AUXILIARY

Unwavering Support for Uncommon Heroes®
 
 
For more than 100 years, the VFW Auxiliary has been fulfilling its original objectives by supporting the Veterans of Foreign Wars, serving veterans, active-duty military and their families, and spreading patriotism nationwide.

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Our members have volunteered millions of hours, donated millions of dollars and honored hundreds of thousands of veterans. Volunteer with us and celebrate the freedoms we enjoy in America.

Auxiliary Officers:
President - Shiela Sweatland
Sr Vice President - Roz Hontz
Jr Vice President - Thomas McCreedy
Treasurer - Ann Marie Cloutier
Secretary - Valerie Stanton
Chaplain - Kathy Vaughan
Patriotic Instructor - Kim Dawson
Guard - Rene Van Mensel
Conductress - Kim Dawson
1st Year Trustee - Ed Parker
2nd Year Trustee - Linda Beherndt
 
3rd Year Trustee - Gene Caden

Announcements

VE Day May 8. 2021

Greetings Everyone,

   Many of us have close relatives that were directly involved in World War 2. On May 8, 2021, we celebrate 76 years since the surrender of Nazi Germany. I would ask that you read the information below and take a few moments to reflect on the great sacrifices that were made and say a prayer of thanks to all those who fought and died to help keep us safe and free.

   World War 2 was the bloodiest war in history. Deaths directly caused by the war (including military and civilians killed) are estimated at 50–56 million people, while there were an additional estimated 19 to 28 million deaths from war-related disease and famine.

   On December 11, 1941 the United States declared war on Germany in response to Germany’s declaration of war on the U.S. earlier in the day. In a rare display of complete cooperation, the House and Senate both voted unanimously to support the Declaration.

   When President Harry S. Truman, British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill and Soviet Premier Josef Stalin simultaneously announced that Nazi Germany had surrendered on May 8, 1945, the joy Americans felt was tempered by where they were.

   The war that began with Germany invading Poland Sept. 1, 1939, ended with the total defeat of the Nazi menace and the unconditional surrender of the German military.

   In New York, London and Moscow the eruption of joy was instantaneous. Men and women rushed to the streets to hug and kiss and dance. The war against Nazi Germany was over. The killing had stopped. A great evil ended.

On the front lines deep in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, the celebration was more muted, with soldiers gradually realizing they were not going to be shot at anymore and were going to go home. 

   Their joy was further tempered because, while Germany was defeated, Japan fought on. The soldiers realized their divisions, brigades and units would be part of the invasion of Japan.

   In the Pacific, there was a brief acknowledgement that the European battle was over, but it didn’t really matter to the soldiers and Marines who were still attacking Japanese positions on Okinawa or to the sailors who were fending off kamikaze attacks on ships off the island.

   V-E Day signified the end of a long road. Just between June 1944 and May 8, 1945, there were 552,117 U.S. casualties in the European theater of operations. Of those, 104,812 were killed in action.

   In January 1945, many believed the war in Europe would last much longer.

In January, U.S. Army soldiers were still battling against German forces that had launched the Battle of the Bulge. That battle was the largest the U.S. Army ever fought and out of the 90,000 casualties around 19,000 soldiers were killed.

Events accelerated from there. 

   Bombing missions continued over Germany and every B-17 or B-24 lost over the Reich meant a loss of 10 Americans. On the ground, Allied troops mopped up German resistance on the west bank of the Rhine River.

   On March 7, 1945, soldiers from the 9th Armored Division secured the Ludendorff Bridge over the Rhine River in Remagen, Germany. The U.S. 1st Army vaulted the water barrier and struck deep into Germany. The 3rd Army also crossed the river and moved on. On March 22, U.S. and British forces launch a massive operation over the Rhine in Oppenheim.

   On April 2, U.S. forces surrounded 600,000 Germans in the Ruhr Pocket. Throughout the month, American forces begin discovering the consequences of the Nazi ideology as they liberated death camps like Buchenwald, Ohrdruf and Dachau.

   On April 12, Americans were shocked by the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Harry S Truman was sworn in and vowed to continue Roosevelt’s policies.

   On April 21, Soviet forces began their assault on the German capital of Berlin.

With the Soviets closing in, Hitler committed suicide on April 30 and turned power over to Admiral Karl Donitz.

   On May 2, German forces in Berlin surrendered to the Soviets.

   On May 7, formal negotiations for Germany’s surrender began at the Supreme headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force headquarters in Rheims, France, and the Germans surrender unconditionally the next day.

   At the conclusion of the surrender, the allied staff attempted to write a message for General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower to send to allied leaders. He opted for "The mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled at 0241, May 7th, 1945.” 

 

With respect to you all,

 

Commander