Two issues ago, past commander Walt Tanimoto described how a veterans post denied membership to a WWII 442 RCT combat veteran. Membership to many existing veterans organizations were denied to returning Nisei veterans. Walt’s point was that it is so different now relative to the era immediately following WWII. I’m happy to announce that Walt seeks a state-level Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) elected position. I understand that if he is elected, Walt will be the first American of Japanese ancestry to occupy an elected VFW officer position within the VFW Department of Washington organization. Elections are later this year. I wish Walt success in this meaningful endeavor to continuously diversify the department officer positions within the VFW, especially at the state level.
We have some essential issues to tackle this year. Some involve the pandemic protocols about Memorial Hall, but another big subject involves the physical perimeter security of the property. As many of you know, we installed another layer of security fencing across the front entrance of the building. We also installed the fencing in other key areas (e.g., Memorial Wall) to help deter damaging or malicious use of the property (i.e., cooking or using drugs, vandalization, and simply trashing the area). The solution significantly minimized the problems mentioned above. However, unprotected property areas are under siege.
We are currently examining the cost and benefit of installing more fencing across the parking lot, including an automated gate. Doing so will increase physical security of the lower level building and help create a buffer between unauthorized souls and authorized users of Memorial Hall and the surrounding property. I talked to Seattle Police Chief Diaz and many West Precinct police officers about our situation. SPD increased their patrols, and I’ve personally witnessed SPD officers and King County Sheriff deputies clear the property at all hours. I’ll keep you up to date on our progress regarding this costly but necessary security measure.
In the meantime, thanks for your personal support and your financial support too. Thank you to our volunteers because we cannot accomplish our mission without them. Finally, thank you to our service members, who at long last have a service period without war.