May 28, 2018, Memorial Day in Brainerd, MN.
May 28, 2018: Memorial Day ceremonies were held in Brainerd, MN, starting with throwing a wreath in the Mississippi River to honor those who died at sea. Then on to the All Veterans Memorial, the Brainerd National Guard Armory, a parade in NE Brainerd, speeches at Evergreen Cemetery, then lunch at the American Legion.
May 27, 2018: Memorial Day Ceremonies at Camp Ripley: gilbertlodge.com/2018/05-27a-18-little-falls.html
May 25, 2018:
May 25 - 26, 2018: Preparations were underway for Memorial Day on May 28th. Evergreen Cemetery was being mowed while people were decorating grave sites. The Memorial Day Committee was out at Memorial Gardens and Evergreen Cemetery putting up flags with the help of area Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.
May 23, 2018:
May 23, 2018: Brainerd VFW member Mark Persons (upper right in the first photo) was interviewed on WJJY and KBLB Radio about the upcoming Memorial Day services. An award was received from the American Red Cross for hosting blood drives at the VFW. Some 1126 units of blood have been drawn plus 63 units on May 23rd. Buttons were being made that night for the Minnesota State VFW Baseball Tournament in Brainerd this August. The Traveling Art Pub was at the VFW showing about fifteen ladies how to paint. Nicely done.
Sunday, May 20, 2018:
Sunday, May 20, 2018: The annual memorial service was held for deceased members of Brainerd VFW Post 1647. The ceremony was filled with emotion while songs America the Beautiful, God Bless America, and Just a Closer Walk With Thee were played. In Flanders Field poem by John McCrae was read as well. Tears were shed for obvious reasons.
Tuesday, May 8, 2018:
Tuesday, May 8, 2018: Brainerd VFW Post 1647 received an award for charitable contributions to the Good Samaritan fund raising bowling tournament. Post Junior Vice Commander Mike Williams showed off new leather jacks for the Honor Guard. Dinner that night was tacos. Cribbage and good conversation followed the Post and Auxiliary meetings. T shirts are now available for sale in the meeting area.
Fund raising dinner at the Brainerd VFW:
Saturday, May 5, 2018: There was a Chicken Alfredo fund raising dinner for the Brainerd High School Trap and Skeet shooting team. About every chair at the Brainerd VFW was filled and the dinner went well. The team was out at the Lakeshore Rod and Gun Club shooing range the next day to polish their skills. They are partially sponsored by the Brainerd VFW.
Vietnam Veteran welcome home and Town Hall meeting at the Brainerd VA.
May 1, 2018: A Vietnam Veterans Recognition and Veterans Town Hall meeting was held at the Veterans Administration Clinic in Brainerd. Vietnam veterans were recognized for their service and given a proclamation along with a handshake and medal for their service. The town hall meeting was an opportunity for veterans to express their views and ask questions of VA representatives. In addition, there was a ribbon cutting for a 3900 square foot addition to the VA clinic. That includes fifteen exam rooms for audiology and optometry. The clinic now has 20,000 square feet to serve veterans.
DAV Membership dinner at the Brainerd VFW:
April 20, 2018: The Brainerd VFW hosted a membership dinner for Crow Wing County Disabled American Veterans. Over sixty attended and had a great time in a party atmosphere. Food was Surf and Turf....steak and jumbo shrimp. Thanks to Chuck, Karen and the rest of the kitchen crew for a great meal.
Bataan Death March Remembered: gilbertlodge.com/2018/04-09a-18-bataan.html
Getting Buddy Poppies ready to go:
March 13, 2018: (photos above) A Doris Krueger from the Lakes Area Restorative Justice Project gave a talk at the Brainerd VFW and Auxiliary monthly meeting. This program for juveniles shifts the focus from punishment to restoring and healing. March 21, 2018: Brainerd VFW and Auxiliary members got together to put poppies on cards, which go out to area businesses. Some went on the wall in honor of veterans. Yes, there was popcorn for the workers that day! Poppy Days in Brainerd and Baxter are Friday and Saturday, May 18th and 19th. The public gives donations for poppies. All of the money goes to help veterans. April 4, 2018: (bottom row) Helen Doucette celebrated her 84th birthday at the VFW. Helen is Sr. Vice President of the Brainerd VFW Auxiliary.
St. Patrick's Day at the Brainerd VFW:
March 17, 2018: (photos above) The Brainerd Downtown Association used the Brainerd VFW as a place to hold their annual St. Patrick's Day Kid's Costume Contest. Two bicycles were given away along with other prizes. The VFW served corned beef and cabbage. Then a parade was held on streets nearby, led by the Honor Guard.
Veterans on the Hill in St. Paul:
March 12, 2018: (photos above) About a thousand veterans gathered at the Minnesota State Capitol for the annual "Vet's on the Hill" day. They marched up the capitol steps with flags and then heard speeches by state legislators in the capitol rotunda, followed by break-out sessions for questions and answers with legislators from their districts. Many questions were very direct in asking for more veterans homes and legislation favoring veterans. WCCO Television was there to do interviews. Six Brainerd veterans attended.
Polar Plunge in Breezy Point:
March 3, 2018: (photos above) The annual Polar Plunge to raise money for Special Olympics Minnesota was held at the Breezy Point Resort. The Brainerd VFW has been a big sponsor of the event and won the best costume competition the previous two years. This time they were dressed in Black as the Addams Family. The Walmart team was judged best costume this year with their red cone hats. Plungers raise money for this charity by diving into icy water. The last photos in this gallery show Brainerd VFW Gambling Manager Chuck Hanson and his daughter Bergen. Every year they say it is their last, but every year they are back for another dunking in 33 degree water. That's dedication! Some 326 plungers raised over $74,000 for Special Olympics Minnesota this year.
VFW state pistol shooting competition in Brainerd:
February 17, 2018: (photos above) A Minnesota State VFW Pistol Shooting Competition was held in Brainerd. It was a joint effort between the Brainerd VFW and the Jenkins, MN, VFW. Competition officials/range officers were Tex Stafford and Tim Brastrup (seen in yellow jackets) from the Jenkins VFW. Fifteen shooters competed in 22 caliber and Open Class shooting. The event went off without a hitch. The most heard comment was they'd like to do it again next year. Ladies from the Brainerd VFW Auxiliary prepared a great lunch for the hungry crew of about 30. A big thanks to the many volunteers involved. Winners: Ray Cowan, Post 3839, Jenkins; Tommy Johnson, Post 246, Minneapolis; Mike Williams, Post 1647, Brainerd; John Gieson, Post 5145, New Prague; and Chad Solheid, Minneapolis.
Honor Guard at a local funeral:
February 15, 2018: (photos above) Funeral for 95 year old Willard Erickson. The Honor Guard was from the Brainerd American Legion, VFW, and DAV. Erickson was a Master Sergeant serving in WWII and Korea. May he rest in peace. Ceremonies like this are a frequent occurrence with ten during a two week period in February.
VFW Mid-Winter Conference in Minneapolis:
January 19-21, 2018: (photos above) The annual VFW Mid-Winter Conference was held in Minneapolis. Those attending from Brainerd included Commander Chip Borle and his wife Kari, Vice Commander Dave Meyer, Junior Vice Commander Mike Williams and his wife Karen, Quartermaster Pat Wing, Vet's Gazette Editor Dawn Garin, Auxiliary Senior Vice President Helen Doucette along with Webmaster Mark Persons and his wife Paula. Brainerd made a great showing by donating $2000 to veterans homes. Recruiting new VFW members was stressed. Also on hand were 6th District Voice of Democracy winner Connor Kockler from Sauk Rapids and state VOD winner Logan Ledman from Northfield. A large gathering of participants gave a SKOL showing support for the Vikings. The gathering was a good way to learn more about the VFW organization and meet new friends. You can look forward to Vets on the Hill on March 12th. It is a great way to see the Minnesota State Capitol and influence legislators.
Brainerd VFW Post 1647, 309 South 6th Street, Brainerd, MN, USA