilsey, and Lowell Johnson engaged them in conversation. They were anxious to talk about their own experiences as well as ours. They seemed to reflect the “heartland” of America and make you proud to have worn the uniform. We look forward to return visits from members of this fine group of people known as AWON.
 
IV. MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES (Return)
 
VFW Post 2485 monthly meeting
 
A. VFW Post 2485 held monthly meetings for the general membership every first Sunday of the month. To prepare for these sessions, “Officers’ Calls” were conducted on the preceding Wednesdays.
B. The Post Home Committee usually met twice a month. The Trustees convened at least once a month and others got together as necessary to sort out whatever problems or projects were at hand.
C. Four times a year, Post 2485 representatives attended the District VII meetings in the Philippines. These are held in Baguio (Cdr. Chick Parsons Memorial Post 124), La Union (Col. B. J. Smith Post 9892), Subic Bay (Paul P. Busik Post 11447), and Post 2485 in Angeles City.
 
1. Post 124 in Baguio had a “Fun Day” in conjunction with the District VII meeting it hosted so that attendees could enjoy some friendly sports competition.
2. Post 2485 hosted the District meeting to coincide with Veterans Day (see Section III C), while Post 9892 had the meeting during ANZAC Day (see Section III H).
District VII Meeting in Post 9892  
 
D. Department of Pacific Areas 41st Annual Convention
 
 
The most significant conference in the 2006 – 2007 VFW calendar year was the Department of Pacific Areas 41st Annual Convention on 17 – 21 June 2007. As the host of this convention, VFW Post 2485 assembled a sizable team of individuals to accomplish the many tasks required in conducting an event of this magnitude.
Bob Zaher was chairman of the Convention Committee consisting of Craig Higginbottom, Cliff Wilsey, Bob Dodson, Harry Smith, and Dennis Carlton, all members of Post 2485. Lenee Antiporta was added to the committee for her computer expertise and for handling a myriad of details that always need attention during a convention. The committee was ably assisted by a support team which included Dale Barsy, Tom Elliott, Tony Power, Ken Schaefer, Gerald Chaplin, Al Mitchell, Larry Heilhecker, and John Flaherty.
Most conventioneers from outside Angeles City stayed in the Oasis Hotel which, as the Convention Hotel, provided venues for ceremonies, meetings, a VIP luncheon, and the Awards Banquet/Officer Installation. The redesign of the lower floor of the Oasis proved ideal for the VIP luncheon and business sessions. The quality of guest rooms, food, and service was also commendable.
The Hospitality Room was at the Post Home. Canteen Manager Harry Smith and Craig Higginbottom arranged an array of delectable dishes which was varied every evening. Extra staff was assigned to keep the food and drinks flowing. Much lively discussion and jocular banter transpired in the Hospitality Room, which was a great place to wind up the daily VFW business and enjoy the company of old and new comrades.
 

Craig Higginbottom Hospitality Room
 
Ed Banas
National Representative at the convention. A polished orator, Comrade Banas delivered inspirational speeches, attended all the primary functions, assisted with award presentations and installment of officers, and made himself available for private discussions and interviews. He added dignity and insight to the convention.
Other notables at the convention included Steve Mason, Past Supreme Commander of the Military Order of the Cootie, and many Past Department Commanders. In all, the convention brought in about 150 attendees. In addition to the usual budget reports, audit summaries, rituals, and elections, one of the highlights of this convention included a resolution authorizing the solicitation of funds within the geographical areas of Department to support the management and upkeep of the Clark Cemetery. This should help an important program that has had a budget imbalance.
 
 
 
The convention capped a good year for Department programs. Community Activities recorded new highs in number of hours worked and money spent. VFW Post 2485 played a significant role by surpassing all other Department Posts in community service.
 
 
 
 
 
Convention Chairman Bob Zaher published another fine
Convention Book this year (eighth in a row) which received praise
from the conventioneers. Lenee Antiporta was once again a key
contributor to the effort with her creative efficiency and attention
to detail.
 
 
Bob Zaher and Lenee Antiporta
 
V. AWARDS AND HONORS (Return)
 
A. Post
* National Recognition Award for Outstanding Post Community Service Program Activities. VFW Post 2485 has been the best Community Service Post in the Department of Pacific Areas for four consecutive years. This record is unsurpassed and reflects the collective efforts by Post members contributing in many areas of community service.
* Streamer and Letter of Congratulations from National Headquarters for achieving 100% membership.
* Certificate of Appreciation from the National Political Action Committee
* National Certificate of Recognition for supporting VFW Operation Uplink
* All State Post in Department of Pacific Areas
* Certificate of Achievement from the Department of Pacific Areas for completing the highest number of Americanism and Loyalty Day Projects in Division V.
* Letter of Appreciation from the Assisting Children and Youth Foundation in Thailand
* Plaque from Special Forces Association for support of MEDCAP in southern Philippines
 
B. Members
Dale Barsy: All State Commander Post 2485
Dennis Carlton: Certificate of Achievement from Department of Pacific Areas for his
outstanding efforts while on the Department Convention Committee.
Gerald Chaplin: Certificate of Achievement from Department of Pacific Areas for his
outstanding efforts while on the Department Convention Committee.
Bob Dodson: Certificate of Achievement from Department of Pacific Areas for his
outstanding efforts while on the Department Convention Committee.
Larry Heilhecker: Certificate of Achievement from Department of Pacific Areas for
outstanding efforts in maintaining the Clark Cemetery.
Craig Higginbottom: Certificate of Achievement from Department of Pacific Areas for his
outstanding efforts while on the Department Convention Committee for
2006 – 2007
Eddie Jernigan: Department Community Service Award for 1,000 hours. Comrade Jernigan
put in many hours and his own personal funds coaching baseball to youth in
the local school system.
Cecil “Doc” Johnson: Certificate of Appreciation from Department of Pacific Areas for
outstanding service and dedication as Department Service Officer.
Al Mitchell: All State Commander District VII (Philippines)
Ed “Shipmate” Rubio: * Department of Pacific Areas Award for Clark Cemetery
maintenance.
* Special Recognition Award from the American Legion,Philippine
Department, Manila.
Ken Schaefer: All American Commander – Department of Pacific Areas
Harry Smith: * Department of Pacific Areas Award for Outstanding Community Service.
* Certificate of Achievement from Department of Pacific Areas for his
outstanding efforts while on the Department Convention Committee for
2006 – 2007.
Cliff Wilsey: * Letter and plaque from National Headquarters for recruiting over 75
new and reinstated members in the Department of Pacific Areas. He was
also given $200 in gift certificates for purchases in the VFW Catalog.
* Letter of Appreciation, Recruiters Ball Cap, and a 50-Recruiter pin from
National Headquarters
* Plaque from Department of Pacific Areas for Outstanding Post Membership
Chairman.
Bob Zaher: Certificate of Achievement from Department of Pacific Areas for his outstanding
work as Department Convention Chairman for 2006-2007
 
C. Staff
 


Jojo Simudlan: Employee of the Quarter (July – September 2006)
Delores Liala Caybyab: Employee of the Quarter (Oct – Dec 2006)
Cheryl Lane: Employee of the Month for February 2007
Carmela “May” Canlas: Employee of the Month for March 2007
Tina Lansangan: Employee of the Month for April 2007
Riza Jocson: Employee of the Month for May 2007
Leah Fizares: Employee of the Month for June 2007

Tina Lansangan
 
The winners of these awards were presented Certificates of Appreciation, had their photographs displayed in the Post Home, and often received cash awards or jewelry.
 
D. Others
Steve Albright: VOD winner for the Post, District, and Department (see Section II C)
Lorelie Bollenbach: Patriot Pen winner for the Post and District VII (see Section II C)
 
VI. POST HOME (Return)
 
A. Management
 
 
1. On 20 January 2007, Harry Smith officially replaced Mike Harrington as manager of the canteen. In accordance with the Post by-laws, Comrade Smith simultaneously stepped down as chairman of the Post Home Committee to avoid any conflict of interest (see Section I C). The Canteen Manager is a salaried position on a contract basis.
2. There is a business center (internet café) in the Post Home building. On 26 July 2006, an agreement was made with “TMJ’s Café” to replace “Checkmark” as the company operating the center.
Harry Smith  
 
 
3. Tony Power continued to supervise the small Post Library on a volunteer basis. Mona Lisa, a local-hire Filipina, helped manage library operations. Video tapes became available for rental in January 2007, and were eventually given away. DVDs replaced the tapes.
4. Brian Usher (a non-member) was kept on retainer to maintain Post Home office computers.
5. For a brief period of time, a Filipina was hired to help with administrative work for the annual raffle. Her salary was personally paid by Cliff Wilsey.
6. The average price of a daily special meal in June 2007 was 175 pesos (<$4.00). Regular menu fare and breakfast, on average, was a bit less at 150 Pesos (a little over $3.00). Finger food was available for around $2.00 (<100 pesos). Peanuts and pretzels were provided at a nominal cost.
It should be noted that the U.S. dollar continued to weaken against the Philippine peso throughout the year. In June of 2006, you could get 53 pesos per dollar. By January, the dollar had fallen to 49 pesos. In June 2007, the exchange rate was approximately 46 pesos per dollar.
 
B. Facility
1. Toward the end of 2006, two offices in the Post Home were remodeled. The Canteen Office moved to the Department Admin Office space and the Department Admin Office moved to the Canteen Office space and adjoining room. The cost of the redesign was about $500.
2. A fresh paint job for the outside of the building was completed in March 2007 at a cost of approximately $400.
 
 
 
 
 
3. Refurbishment of the interiors of the bar and conference room areas was completed in April 2007. The fabric walls were cleaned, other walls were painted, and displays were rearranged.
 

4. A commercial-grade toaster was purchased in September 2006 for $450. The ice machine was repaired the same month for about $400.
5. In January 2007, a new $6,000 point of sale (POS) computer system was installed for food and drink services. The touch-screen monitors and computer-generated receipts eliminated errors, improved efficiency, and enhanced accounting.
6. By March 2007, the well-water pumping system was repaired. What was originally estimated to be an expensive endeavor was cut by $700 thanks to a cost-saving maneuver by Harry Smith in replacing an “O-ring.”
7. Also in March, employee lockers were installed for about $200, and a new soup warmer was purchased for $300.
 
VII. MEMBERSHIP (Return)
A. Notables
 
 
Ben Pennell, an Air Force Vietnam Veteran and a life member of VFW Post 2485, has, over the years, recruited four of his family members to also become life members of the Post. His brother Peter served in the Army in Vietnam. His son Michael was awarded the Expeditionary Ribbon in the
Navy. Two other sons, John (Air Force) and Andrew (Army), both served in the Middle East.
This is the only occasion that Post 2485 has had five members of the has informed us that another son will likely be in Iraq before the end of 2007.Same family on the roster. Not satisfied in holding the record at five, Ben You can be sure that Comrade Ben will add yet another Pennell to the Life Member list. The Patriotic Pennells are exemplary veterans and welcome additions to VFW Post 2485.
  Ben Pennell
 
Noel Call, a former Army helicopter pilot in Vietnam and life member of VFW Post 2485, is one of those “unsung heroes” who gives generously to those in need. Without fanfare, Comrade Call sends a sizable check every year from his home in Nevada to support Post 2485 programs and a charity in Manila. The Manila Charity is “A Better Chance Foundation (ABC)” which provides scholarships for the poor. The Chairman and Founder of ABC is Lewis Edwards, whom Noel knew when they were both in an Angeles City Tennis Club called “The Racketeers.” Although he is now far away in Henderson, Nevada, Comrade Call never forgets his friends and those he can help. This unassuming veteran reflects the kind of people who provide strength to the VFW from “behind the scenes.” This unassuming veteran reflects the kind of people who provide strength to the VFW from “behind the scenes.”
Noel Call  
 
 
 
Cliff Wilsey is the man most responsible for VFW Post 2485 receiving so many All State and All American awards through the years Memberships drive these accolades and Comrade Wilsey’s membership drives were unsurpassed. Post 2485 now has over 1,500 members. This total would be far less without the untiring efforts and time that Wilsey devotes on a daily basis to recruit new members.
In addition to being the perennial Post Membership Chairman, Cliff also manages the Children’s Operation Program (see Section II A), serves on the Post Budget and Reviewing committees, is a Trustee for District VII, and Life Membership Chairman for Department (see Sections VII B 2,3, and 4). Many of the donations that keep some of the Post programs afloat come from the prompting and perseverance of Comrade Wilsey. The VFW Catalog gift certificates he gets from membership awards (see Section IV B) he usually uses to provide hats for other members, and contributes personal finances to many Post programs. Cliff Wilsey is not only generous but is one of the most active members of Post 2485.
  Cliff Wilsey
 
Bob Zaher had one of his busiest years in the VFW. This is a significant statement considering he was a former “Triple Crown” (some would say “Quadruple Crown”) winner, meaning he was an All American (twice) as VFW Post 2485 Commander (1991 – 1993), All American as District VII
Commander (1999 – 2000), and All American as Department of Pacific Areas Commander (1996 – 1997). Of all the Post Commanders in the history of the VFW, an extremely small percentage was ever All American at all three levels.
This year (2006 – 2007) Comrade Zaher was a VFW National Council of Administration Member for District 16 which includes the Pacific, Latin America/Caribbean, Hawaii, and Alaska. The travel requirements were extensive. While at a National Council meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, Comrade Zaher was appointed to the National Appeals Committee. He also became a Life Legacy Member during the meeting and requested the yearly returned rebate be delivered to Post 2485.
 
Bob Zaher  
 
Despite his demanding schedule as a National Council Member, Zaher also served as the Department of Pacific Areas Chief of Staff and was the Department Convention Chairman and the Department Convention Book Chairman for the eighth year in a row (see Section IV D). When he was home between trips to National meetings and visits to Departments in District 16, Bob stayed involved with Post programs and activities, even being Santa Claus at Christmas and honoring other veterans (see Sections III A, D, E, F, and I).
In 2007 – 2008, Comrade Zaher will join the Post Home Committee while continuing to serve as a National Council Member (see Sections VII B 2 and 5). Where he finds the energy for all these things is a mystery, but VFW Post 2485 is quite fortunate to have Bob Zaher as one of its leaders.
 
 
B. Officers for 2007 – 2008
 
1. Post 2485 Elected
Commander: Dale Barsy
Senior Vice Commander: Larry Heilhecker
Junior Vice Commander: David Lockart
Quartermaster: Tony Power
Chaplain: Ed Jernigan
Surgeon: Lafayette Donaldson
Judge Advocate: Kenneth Schaefer
Trustee One Year: Thomas Elliott
Trustee Two Year: Dennis Carlton
Trustee Three Year: TBD
Post Home Committee One Year: Paul Gasperson
Post Home Committee Two Year: Albert Mitchell
Post Home Committee Three Year: Bruce Wright
 
2. Post 2485 Appointed
Post Home Committee: Steven Piechocky
Leonard Leake
Robert Zaher (Primary Alternate)
Jack Dietz (Secondary Alternate)
Service Officer: Ralph Milward
Membership Committee: Cliff Wilsey (Chairman)
Larry Heilhecker
Tony Power
Community Activities/Programs Chairman: Joseph Carsley
Children Operations Fund Chairman: Cliff Wilsey
Hospital Chairman: Lafayette Donaldson
Clark Cemetery: Larry Heilhecker (Chairman)
Ray Lombardi (Cemetery Supervisor)
Adjutant: Gerald Chaplin
Post Relief Committee: Eddie Jernigan (Chairman)
Dale Barsy
Larry Heilhecker
Tony Power
Assistant Quartermaster: Larry Jackson
Officer of the Day: Leonard Leake
Safety Officer: Lafayette Donaldson
Junior Post Past Commander: Albert Mitchell
Death March Memorial Chairman: Larry Heilhecker
Historian: Lowell Johnson
Buddy Poppy Chairman: Raymond Lombardi
Budget Committee: Anthony Power (Chairman)
Dale Barsy
Larry Heilhecker
Dave Lockhart
Albert Mitchell
Cliff Wilsey
Webmaster: Dennis Carlton
Library Chairman: Anthony Power
VOD/Youth Essay/Teacher’s Award: John Flaherty
Roving Ambassador (U.S.A.): Eric Nelson
Robert Zaher
Roving Ambassador (Philippines and Thailand): Gerald Prinz
Reviewing Committee: David Lockhart (Chairman)
Gerald Chaplin
Anthony Power
Gerald Prinz
 
3. Post 2485 Members in District VII (Philippines) positions for 2007 – 2008
Dale Barsy: Junior Vice Commander
Albert Mitchell: Advocate
Cliff Wilsey: Trustee One Year
 
Larry Heilhecker: Trustee Two Year, Cemetery Chairman, VOD/PP Chairman
 
4. Post 2485 Members in Department of Pacific Areas positions for 2007 – 2008
Ken Schaefer: Junior Past Department Commander
Tony Power: Quartermaster
William C. Johnson: Service Officer
Cliff Wilsey: Life Membership Chairman
Dennis Carlton: Historian
Tom Elliott: Strategic Planning Chairman
Larry Heilhecker: Clark Cemetery Chairman
 
5. Post 2485 Member in National Position for 2007 – 2008
Robert Zaher: National Council Member District 16
 
C. Membership totals as of 30 June 2007
Total Membership: 1,513
Life Members: 1,463
Continuous Members: 28
New Members: 18
Reinstated Members: 4
 
 
 
LOWELL E. JOHNSON Compiled:
VFW Post 2485 31 July 2007
Historian

 

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