Local and National Items are included -- Most recent is first.
VA Exploring Alternative Treatments for TBI and PTSD
WASHINGTON (December 8, 2017) — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it will use two innovative treatments to ease the everyday challenges associated with living with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“We know that for a small group of Veterans, a traditional approach to health care may not be the most effective,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “This is particularly true with certain chronic medical and mental health conditions. For Veterans who don’t improve, we have to look for innovative, evidence-based approaches that may help them restore and maintain their health and well-being.”
Veterans with a history of mild to moderate TBI now have access to light emitting diode (LED) therapy contained in a lightweight frame that is placed on the head and a clip placed inside the nose. Results of some studies show that LED improves brain function including attention and memory, emotions, and sleep. LED therapy has begun at the VA Boston Healthcare System, Jamaica Plain campus, this month. LED also is available for Veterans to use in their homes.
Providers at the Long Beach VA Medical Center have begun using stellate ganglion block (SGB) to treat Veterans with PTSD symptoms. SGB is safe and may ease PTSD symptoms, such as the feelings of anxiety and constantly being on alert. It involves an injection, or shot, of medication into the neck to decrease the symptoms of PTSD.
VA remains a world leader in the development and use of innovative therapies, such as telehealth, yoga and other approaches to improve health and well-being.
For more information about other emerging therapies aimed at enhancing Veterans’ physical and mental well-being, visit VA’s Center for Compassionate Innovation at: https://www.va.gov/
Local Legionnaire Receives National Honor
(Grandview, WA – September 28, 2017): Local Legionnaire Robert Gates received a bit of a surprise during the National Convention of The American Legion last month in Reno, Nevada.
Gates, who is the Commander of Grandview’s Fred E. Hayes Post 57 of The American Legion, was inducted into ANAVICUS during their annual breakfast at the National Convention.
ANAVICUS, which stands for Army, Navy, Air Force Veterans in Canada – United States Unit, is something of an honor society for prominent Legionnaires. Membership is not limited, but tends to be restricted to those individuals with a list of achievements in service to the Legion, community, state and nation.
The organization, which is a Canadian veterans organization, recognizes they and The American Legion share common ideals regarding national security, care for veterans and military members, service to the community and patriotism as well as service to youth. As such, they seek to honor prominent Legionnaires who stand for these values.
Gates was nominated for membership based on his achievements with the local Post as well as his service on a District and State level with the Legion. His class of inductees included Wayne Elston of Benton City, who was honored for his service as State Commander.
“I was surprised to be nominated but much honored to be listed in their ranks,” Gates said. “I did get warning about the honor simply because I was attending the National Convention and told I had a breakfast to attend,” he added, “but the nomination process was completely hidden from me.”
Gates joins his Post’s Adjutant, Jim Davidson, who was inducted into the group several years ago at the end of his term as State Commander for The American Legion.
POW/MIA Flag Display
Effective July 23, 2017, HB 1204 regarding the days to display the POW/MIA flag requires that "Each public entity must display the national league of families' POW/MIA flag along with the flag of the United States and the flag of the state upon or near the principal building of the public entity…" A "public entity" as used in this legislation "means every state agency, including each institution of higher education, and every county, city, and town." The flag must be displayed on the following dates:
- March 30 (Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day)
- April 9 (Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day)
- Third Saturday in May (Armed Forces Day)
- Last Monday in May (Memorial Day)
- June 14 (Flag Day)
- July 4 (Independence Day)
- July 27 (National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day)
- Third Friday in September (National POW/MIA Recognition Day)
- November 11 (Veterans' Day)
- December 7 (Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day)
If the designed day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then the POW/MIA flag must be displayed on the preceding Friday.
Public Works Honored for Support of Veteran Ceremonies
(Grandview, WA – June 29, 2017): Grandview’s Public Works Department was recognized for their support of Memorial Day and Wreaths Across America events in Grandview during the regular meeting of the Grandview City Council on June 27th.
Members of Grandview’s Fred E. Hayes Post 57 of The American Legion were present to watch Post Commander Robert Gates present a certificate of appreciation to the Grandview Public Works Department. The certificate was presented to honor the hard work all the employees have done for Memorial Day and Wreaths Across America. “They have worked very hard to prepare the cemetery for Memorial Day and Wreaths Across America and we did not want their efforts to go unrecognized,” Gates said. Council members agreed that Grandview’s Cemetery was the best looking of all in the Lower Valley due to their efforts.
Another award was also presented during the meeting. Commander Gates presented The American Legion Bronze Medal to Public Works employee Hector Mejia for his outstanding selfless and cheerful service during the two events every year. “There is nothing that is too much to ask of Hector,” Gates said. “He volunteers to work both events and works hard to make sure everything is perfect.”
Commander Gates presents Certificate of Appreciation to represetantives of Grandview Public Works (L-R), Hector Mejia, Scott Smotherman and Santos Trevino.
The local Post’s membership voted to present the awards during their regular June meeting, noting that Mejia had gone far and above what the community could have expected.
Legion Announces American Legion School Awards
(June 14, 2017, Grandview, WA) Grandview’s American Legion Post 57 has announced the recipients of The American Legion School Award for students in Grandview schools.
The prestigious American Legion School Award is a national award that may be presented by local American Legion Posts. It seeks to recognize graduating students with six specific traits of courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship and service. It is presented to a boy and girl from each graduating class in each school.
“Because students must possess each of the six traits, it often is not awarded to top academic achievers,” said local Post Commander Robert Gates. “We have had several students who were stunned they received the award since they view themselves as invisible in their class,” Gates added. “It is fun to watch their surprise. We thought one was going to pass out.”
The award consists of a certificate and large gold display medallion. “We tell the honorees to display that medallion the rest of their lives,” said Gates. “It is widely recognized and respected across the United States.”
Grandview High School recipients were Andreanna Cervantes and Manuel Arias Silva. Honorable mention certificates were presented to Alfonso Granados and Areesa Trevino.
Grandview Middle School recipients were Lauren Vargas and Hector Garcia. Honorable mention certificates were presented to Fernando Medina and Jazzell Tovar.
Thompson School recipients were Luis Vaquera and Liliana Espindola. An Honorable mention certificate went to Cooper Kleinow.
McClure School recipients were Sophia Gonzales and Logan Williams. The school was also presented with a plaque as the top school fundraiser for the Post’s Penny-a-Day program, a portion of which is used to fund these awards.
Smith School recipients were Esmeralda Ochoa and Daniel DeRobles. Honorable mention certificates were presented to Kiley Smith, Jessica Barajas, Emily Baltazar and Brandon Montelongo.
There were no nominees from Compass High School this year.
“As far as we can determine, we are the only Post in most of Central Washington that is presenting this award to students in their community. That is unfortunate, but it makes the award all that more special,” Gates said.
Grandview Boys State and Girls State Delegates Announced
(April 5, 2017, Grandview WA) Four Grandview High School students have been selected to attend Evergreen Boys State and Evergreen Girls State by Grandview’s Fred E. Hayes Post 57 of The American Legion and Unit 57 of The American Legion Auxiliary.
Abraham Cena-Avina, a junior at Grandview High School, was recently selected as a Delegate for Boys State by members of the local Post. He will attend Evergreen Boys State at Warm Beach Conference Center near Stanwood the week of June 18th.
“We are happy that Abraham applied,” said Robert Gates, Commander of the local Post. “Last year, we had no representative from Grandview, though we did sponsor four youth from other area schools.
Delegates selected by the Auxiliary Unit for Evergreen Girls State include Neomi Arteaga, Elaina Gonzalez and Marlene Castelleja. All are juniors at Grandview High School and will attend Evergreen Girls State at Central Washington University the week of June 11th.
“It’s been years since we had more than one young woman apply for Girls State,” said Nancy Davidson, Secretary for the local Auxiliary Unit. The Unit also sponsors young women from Sunnyside and Granger through other means since they are the only Auxiliary Unit in the Lower Valley that can endorse the Delegates. Delegates from those schools are pending.
“We really appreciate the help the administration and faculty of Grandview High School provided in identifying candidates for both programs,” said Davidson. “It made a huge difference this year.”
Both programs are open to young men and women who are in their junior year of high school. Home schooled youth may also apply.
The Post is still seeking other young men to apply. They may come from Grandview, Mabton or Bickleton. “All young men are encouraged to apply online at www.evergreenboysstate.org and efforts will be made to match them with another area Post if we cannot serve them,” said Gates.
The Auxiliary Unit is not actively seeking more Delegates at this time since they have exhausted their financial ability to sponsor unless other funding sources become available. “We will, however, try to find a sponsor if a young woman has her heart set on wanting to attend,” said Davidson. “We are fortunate to have one donor sponsor one Delegate and the Post sponsored another through the Penny-a-Day program this year,” she added.
Both programs are an intensive one week experience in hands-on government. “We believe they come back as better leaders for their schools,” said Gates.
Camp Lejeune Presumptive Health Conditions
(March 14, 2017) “The Department of Veterans Affairs finalized regulations to establish new presumptions of service connection for eight conditions for Veterans exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune. If you have a record of service at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, served there for at least 30 days during that period, and developed a condition that you believe is related to exposure to the drinking water at the base, VA recommends you file a disability compensation claim.”
As part of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) ongoing commitment to provide care to Veterans and their families, the VA amended its regulations, effective March 14, 2017, to establish presumption of service connection for eight conditions associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune.
From 1953 to 1987, water sources at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune were contaminated with industrial solvents that are correlated with certain health conditions. Scientific authorities and health experts determined that the drinking water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with perchloroethylene, trichloroethylene, vinyl chloride, benzene and other petroleum contaminants from leaking storage tanks and determined that prolonged exposure to these chemicals increases the risk of certain health conditions.
Secretary McDonald has determined there is sufficient scientific and medical evidence available to establish a presumptive connection for the following conditions:
- Kidney Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Adult Leukemia
- Multiple Myeloma
- Bladder Cancer
- Parkinson's Disease
- Aplastic Anemia / Myelodysplastic Syndromes
The rule allows Servicemembers with records demonstrating no less than 30 days of service (either consecutive or cumulative) at Camp Lejeune during the specified timeframe, and who have been diagnosed with any of the eight enumerated diseases, to be presumed to have a service-connected disability for purposes of entitlement to VA benefits. The rule applies to all military active duty, reserve, and National Guard personnel that meet the requirements of the regulation. VA encourages Veterans who have a record of service at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, and developed a condition that they believe is related to exposure to the drinking water at the base, to file a disability compensation claim with VA.
Affected veterans are encouraged to contact the Post's Service Officers by calling 509-882-1984.
Boys State and Girls State Candidates Sought
(Grandview, WA – March 10, 2017): Grandview’s Fred E. Hayes Post 57 of The American Legion and Auxiliary Unit 57 are seeking candidates for Evergreen Boys State and Evergreen Girls State.
Both programs are week-long experiences in hands-on government. Boys State will be conducted June 18 – 24 at Warm Beach Conference Center near Stanwood, Washington. Girls State will be conducted June 11 – 17 on the campus of Central Washington University in Ellensburg.
Candidates for both programs must be a junior this year and will be a senior next year.
The Post is seeking eligible boys from Grandview, Mabton and Bickleton. Boys may learn more about Boys State at www.evergreenboysstate.org. They may also apply on-line at that web site. They may also contact Jim Davidson at 882-1984 if they have questions. All boys interested in Boys State, no matter which school they attend, may apply at the web site and efforts will be made to find sponsors for them through other Posts. “We will make every effort to make sure a boy can attend,” Davidson said.
The Auxiliary Unit is also seeking girls from Grandview, Mabton and Bickleton. They already sponsor girls from Sunnyside and Granger. Interested girls may contact Nancy Davidson at 882-1984 for more information and an application. There is no on-line application for Girls State. “Due to snow days, Grandview High School is authorizing girls to be excused from the last week of school to attend Girls State,” said Nancy Davidson.
Both programs encourage home-schooled students to apply.
Attendance at Boys State and Girls State is a great item to include on resumes and college applications. “The US Military Academy at West Point actually sorts applications by whether the student attended Boys State or Girls State,” said Jim Davidson. “The top candidate at West Point two years ago was a graduate of Evergreen Boys State.”
2017 Penny-a-Day Campaign Announced
In what has become an annual community event the last four years, Grandview’s Fred E. Hayes Post 57 of The American Legion is again leading a month-long “Penny-a-Day” campaign during the month of February. In the previous three years, the Post raised thousands of dollars to support high profile Legion national charities, including Operation Comfort Warriors and the National Emergency Fund.
“We are looking for 28 cents per person during the month,” says Robert Gates, Commander of the local Post. “The community fell in love with the idea and became well known in national Legion circles.” Up to $4,000 has been raised in previous campaigns.
“There are very few things that cost less than 30 cents these days,” said Gates, “but less than 30 cents can make a huge difference to the national and local programs we sponsor.”
During the past years, all funds raised were sent to support national programs. Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW) supported wounded troops, including those at Joint Base Lewis McChord. The National Emergency Fund (NEF) provided assistance to veterans who lost their homes in natural disasters. “Some of our donations came back to help veterans who lost their homes in fires in North Central Washington the last two years,” said Post member Dudley Brown.
Again this year, the Post has elected to retain the bulk of donations in the Valley to support the Posts’ expanding youth programs of scholarships and awards. “A small amount of money will be sent to the Legion’s major charities,” said Post Adjutant Jim Davidson. Those programs include OCW, NEF, the Legacy Scholarship fund, Soldier’s Wish and the Child Welfare Foundation. “However, all other donations will stay here to be used locally,” Davidson added. Additionally, the Post supoprts a Christmas Party for hospitalized patients at the Walla Walla VA Hospital and works to assist local military members and their families.
The Post provides scholarships to students attending American Legion Boys State and American Legion Auxiliary Girls State. “These are expensive scholarships and always a struggle to fund,” said Davidson. The Post started a program two years ago to recognize scholars in Grandview High School athletic and vocational programs and reinstated the annual School Award programs that recognize outstanding youth in the schools. “All of this takes money,” said Davidson. “We can’t do it with our very limited dues income, so we need the community’s suport.”
“Unlike other programs, 100% of all donated funds goes directly to this program for the stated purposes,” Gates said. “Our individual membership dues pay for all marketing and administrative costs, so donors can be assured every penny of their donation will go to this effort. We never divert funds.” Gates noted this is Legion policy and is never violated by the Grandview Post. “It actually costs us money to conduct this annual effort, but that comes from our dues,” added Gates.
The Post is challenging its own small number of members and Auxiliary in this effort and encourages all individuals, schools, churches and businesses in the area to help with this effort. “We are only asking for 28 cents per person, said Gates, “but we’ll take nickels, dimes, quarters, dollar coins, currency and checks.”
The Post will recognize the highest dollar amount contributor with a plaque and the school with the highest contribution by their students and staff will also receive a plaque. The awards in previous years have gone to the City of Grandview and Eli and Kathy’s Restaurant for the community effort and McClure School for the Grandview Schools.
Donation cans will soon appear in various businesses. If a business would like to host a donation can, they are asked to contact Jim or Nancy Davidson at 509-882-1984.
Individual checks for donations may be made out to The American Legion and mailed to The American Legion, PO Box 56, Grandview, WA 98930. Arrangements to pick-up larger coin donations may be made by calling Jim or Nancy Davidson at 509-882-1984.
LEGION ANNOUNCES THIRD ANNUAL CRAB FEED
(Grandview, WA – January 27) Grandview’s Fred E. Hayes Post 57 of The American Legion has announced their third annual crab feed will be Saturday, March 11th.
The event, to be held at the Grandview Community Center, will begin at 6 PM.
The cost is $35.00 for adults and $20.00 for children under 12 years of age. A spaghetti option is available for children by request. Tickets are available by calling Jim Davidson at 882-1984. Legion members will also have tickets to sell. The Post can take credit cards for phone orders.
Tickets may also be purchased by mail by sending a check for the number of tickets desired to The American Legion, PO Box 56, Grandview WA 98930.
“This has become a great community event and people have so much fun,” said Post Commander Robert Gates. “The small profit we earn helps with Post operations in the community.”
American Legion eager to work with new VA Secretary
WASHINGTON (January 11, 2017) – National Commander Charles E. Schmidt of The American Legion issued the following statement concerning President-Elect Trump’s selection of Dr. David J. Shulkin to lead the department of Veterans Affairs:
“My staff and I have worked closely with Dr. Shulkin and believe he has improved the Veterans Health Administration in the short time he has been at the helm. I met with him just last month and believe he is deeply committed to improving VA care and all of the services that VA provides to veterans. If confirmed by the Senate, Dr. Shulkin will continue to find The American Legion to be a resourceful and knowledgeable friend with nearly a century of experience as an advocate for America’s veterans. While The American Legion believes in a strong and robust VA, friends tell each other the unvarnished truth. When VA serves veterans well, we will say so. When it doesn’t, we will demand fixes. The American Legion has a team of Washington-based staff, and expert volunteers from across the nation, who are eager to meet with Dr. Shulkin to discuss ways to modernize an antiquated appeals system, decrease wait times for health care and hold poor-performing VA staff accountable. We believe that Dr. Shulkin shares our goals.”
Operation Military Kids Huge Two-Fold Success
(Grandview, WA - December 14, 2016) “We were very surprised by the number of donations,” said Bob Gates of Grandview’s Fred E. Hayes Post 57 of The American Legion. He was speaking of the toys donated through “Operation Military Kids,” an effort of the Post and Operation Homefront in cooperation with Dollar Tree Stores.
“$3,829 worth of toys was donated by shoppers at the Grandview and Sunnyside Dollar Tree Stores,” Gates said. Put another way, that’s 3,829 toys.
The toys were delivered to the 792nd Chemical Company of the Washington Army National Guard based out of the Grandview Armory where they will be distributed to the families of their troops as well as other units across the state.
“While we probably overwhelmed the local unit with this donation, we always remember to tell people the intent of this program is to support our military and their families,” Gates said. “The toys are not intended for other agencies or groups unless the military unit wishes to pass them along to those groups. We facilitate the donation transfer.”
“Actually, there is another part to this story,” said Nancy Davidson, Secretary of the Post’s Auxiliary Unit. “We asked the Armory staff if they could prepare a box of toys for the Grandview Police Department and the Grandview Detachment of the Washington State Patrol, and they eagerly did so.”
The toys were delivered to the two agencies this week. The toys will be carried in patrol cars in case the officers come across a child in distress. “We thought it was a neat idea, Davidson said. “Both agencies were surprised and excited with the donations, so that makes us quite happy.”
Grandview’s Post 57 has been serving our local communities since October 13, 1919 with an emphasis on defense, veterans, community and families and youth.
Post 57 Among "The Finest in the Lower Valley"
During our Annual Veterans Day "SOS Brunch," the Post was treated to a special surprise while recognizing their community heroes. The event featured recognitions to three humanitarians / heroes, a firefighter and a Washington State Trooper. Additionally, the Post recognized three of their four Boys State Delegates.
However, after a Fourth Estate Award was made to the Sunnyside Daily Sun News, we received a surprise. In accepting the award, Publisher / Editor Roger Harnack made a presentation to Post Commander Robert Gates and the members of our Post.
“For the last few weeks, we have been receiving nominations for the “Valley’s “Finest,” he said. “This includes everything from restaurants, burgers, medical clinics, hunting, fishing and, among others, civic organizations.” He then presented Commander Gates with the “Finest Civic Organization in the Lower Valley” certificate. “The Post received quite a few nominations,” Harnack said. “You do great work.”
"We are pretty excited to receive this award," said Gates. "We do a lot of work in our communities to support veterans, military members and their families as well as the youth, but for many people it seems to appear as though we are 'flying under the radar.' I'm glad people recognize the efforts of our members in all of our communities."
The Post offers many programs and operates under the principle, "Veterans Still Serving America."
Law Enforcement Officer of the Year is Local Trooper
(Trooper Jarryd Bivins (R) receives the Post's Law Enforcement Officer of the Year from Post Commander Robert Gates, accompanied by Sgt. David Wilbur (L).
(Grandview WA - November 12, 2016) Grandview’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for The American Legion is Trooper Jarryd Bivins of the Washington State Patrol’s Grandview Detachment.
Bivins was honored at Fred E. Hayes Post 57 of The American Legion’s Annual Veterans Day Brunch in Grandview on November 12th.
“His nomination was incredible,” said John Myers of the Grandview Post. “The citation we read during his award was two and a half pages long, but we had to tell everything because it was so remarkable.”
Trooper Bivens was commissioned into the Washington State Patrol in September 2014 and assigned to the Grandview Detachment. His nomination stated that the Detachment is made up of many highly capable Troopers and one could presume it would be hard to single out one individual, but that presumption would be incorrect.
Myers noted that law enforcement has come under higher public scrutiny, so having an individual of such capability and high moral standards is highly appreciated with our communities.
“Words like hard charging, courteous, respectful, honest, friendly, diligent and thorough don’t even begin to describe the full character of Trooper Bivins as we saw in his nomination,” Myers said. “His record of contacts and actions alone in the last year far exceed the Detachment’s averages. We are so proud to honor him.”
Trooper Bivins was presented with The American Legion’s Medal of Merit by Post Commander Robert Gates on behalf of the members of the Grandview Post.
Trooper Bivins will be submitted as a nominee for the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award for the Department of Washington of The American Legion. If selected, he will be honored in Kennewick next July.
Grandview Volunteer Firefighter is Firefighter of the Year
(Grandview Volunteer Firefighter Ali Hurst receives the Post's Firefighter of the Year Award from Commander Robert Gates.)
Grandview WA, November 12, 2016) Grandview’s American Legion Post knows that every day, our citizens rely on the knowledge that a capable, professional fire department will respond in times of emergency need. This is even more critical when our community is served primarily by a volunteer force supervised by paid professionals.
During their Annual Veterans Day Brunch, members of Grandview’s Fred E. Hayes Post 57 paused to honor one such volunteer who joined the Grandview Fire Department in 2012, Firefighter Ali Hurst.
In their nomination of Ms. Hurst, her peers noted she had been a continual learner during her entire time with the Department. She was also noted to bring a positive attitude to everything she does, always willing to help anyone who needs it, a team player, and always projecting a “can-do” attitude. She was reported to be willing to share knowledge and always bringing a positive energy to whatever she was doing.
With these characteristics of her selfless service to the community consistent with the beliefs of The American Legion and the local Post, Commander Robert Gates, on behalf of the members of Fred E. Hayes Post 57 of The American Legion in Grandview, presented The American Legion Medal of Merit as Grandview’s 2016 Firefighter of the Year to Firefighter Ali Hurst.
Ms. Hurst will be submitted as a nominee for the Firefighter of the Year Award for the Department of Washington of The American Legion. If selected, she will be honored in Kennewick next July.
Grandview’s Fred E. Hayes Post 57 has been serving the community and local veterans since October 13, 1919 with an emphasis on veterans and military as well as their families, Americanism programs and mentoring youth.
Daily Sun News Receives Legion Award
(Sunyside Daily Sun News Publisher / Editor Roger Harnack recives the Post's Fourth Estate Award from Commander Robert Gates)
(Grandview WA, Novemebr 12, 2016) During their Annual Veterans Day Brunch, members of Grandview’s Fred E. Hayes Post 57 presented their Fourth Estate Award to the Sunnyside Daily Sun News and Publisher / Editor Roger Harnack.
“We have appreciated the efforts of the Daily Sun News to cover the activities of both or Post and area events,” said Post Adjutant Jim Davidson. “Their coverage of issues of concern to veterans, life stories and the respect shown to our veterans is remarkable.”
Davidson noted that 2012 was the last time the Post had presented the award, but hoped it would be more frequent. “Just in the last week, the paper featured two members of our Post in unsolicited articles that told important life stories to share with the Lower Valley community.”
The award was presented by Post Commander Robert Gates.
In his comments upon receiving the award, Mr. Harnack turned around and presented an award to the Post. “For the last few weeks, we have been receiving nominations for the “Valley’s “Finest,” he said. “This includes everything from restaurants, burgers, medical clinics, hunting, fishing and, among others, civic organizations.” He then presented Commander Gates with the “Finest Civic Organization in the Lower Valley” certificate. “The Post received quite a few nominations,” Harnack said. “You do great work.”
The Grandview Herald was also named for the Fourth Estate Award for their assistance and coverage of the Post’s Annual Penny-a-Day campaign, but no representatives were present to receive the award.
Grandview Legion Post Presents Heroism Awards
(Heroism / Humanitarian recipients Gretchen Chronis and Richard Zook with Commander Robert Gates.)
(Garndview, WA - November 12, 2016) During a time when so many community citizens do not wish to get involved, Grandview’s Fred E. Hayes Post 57 of The American Legion took time at their annual Veterans Day Brunch on November 12th to recognize three Grandview citizens who did step forward and make a difference in the life of one person, giving him a second chance at life.
In September, the Grandview Fire Department was dispatched to the scene of a possible heart attack or man down. On arrival, they discovered three Grandview citizens who had stopped to help a man lying in the front yard of a residence. Mr. Donacio H. Balderas-Lucas was the first to make contact with the man. He was driving by when he observed a man lying on the ground. The man was not responsive and was gasping for air. 911 was called and CPR was initiated. Mr. Richard Zook arrived and assisted with keeping the airway open. Ms. Gretchen Chronis arrived and maintained contact with 911, assisted with checking for a pulse and directed the CPR process.
After numerous rounds of CPR by EMS and Fire Department personnel and 30 minutes of down-time, a pulse was established and the man was transferred to a local emergency department for further treatment.
Post Commander Robert Gates, on behalf of the members of the Grandview Legion Post, presented The American Legion Heroism Medal and Humanitarian Award to Richard Zook and Gretchen Chronis. The award for Donacio H. Balderas-Lucas will be presented at a later date. All three citizens, as a group, will be submitted as nominees for the Humanitarian Award for the Department of Washington of The American Legion. If selected, they will be honored in Kennewick next July.
Boys State Delegates Recognized
(From left to right, Ty Fodor, Mitchell Reid, Matthew Denchel and Commander Robert Gates.)
At their Annual Veterans Day "SOS Brunch," the members of Fred E. Hayes Post 57 and their guests heard reports from the 2016 Boys State Delegates and presented them with certificates of Good Citizenship.
Matthew Denchel of Grandview and Mitchell Reid of Sunnysode, both students at Sunnyside High School, and Ty Fodor of Sunnyside, a student at Sunnyside Christian High School, spoke briefly about their individual Boys State experiences.
Fodor was elected as Mayor of his city and described the city problem they were tasked to solve. He said the experience made him a better speaker.
Denchel served in the House of Representatives and was the Finance Chairman. He said the experience helped him better understand how governent works.
Reid was also elected to the House of Representatives. He too mentioned that the experience made him a better speaker.
A fourth delegate, Patrick Zecchino of Granger, a student at Sunnyside Christian High School, was unable to be present for the brunch. He was elected to the Supreme Court.
This was the first time in 76 years that a young man from Grandview High School did not attend Boys State. "That was a major disappointment for us," said Jim Davidson, local Boys State coordinator.
Boys State is a week-long, hands-on experience in government. Boys who will be seniors in the next school year are eligible to apply, either through the Post or on-line at www.evergreenboysstate.org.
Post Adopts Expectation for Respect of the US Flag
At their recent regular business meeting, members of Grandview’s Fred E. Hayes Post 57 of The American Legion endorsed and adopted a recent action by the national organization on the Legion’s expectation for respect of the US Flag.
The American Legion believes in the U.S. flag and everything it stands for, and Legionnaires who fought for the nation’s symbol take deep pride in it. To continue its flag-protection efforts, the Legion’s National Executive Committee adopted a resolution at its recent Fall Meetings in Indianapolis that outlines the organization's expectation for rendering proper respect to the flag during Legion program participation at the department (state) and national level.
Resolution 16 – brought forth by the Americanism Commission – also comes in light of recent actions by professional athletes, and now that of several youth sports teams, who are kneeling during the national anthem out of protest.
“The American Legion does not deny the right to protest, for that is a privilege given to all citizens of this great nation that is protected by our military and the service of our membership to defend our democracy,” said Richard Anderson, Americanism Commission chairman. “’To foster and perpetuate a 100 percent Americanism’ defines our responsibility to instill character, citizenship and sportsmanship, among other values. Resolution 16 defines only a small commitment to our youth, to maintain the values upon which The American Legion was founded.”
As stated in the resolution, The American Legion expects participants of its programs to show proper respect to the U.S. flag at all times, including during the national anthem. It recommends for department and post leaders of all Legion programs to clearly state to individuals in advance of program participation about the organization’s expectation for respect of the flag. If a participant involved in any Legion program “cannot or will not” meet the Legion’s expectation, the resolution states that “the individual should not be a participant in American Legion programs.”
“While we cannot mandate this resolution to our respective departments, we hope that this will be a guideline for them to respond in a similar manner (as national) to teach and respect the honor and rights of American citizenship and its responsibilities,” Anderson said.
For individuals participating in American Legion programs at the national level, the resolution states that those who “cannot or will not” meet the organization’s expectations for proper flag respect “will be removed from the program and not be allowed any further participation.”
“The resolution is going to set an example for our youth, and our youth will lead by example, for respecting our flag and respecting our national anthem,” said American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt. “And hopefully our youth, through our American Legion programs, will be examples for those professionals who choose not to respect our flag and our national anthem.
“That’s what The American Legion does – we are building great role models for the future of this organization and for this country.”
Grandview’s American Legion Post, in adopting this stance, will apply the expectation in all local programs and awards of The American Legion. “This applies to all of our youth recognition awards, including the School Award, Vocational and Athlete Scholars and our Boys State and Girls State delegates,” said Post Commander Robert Gates. “It extends to other local awards programs, such as Educator of the Year and public safety awards,” he added. “We must take this stance since it is one of the pillars or foundations of our organization.” The Post doesn’t expect problems, but they want to be clear up front what their expectations are regarding respect to the US Flag and National Anthem to eliminate any confusion.
Grandview’s Fred E. Hayes Post 57 has been serving the community and local veterans since October 13, 1919 with an emphasis on veterans and military as well as their families, Americanism programs and mentoring youth.
Grandview’s Wreaths Across America Seeking Donations
(Grandview, WA, October 20, 2016) Grandview’s Annual Wreaths Across America campaign is underway and there is a pressing need to raise enough donations or sponsorships to cover about 300 remaining veteran’s graves at the Grandview Cemetery in December.
The annual program, started by Ginger Emerson of Grandview and assisted by Grandview’s American Legion Post 57, is part of a national celebration conducted on the same day and timed to coincide with the ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. For the last two years, every grave of a veteran buried in Grandview has been covered with a wreath. “Currently, there are just under 500 veterans buried in Grandview,” said Sally Van Horn, local coordinator for the effort.
“We have been blessed in the past with strong support for this program,” Van Horn stated. “We are hoping for more corporate sponsorships to fill the void, but individual donations are extremely important.”
Individuals may purchase one wreath for $15. A Family donation of $60 will buy 4 wreaths. 10 wreaths may be purchased by a small business for $150 and a corporate donation of $1,500 would provide 100 wreaths.
Due to difficulties and confusion on the Wreaths Across America website, Van Horn strongly encourages donors to send their donations directly to her at 111 Brewer Rd, Grandview WA 98930. Secure credit card transactions may be made by calling Jim Davidson at The American Legion at 509-882-1984.
If donors wish to purchase a wreath for an individual buried at Grandview (or other local cemetery), they may make that request, however, they must pick up the wreath on the day of the ceremony.
The ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, December 17th at 9:00 AM at the main stage of the Grandview Cemetery.
A small portion of the proceeds will be directed to the local Legion Post, Fred E. Hayes Post 57 of Grandview. 90% of that income will be sent to Operation Comfort Warriors, a national Legion program providing aid and comfort to injured warriors. The other 10% will be retained to purchase replacement flags for the Grandview Cemetery. As with all local Legion fundraising efforts, 100% of donated funds go to the stated causes. No administrative costs are taken from the donated money.
Grandview’s Fred E. Hayes Post 57 has been serving the community and local veterans since October 13, 1919 with an emphasis on veterans and military as well as their families, Americanism programs and mentoring youth.
Post 57 Honored at State Convention
(Grandview, WA - July 22, 2016) Grandview’s American Legion Post 57 was recently honored with three awards at the Legion’s Department Convention in Grand Mound, Washington.
The Post received the Post Excellence Award from National Headquarters for their activities benefitting the community, youth, veterans and the military. “We were very honored to receive the award,” said Robert Gates, the Post’s Commander. “Only two Posts in the State received the award. We exceeded the criteria for the award because of the hard work of our members.”
For the fifth year in a row, the Post was honored with the publicity award. “We owe this award to our local newspapers and media outlets,” Gates said. “They help us get the word out about our activities and Legion programs. We couldn’t do it without them.”
The final award was for membership achievement. “This is a pretty routine award,” Gates said, “but it is made only to those Posts that meet or exceed the set membership goal for the year. We weren’t sure we would make it this year, but last minute renewals and new members pushed us over the top.”
Local Youth Excel at Boys State
(Grandview, WA - July 22, 2016) Four young men from the Lower Valley had the experience of a lifetime at the 2016 Evergreen Boys State, sponsored by The American Legion. All four young men were sponsored by Grandview’s American Legion Post 57.
Grandview’s Matthew Denchel admits he got off to a slow start after arrival at Boys State, but by mid-week, he had been elected to the House as a Representative and eventually became chair of the Finance Committee. “I did learn a lot,” he said. His two older brothers were also graduates of Boys State.
Ty Fodor of Sunnyside was elected mayor of his city. “We got a lot done,” he said. “I learned that developing consensus among participants helped us achieve many goals and helped us succeed.” He plans to use those skills in other organizations and at school.
Patrick Zecchino of Granger set his goal at the first of the week to be elected to the Supreme Court. “There were a number of candidates, but I did prevail and get elected to the Court,” he said.
Mitchell Reid of Sunnyside jokingly said his goal was to be unemployed during the week, but that was not to be. “I was elected to the House as a Representative and I learned a lot,” he said.
All four youth were very positive about the Boys State experience and will help recruit delegates this next year. One or more may try to be on youth staff next year.
Denchel and Reid will be seniors at Sunnyside High School. Fodor and Zecchino will be seniors at Sunnyside Christian High School. There were no students from Grandview High School this year. “It was very disappointing for our Post,” said Jim Davidson, local Boys State Chairman. “This was the first time in 76 years that Grandview did not have a delegate.”
Grandview’s Brendon Lynch served his second year on the youth staff for Boys State. “He has become a valuable member of the Boys State team,” Davidson said. “I heard many positive comments.” Lynch was Grandview’s delegate in 2014.
“Increasingly, colleges and universities using attendance at Boys State and Girls State as a screening criterion to select students because of so many qualified applicants,” said Davidson. “The U.S. Military Academy at West Point now actually sorts applications by attendance at Boys State and Girls State,” Davidson added. “I presume the other Academies are doing something similar.” Davidson noted that the number one applicant for West Point this last year was a graduate of Evergreen Boys State, as was the number 11 candidate.