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Lewes, Delaware
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September 24, 1999     Cape Gazette
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September 24, 1999
 

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24 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, September 24 - September 30, 1999 CAPE LIFE Veterans of Foreign Wars celebrates 100 years Celebrations set at Rehoboth, Ocean View posts Sept. 29 By Trish Vernon The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will be celebrating its 100th anniversary on Wednesday, Sept. 29, with festivities slated at both the Rehoboth Beach VFW Post 7447 and at Mason Dixon VFW Post 7234 at Quillen's Point Ocean View. Those attending the celebration from 3 to 5 p.m., in Rehoboth Beach, which is not open to the general public, will be greeted by a new commander, John A. Smith, a retired Marine Corps soldier and Korean War veteran, who took over the reins in June. Smith explained that the Veterans of Foreign Wars was founded by veterans of the Spanish American War from Ohio and Pennsylvania, "who realized that they needed to help each other and had no vehicle with which to respond." The organization quickly grew to nationwide status and was given a Congressional Charter. The Veterans of Foreign Wars reached its zenith following WWII, when returning soldiers were quick to join the ranks. The organization now has over 2 mil- lion members. "When the soldiers came back from World War II and even from the Korean War, we were greeted as heroes at home. But that was- n't true with the Vietnam veter- ans," Smith noted, as since that conflict was so unpopular, they were often shunned by society. "One man told me he didn't feel welcome when he returned and had a hard time assimilating back into society, while there were bands playing when we came home from Korea." Noting that any time there is a Congressional resolution approv- ing an overseas conflict, those returning home, men and women, are eligible to join the VFW if they served at least 30 days in a potentially hazardous situation. With the veterans of WWlI reaching well into their 70s and 80s, Smith hopes to instill the Rehoboth post with new and younger members, particularly those who served in Vietnam many of whom are now in their 50s. "We need younger guys with fresh ideas to turn this organiza- tion over to," Smith said. The VFW has a lot to offer the veteran besides the camaraderie of watching a football game and sip- ping on a beer, even though such events attract a crowd to the newly expanded and renovated Rehoboth headquarters off State Road. The National Service Officer is there to help the veteran who may have disabilities or need other assistance with paperwork and appeals of decisions right up the ranks to the director of the Veterans Administration. They also provide personal support and Continued on page 25 Tdsh Vernon photo The new commander at the Rehoboth Veterans of Foreign Wars CvTW) Post 7447. John A. Smith poses with the flag commemorating the 100th anniversary of the VFW at the post home. Both the Rehoboth post and Mason-Dixon Post 7234 in Ocean View will be celebrating the anniversary on Wednesday, Sept. 29. Rehoboth VFW commended for contribution to WWII Memorial Leaders of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States have announced that VFW Post 7447 of Rehoboth Beach has been named to the Advanced Guard of the WWII Memorial by VFW Commander-in-Chief Thomas A. Pouliot in recognition of its advance commitment in support- ing the memorial. "Post 7447 stepped forward at the very beginning of the VFW initiative to raise funds for the WWII Memorial," Pouliot noted. "That kind of unwavering support has been critical in getting our efforts off the ground." The VFW has committed to raise $7.5 million for the WWII Memorial through a matching gift Continued on page 25 Hurricane Floyd a breeze compared to home "Enough already with the hur- ricanes!" Who would have thought something with the name of "Floyd" would make life diffi- cult for others and bring about a lot of misery and destruction. After all, most of us associate the name Floyd with someone nice and passive, like the friendly character who played the barber on the television series "Andy of Mayberry." The only cruelty he could be accused of was having no idea how to give a haircut. In fact, Floyd was so boring, customers in Mayberry would come in asking him to trim just a little on the sides, having no clue Floyd had expired the previous year. But like most people, when I hear there are hurricane warnings in my area, I react the only way I know how to in a potentially dis- astrous situation, which is to AROUND TOWN Nancy Katz scream "Run for your lives!!!" I'm just kidding. I do all of the sensible things. I buy batteries, make sure I have a portable radio, stock up on food and water, watch the Weather Channel, put away outdoor furniture, board up the house, and fill the car up with gas. ground and scream "Run for your lives!!!" It's kind of the same reaction I had in college, whenever I saw the blind date that my roommate swore was a great guy. He also happened to be her brother. But last week, I found myself in northern New Jersey when the hurricane hit. Now some people there claimed I brought the eye of the hurricane with me from Delaware. But that was during the heat of an argument over a parking space behind a supermarket. Now obviously, depending on their experience, people have dif- ferent ideas of what really is a hurricane. To me, wind and rain alone do not meet the definition. During the height of this onslaught, I was stuck out in the country, hunkered down in a 100- year-old farm house, with no car, the power out and babysitting a I Now that's a category six hurri- cane ! Basically, the children saw this as acting out a video called "Pooh's Grand Adventure." But we survived. At the end of the day, there were a lot of tree limbs down, a lot of water around the house and lots of grandchildren running around, wearing nothing but Winnie the Pooh boots on the wrong feet. The next day, I was naturally anxious to get home. But every- where I drove in New Jersey, the roads were blocked off or under water. Desperate, I pulled into a gas station and begged a Pakistani clerk for directions to the turn- pike. And the attendant did the right thing. Recognizing the potential for a real category seven hurricane, a hysterical American woman dri- ving a car with Delaware plates, he said, "I get my boss!" No movies, starring Joan Crawford, in which the inmates take over a women's prison. And so, after almost driving into Manhatten to get back to the turnpike, I made my way down into Delaware. I had no idea the destruction that Hurricane Floyd had wreaked on this wonderful state until I opened my front door. The air-conditioning was going full blast with all the windows open. Every light in the house was on. Every pot and pan I owned was out on the counter. Towels littered the bathroom floor. Television sets were still playing. And no one was home. Yes, a husband home alone for a few days, now that's a real hurri- cane. We ladies know it's not even listed as a category on the charts, just shown as a picture with a giant eye and the words "Run for