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.
Yanceyville VFW Post 7316 received the VFW National Outstanding Community Service Award, along with 61 other posts. Post 7316 was the only North Carolina Post to receive the award: there are about 6400 VFW posts across the country and some foreign posts as well. The awards were given out at a luncheon where the Nation Commander-In-Chief spoke.
Post 7316 was recognized because of all the things done for the community in Caswell County by the local VFW Post. A major, continuing local project is the design and construction of 28 ramps for the elderly, handicapped, and Veterans built in 18 months. Keith Newcomer is the post member that has chaired the ramp project and he has been a tremendous help.
The post also does Veteran funerals, co-sponsor Memorial Day and Veterans Day, several members deliver Meals on Wheels, do the colors at high school graduation, several members are also on the committee to build a County Veteran’s Memorial also. The post also works with the middle school and high school with the Patriots Pen and Voice of Democracy essay contests and many small things to make our community better, we help promote patriotism across Caswell County.
Also at the VFW National Convention in Kansas City was Trace Adkins in concert. Convention speakers for the convention included Harris Faulkner from Fox News, Lt. Colonel Ollie North-National Rifle Association President, and the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump.
After the awards luncheon and business sessions on Tuesday Keith Newcomer and Post 7316 Commander Fred Smith, along with their wives started the journey home. They were beaming with pride as they were very proud to receive the award for their Yanceyville post. Commander Fred Smith commented, “We are a small post, but we are proud to work in our community to make our community better.”
In addition to the plaque given to the post, a road sign was also given. The Post will soon purchase four more signs from the National VFW Store, as the Town of Yanceyville has agreed to let Post 7316 install one at each gateway into town. The sign project will take a couple of months to complete. So, keep your eyes when you come thru Yanceyville. Look for them as you enter the town and check out the sign.
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.
“From a small seed, a mighty oak may grow.” – Aeschylus. That quote is very, very old, but the words ring true and there are countless examples of it in nature and in life.
For our little post, it is very true. We have accomplished much during our twenty plus years to support the community, promote Veterans of Foreign War Programs, assist veterans, and maintain our military traditions. Memorial Day is just one of those traditions.
Each year our Post members gathered at the Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery to place flags on each veteran’s grave. Later, we added a special Memorial Service after flag placement. Next, we added a Monday (Memorial Day) service, which was followed by the addition of a no-host breakfast for all veterans and their families after flag placement. Age gradually caught up with the core volunteers, so we enlisted the help of a few Scouts. The few became many, and another tradition was begun.
Local Memorial Day weekend events, that began with the efforts of a few of our earliest members, has ensured that Memorial Day and other Patriotic events flourished. We are honored to have been a catalyst for veterans activities and hope that you join us for flag placement at 6:30 am on Saturday, May 26th, at the Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery. You will marvel, as we do, at the veterans camaraderie and volunteers’ helpfulness. We’ll even give you a flag to place and the story behind the action.
There are lots of events coming to and going on in Chapel Hill, and all have their roots in the efforts of C V Cummings Chapel Hill Post 9100, Veterans of Foreign Wars. Watch our pages or follow us on FaceBook to see what events are happening in Chapel Hill over the Memorial Day Weekend.
“Before the Colors Fade” is the title of a story about six Chapel Hill Veterans who went to Arlington to help say a final “goodbye” to a friend and fellow soldier, Carl Fritz. I am reminded of that trip and the camaraderie that we shared in a chartered Greyhound Scenicruiser to Arlington, Washington, and the World War II Memorial. I am also reminded that we are losing more and more of the history of the Great War, The War to End All Wars, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, the Gulf and more.
We celebrate the living on Veterans Day. We remember the dead on Memorial Day. So, why not spend some time with a veteran on Veterans Day. Young or old, ask them to share a small part of their story. You will be glad you did. So will they.
Here is a story about two boys and an old sailor from the USS Yorktown. Watch it and you will understand.
There are lots of events in and around Chapel Hill, Durham, Hillsborough and Orange County. We hope that you will attend one or more of the local events.
We encourage you to join in at the Orange County Veterans Memorial for their commemorative event and to see the improvements on the memorial. We are completing the memorial in phases and as we raise the funds needed to complete it.
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.
Our Post is getting ready to join other veterans in our rural areas of northern Durham for the annual Caldwell July 4th Independence Day Parade. It is a fun event that reminds us of the small community parades that dotted America for many years. Caldwell is our favorite and we really enjoy the day and the parade.
If you are a Post member, a veteran, a family member or a friend of a veteran, we hope you will skip a day of shopping and join us as we salute our Nation. Our post will set up a couple of canopies and cooking equipment at the Caldwell Community Center at about 8:30 a.m. A number of our seniors will setup their folding chairs along the roadway by our encampment and relax as they await the parade that starts at 11 a.m.
At about 10 a.m. many of our veterans join the town (and neighboring community) marchers at the Caldwell Fire House (on Guess Rd). The community lines Guess Road from the firehouse to the community center. There are several places along Guess Rd to watch the parade. There is also a parking area near the community center.
The parade starts moving at 10:50 with veterans leading the parade. We will stop at the NC 57 and Guess Rd. intersection to wait for the 11 a.m. official start. This is when traffic is stopped and one lucky–and very surprised– motorist will be selected as this year’s Grand Marshal.
At exactly 11 a.m., the traffic is stopped on NC 57. Our Post Colors are lowered to highlight the National Ensign and the National Anthem is played. A bi-plane from the “Caldwell Air Force” flies overhead and you can feel the pride and respect swell as the community honors the veterans and their Country.
The parade then steps out led by veterans and heads north toward its end at the Caldwell Community Center about one mile up the road. We are the first to arrive and it is a grand site. Our wives and families cheer us on and take lots of pictures. We then join them for a snack and watch the parade go by. The parade lasts nearly an hour! Lots to see!
If you are a veteran, you are welcome to watch the parade from the grove of trees just before the community center. We have a family picnic during and after the parade. Our members bring a cold dish or dessert to share and our cooks prepare hot dogs for our members and guests.
Post 9100 welcomes all veterans to drop by the Post 9100 canopy to meet other area veterans and their families. Come on by and sit a spell.
On June 15th, 2017, a new day began for Rusty Edmister of Chapel Hill VFW Post 9100. It was a day of reflection in that on the day prior Rusty had completed another Oral History of a veteran–his 334th interview. No, that number is correct–334 individual interviews of service men and women.
With a miniature video camera, several extra tapes and a spare battery, he had headed off on June 14th to meet with a veteran. Rusty was on a quest. He often speaks of the many men and women he has met all over North Carolina and surrounding areas. Each has a unique story to tell. A story of their days, weeks, months, and maybe even years of military service.
He may receive a lead from a family member, another veteran, or through an encounter at a coffee shop, restaurant, civic event, or picnic. Veterans are everywhere, but not all of them wear a distinctive military or service ball cap, jacket, or mark their car with an “I’ve Served” bumper sticker. Wherever they are, Rusty is driven to meet them and tell them his story.
It’s the story of a retired IBM employee who served himself in the military. He had heard of a North Carolina Archives project to record oral histories and joined in that effort. He worked on it for more than a year and over 100 interviews. Now he continues his recordings, much like the fictional Songcatcher of North Carolina who scoured the mountains and hollers of North Carolina in a quest to record mountain music. The difference with Rusty is that his quest is very real and extremely important. It is a race against time and the impending loss of lives of our remaining World War II and Korean War veterans.
Each has a story to tell that will disappear with their passing. He “has to” capture their stories while there is time. Many children of those who served never really talk to their mother, father, sister or brother. Within the veteran there is a story, however slight, about their experiences. It may be about the time they were drafted and sent off to one of the hundreds of training centers, stations, and camps that dotted these United States of America. It might be the story of a volunteer that was rejected due to a medical condition before the war, but who was accepted once the draft call had his name on the local Draft Board’s list. Or, maybe, the story of a sailor who was sent off to a far away island to build an airfield or port in time to support arriving United States Marines working their way towards Japan. There are lots and lots of unrecorded stories.
But there is a worse story. It is the story of a son or grandchild who realizes that Pops, Gramps, Uncle Bill, or Aunt Stella passed away. They’ll be sitting on a porch, at a beach, be in school or at home, when the phone rings or they get a FaceBook or Twitter alert. Time does not wait and Rusty, as well as his fellow veterans, have heard the sorrowful stories of an opportunity unfulfilled. This is what drives Rusty and other veterans to record oral histories. Time will not wait. It’s time to capture another story.
Our Post is very proud to have Rusty Edmister as a member. He epitomizes the drive and dedication former servicemen or women have to make a difference in their community. We hope that you will contact Rusty Edmister and let him know that you know of a veteran with a story to tell. Rusty will drive most anywhere in the state (and neighboring states, too) to conduct the interview. He will also give the veteran multiple copies of the interview on DVDs (one for the veteran and each of his or her family members), and will ensure a copy is placed in a historical reference library or archive.
The cost? Nothing. Not a penny. Rusty receives his reward in knowing that he made a difference and that he was able to save a little bit of the history of one who served his Country. You can email Rusty by clicking here.