Commander Youngblood here:
Busy month upcoming. We have just completed two District 5 events: the District Picnic and Convention where new officers were elected for next year; and the Cinco de Mayo Dinner fundraiser (funds for the District’s hospitality suite at the Department Convention).
Saturday, 7 May, is the VFW’s inaugural Day of Service across the nation. We will be participating by coming together to clean up the Lee’s Summit Historical Cemetery. Come down to the Post at 0945 hours on Saturday morning. We will then proceed to the Cemetery at 1000 hours, and will commence to clean up the outside of the Cemetery, will check all the brackets on the fence posts in preparation for Memorial Day Weekend, will walk the Cemetery grounds cleaning up around headstones, especially the flat ones (parallel to the ground). For these, the mowers pass right over, but leave clippings and leaves over them. Some headstones, especially the older ones, need some loving care as they haven’t aged well. We will try to clean them. Bring your soft bristled brushes, and spray bottles with mild detergent/cleaner in them. We will let Lee’s Summit know Veterans are a large part of the community, and are #StillServing.
11 May is our meeting night. While our regular meeting starts at 1900 hours (the Auxiliary will have their meeting at the same time in their meeting space), at 1800 hours, the Color Guard/Honor Guard will hold a meeting in Irwin Hall. During our regular meeting, we will do the Installation Ceremony for our new officers for next year. Congratulations to our incoming Commander, Comrade Larry Phillips.
From 19 May through 30 May, the American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT) will have their Traveling Wall down at the WWI Memorial in Kansas City.
On 21 May, we have another fundraiser for the District. It is a Meat Shoot (same as a Turkey Shoot, but using a bb-gun instead of a shotgun). This event will be held at Post 1000 in Independence (address is 1002 Independence Avenue). It will run from 1000 hours to approximately 1600 hours. There will be at least one shoot (multiple shoots through the period) that will be for youth. Young people can also shoot in the adult shoots, but adults will not be able to shoot in the Youth Shoot. Grand Prize will be a new BB Gun.
On 26 May, we will begin staging the flag poles at the Lee’s Summit Historical Cemetery. We will meet at the Post at 1600 hours, load up poles, and transport them to the Cemetery. Need physical laborer’s for this portion. If you remember, the poles need to be carried from the trailer to the fence posts (2 per fence post with a bracket).
On 27 May, we will post the Flags at the Cemetery, beginning at 1800 hours. We will meet at the Post at 1700 hours to load up the flags to transport them to the Cemetery. Chuck Stephenson and his wife Reis have worked hard to get these ready for us. Chuck will spearhead the effort on getting the flags posted. Judy Bishop will coordinate with her contacts in the Auxiliary for the Scouts to help with the posting of headstone flags. A large thank you to our Eagle Scout (Danniele) for all her effort in getting pvc pipes at all Veteran headstones.
On 30 May, at 0800 hours, we will conduct our annual Memorial Day Ceremony at the Flag Pole at Lee’s Summit Historical Cemetery. I will coordinate with the Commander of the American Legion, Post 189 in Lee’s Summit to have their Honor Guard there. We will provide the Color Guard and the speakers. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend. Please wear your VFW covers. This is an opportunity for each and every one of us to pay our respects and honor those Veterans that have gone on before us.
Also on 30 May, at 1700 hours, we will take down the posted flags at the Cemetery, and return them to the Post building. In addition, we will take down the flag poles and return them to the basement. Again, physical laborers needed!!! We will meet at the Post at 1645 to load up empty tubs (to be refilled with flags), and head over to the Cemetery.
On 2 June, our Department Convention in St. Louis begins. Everyone is invited to attend. This convention runs through 5 June, with our Department level new officers being elected and installed.
On 14 June, we will support the Korean War Veterans Commission on the Flag Day Ceremony, to be held at the Korean War Memorial in Kansas City. This will involve picking up chairs (approx. 200, at Post 3976 probably), transporting them to the Memorial and setting them up, helping VIP;s and others to their seats, and traffic/parking control. At the end, we will recover the chairs and transport them back to where they came from.
During the period of 16-21 July, the VFW will hold their National Convention in Kansas City. We still have delegate spots open if your are interested in attending. This will be a full-blown convention, unlike the last couple of years with limited conventions due to medical restrictions. If you are interested in working on any committees, please contact us. Specifically, Larry Phillips is running the transportation committee and looking for drivers; and Eric Sullivan is running registration and looking for volunteers to assist there.
This is my last newsletter as your Commander. I will repeat some of this at the meeting on the 11th, but I want to personally thank each and every one of you for your support over the last three years as your Commander. It was a challenging time, as many changes had to take place on the fly, but you came through and made everything successful. While I may stand up and take the recognition, it wasn’t me that made it happen, it was YOU! My head is bowed as I say again, Thank You for all your support!