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.
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.
Each year our post members brave wind, cold, rain, and maybe even a little snow as they hand out Buddy Poppies in downtown Chapel Hill. They do it to raise money for programs that benefit veterans, their families and homeless. Watch for us on each Carolina game day at the Old Chapel Hill Post Office on Franklin Street. Our first date is September 17th and we will be there from noon to about 3:30 pm.
We are asked about the story behind the Buddy Poppy and we are getting pretty good at sharing the history of the VFW Buddy Poppy. We found a video on the Buddy Poppy that can be viewed by you, shared in a school class or assembly, or viewed at a civic function or other event. We want to remind everyone that over 400,000 men and women of these United States have perished in wars since, and including, World War I. Many hundreds of thousands returned home with war wounds. You can help us share America’s story. Afterall, how can we understand who we are, if we do not share, remember, and honor the sacrifices of American men and women?
Won’t you share the story of the Buddy Poppies in your community? And, when you see a veteran giving away a Buddy Poppy, thank them and proudly wear the Buddy Poppy. If you can, make a donation to their Veterans Relief Fund.
We 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
Each year our post holds a raffle to raise money for our Veterans Relief Fund. The raffle has two purposes. One is to raise money for veterans assistance. The other it to show the local community that we have an active and vibrant group of veterans by meeting and greeting passersby in beautiful downtown Chapel Hill.
We are proud to announce that our raffle was a great success. We sold every available ticket and we thank everyone who participated, especially our Carolina Alumni.
The drawing for the pair of season tickets for Tar Heel Men’s Basketball for the 2015-2016 season was held this afternoon. There were 300 tickets in the tub from which the winner was drawn. The winner was Lee Heavlin, a career Navy veteran from Carrboro who finished his career as the Administrative Officer for the Navy ROTC Unit on campus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
$3000 was raised from our raffle ticket sales. We can’t begin to tell you how important it is for our Chapel Hill VFW Post to help needy veterans who come to us for financial assistance. The fund into which the raffle ticket money went is our source for that help. We call it our Veterans Relief Fund.
Other money that goes into that fund is what we raise from our Buddy Poppy efforts. This is a nationwide VFW program to raise money for veteran assistance. You may see men and women in front of grocery stores or “big box” retailers, especially around Veterans Day, giving away small red and green flowers. These poppies are made by disabled veterans and are given to people by VFW members to remind them of the sacrifices made by members of our military. Donations are gladly accepted but not requested from those to whom the poppies are given. Again, every penny raised goes into the fund from which assistance is provided to veterans in financial need who approach the local VFW Post.
If you are a parent, you know the value of a scholarship. You probably searched for one just as your child was about to graduate. However, did you realize that the Veterans of Foreign Wars has two scholarship programs that can provide as much as $30,000 as a top prize?
Veterans of Foreign Wars scholarships are available, but you must enter one of two national contests to have a chance to win. Local winners receive an award certificate and a small cash prize. All Chapel Hill first place winners go on to be considered in district and state competitions One district winner from each contest represents the VFW Department of North Carolina in national competition.
The Voice of Democracy scholarship program is an audio-essay contest for high school students in grades 9-12. Each year Voice of Democracy provides more than $3 million in scholarships nationwide. The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. Other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000 and the first-place winner from each (State) VFW Department wins an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
The deadline for submissions for the 2015-2016 program is November 1, 2015. Download the entry form for 2015-2016 by clickinghere. The theme is: “My Vision for America”. Learn more
Patriot’s Pen is a youth-essay writing contest that gives students in grades 6-8 the opportunity to write essays expressing their views on democracy. The Patriot’s Pen program is open to students in grades 6-8 (on the Nov. 1 deadline), who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial school or home study program in the United States and its territories. Annually, more than 100,000 students from grades 6-8 (nationwide) enter. One first-place winner from each state competes to win one of 46 national awards totaling $46,000. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in March. Students draft a 300-400 word essay, expressing their views based on an — always patriotic — annual theme.
The deadline for submissions for the 2015-2016 program is November 1, 2015. Download the entry form for 2015-2016 here.
The theme for 2015-2016 is: “What Freedom Means to Me”
Entry length is 300-400 words. Shorter or longer essays are disqualified.
Submit both sides of the contest form.
Both programs are open to private and home-school students. Contest submissions are due to the Chapel Hill VFW Post no later than November 1, 2015. Contact the post at 919-741-5183 for assistance. Visitwww.vfw.org/Youth/ for full contest details and application forms.
EVENT DATE CHANGE – Due to severe weather conditions, this event has been rescheduled for February 26th. Same time and location as previously announced.
The Veterans of Fearrington are presenting a program For everyone interested in military history and Vietnam. It is Thursday, February 19, 2015, at the Gathering Place at 7:30 pm.
Mr. Patrick Shea, a former Captain, US Marine Corps, and combat veteran of the Viet Nam war, who will speak on “The Viet Nam War; a Retrospective, 47 Years Later”
Mr. Shea is a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill and a football letterman on the ‘66 and ‘67 teams. After three years in the Marine Corps, he had a distinguished career in the US Drug Enforcement Administration. All are welcome to attend, veterans or non-veterans. Club contact is Ken Samuelson 919-542-0674
We were visited by students from East Chapel Hill High School last month. They are returning to Normandy for a second visit and a chance to participate in the 70th D-Day Commemoration ceremony at the American Cemetery. This is the final formal event for the series that has been continuous for 70 years.
They returned to the post this week to thank us for our support and to receive a check from the post. The students arrived excited and motivated. They were surprised about and most appreciative of our Post’s support.
The teens arrived with a bucket of fried chicken and a large sheet cake to say “Thanks.” They also gave us an update on the status of their project.
They were able to generate funding for travel of each of the six students, raised over $1,500 through a student fundraiser, interviewed a few veterans who are candidates for travel with their group with them as their escort, have contacted other groups for support, and have been working with the French Consulate for additional support. Ms. Robin McMahan stated that our early support and enthusiastic support made a big difference. As a veterans group, our financial and moral support helped a lot to create team excitement.
Richard Rawling, Post 9100 Commander, presented the students with a check for $500.
The students also mentioned that they wrote a letter to the editor of the Chapel Hill News (News & Observer). In part it said,
“Thank You, VFW! We wish to publicly give our thanks to VFW Post 9100 in Chapel Hill. … We recently had the privilege of sharing our mission with the VFW Post 9100 C.V. Cummings Post while also learning about some of the sacrifices made by these veterans for our country. The VFW Post 9100 members also made a very generous financial contribution toward our project, while also sharing their stories and experiences which have helped us get a more robust view of the brave men and women around us.” It appeared in the March 9, 2014 edition of Chapel Hill News. Read the complete letter at Chapel Hill News.
The students did more than promote their program. They motivated and encouraged our post members. Through them, we could see that our efforts within the community are continuing to make a difference. Our efforts are working and our town is a better place because we–The Veterans of Foreign Wars–are here promoting veterans programs, supporting veterans, and are working to promote patriotism in our town and schools.
A Chapel Hill Middle School French language teacher brought language to life by taking a group of eighth grade students to France and the beaches of Normandy. We found out about her project this year as she prepares to take a group of East Chapel Hill High School students back to France for the 70th and final annual commemoration ceremony at the American Cemetery in Normandy.
Here is part of her story as she shared the goals of this year’s project. “I am a middle school teacher in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, who has traveled to the American Cemetery in Normandy with thirty students since 2009. My students stay with families in Liege, Belgium, but an important piece of history, sacrifice and honor, is best learned when they walk Omaha Beach, visit the American Cemetery, and imagine the effects of war at Pointe du Hoc. While in Belgium, my students also visit Henri Chapelle and discuss the impact of WWII in French with their host families.
A group of six students, who are now juniors in high school ( 17 years old), would like to return to Normandy and volunteer to help with the 70th D-Day celebration. They are students who traveled with me in 2011 and who have a deep interest in honoring our veterans. These incredible young people have had relatives and close friends fight in WWII and another hopes to be a history teacher and travel abroad with students. All these students are doing very well in school, have achieved numerous honors and speak French well. Would you have any opportunities for them to volunteer for this event?” Robin McMahon,French teacher/ Smith Middle School, Chapel Hill, NC.
The students were invited to our post dinner meeting in February and they were greeted and welcomed by veterans from all conflicts going back to World War II. They met an Iwo Jima survivor, an Army Scout from the the Battle of the Bulge, Korean War vets, Vietnam Vets, Iraqi Freedom vets and more. They shared their project and our vets shared some of their experiences, life stories, and what they do now. They were eager listeners and so were we.
Our army scout and Battle of the Bulge survivor is Mark Sumner. Mark was awarded the French Legion of Honour in 2008. He is also a candidate to join the students as their guest to France where he will be able to attend the commemorative ceremonies. The students are raising funds so that they can take several D-Day participants with them, to include some veterans who fought in France.
These students, and their teacher, touched our hearts and we were honored to be able to assist them with their project. We donated $500, but we also decided to assist them as they reached out to local businesses and citizens as they told their story and sought financial support.
We will follow the students as they prepare for their journey, travel in France, and create their stories and presentations on return. We are very proud of these young students. We hope you are, too. For more information and to contribute, visit their website at: http://gettingtoknoweurope.org/nc-to-normandy/