VFW military funeral color guard

Members of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Grand Mesa Post 9221 form a color guard during a recent military funeral. From left are Wayne Hamrick, Steve Grewe, David Craig and Gary Tollefson. Hamrick is past post commander, Grewe is past trustee, Craig is current post commander and Tollefson serves as post quartermaster.

By Don Benjamin

Contributing writer

The Grand Mesa Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 9221 is launching a membership drive and all interested veterans are encouraged to join the service organization. Affiliation with the VFW is an opportunity for those who have served in the military to join with other veterans in assisting comrades and promotes patriotism.

During the current membership drive, the group plans to reach out to prospective members by telephone and in person. Anyone wishing to learn more about joining the VFW is invited to contact Gary Tollefson, the post quartermaster by phone: 970-234-3824 or email: garytollefson1944@gmail.com

Post 9221 serves the Surface Creek area and the group is active in several ways. Post members volunteer to perform military honors for deceased military and they place flags along Cedaredge’s Main Street on holidays such as Veterans Day, Flag Day and the Fourth of July. The post provides assistance to veterans as needed and members and the post’s auxiliary host periodic pancake breakfasts to raise scholarship funds for Cedaredge High School graduating seniors. In addition to awarding scholarships, the post also sponsors patriotic essay contests involving middle school and senior high school students. This year’s winners will be announced in next week’s Delta County Independent.

Post 9221 meets on the fourth Thursday of each month in the lower level of the Masonic Hall at 311 W. Main St. in Cedaredge. This month’s meeting will take place on Jan. 28 following a 5 p.m. potluck supper.

According to the VFW’s official website (vfw.org):

“There are three qualifiers for membership in the VFW, as set out in our National Bylaws. An individual must meet all three in order to become a member. They are as follows:

1: Citizenship – must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. National.

2: Honorable Service – must have served in the Armed Forces of the United States and either received a discharge of Honorable or General (Under Honorable Conditions) or be currently serving.

3: Service in a war, campaign, or expedition on foreign soil or in hostile waters.”

Service information is usually available through a veteran’s military form DD-214.

If a person is not eligible for membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars, but has a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, or spouse who would be eligible, that person may apply for membership in the VFW Auxiliary.

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