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post history

History of the Post

  • Originated: 1964
  • Chartered: December 14, 1970
  • First Post Elections: April 1971 (post becomes offical VFW Post 10216)
  • First Post Commander: Earle Dowd
  • Original Location: Victoria Hotel, Songton-Si, Korea, 1964 - 1977
    (moved to Anjung-Ri for 1 year in 1969)
  • Current Location: Located outside Osan AB's Main Gate in Songtan, Pyongtaek City, Republic of Korea. Our address is: VFW Post 8180, Pacific Hotel, 301-4 Shinjang-2Dong, Songtan-Si, Pyongtaek, Kyonggi-Do, South Korea, 459-122.
  • First Commander-in-Chief: H. R. Rainwater
  • Post Name: VFW Post 8180 is named in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Lewis L. Millett and the famous Korean War Battle of Bayonet Hill, where then Captain Millett earned his MOH. The Post was originally named “Hill 180 Memorial Post” and the charter was changed in 2010 following Colonel Millett’s death to “Colonel Lewis L. Millett Hill 180 Memorial Post”, thus maintaining the heritage of our original name while honoring the colonel.
  • Post Consolidation: Sep 11, 2017, Bonifas – Barrett Memorial Post 8180 (Yongsan, Seoul) consolidated with Post 10216 bringing over its number making us Colonel Lewis L. Millett Hill 180 Memorial Post 8180. Post 8180 was named for Maj Arthur G. Bonifas and 1st Lt Mark T. Barrett. These two soldiers were brutally massacred in the Aug, 1976 tree-trimming detail in the DMZ by axe and pike wielding North Korean troops (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hte5erv_vCE). Post 8180 had absorbed Perimeter Memorial Post 10086 (Taegu) in Apr, 1997 and Pusan Memorial Post 8830 (Pusan) in Jan, 1998 during previous consolidations.
  • How to Get Here: It is only a two-minute walk out the Osan AB Main Gate, into the Shin Jang Walking Shopping Mall, past Songs Coins on the left, turn right at Mikes Shirt shop, go down the small decline. We are on the left under the Pacific Hotel.
first post membership


The Beginning of Our Post



One of the longest continuously operating posts in Korea, Post 10216 started in 1964, chartered in 1970. It was originally located in the basement of the Victoria Hotel from 1964-1977, then went through several relocations before finally finding a home in the basement of the Pacific Hotel. As one enters the Post, you will find an atmosphere that is friendly and comfortable with plenty of tables, pool table, dart boards, the Canteen bar, walls decorated with pictures of a Korea/military/Osan AB theme and shelves of military aircraft models. In addition you will find special dedication walls to include (not limited to) the Tuskegee Airmen in honor of our own Tuskegee Airmen MSgt (Ret) James "Jim" Price who unfortunately passed away on 20 Jul 2008. Jim was one of the founding members of the post. In Feb 1998 VFW Post 10216 sponsored now retired Colonel Millett's return to the scene of his historic battle for the very first time since that battle on Hill 180. He was invited as the guest speaker during the annual Hill 180 Memorial Ceremony that year and on 6 Feb gave a most memorable and tear invoking speech. Sponsored by VFW Post 10216 and the 8th US Army 3rd Battlefield Coordination Detachment-Korea (BDC) COL Millett returned to Osan AB every year following through 2003 to participate in the Hill 180 ceremonies and spend time with the members of the VFW post named in his honor. In Feb 2000 COL Millett helped dedicate a stone on Hill 180 to the first 6 US personnel to die at the onset of the Korean War. In 2001 he attended the Hill 180 ceremony during a 50th Korean War anniversary specifically honoring his actions. In 2002 the BCD dedicated the 'Millett Room' in the BCD headquarters building to him. And in 2003 COL Millett spent time at the Osan BX signing pictures and visiting with the many service members and family members of the Osan and surrounding military community. During each visit the Medal of Honor recipient has been honored and welcomed as a distinguished guest of VFW Post 10216.

The following is a historical record from the first 10216 post commander, Earle L. Dowd.

Department of Pacific Areas Aid-de-Camp Neil Tremblay was TDY to Osan AB from the 555th TFS out of Naha AB, Japan in 1970.  Earle Dowd was assigned to Det 9, 47th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service (ARRS) (PEDRO) at Osan AB.  Neil started informal discussions with the possibility of forming a post, which had twice before failed. It started with approximately six names, no monies from Dept. they were assigned a charter membership and temporary positions of post formation to organize. A meeting was held with the Osan Air Base Commander, the Airman, NCO, & Officers Club managers to grant permission to operated the poroposed VFW on military grounds. The charter said that they would not attempt to open a VFW Canteen for profit on base and try to compete with club operations. The clubs furnished meeting space without charge.

Jim Price supplied transportation for several trips to the Seoul VFW Post at no cost to attend meetings to form the post. A Post number was suggested as Post 180 but numbers cannot be picked and are assigned by VFW National. A name had to be chosen, Osan AB, Task Force Smith, Hill 180, or Memorial Post Hill 180 were the contenders. To get the word out an no league bowling team was formed with jerseys to advertise the Post. It worked well being that anyone assigned to Korea was authorized the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal which qualified them for membership. We hosted meetings with Seoul to also help Camp Humphreys create a post. Finally, our charter was established. The original leadership of our new post was: 

Commander: Earle L. Dowd, Previous Active Member 
Sr. Vice: Fritz Barber, Previous Active Member
Jr. Vice: Jack Fowler, New Member
Quartermaster: Frank B. George, Previous Member
Chaplain: William E. Tidrich
Asst. Chaplain: Jim Price
Adjutant: Dick Walters
Transportation Chairman: Jim Price

In early 1971 the ARRS air rescue command discontinued rescue coverage at Suwon AB and was downsized, and Commander Dowd had to leave. Some members were advanced and special elections were held to fill the vacancies.  -- Earle L. Dowd 

awards and recognition


Post Awards and Recognitions

  • 2016-2017 Department of Pacific Outstanding Post Adjutant, Ernie Lee
  • 2016-2017 Department of Pacific Outstanding Post Membership Chairman, Warren Maxson
  • 2015-2016 Outstanding VFW Post Department of Pacific
  • 2015-2016 Outstanding VFW Commander Department of Pacific
  • 2015-2016 Outstanding VFW Quartermaster Department of Pacific
  • 2015-2016 Outstanding VFW Outside Contributor Business Department of Pacific
  • 2015-2016 Outstanding VFW Outside Contributor Individual Department of Pacific 
  • 2014-2015 VFW NATIONAL Outstanding Community Service Program Activities
  • 2014-2015 VFW NATIONAL Outstanding Safety Program Activities
  • 2014-2015 VFW NATIONAL Outstanding Post Youth Activities Program Activities
  • 2014-2015 VFW NATIONAL Outstanding Citizenship Education (Americanism)
  • 2013-2014 VFW NATIONAL ALL AMERICAN POST
  • 2013-2014 VFW Department of Pacific ALL STATE POST
  • 2012-2013 VFW NATIONAL ALL AMERICAN POST
  • 2012-2013 VFW Department of Pacific ALL STATE POST
  • 2012-2013 Outstanding VFW Post Department of Pacific
  • 2011-2012 VFW NATIONAL ALL AMERICAN POST
  • 2011-2012 Outstanding VFW Post Department of Pacific
  • 2010-2011 Outstanding VFW Post Department of Pacific
  • 2009-2010 VFW NATIONAL ALL AMERICAN POST
  • 2009-2010 Outstanding VFW Post Department of Pacific
  • 2007-2008 VFW NATIONAL ALL AMERICAN POST
  • 2005-2006 VFW NATIONAL ALL AMERICAN POST
past commanders


Post Commanders Past & Present

1970-1971   Earle L. Dowd
1971-1973   Ronald Kirby
1973-1974   Raphael O’Conner
1974-1975   Bill Voger
1975-1977   Larry Palmer
1977-1978   Charles Saab Jr
1978-1979   Richard Gilbert
1980-1981   Oscar Madere
1981-1982   Michael Berzinski
1982-1984   Steven Kehran
1984-1986   Gerald Kraus
1986-1989   David Kamin
1989-1990   Billy Quintero
1990-1992   Ken Tretow
1992-1993   Frank Sass

1993-1994   Randolph Becher
1994-1995   Okey Warden
1995-1996   Roy Banning
1996-1997   James Malott
1997-1998   Jerry Ross
1998-1999   Jim Proctor
1999-2000   Keith Michael
2000-2001   Ron Davis
2001-2002   Daryl Vroom
2002-2003   Jerry Ross
2003-2004   Phil Moore
2004-2005   Billy Quintero
2005-2007   John Dyck
2007-2008   Billy Quintero
2008-2009   Ron Tichota

2009-2010   Shawn Watson
2010-2011   Patrick Higgins
2011-2012   Alan Hammerstrom
2012-2013   Ernest Lee
2013-2014   Ernest Lee
2014-2015   Daniel Delaney
2015-2016   Warren Maxson
2016-2017   Cynthia Schmitz
2017-2018   Warren Maxson

post activities


Post Activities and Community Support

  • The VFW year is July 1 through June 30, in which the elected officials serve
  • Meetings ran efficiently and effectively in accordance with the VFWs highest standards 
  • Run formal induction ceremonies for all new members that includes the oath, Cross of Malta ceremony and presentation of the Cross of Malta pin and VFW coin 
  • Effectively utilize the VFWs Adopt-A-Unit program and use the VFWs MAP initiative to support military functions at Osan Air Base 
  • Post 8180 is the largest Post in the Pacific and has the highest turnover of its military members (most with 1-year tours) and the largest number of “continuous members” to recruit for the VFW’s retention goals. Several membership drives are held every year. 
  • Participate in the VFW Voice of Democracy, Patriot Pen and Teacher’s Awards. These programs celebrate education from scholarship chances toward college for Middle and High School students to awarding teachers that promote civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism. 
  • Publish meticulous Post Meeting Minutes that also include a highly-acclaimed Post Newsletter (available on the Post wegsite) 
  • Maintain one of the best websites in all of the VFW at www.vfw10216.com and keep it current by posting all Post events and documentation. 
  • Work close with base leadership to support military personnel with donations, relief funds support and community involvement. 
  • Achieve excellent rapport with community organizations such as the Songtan Chamber of Commerce, Chief’s Group, NCO Association and 1st Sergeants Group, which improves our outreach to the community. 
  • Superbly work with and support the Military Order of the Cooties Pup Tent #8. 
  • Our House Rules Committee and Leadership provides outstanding oversight of Canteen operations profits go directly to our General Fund to support our numerous VFW activities. 
  • Post 8180 is an active participant in Departments Special Programs (EMT/Law Enforcement/Fire Fighter). 
  • The post is big into youth activities by supporting the local Girl Scouts, Civil Air Patrol, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. 
  • The post also teams up with the Osan AB USO throughout the year to provide a free lunch for the base populace, as well as travel to Kunsan AB, which does not have a USO, to do the same. 
  • Annually host District 3 meetings. 
  • Conducts annual Memorial Service for Major Bonifas and 1st Lt. Barrett, normally attended by the United States Ambassador and the Commander, USFK. 
  • Conducts monthly visits to patients at area hospitals to include the 121 General Hospital Yongsan and Osan AB Hospital 
  • There are Buddy Poppy drives throughout year to support veterans.
        
    Among all the flowers that evoke the memories and emotions of war is the red poppy, which became associated with war after the publication of a poem written by Col. John McCrae of Canada. The poem, "In Flander's Field" describes blowing red fields among the battleground of the fallen. The VFW was the first veterans' organization to adopt the poppy and develop a national distribution campaign. For more than 75 years, the VFW's Buddy Poppy program has raised millions of dollars in support of veterans' welfare and the well-being of their dependents. 

    For more on the Buddy Poppy program see http://www.vfwpost4103.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/HISTORY-OF-THE-BUDDY-POPPY.pdf. 
  • Every July is the Task Force Smith Ceremony, remembering the first U.S. ground engagement with North Korea. The memorial and museum is only a short drive from Osan AB, down the business (little) 1 between the cities of Osan and Suwon http://www.nj.gov/military/korea/factsheets/tfsmith.html. 
  • Every October is the Korean American Friendship Festival, which we have a food booth in. 
  • Every November is Veteran’s Day.

    In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…" An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans’ service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

    For more Veterans Day history go to https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp 
  • We hold two large feasts a year for Thanksgiving and Christmas, that the whole family can attend for free. There is also the Super Bowl breakfast. 
  • Every February is the Hill 180 Ceremony.

    This ceremony remembers the Medal of Honor earning bayonet charge by Capt Millet and his men on what is now Osan AB. 
  • Every May is the Armed Forces Day parade.

    On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days. The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under one department -- the Department of Defense. Each of the military leagues and orders was asked to drop sponsorship of its specific service day in order to celebrate the newly announced Armed Forces Day. The Army, Navy and Air Force leagues adopted the newly formed day. The Marine Corps League declined to drop support for Marine Corps Day but supports Armed Forces Day, also.

    For more Armed Forces Day history go to http://afd.defense.gov/History/.
Address

Pacific Hotel
301-4 Shinjang-2Dong
Songtan-Si, Pyongtaek
Kyonggi-Do
South Korea, 459-122 

Contacts

Email Webmaster:
vfw10216 at vfw10216 dom com

Email Commander:
cdr10216 at vfwdeptpacific dot org

Phone: +82-31-662-7560