Feb 09 2019

Occoquan’s 2019 Military Tribute Banner Program

Occoquan Mayor Porta cordially invites residents, businesses, friends, and visitors to Occoquan to once again sponsor a banner honoring a U.S. military veteran. Last year’s inaugural program, a partnership between the Town and VFW Post 7916, was a huge success that we hope to repeat in 2019. The banners will be proudly and prominently displayed throughout the Town of Occoquan from Memorial Day to Veterans Day. If you are interested in honoring your family member, ancestor, or friend for their military service, visit the Town’s website at http://www.occoquanva.gov or stop by All-American VFW Post 7916 or Town Hall for more information.


Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/va/dist10/uncategorized/occoquans-2019-military-tribute-banner-program/

Jan 09 2019

Occoquan Post 7916 Recognized by US Army 101st Airborne Division, Task Force Shadow (Deployed)

January 8, 2019, Occoquan, VA.  VFW Post 7916 received a very special award and         recognition for its work in supporting our troops deployed overseas.  Known as the         “Phantoms” Charlie Company, 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, Task Force           Shadow, received multiple crates of “goodies” from VFW Post 7916 for the holidays.        In the crates were all kinds of foodstuffs, candy, canned goods, towels, and much          more. In appreciation the Phantoms flew a US Flag on a combat mission to be 
presented to VFW Post 7916. 

Accompanying the US Flag was the Operation Resolute Support certificate with a            citation that read:

“This American Flag was flown by the “Phantoms” Charlie Company 5th Battalion 101st Aviation Regiment, Task Force Shadow.  It flew onboard a UH-60M Blackhawk during a combat mission over Bagram, Afghanistan on November 11, 2018.  Let all who look upon this flag see it as a symbol of freedom, liberty, and remembrance for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”  This flag is presented to  VFW POST 7916

Signed: CW2 Scott Dubay Pilot-in-Command, CW2 Travis Gilbertson Pilot, SPC William Dennen Crew Chief, SPC Desmond Faulkner, Door Gunner.  Of note: The Pilot-in-Command, Scott Dubay, is a Life Member of VFW Post 7916.

Post 7916 Auxiliary has been sending gifts to troops deployed overseas for several decades.  Receiving the award for Post 7916 was Post Senior Vice Commander Nick Roper, and Past Post Auxiliary President Nancy Huff.  Presenting the award was Chuck Wilson, who is Past VFW District 10 Commander and the Past VFW Post 7916 Commander.




Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/va/dist10/uncategorized/occoquan-post-7916-recognized-by-us-army-101st-airborne-division-task-force-shadow-deployed/

Dec 25 2018

Christmastime at the Air and Space Museum

Christmas weekend 2018 at the National Air and Space Museum: Dulles.  Holiday cheer prevailed at the museum with trained volunteer docents providing lectures on artifacts and aviation history this season.  Many of the docents are military veterans who share their experience with the multitudes who visit. Thousands of spectators come each year to see the artifacts and festivities.

Past VFW District 10 Commander (2017-18) Chuck Wilson, is a volunteer docent and lecturer at NASM who worked with a group of 30 guests this past Christmas weekend.  Shown above is Wilson with daughter Christina Dubay and granddaughter Charlize who came along for the 1.5 hour briefing.  Her husband, CWO Scott Dubay, is a US Army Blackhawk Pilot, life member of VFW Post 7916, who is deployed to Afghanistan until next summer.  Scott and Christina are based at Fort Campbell Kentucky.

VFW Virginia District 10 is the largest in Virginia with over 8,000 members.  For 2017-18, Virginia District 10 achieved #1 in Division 1, worldwide.  For the details see this link: D10 #1 Worldwide


Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/va/dist10/uncategorized/christmastime-at-the-air-and-space-museum/

Dec 15 2018

Leadership: A Christmas Prayer 1944

Reposted by popular interest.

December 16th, is the 74th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. It was the Christmas season of 1944, and the Battle of the Bulge was in rage. The then Lieutenant General George Patton was maneuvering Third Army in adverse winter weather.  While the  reports on this vary, here is a summary of what many consider a miracle: 

“At 11 a.m. on the morning of Dec. 8, Patton phoned the Head Chaplain of the Third Army, Father James O’Neill , a Catholic priest. “This is General Patton; do you have a good prayer for weather? We must do something about those rains if we are to win the war” According to Father O’Neill

By Dec. 16, 1944, three NAZI armies of Germany were amassed, consisting of thirteen Panzer and Infantry divisions made up of an estimated 200,000-300,000 men. An enormous surprise attack ensued against the Allies in the Ardennes Forest area of Belgium, France, and Luxembourg. Being caught off-guard, the Allies were hard-pressed to keep their lines from breaking under the intense assault.
Bastogne was a town in Southern Belgium of immense strategic importance as eight roads crossed there. Six NAZI Panzer divisions were on a mad rush to occupy it, but the night before, in sub-zero temperature, American troops of the 101st Airborne were trucked in to hold it.

The German commander Heinrich Freiherr von Luttwitz demanded surrender:
“To the U.S.A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne: The fortune of war is changing. This time the U.S.A. forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units there is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note. If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A.A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hours term. All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well-known American humanity.
– The German Commander.”
On Dec. 22, 1944, U.S. Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe answered:
“To the German Commander.
– The American Commander.”
This unusual response was a surprise for the NAZI commander. But then the Nazis attacked – over 50,000 Nazis assaulted the 15,000 Americans.

After eight days, the Americans were nearly out of ammunition. Marching to their rescue was General George Patton who pulled Third Army out of battle and redirected a hundred mile march to Bastogne, in the winter storm. But Third Army needed Air cover and the weather was too atrocious. The date for the attack was but a few days away, but foul weather threatened to postpone the attack.  

Father James O’Neill


And getting back to the dialog between Gen Patton and Father O’Neill : The often profane and tempestuous Patton, who was known for reading the Bible almost daily, and the humble, mild-mannered priest engaged in a lengthy discussion of the importance of prayer.


“Chaplain, how much praying is being done in the Third Army?” inquired the general.
“Does the general mean by chaplains, or by the men?” asked O’Neill.
“By everybody,” Patton replied.
” I am afraid to admit it, but I do not believe much praying is going on,” responded O’Neill. “When there is fighting, everyone prays, but now with this constant rain – when things are quiet, dangerously quiet, men just sit and wait for things to happen. Prayer out here is difficult. Both chaplains and men are removed from a special building with a steeple. Prayer to most of them is a formal, ritualized affair, involving special posture and a liturgical setting. I do not believe that much praying is being done.” (Father O’Neill writes)

“Chaplain, I am a strong believer in prayer,” said Patton. “There are three ways that men get what they want; by planning, by working, and by Praying. Any great military operation takes careful planning, or thinking. Then you must have well-trained troops to carry it out: that’s working. But between the plan and the operation there is always an unknown. That unknown spells defeat or victory, success or failure. It is the reaction of the actors to the ordeal when it actually comes. Some people call that getting the breaks; I call it God. God has His part, or margin in everything. That’s where prayer comes in.” (Father O’Neill)  

The taciturn O’Neill told Patton that he would research the topic and report back to him within an hour. After this discussion, O’Neill looked out at the immoderate rains which had plagued the Third Army’s operations for the past three months. As he searched through his prayer books, he could find no formal prayers pertaining to weather so he composed an original prayer, which he typed on a note card:”

    “Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend, Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen.”
     On the reverse side, Patton wrote, “To each officer and soldier in the Third United States Army, I wish a Merry Christmas. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We march in our might to complete victory. May God’s blessings rest upon each of you on this Christmas Day. – G.S. Patton, Jr., Lt. Gen. Commanding, Third United States Army.” This card was sent to the soldiers of Third Army. They prayed.

Miraculously, the weather cleared and the planes gave air support. General Patton’s troops punched through the Nazi lines to rescue the exhausted 101st Airborne and thwart the Nazi advance. The Battle of the Bulge continued through much of January 1945, and less than four months later Hitler committed suicide and the Nationalsozialismus  (National Socialist Workers Party-NAZI) surrendered.

The Battle of the Bulge was the largest and bloodiest battle fought by the U.S. during World War II. It involved as many as 610,000 Americans, 55,000 British, and 72,000 Free French along Europe’s Western Front for nearly 40 days. There were about 89,000 American casualties and over 100,000 German casualties. My father fought in that battle, and, just prior to that battle, my maternal Grandfather, PFC Cleatus Chapman, was killed there, and buried in the American Cemetery Epinal, France.  

This Christmas we must remember that we still have Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines in Harm’s way and to keep them in our prayers.

Do have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

CHUCK WILSON (click for info)

Patton in discussion with McAuliffe after Bastogne was saved.




Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/va/dist10/uncategorized/leadership-a-christmas-prayer-1944/

Nov 11 2018



Veterans Day History – It was on June 28, 1919, when World War I has officially ended with the Treaty of Versailles in the Palace of Versailles in France. The fighting between the two continued for another seven months which got ended with armistice or a peace agreement between the Allied nations and Germany on the 11th hour of the 11th month on November 11. Thereafter the day was commemorated as the Armistice Day on November 11 which was dedicated as a day to remind nations to seek peaceful relationships between one another. In the year 1954, America once again survived with another major war World war II and the Korean War which saw the greatest mobilization of the U.S Army, Air Force, and Navy Marines in the nation’s history. So at the 83rd Congress, it was decided to reinstate Armistice Day as Veteran Day to honor the Veterans of all wars where President Eisenhower signed the legislation on 1st June 1954

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day Proclamation” which stated: “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.”

President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day. From left: Alvin J. King, Wayne Richards, Arthur J. Connell, John T. Nation, Edward Rees, Richard L. Trombla, Howard W. Watts 

On that same day, President Eisenhower sent a letter to the Honorable Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), designating him as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.

In 1958, the White House advised VA’s General Counsel that the 1954 designation of the VA Administrator as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee applied to all subsequent VA Administrators. Since March 1989 when VA was elevated to a cabinet level department, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has served as the committee’s chairman.

The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.

The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

                                                                                 CHUCK WILSON

                                                                                                           Commander District 10, 2017-18

Sources:  Veterans Administration.com, History.com, veteransdaycrafts.com

Veterans Administration.com, History.com, veteransdaycrafts.com



Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/va/dist10/uncategorized/happy-veterans-day/

Nov 09 2018

11 AM Sunday November 11 Veterans Day Ceremony at Quantico National Cemetery


Veterans Day at Quantico National Cemetery:: On Sunday November 11, 2018 we will be celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice signed ending WWI, the “war to end all wars.”  That day in 1918, on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, the armistice was signed.  

Conducted by the Potomac Region Veterans Council, This Sunday, at 11:00 AM, the ceremony will commence at Quantico National Cemetery. The public is invited.

U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and two tour Vietnam veteran General John P. Jumper (Ret) former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, is the guest speaker.

General Jumper was the commander of U.S. Central Command Air Forces during operations Northern and Southern Watch, and the commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe during Operation Allied Force. His tour as Chief of Staff has spanned operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He is a command pilot with more than 5,000 flying hours, including 1,400 combat hours in 15 aircraft.

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/va/dist10/uncategorized/11-am-sunday-november-11-veterans-day-ceremony-at-quantico-national-cemetery/

Nov 05 2018

VOTE on November 6th!!

Exercise your right: VOTE on November 6th!!

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/va/dist10/uncategorized/vote-on-november-6th/

Oct 21 2018

Home Depot, DHS, 29 Diner & VFW Post 7916 Assist Disabled Veteran

October 18, 2018, Burke, VA. – Last year, US Army Veteran, and VFW Post 7916 member, Ken Strafer (LtCol USAR Ret) fell from a four-foot wall while working in his back yard.  The fall broke bones in his left arm along with causing serious abdominal and leg injuries.  Strafer was incapacitated and hospitalized for six months after the fall.  Still having difficulty walking, his home needed adjustments and repairs, along with his yard needing a complete overhaul. 


Upon hearing of Strafer’s serious issues, VFW Post 7916, located in Occoquan, VA, contacted Home Depot for assistance. Home Depot often comes to the aid of veterans in need, and in this case, they did!  A site survey was conducted, and the project was approved with a $12,000.00 grant by the Home Depot Foundation and Team Depot.  Plans were drawn up with a date of Oct 18 set for the operation.  


On that date, an army of Home Depot volunteer associates, volunteers from the Department of Homeland Security, and veteran members of VFW Post 7916 came to help US Army veteran, in need. Their weapon: hammers, paint-brushes, chainsaws, picks, shovels, and boundless energy! Their mission: improve the physical infrastructure and install new appliances in the home, along with clearing trees and overgrown shrubs from his yard.  See before and after pictures below.

Following a day of patriotic volunteerism, this Army veteran Ken Strafer’s home, and yard, was transformed thanks to Team Home Depot, DHS, and VFW Post 7916 located in Occoquan VA. “To have Home Depot, and all the volunteers, accomplish this tremendous work is amazing and a blessing!” said Army Veteran Ken Strafer.

 The Strafer home is about 150 years old and dates back to before the Civil War.

The historic “29 Diner” catered a fabulous BBQ lunch for all 39 volunteers.  “29 Diner” is a great supporter of US veterans and frequently caters their meals. 

 About the Home Depot Foundation and Team Depot

Team Depot is comprised of an army of over 300,000 associates who are committed to supporting local communities. Team Depot is particularly committed to improving the lives of U.S. Military Veterans and their families. Through the Team Depot Foundation, thousands of Home Depot Associates dedicate their time and talent in the communities where they live and work. For more information, visit https://corporate.homedepot.com/community


About Hawkins-Reeve VFW Post 7916

Chartered in 1946, VFW Post 7916 is a non-profit, veterans’ service organization, whose membership is fraternal, patriotic, historical, charitable, and educational as we strive to preserve and strengthen Americanism, Community Service, and care for our veterans -including active duty, retired, honorably discharged, and their families. For more information, visit us at http://www.vfwpost7916.org or call 703-491-1884

About “29 Diner”

The 29 Diner is a diner in Fairfax, Virginia, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  The diner is located near the intersection of Route 29 (Lee Highway) and Virginia State Route 123.  For more information see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/29_Diner


More Pictures:


BY: CHUCK WILSON, past Commander District 10, 2017-18

Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/va/dist10/uncategorized/home-depot-dhs-29-diner-vfw-post-7916-assist-disabled-veteran/

Oct 06 2018

Anderson Named Chairman Potomac Region Veterans Council

RICH ANDERSON , Colonel, USAF, Ret., was elected as Chairman of the Potomac Region Veterans Council (PRVC).  Anderson is the former Delegate to Virginia’s 51st District and is a Life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, and the Disabled American Veterans.  Rich Anderson replaces outgoing PRVC Chairman CHUCK WILSON , Colonel USAF, Ret., who is the past VFW District 10 Commander & Post 7916 Commander.   

The Potomac Region Veterans Council (PRVC) was formed in June 1972 to coordinate and promote the common good of veterans of the Northern Virginia area and to honor our fallen comrades on Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day. The Council today represents over 15,000 veterans in 29 different veterans’ organizations. 

The Council proudly sponsors the “Avenue of Honor” at Quantico National Cemetery. The Avenue of Honor is erected every Memorial Day and Veterans Day and is made up entirely of flags donated by families of deceased veterans. The original design for the “Avenue of Honor” included only 80 flag poles. Today over 200 flags are flown. The project continues to expand from the main gate to every corner of the cemetery. 

The Council is in the planning stages for the November 11 Veterans Day Ceremony at Quantico National Cemetery with the ceremony beginning with the USMC Band providing a musical prelude at 10:30. The public is invited.

(click on above names for biographies)


Permanent link to this article: http://myvfw.org/va/dist10/uncategorized/anderson-named-chairman-potomac-region-veterans-council/

Sep 18 2018


     Between 1909 — when that the US military purchased its first aircraft — and 1947, the US Air Force did not exist as a separate and independent military service organization. It went through a series of designations: Aeronautical Section, Signal Corps (1909); Aviation Section, Signal Corps (1914); United States Army Air Service (1918); United States Army Air Corps (1926), and United States Army Air Forces (1941).
     WWII illustrated the value of airpower, and the need to change the basic organization of the US Military Forces.  The result was the creation of a single Department of Defense with a strong Joint Chiefs of Staff with Army, Navy, and Air Force chiefs.  In 1947 President Truman signed the National Security Act which established this new defense organization, and along with it the creation of the US Air Force as an independent service, equal to the US Army and US Navy.  The official birthday of the US Air Force is 18 September 1947.
                             AIM HIGH-FLY-FIGHT-AND WIN!!

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