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New Richmond VFW post honored as tops in state

Pictured are the VFW Post 10818 and Auxiliary members who attended the Wisconsin State VFW Convention in Green bay. Front (left to right) are Lee Meyer and Dave Sharretts. Back row are Merlin Kosmosky, Wendy Burnett, Ron Ebert, Dave Green, Mary Simonds and Milford Simonds.

VFW Post 10818 in New Richmond is Wisconsin's top rated post in the state.

The local veterans' organization attended the state VFW convention June 13-15 in Green Bay and came home with a long list of honors.

The post was awarded the "Red Carper Award" in February. The honor recognizes posts that achieve state goals for new members or retains current members. Post 10818 started in 2011 with 223 members and set a goal to reach 247 by 2012. They hit 287.

On the heels of that award, VFW Post 10818 Commander Dave Green said his members were optimistic about their chances to collect a few more awards at the June convention.

Sure enough, the post took the "All State Team" award, which recognizes the top post in the state. VFW officials select the winning post annually, based on successful activities ranging from fundraising to community service projects to youth development efforts.

"It was a goal to get to this point," Green said. "It took a lot of hard work and everybody had to play a role."

"It was a team effort right from the beginning of the year," Quartermaster Ron Ebert added.

VFW member Merlin Kosmosky said it's quite an accomplishment for the small local post to take top honors among 300+ posts across Wisconsin.

"To accomplish this goal, you have to be very active," he said. "It's non-stop activity. We went beyond the call of duty."

In recognition for his individual effort, Green was presented with the "Captain-All-State" award, which goes to the commander deemed to have the most outstanding record for the year.

"It's the highest award the state of Wisconsin gives to a commander," Kosmosky explained.

The honors didn't stop with the state awards. Post 10818 also picked up several national awards to boot.

The local VFW was given the "National Recognition" award (2011-2012) due to its "outstanding contributions to America through sponsorship and promotion of local community program activities."

The group also picked up a "Community Service special project" citation in recognition of the post's Purple Heart ceremony held April 1 for Sgt. Aaron Fuller. Fuller received a battle field injury in late 2005. In January 2012, Fuller's dad received his son's purple heart in the mail.

The Post was asked to right this wrong and conducted a Purple Heart ceremony.

The post also accepted a certificate of appreciation from the United States Marine Corps, Wounded Warrior Battalion, West, for the Purple Heart ceremony.

An "Award of Merit" was presented May 16 for the Post's "Welcome Home Veteran Program." This is an on-going program for the post. The program began four years ago. The program mission is to "welcome home" all veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and all other conflicts around the world. The goal and pledge is to provide honor and integrity to each veteran from a grateful nation for their service.

An "Award of Excellence" was given to the post and auxiliary for their seminar on "Suicide Prevention". Post 10818 member Bob Aufderhar developed and organized the program.

Commander Dave Green was named a National Aide-de-camp. The award is given to an individual who has performed in an outstanding way within the VFW. Green will be asked to help the national commander in various state and national needs.

And a "15 C-I-C Citation" was also given to Green for exceeding the Post's recruitment goal for 2011-12. The goal was to sign up 15 new members during a six-month period but they beat that goal.

Green said the entire convention was a blur and all the good news didn't sink in until post members returned home.

"I thought, 'holy man, look what we did,'" he said with a smile. "We busted records in the state. Everybody was pretty impressed with what we did."

Green said he gives a lot of credit to the advisory team he appointed when he took over as Post 10818 commander. The team consisted of five former commanders, who offered suggestions on how to recruit new members and how to ramp up the group's community efforts.

"They led me in the right direction," he said.

Another thing that's helped the local VFW is the organization's move to new post space in the Community Commons.

"This gave us a place to call home," Green said. "That has helped an awful lot."

The VFW meets at 6 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month. The entrance to their office space is on the west side of the Community Commons building.