News Stories from 2020
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Monday, May 25, 2020, 3 pm: The Brainerd VFW participated in Taps Across America, a national movement to play Taps in remembrance of those who died fighting for freedom. This 24-note bugle song was performed by Brainerd VFW Commander Chip Borle (on the right) with Taps echo by Charlie Johnson of Brainerd (on the left). Chip is an Iraq War veteran. Charlie is a retired Pillager, MN, band teacher. He had three uncles in WWII, one of them died. Another, a Navy man, died in Vietnam. See the video and audio at: https://www.facebook.com/brainerdmemorialdaycommittee/videos/1112790755773951
Monday, May 25, 2020, 10 am: Traditional Memorial Day ceremonies in Brainerd were replaced with a Facebook video taken at the All Veterans Memorial at 10 am. The Brainerd Fire Department put out a flag. Wreaths lay at the All Veterans Memorial, representing those lost at sea, the Bataan Death March, Gold Star families, Daughters of the American Revolution, Blue Star mothers, Marines, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Master of Ceremonies was Bill Satre. Reverend Mark Skinner said the prayers. Flags were raised and lowered. The Honor Guard fired 21 rounds and Marty Judd played Taps. Memorial Day is a national holiday honoring the more that one million servicemen and women who died in service to our country. The event was broadcast live on B93 and Cash 95 radio stations. Photos of the ceremony are below. You can view the video at: https://www.facebook.com/brainerdmemorialdaycommittee/videos/878102222708750 In just 24 hours, there were more than 1600 views of the video.
Saturday, March 14, 2020: The annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Brainerd was cancelled, but that didn't stop people in green from enjoying corned beef and cabbage at the Brainerd VFW. Auxiliary Senior Vice President Helen Doucette reminded visitors that tips are appreciated by the volunteer staff.
Saturday, March 7, 2020: The annual Polar Plunge event to raise money for Minnesota's Special Olympics was held at Breezy Point, MN. Some 170 brave souls jumped into the icy water of Pelican lake in this effort. The Brainerd Area Lakers were sponsored by the Brainerd VFW. Bergen Hanson, daughter of Brainerd VFW members Chuck and Karen Hanson, was the star of the show. She proudly showed off the traveling trophy for the best team costume contest. Bergen is seen in an orange outfit with the rest of the team. She jumped as well. $73,428 was raised that day in this charity event.
Friday, February 28, 2020: A three-hour program was put on at the Brainerd Public Library detailing a history of the Vietnam War. A number of Vietnam veterans attended. Lakeland Public Television Channels 9 and 22 did a story about the event and interviewed Brainerd VFW Chaplain Mark Persons. See: https://lptv.org/historian-arn-kind-brings-vietnam-war-stories-to-brainerd-public-library/
February 23, 2020: Four members of the Brainerd VFW participated in the Minnesota VFW Pistol Shooting Competition in Rogers, MN. They were Commander Chip Borle, Junior Vice Commander Mike Williams, Quartermaster Pat Wing and Chaplain Mark Persons. It was a good opportunity to meet with veterans from around the state and share ideas. None of the local crew came home with an award although Mike Williams said he scored 800 out of 900 possible points in the .22 class. That would have put him in 4th place, but there was no award for that! Mark Persons said, "Serving in the military doesn't guarantee we are good shots." There is always next year!
February 2, 2020: A Superbowl Party was held at the Brainerd VFW. The place was packed. There was plenty of food and fun even if the Minnesota Vikings were not playing that day. Door prizes too.
January 17-19, 2020: Minnesota VFW Mid-Winter Conference in downtown Minneapolis. Present from the Brainerd VFW were Commander Chip Borle, Senior Vice Commander Dave Meyer, Quartermaster Pat Wing, Chaplain/Webmaster Mark Persons, Gambling Manager Chuck Hanson, Yvette Stoliker and Tim Brastrup, along with Auxiliary members Kari Borle and Paula Persons. State winners of Patriot's Pen and Voice of Democracy were honored. Lots of interesting sessions. The Brainerd VFW gave a check for $6000 and the Auxiliary $425 to Minnesota VFW.
Saturday, January 18, 2020: A Beanbag Tournament fund raiser was held at the Brainerd VFW. It was run by the men's 35 year and up VFW Softball Team. They did 3 tournaments with 28 participants. You'll remember the baseball team at the VFW summer picnic in August each year. A big thanks to them for also volunteering at the Sunday breakfast on January 19, 2020. See the team play Friday nights at Memorial field in Brainerd during the summer.
Wednesday, January 1, 2020: New Years Day. The annual Tom and Jerry Party was held for members and guests. Everyone had a good time talking about plans for dieting etc. during the new year. Kitchen volunteers were busy keeping up.