VFW Post 9892 

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Col. B.J. Smith, VFW Post 9892



In 1937 B.J. Smith commonly known only as “BJ” from Dumas, Texas, enlisted in the military. Thus began a military career which was to span 32 years. This young man would have a far reaching effect on the lives of many. “BJ” rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant in four years as an instructor of radio at Scott Field, Illinois. He was selected for pilot training and commissioned as a pilot in 1941. He saw wartime service in the Far East/Pacific are until 1950.  Because of his extensive experience in the communication field, “BJ” was reassigned to Scott Field. Achieving the rank of Colonel his last military assignment was Commander, Southeast Asia Communication Region, Clark AB, Philippines.  Col. B.J. Smith retired from active duty in 1970. In 1978 he returned to the Philippines to live. “BJ” founded the Retiree Activities Program at Camp John Hay and served as its first director from 1979 to 1985. He brought together over 200 retirees living in the Baguio, Philippines area. In 1985 the U.S. Retirees lost a good man, Col. B.J. Smith passed away. He touched the hearts of many with his simple philosophy: “Continuous service to your fellow man is its own reward”. 




The actual conception of a Veterans of Foreign Wars Post actually began in 1989 within the hearts of 26 veterans who felt a fraternal need to forge the group into a viable organization serving the needs of all comrades. Comrade Pogozelski provided the impetus and these 26 men instituted VFW Post 9892 and named it after Col. B.J. Smith when it was formed on June 7, 1990 in Baguio City, Philippines.




The founding members of VFW Post 9892 were:

Antoni Pogozelski, Ric Baird, David Strasser, Ben Yabut, Frank Hillard, Art Gaspard, Dick Smith, Robbie Robinson, Ralph Knowles, Horace Crandell, Ralph Booher, Harold Vierra, Dean Brittain, Harold Wolf, Charles White, Ed Kelly, Ken Prettyman, Ward Harden, John Belik, Ron Woodson, Larry Boudreaux, Bob Bennet, Gorden Todd, Ron Groscost, Leroy Cook, and Noel Kramer.


OFFICERS 1990-1991


R.W. Joyce, Commander of VFW Post 9723 called the Jun 7, 1990 meeting to order. Members and guests were introduced and members were sworn in. Col. B.J. Smith, Post 9892 then began. Nominations for officers were taken. Officers elected: Commander -Hughes, Quartermaster-Molina. On July 10, 1990, the following officers were elected and sworn in.  Senior Vice Commander-Carter; Jr. Vice Commander-DeJesus; Adjutant-Hillard; Advocate-Norton; Chaplain-Belik; Surgeon-Brittain; Trustee 3-White; Trustee 2-Baker; Trustee 1-Tickacek.






The terrible earthquake in Jul 1990, caused several members to move to the US or to the lowlands of La Union. No meeting or records were kept during the months following. In late 1990, the members left reorganized and regrouped. The next major event was the election of officers for 1991-1992.




Commander-Pogozelski; Sr. Vice-Gray; Jr. Vice-Yabut; Quartermaster and Adjutant-Hemminger; Advocate-Norton; Chaplain-Belik; Surgeon-Harlan; Trustee 3-Tichacek;

Trustee 2-Crandall; Trustee 1-Groscost


From the beginning the VFW Post 9892 meetings were held at Camp John Hay, but with the base closure in 1991, the meetings were moved to the Manila Café in downtown Baguio City. Due to the loss of several members, recruiting took place in San Fernando, La Union near Wallace Air Station. Several members were signed up. Meetings were decided to be alternated between Baguio City and the Sea Breeze Restaurant in La Union. March 1992 members voted to have future meetings at Poro Point, La Union.  Art Gaspard moved that periodically meetings would be held in Baguio for sentimental reasons. Comrade Gray seconded and it passed.




On April 14, 1992, the VFW Post 9892 offically moved to Poro Point, San Fernando, La Union. The Post canteen was officially opened on 2nd Street in Poro Point and renovated due to the benevolence of Comrade Russell.




Election of officers was held in the newly christened Post canteen. Results were: Commander-Rhett Weber; Sr. Vice- Art Gaspard; Jr. Vice-Papa Tony Jacisin; Quartermaster-Phil Coey; Advocate-Ralph Begien; Chaplain-Dari Camp; Surgeon-Ken Prettyman; Trustee 3-Dave Ransom; Trustee 2-Reese Crandall; Trustee 1-John Petty.  On May 30, 1992, a picnic  was held at the Sea Breeze Resort which was the ground work of reinstating the “Chili Cook off”, held for many years on bases in the Philippines. Miss Chili Pepper contest was added for spice and scheduled to be held on 4th of July. Community activities sponsored were: 1. Bingo, originally held at Sea Breeze now held in Post Canteen. 2. Steak Night once a month. 3. A day on the Beach once a month. 4. Hospital visits to Post members and families in distress. 5. Support Expates Association, providing monies for education of children in the local area. 6. Providing food stuffs for the Baccuit Day Care Center. 7. Sponsoring a Christmas party to include gifts for the orphanage. In 1993 the Expats Association was a co-host.  Membership increased to 33. Later we lost one when Paul Blenis passed away from cancer.






Election results were: Commander-Emory Russell; Sr. Vice/Service Officer-Norm Gonda; Jr. Vice-McCoy; Quartermaster-Tanner; Advocate-Begien; Chaplain-Camp; Surgeon-Norrie; Trustee 3-Pogo; Trustee 2-Petty; Trustee 1-Ransom. Also the following were elected for District VII: District Commander-Weber; District Quartermaster-Ransom; District Judge Advocate-Russell; District Adjutant Limile was also appointed. After Sr Vice Gonda passed away Nov 1993, Jr Vice Dorm moved up to Sr Vice. Gaspard was elected Jr Vice. Trustee 2 Petty resigned to accept Adjutant and was appointed to House committee. The new Trustee 2 was filled by Stroughton.  The Post Charter was draped four times in 1994. Jan 27, Papa Tony Jacisin; Feb 8, Rice Tanner; March 8, Gerald McCoy; and again on April 28, James G. Marter. Despite these periods of mourning, the Post ended with 71 members. Average Post income is P14,000 monthly with Post assets at P 260,000. A new covered porch area was built on the Poro Point 2nd Street canteen. In addition a Post library was built.




Election results were: Commander-Ransom; Sr. Vice-Stoughton; Jr. Vice-Gaspard; Quartermaster-Limile; Advocate-Shaw; Chaplain-Jordon; Surgeon-Whitehead; Trustee 3-Forseth; Trustee 2-Openhoof; Trustee 1-Wallworth.  Several memorials were held on Memorial day these years. Also Bingo went well and several Community projects in the Bauang, La Union/San Fernando, La Union were held.




Election results were: Commander-Russell; Sr. Vice-Limile; Jr. Vice-Begien; Quartermaster-Sidley; Advocate-Whitehead; Chaplain-Golightly; Surgeon-Marynen; Trustee 3-Groscot; Trustee 2-Forseth; Trustee 1-Openhoof.  The Post home was moved to Paringao, Bauang, La Union on Nov 19, 1995. The new location proved wise as the canteen enjoyed new life. Bingo continues to proper in this larger location.  Volunteer Canteen Manager Petty resigned and Jan Jandl was selected from those who applied for the paid position. Air-conditioning was put in due to the generosity of Comrade Russell loaning the Post the money. Chater was draped  in Nov 1995 for Robert Haskell. Membership increased to near 100.




Elected officers were: Commander-Limile; Sr. Vice-Morrison; Jr. Vice-Hillhouse; Quartermaster-Ransom; Chaplain-Golightly; Surgeon-Marynen; Advocate-Begien; Trustee 3-Groscot; Trustee 2-Forseth; Trustee 1-Openhoof. In 1996, the following District VII Officers were installed: Chief of Staff-Gaspard; Buddy Poppy Chairman-Wallworth; Inspector-Morrison. July fourth celebrations was held at Post Canteen and 80 members and guests attended. 1996 Commander Russell awarded plaques to Mike Kelly for his support and participation in Post activities. Col. (RET) Rene V. Certeza for his devoted support as well.  Using Bingo money, the Post had given $8,761 to community projects from Nov 1995 through Jan 1997. The Christmas party for the orphanage was a great success held at Comrade Doherty house. Comrade Corky Roberts provided the balloon shaping.  Santa Doherty and Corky visited 16 Barangay day care centers. 1,600 children benefited from their visits. Highlight of the year is the Annual VFW Chili Cook Off.  26 teams took part in a day of festivities. This event is now held in October to get more favorable weather. . Post membership is at 118. All of these Life Members.




Elected Officers were:Commander-Hillhouse; Sr Vice-Meixel; Jr Vice-Aukshun; Quartermaster-Kirsch; Chaplain-Golightly; Advocate-Neilsen; Surgen-Banana; Trustee 1-Gaspard; Trustee 2-Hillard; Trustee 3-Morrison. VFW Post 9892 paid tuition for three students. Conducted memorial day cerimonies at several cemeteries. The following individuals were recognized for assistance during the year. Bill Forgan, Christian Simon, Ken Hodges, Hank Golightly, David Guard, Thomas Sidley, Gloria Salinas, Emory Russell, Gemma Truman, Ralph Begien III, Emily Limile, Harry and Agnes Nichols. We hosted the Department Convention in June 1997 which was a very good success. Membership was at 131 but dropped to 126 due to deaths and transfers.




Elected Officers were: Commander-Hillhouse; Sr Vice-Russell; Jr Vice-Aukshun; Quartermaster-Limile; Chaplain-Golightly; Advocate-Woffenden; Surgeon-Upton; Trustee 3-Nicely; Trustee 2-Morrison; Trustee 1-Hillard. Chairman of the house committee was Marvin Kirsch.  1998 saw a new Canteen manager named: Bob Tuttle. Bob immediately improved the income of the canteen. The Chili Cook Off was another big hit with 25 teams registered. Although some did not show do to a typhoon which hit the day prior to the cook off, the weather during the affair was good. The community Actions Program donated college tuition, clothes, medicine, a well, food stuffs and assistance to a broken leg victim. All total over 10,000 pesos were donated to charity in this year.  Membership grew to 135 thanks to recruiting from Emory Russell and Rhett weber.




Elected Officers were: Commander-Russell; Sr Vice-Aukshun; Jr Vice-   ;Quartermaster-Limile; Advocate-  ; Surgeon-Upton; Chaplain-Gaspard Trustee-3-  ;Trustee 2- ;  Trustee 1-  ;



  To Be Completed