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VFW Local Contest Winners Announced

Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy contests for North Carolina and National competitions are ongoing, but local winners for Chapel Hill Post 9100 and VFW District 6 have been announced.


The local Post 9100 winners are:


Patriot’s Pen – Ashlyn L Oakley 

Voice of Democracy – Amelia Solum


Both local contest winners will receive a $100 cash scholarship.


2018-2019 District Patriot Pen Contest winners are as follows:


   First Place – Rachel Manning – Post 7316 Yanceyville
   Second Place – David Campbell – Post 2417 Henderson
   Third Place – Catherine Buck – Post 1920 Mebane
District judging was done by four educators who have classroom experience.
Voice of Democracy District winner announcement was released today, Dec 5th.  They are:
   1st – – Frederick Russell, Jr – Durham Post 2740 
   2nd – – Kyrie Coverson – Mebane Post 1920 
   3rd – – Melanie Slaton – Henderson Post 2417

Youth Scholarships Available

Every year thousands of dollars are given to students by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  Just think about it.  Your child could be the recipient of a $30,000 college scholarship just for writing an essay that is orally presented.


Chapel Hill students have frequently taken North Carolina top honors and some have gone on to the national competition.


Veterans of Foreign Wars scholarships are available now, but you must enter one of two national contests to have a chance to win.  Local winners receive an award certificate and a cash prize.  All local first place winners receive $100 and go on to judging in the district and state competition and one winner from each contest represent the VFW Department of North Carolina in the national competition. But remember, you have to enter to win!  Learn more


Chapel Hill contestants did quite well in the 2017-18 competitions.  Winners were:

  • Voice of Democracy, Amelia Solum.  She won Chapel Hill area, won District competition, and then went to the state-wide competition.
  • Patriot’s Pen, Summer Marold.  She also won Chapel Hill area, then won the District competition, and finally participated in the state-wide competition.



Local Business Supports Our Vets

Vacuum Cleaner Hospital, Chapel Hill, has reached out to area veterans through the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  They are holding a local raffle for customers to raise money and awareness of the need to help veterans.  Customers donate $10 and have a chance to win a new vacuum cleaner that has been decorated with a patriotic theme.


The money raised will go to our Veterans Relief Fund. This fund supports needy veterans and their families.  It can be assistance to a homeless veteran, vets undergoing long-term care at the Durham VAMC, student scholarships, student veterans needing special financial assistance (books, laptop, etc.), veterans with disabilities, disaster relief, and more. 


Our Post has several programs and projects to help us raise well over $2,000 each year for our Veterans Relief Fund. Our fund is not used by our local post members for post support and operations.  One hundred percent of our fund dollars go to help those in need.


We thank the great folks at the Vacuum Cleaner Hospital for remembering our veterans and for selecting the Veterans of Foreign Wars as the recipient of their donation.


You can participate and purchase raffle tickets until the date of the drawing: Tuesday, July 31st.  Visit the Vacuum Cleaner Hospital on South Elliott Rd., Chapel Hill.  For more information on their services and products, visit their website.

Share Our Vision For Service

Here is a new Public Service Announcement (PSA) for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  It says it all and answers the question, “What do you do?”


What do you think?  Are you, as a veteran of overseas service in a combat zone, ready to join us?


Bill Melega – America in WW I

William Melega, a National Award Recipient of the VFW Teacher of the Year Award, has a lecture series and it is sponsored by the Chapel Hill PTA at the Chapel Hill Varsity Theater.
The first of the series of ten presentations is Thursday, Oct 19th.  Reception at 6:00 pm and Lecture at 7:00 pm.  
The first lecture commemorates the 100th Anniversary of America’s entrance into the First World War.  Cost is $25, $30 at the door.  A portion of the ticket cost goes to the PTSA and The Wounded Warrior Project.  
Elmer Hughes will attend with his son as a special guest of the PTA and William Melega.
Download the event flyer and schedule of future events.  Click Here.

Passing of Mark Sumner

It is with great sadden that we share with you the loss of Mark Sumner, a long time member of both the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and other veterans and service groups.


Mark was a strong supporter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9100, attending many of our special civic events, promoting post member events and trips, and so much more.  He has been a pillar of strength to our post and will be very much missed.  Mark was also the recipient of France’s distinguished medal, The Legion of Honor.


A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 2:00 pm at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 210 St. Mary’s Road, Hillsborough.  Burial with military honors will follow in the church cemetery.

The family will receive visitors Monday evening from 5-7 pm at Hall-Wynne Funeral Home, 1113 W. Main Street, Durham, NC 27701.  Memorials may be directed St.. Matthew’s Memorial Fund, the Snow Camp Outdoor Theatre, 301 Drama Road, Snow Camp, NC 27349, or to American Legion Post No. 6, P.O. Box 2323, Chapel Hill, NC 27515.


Please wear your VFW Cap to the funeral or viewing.  Let the family know that his comrades are there.


To read Mark’s complete obituary, please click on this link:


After the funeral, I will share with you photos  of Mark in action with veterans.  I will also add him to the list of distinguished local veterans on this site and on the Orange County Veterans Memorial website at http:/

Chapel Hill Naval History – Survival Training

University of North Carolina photo - Navy Preflight Training
University of North Carolina photo – Navy Preflight Training

In Missoula, Montana, John Craighead celebrated his 100th Birthday. John played an important part in naval pilot survival training and is the author of one of the “most critical survival guides ever written for pilots and everyday hikers.” John Craighead and his brother were recruited by the Navy as Ensigns to teach survival skills to pilots. They served here in Chapel Hill with the Navy’s Pre-flight Training Program at the University of North Carolina.


John Craighead and his late twin brother, Frank, co-authored How to Survive on Land and Sea “the flagship survival guide for pilots during World War II.”  Many military veterans and ecologists do not know of their efforts. 


Their story was shared by the Missoulian and is a must read for our local navy history buffs.  It was published this week and it is available on-line.  It includes photos from their survival program from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Read story


Related story:  The Brothers Wild, Washington Post, November 11, 2007

Flag Placement and Events – Memorial Day  0

Ed and Karen Gill place flags
Ed and Karen Gill place flags

Memorial Day ceremonies are a tradition with the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  Our Post, C. V. Cummings Chapel Hill Post 9100, does more than a solitary event on Memorial Day.  We start with flag placement at Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery on Saturday, May 28th, 2016.


Post members, American Legionnaires, Boy Scouts and local citizens join together at 6:30 a.m. to place flags on all identifiable veteran graves.

We invite you to attend to observe or participate.  If you have a family member buried at the cemetery, we can provide you with a flag for placement.

At 8 a.m. on Saturday the post will conduct a traditional Memorial Day Remembrance ceremony.  Prayers, a narrative of the history of Memorial Day, and a reading of the original holiday General Order will precede the sounding of TAPS.  This service will be repeated on Monday, May 30th, the official holiday.


Parents are encouraged to have their kids attend the Saturday services.  It will put meaning back into a “super sale” day at local shopping centers. Come early and watch the placement of flags and the early morning sun illuminate the cemetery with the first rays of sunlight.  It will bring you back each year.


Participating veterans are encouraged to join the Post for a Saturday no-host breakfast at 9 a.m. at Bob Evans Restaurant.  It is just up US 15-501 at I-85.


Sometimes we miss a grave, because the family did not order a grave marker from the VA and there are nothing tells us that a veteran is buried at a grave.  Grave markers for veterans are provided free of charge to a family for their veteran.  We can assist families with getting a headstone, surface stone, or the new medallion for a family stone.  Learn more


VFW placed flags remain in position from Saturday to about Tuesday, May 31th.

Download (PDF, 1.06MB)

What’s the VFW About? – VFW Vets Serve Others

VFW CapWe get lots of inquiries about what the Veterans of Foreign Wars is all about.  Are you, too, wondering what we do, how we do it, and who we serve?


You can search the internet or you can just visit our web site.  Take a look to your right and look for Latest News.  Better yet, scroll down just a little bit below that group and look for News Categories.  Now click on the down arrow and select from one of the many categories of information on our website.


Searching for news items by category will give you a look at a number of stories related to the category selected.  It is that easy.  You will see that we do a lot right here in Chapel Hill and the surrounding area.  You will find stories on Yanceyville, Hillsborough, Caldwell and more.  We are in every area near us where we find veterans that need our help.  We work with other posts, local veterans groups, and charities.  


Why do we do this?  We are just happy to be home.  Some of our shipmates and fellow soldiers, airmen and marines were not so fortunate.  We feel a need to step up and serve others, help veterans and strengthen citizenship through patriotism and education.


Another interesting source for information on the Veterans of Foreign Wars is the VFW Magazine.  Every member of the VFW gets a copy sent to him each month and it is free of charge.  You, however, can also read this magazine on-line.  Here is the link.  CLICK HERE


Are you a veteran that has served overseas in a combat area?  If yes, you can join the VFW.  We would like you to consider joining our post in Chapel Hill.  We’ll even pay for your first year’s dues.  We are confident that you will find a home associating with other men and women who have volunteered (or if Vietnam or earlier, “drafted”) to serve.


Contact us directly.  You can call or email us.  Learn more



July 4th – A Small Town Parade

VFW color guardMany years ago, we were asked to help locate veterans who would be able to help other veterans lead the Caldwell (Rougemont area) July 4th Parade.  We volunteered to help and have continued this tradition for more than ten years.


Caldwell is a small rural community located at NC Highway 57 at Guess Road in Durham County. It is just a short distance from Hillsborough. You are encouraged to show your patriotic spirit by joining in the festivities and parade. The veterans gather at the Caldwell Volunteer Fire House on Guess Road between 10 and 10:15 a.m. for formation. We are at the very front and form a Veterans Color Guard that leads the parade.  District 6 Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) posts have joined us from Mebane and Durham.


The parade starts moving at about 10:45 am and proceeds to the intersection of NC 57 and Guess Road. It stops and waits for the parade start at 11 a.m. Directions


Strange things happen at 11 a.m. First, the first car to reach the intersection is stopped. The driver is escorted from their car and is made the Caldwell Parade Grand Marshal. The Caldwell Air Force (a biplane) flies over the parade and the National Anthem is played to start the parade. Our very own Gil Montoya was caught one year, but he enjoyed the honor as a Grand Marshal.


There are marching groups, manure spreaders, cowboys on horseback, floats, scooters, bicycles, motor bikes, antique cars, bands, fire trucks, and antique cars. The parade continues for about one mile and ends at the Caldwell Community Center. The VFW veterans break off (as we lead the parade) and join their families at the community center park.


We are augmented by area Catholic veterans from Msgr. William O’Brien, Assembly 3365, from St. Matthews Church.  Assembly 3365 veterans are taking over the hosting/cooking of the parade lunch.  This has been performed by the Heavlin family.  The lunch is for all veterans and their families and is served under the read canopy in the park next the to community center.


The our post is providing hot dogs and the Durham Assembly is providing hamburgers and lots of cold water. You are asked to bring a dish to share. It can be fruit, a salad, a favorite family dish, or whatever you are inclined to share. Be sure to bring your family and especially grandchildren. The Caldwell parade is Americana and country living at its best.


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