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P.O.Box 2246, Laguna Hills, Ca 92654







JUNE 2015 NEWSLETTER (click here)


WWII Air Museum in Orange County


By Jim Shaffer


            There is a “hidden” treat for all veterans in Orange County, not well known yet fabulous. My daughter Gina introduced me to the Lyon Air Museum, which I had never heard of.

            The Lyon Air Museum is on the west side of John Wayne Airport in a large building with airplane access to the runways and located at 19300 Ike Jones Road, phone 714- 210-4585. Online it is

            It houses some 7 WWII aircraft including a B-17 Flying Fortress, a  B-25 Mitchell and fighter and trainer planes. They are all ready to fly . Also are many military vehicles, and a few collector cars including a Model T and Duisenberg. A theatre runs a continuous film on WWII.

            Our escort was Walter Drake, 93, and a WWII fighter pilot who served in the ETO with 68 combat missions. The museum was founded by Major General William Lyon (retired) and founder of a large house building firm. Entrance fee for seniors and vets is $9. It is a rare treat and not yet well known.













Left to right, Warren Marr, Wes Lynd (El Toro HS) Andrew Hseih (Laguna Hills HS) Tyler Smith (El Toro HS) Sam Higa.

Indoctrination dinner held at Newport Harbor American Legion Post 291 for delegates and parents. District 29 sponsored 94 students to Boys State for a week at Cal State Sacramento. The boys were nominated by their schools then selected by Post 257 Boys State Committee, each exhibited exceptional academic records, athletic ability, community service and leadership potential.




Rare poster with signatures of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz   and three Medal of Honor Recipients found after renovation of US Submarine Veterans facility:

Eugene B. Fluckey

George Street

Richard O'Kane





American Legion features a busy April


By Jim Shaffer


            Laguna Woods Post 257 of the American Legion will host 4 events during the month. The first is the support dinner at Polly’s on Thursday April 9 from 4:30 to 6:00, in which vets and friends eat in a private room, talk, exchange war stories, and gossip. Call Jerry Anderson at 949-837-0102 for information. The Memorial Day Poppy Platoon is gearing up.. Also call Jerry Anderson for info.

            The second is Wednesday April 15, all day at The Laguna Café in the Von’s Mall . The Café is decorated with pictures of service men, many being members of our  Post. Chris Schaefer, owner of the Café, is a Post member and Gulf War vet. Call Chris at 949-949-380-0465.

            The third is the monthly Post dinner and meeting on Thursday the 23rd at Clubhouse 1. Doors open at 4:45, dinner is served at 5:45, followed by a brief meeting and entertainment. Commander Mike Thayer will preside. The Nominating Committee will announce the proposed officers for the coming year. The Do-Whoppers will sing the memorable songs of the big band, rock and roll, twist again, years, The dinner will feature baked ham and apple pie, all for only $13, plus the best bar prices in California. Everyone is invited. Please call Ken Sigmund at 949-455-0608 for reservations which gives a head count for caterer Martinez.

            The Legion has its annual free program coming up for Memorial Day, Monday May 25 at 10:00 at Clubhouse 3, chaired by 1stVice Joe Rainey and Commander Mike Thayer. Memorial Day honors all who have served their country and are now in “Post Everlasting”.


            Sam Higa has created an informative web site at . Punch it up. To join the Legion for only $40 a year call Hugh Seamster at 949-472-9690 or He can help if you cannot find your discharge certificate.





The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow servicemembers and veterans.

Hundreds of local American Legion programs and activities strengthen the nation one community at a time. American Legion Baseball is one of the nation’s most successful amateur athletic programs, educating young people about the importance of sportsmanship, citizenship and fitness. The Operation Comfort Warriors program supports recovering wounded warriors and their families, providing them with "comfort items" and the kind of support that makes a hospital feel a little bit more like home. The Legion also raises millions of dollars in donations at the local, state and national levels to help veterans and their families during times of need and to provide college scholarship opportunities.

The American Legion is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization with great political influence perpetuated by its grass-roots involvement in the legislation process from local districts to Capitol Hill. Legionnaires’ sense of obligation to community, state and nation drives an honest advocacy for veterans in Washington. The Legion stands behind the issues most important to the nation's veterans community, backed by resolutions passed by volunteer leadership.

The American Legion’s success depends entirely on active membership, participation and volunteerism. The organization belongs to the people it serves and the communities in which it thrives.

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March Dinner Meeting Entertainment Rob Verdi










The Bob Hope USO Orange County Fundraiser was a huge success. Tickets sold out (over 370) a few days before the rockin’ Saturday night event. Over 100 items were donated for our silent auction, including a private box at an Anaheim Ducks game. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and many high-ranking military personnel from all branches of service attended. Classic military vehicles marked the entry to the event with full dressed active military members presenting the colors. Bob would have loved it. A huge thanks Sue Blanco, Jan Spriggs, Lynne Savran, Barbara Boskovich, Melvetta Mason and to all their helpers for their hard work, enthusiasm, and faith. Without all of you this event would have only been an idea. L


More photos (click here)






American Legion and Kiwanis are Santa Claus to Camp Pendleton Elementary School


By Jim Shaffer


          Laguna Woods American Legion Post 257 and Kiwanis recently arrived as Santa Claus at Mary Fay Pendleton Elementary School located at Camp Pendleton. They delivered Holiday presents to the 800 students and 42 teachers… a $50 gift certificate for the teachers to Lake Shore Learning Center stores.

            The Laguna Woods Santa’s were Jerry Anderson, Sam Higa, Vince Howley, and Jim Shaffer. They all forgot their beards. They visited each of the classes in sessionwith a certificate. They were guided by Vice Principal Emily Just and Staff Executive Patty Drew.

            Prominent in every room was a logo or banner from various colleges all over the United States. They were a part of a new directive encouraging students to go to college. USC, UCLA, and many Cal States were represented plus Utah U, Brown, Kentucky U, Purdue, but no Slippery Rock.

            The 4 unbearded Santa’s joined the students in the auitorium for carols and lunch. No fast food, burgers, or fries. A choice of a chicken sandwich or mac-cheese plus a salad-fruit bar and no sod… milk only, plain or chocolate.

            Ninety percent of the students   at Mary Fay have a parent in service in the marines.

Laguna Woods Veterans Day program , 2014


By Jim Shaffer


            Over 150 attended Post 257’s annual Veterans Day program at Clubhouse 3 in the auditorium. The program was diverse and featured a Junior ROTC drill team from Orange High School  introduced by Warren Marr, retired Marine officer , plus a memorable talk by WWII fighter pilot Ted Tanner.

            City Council board member Cynthia Conners . who is also the Post’s  Judge Adjutant General, welcomed the audience. She was a Judge Advocate officer in the U.S. Army.  Retired Lt.Col. Chaplin Jim Juhan spoke of the honor of military service and  two recent Post members who just went to Post Everlasting… Dean  Davisson and John Badgley.  Janice Badgley distributed gratis, John’s distinguished book “Frigate Men”. .Mike Evans welcomed each branch of the military and introduced the musical staff-- Nick Alpino, Kathy Rath, Shirley Harper and celebrated pianist Sunshine Lutey.

            Jerry Anderson told the story of the Poppy and thanked the 14 post members who exchanged Poppies at Stater Brothers, Ralph’s in the Arbor Mall, and Trader Joes in the Oakbrook Village Mall. He was assisted by Gina Shaffer.

            Vanda Bresnan, Auxiliary Commander and retired Marine officer, introduced Bivian Marr and Nancy Alpino, who performed the POW-MIA ceremony. Hugh Semester and Joann Killian served as recruiting officers. Quarter Master Vince Howley high lighted the gratis program for canes, crutches, walkers, and wheel chairs. Pat Burr, Mara Hodgkins, and Ken Sigmund distributed the programs. Mike Bresnan acted as set-up manager.

            Bugler and Sgt at Arms Lou Tirado and Chaplin Ray Fico, opened and closed the program. Jim Shaffer served as M/C. as Post Commander Mike Thayer could not make it.





The Washington trip was a very humbling experience for me, especially the Vietnam Memorial.  When I started down the sloping path toward the exhibit and the Names start on the Low Wall and then as the wall become Higher and then all you see is this high wall full of names, I could not hold back the tears.  I know first hand what it is like to lose friends in combat.
Honor Flight San Diego is to be commended as they have a Cadre of experienced volunteers that made the trip enjoyable.  I am not sure of the exact number of Veterans on the trip, the figure I heard was 75.  Each Vet had a "Guardian" whose main duty was to stay with us at the memorials.  There was a Wheel Chair for each Vet and we were either being pushed by our Guardian or walking but 'holding ot to or pushing the wheel chair ourselves.  That was the rules we agreed to before we boarded the plane.  The wheel chairs were transported from San Diego and returned on the flight with us.  It was a U S Airways Chartered Airbus 'A 320' and the cabin was decorated for the occasion.
"Mail Call"  On the Eastbound flight they had 'Mail Call' just as we had all experienced.  This was a preplanned event (which was noted on their Web Site) which family's were alerted to and also schools participated in as I not only received letters from my friends & family but letters from High School Students which I plan to answer.
We flew into the Baltimore/Washington International Airport where there was a large Cheering Welcoming Committee.  We had a much larger welcoming committee when we returned to San Diego, including my wife and daughter.
The memorials visited were:  WW II, Lincoln,  Korea, Vietnam, Arlington National Cemetery, Marine Corps (Iwo Jima), Air Force, Women Vets (we had 5 women vets in our group) and the Navy Yard Museum.  It was a full day and we had good cool weather.
Both Friday and Saturday evenings we had Dinner Programs.  We were well cared for.  We were divided into 4 groups with a bus for each group.  We also had a Motorcycle Escort (Veterans) on our trip from the Baltimore area hotel to the WW II memorial.  About a forty minute drive.
I recommend visiting Honor Flight's web site "" and watching the video.  They will see my ugly puss several times!!
Ken Sigmund






POW STORY DAY starts at 10 am on Tuesday, October 14th at the Veterans Museum on Free Tuesday for San Diego Residents.


Members from the San Diego Chapter of the American Ex-Prisoners of War will gather at the museum to tell their stories and show mementos and artifacts from their experiences as a Prisoner of War (POW) during WWII, Korea and Vietnam. 


Many of the internees built huts (shanties) at Santo Tomas to escape the overcrowded conditions in the dormitories. Photo: Army Signal Corps

Tom Crosby was an elementary school student in Manila during WWII and was scooped-up along with his family and sent to the Santo Tomas Internment Camp in 1942.  They remained there with over 4,000 other civilians until they were liberated by the United States' 1st Cavalry Division in 1945. 


Come and hear Tom's incredible story and the stories of many others on this special day of living history at the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in Balboa Park.   

B-24 Memorial
Stay Connected,
visit our page:
                             Veterans Museum & Memorial Center in Balboa Park
2115 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101







Veterans Try Yoga, Hiking, Horseback Riding for PTSD




Korean American Club Honoring Korean War Veterans

The Korean American Club has recorded the entire August 2014 program and is available on this website:

Photos of the 15 July 2010 event are available at:'sLuncheonParty/2010-07-15_KAC_KoreanWarVetsLuncheonParty.html



Color Guard at 2014 Aquadettes 50th Birthday




Hagel visits with female submarine officers in Ga.

American Legion, Kiwanis and US Submarine Veterans visit the Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach to deliver "Medical Dolls" and Kaps for Kids.



American Legion and Kiwanis highlight Olivewood and San Joaquin graduations

By Jim Shaffer
            The dual team of Kiwanis and American Legion participated in two recent elementary school 6th grade graduation programs. The team program included the Legion’s Honor Guard ceremony complete with bugle call, posting flags, invocation, and pledge,  plus medals awarded to outstanding students as selected by the teaching staffs.
            At San Joaquin ,Warren Marr distributed Poppies to all graduates and  explained the  meaning of the Poppy. At Olivewood Gil Rowland, Joe Rainey, and Jim Shaffer, briefly explained respectively, Kiwanis, The Legion, and what a veteran is.
            The two events were only one hour apart and some  of  the Honor Guard had to “double time” to cover both events. Kiwanians and Legionnaires who  participated in the two events, in addition to the four already mentioned, were Chaplin Ray Fico, Bugler Lou Tirado, Pat Burr, Mara  Hodgkins, Mike Evans, and Hugh Seamster.
            This was the third year that the Legion-Kiwanis team has highlighted these two graduations in  schools only 5 minutes from Laguna Woods



Recap of Poppy  Program for Memorial Day, 2014
By Jim Shaffer
            As of  June 8,2014, we have accumulated a record $3812.46 and two of our troopers have yet to solicit and will be doing so before July 4.. So this is a preliminary report.
            There were some 18 of us out in the trenches. The 3 top Poppy pullers so far are  Jerry Anderson, Shaffer, and Kevin Pryle/ Susan.
            We worked Stater Brothers, CVS Pharmacy, Ralph’s in the El Toro Mall, and Traders Joe’s. Please note there has been a change in some of the managers, and Trader Joe’s even has 9 managers.
            Total expenses are $339.28, mostly for 1,400 poppies at .18 cents each.
            It has been  an extremely successful exchange so far. The following are the Platoon Patrol troopers who did or will spend time in the trenches… Jim and Kathleen Matthews, Kevin Pryle and Susan, Craig Charlton, Mara Hodgkins, Joe Rainey, Jerry Anderson, Marylin Bowbeer, Warren Marr, Ed and Joyce Brockett, Mike Thayer, Maggie and Hugh Seamster, John Draper, Sam Higa, Shaffer, Vice Howley, and Charlene and Nick Alpino.
Record attendance for Legion’s  and Auxiliary’s  2014 Memorial Day program
            Over 214 were counted at the program at 10:00 AM at Clubhouse 5. Commander Mike Thayer and 1st Vice Joe Rainey M/C ed the program. The prime speaker was LtCol Ted Tanner, USAF (ret) WWII who gave a attentive account of many of his service . incidents.. Bert Hack, Mayor, also spoke briefly, as did officers of the County Fire Dept and County Sheriff ’s Dept.
            The Post’s Honor Guard opened the ceremony. Three sing-alongs were led by Nick Alpino and Sunshine Lutey. A dramatic poem found anonymously in a WWII trench in Europe by David Hartman was personally delivered by him.
             Jerry Anderson and Jim Shaffer defined the meaning of the Poppy symbol, that is, poppies are currently blooming on the graves of  371 WW1 US infantrymen buried at a cemetery in Flanders , Belgium . The Post acknowledged some 15 members who passed during the year with a bell-ringing “Post Everlasting” ceremony. 

Lisa Graham, principal of San Yermo Elementary School, holds a thank you note written by one of fifty students. These notes will be included in a package for the troops as part of Operation Interdependence. These notes and packages put a little joy in the day of the recipeints. Thank you students of Glen Yermo Elementary School.


Post 257 Chaplain Ray Fico with Thank You Notes for the Troops made by students of San Joaquin Elementary School. These will go as part of a package for Operation Interdependence. 






John Badgley, JEREMY WEYLAND (Laguna Hills HS), Warren Marr


Warren Marr, DANIEL BUSHNER (El Toro HS), John Badgley, Sam Higa


Kohl Thorlakson Post 257 Boys State delegate 2013 from El Toro High School has posted a Utube video about his Boys State experience.

Click here to view



The Aktion Club in res Tee's, with 14 members from three Laguna Woods c


The Aktion Club in red Tee's, with 14 members from three Laguna Woods clubs.....Kiwanis, TGIF, and the American Legion. The occasion was celebrating the comming Memorial Day.







Ask a Service Officer: Agent Orange exposure



Post Member John Badgley has written a book entitled “Frigate Men”. 
            John Badgely of our post has written and had published a fascinating book entitled “Frigate Men” John was in WWII, a Lt. JG in the coast guard and served on the USS Bisbee a frigate with many duties including sub chasing. John and the Bisbee served during 45 campaigns in the Pacific What makes this book so fascinating is that John wrote it, painted and sketched the pictures, and obtained photos from the naval archive files. Great book , John!!!
Jim Shaffer
Always thought of  the Coast Guard as shallow water sailors, his book destroys that myth. Sam Higa
 John Badgley has books available for purchase 949-458-9444
Tom Anderson, son of member Jerry Anderson has just had published a page turner and burner entitled "Colt Humboldt and the Close of Death" . It is paper back, pocket size and a young adult story, but grabs anyone including us senior citizens. It is stacked with humor, every page has action, a true page turner. For more info and to order , enter " Colt Humboldt and the Close of Death" on the web site and you will get plenty of info.
Jim Shaffer 24 April 2014




Study confirms air crews’ exposure to Agent Orange


The Bon Family will be our entertainment for March Dinner Meeting.

  • Watch our new promotional video here:
  • They were our entertainers in Jan. 2012 Dinner Meeting. They were a big hit with the members.





WWII submarine veterans honored at Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station



    Kathy Carlisle , Laguna Woods, gave us two giant bags of lap robes she fashioned. They go to the Long Beach Hospital. Kathy does this several times a year.
    Jerry Anderson will be helping on the two annual Poppy Programs, at Memorial Day and Vets Day. Jerry is from lower Dakota, USA, WW II, spent much of his life in Paris...Paris, Illinois as manager of a ag unit producing for cereal manurfacturers.    
Jim Shaffer, 3rd Vice
One heck of a story.
From my old pilots net!
To find the film after 65 years is amazing enough, but for the plane to crash right near the sub.... heaven would have to have been looking out for those young men. Read the short note before viewing the clip.
IT'S AN AMAZING STORY and worth watching... About 2.5 minutes.
An entire crew of a B-29 (12) was rescued by a US submarine after their plane was shot down in 1945, 70 miles off the coast of Japan. The entire rescue was filmed in color, but sat in a guy's closet until now.
This is a story from a Denver TV station of one of those rescued aviators to whom the video was delivered. It also shows their transfer to another submarine that is likely headed back to port before the one that accomplished the rescue.
Can you imagine, 65 years AFTER your own rescue you get to watch it on film?



From the Winter 2014 U.S.Navy Cruisers Assocciation

The VA has updated the list of U.S.Navy and Coast Guard ships that operated in Vietnam, adding more ships and expanding information for others.  There are now 285 ships on the list, which can help Vietnam-era veterans find out if they qualify for presumption of Agent Orange exposure when seeking disability compensation for related diseases.  The list can be viewed at
Ed Brockett








Our post was given a giant 18x24 "Thank You" card honoringVeterans Day and our post. The card was passed to us by Marilyn Atwell and Dorothy Woods of Laguna Woods Kiwanis.  It was hand crafted by the Aktion Club of Vocational Visions in Mission Viejo. The Aktion Club is sponsored by Kiwanis and composed of  challenged members who do simple assembly work for local companies and get paid. Vocational Visions is a firm that trains and assists challenged people who are 21 and older and no longer elgible for public school. It has perhaps some 300 students. It is supported by both government and private contributions. Our Aktion Club has been in existance for over 25 years. It meets once a month and is a national program of Kiwanis. The card will be displayed at our November dinner.
....Jim Shaffer


       Awesome video of an awesome soldier.  IF THIS DOESNT MAKE YOU PROUD






Since our charter in 1967, our American Legion Post has been welcoming VETERANS from all branches of our Armed Forces. Today, we continue to welcome all military personnel serving our country. Joining our Post enables you to continue serving your God, Country and Community. Our mission is to implement the goals, aspirations, dreams, peace and blessings for our country, friends and families embodied in our preamble below.


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To the wonderful patriotic citizens of the Laguna Woods Village community. Join our Post as a Booster or Sponsor. (click Sponsor or Booster Button for details). 100% of the monies raised are given back to the community. Help us to continue sponsoring Scholarships for our children; give aid and assistance to our local needy Veterans, and their families. Help us to continue to support financially worthy community programs and projects.


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