Washington Department Commander John Rust, middle, joins VFW Post 1741 Commander Roger Flygare, left, and District 11 Commander Tony Whetstine for the festivities. COURTESY PHOTO

Washington Department Commander John Rust, middle, joins VFW Post 1741 Commander Roger Flygare, left, and District 11 Commander Tony Whetstine for the festivities. COURTESY PHOTO

VFW Post 1741 turns 90; members gather to mark special occasion

Organization achieves national honors

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1741 in Auburn gathered to celebrate the Post’s 90th birthday last Saturday, culminating with a dinner program at the Muckleshoot Casino.

Among the attendees were: Washington Department Commander John Rust; District 11 Commander Tony Whetstine, former Post 1741 commander; past commander Bill Peloza, deputy mayor of Auburn; Roger Flygare, current Post 1741 commander; and Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus.

Outgoing Commander Tony Whetstine and the Post’s leadership team planned the event and made it happen.

Founded in 1929 as White River VFW Post 1741, it has since had a complement of U.S. military dating all the way back to the Civil War, and all the way up to the military’s involvement in World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Indeed, it has been recognized as an All-American Post for meeting and exceeding its membership requirements for 2019-20.

As a functioning nonprofit, VFW Post 1741 provides scholarships to veterans who are planning to attend Green River College or who are already enrolled. Combat veterans who would like to take advantage of these scholarships should call 253-293-5839 to get the paperwork started.

VFW Post 1741 also helps anyone properly dispose of their battered or worn U.S. flags and provides them with a standard-sized replacement at no charge.

Post 1741 participates and hosts many events, among them, Flag Day, Memorial Day and Auburn’s Veterans Day Parade.

Also

For the only the third time in its history, VFW Post 1741 achieved the national award of All-American Post.

Whetstine also received the Top Five All-American Commander Award at a ceremony in Orlando, Fla., July 22. Whetstine accepted the award from Commander-In-Chief B.J. Lawrence at the membership celebration.

The occasion marked the first time VFW Post 1741 has finished among the top five posts in all divisions.

As VFW Post 1741 celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, Whetstine steps down as post commander. He sees only good things for the future.

“Entering a new decade, not only on the calendar but for our post, our commitment to serving veterans and our community is stronger than ever,” he said. “With new leadership driving us forward, we are exploring even more avenues for outreach to veterans in need, to support student veterans and helping our city in its support of our active military members and veterans.”

Whetstine has recently taken over as VFW Department of Washington, District 11 commander, overseeing nine posts including VFW Post 1741.

“While my time as post commander has ended, I am honored to have taken over this new role and look forward to serving all of these posts and helping them and the veterans in their communities any way I can,” Whetstine said.

Outgoing VFW Post 1741 Commander Tony Whetstine speaks at the celebration dinner. COURTESY PHOTO

Outgoing VFW Post 1741 Commander Tony Whetstine speaks at the celebration dinner. COURTESY PHOTO

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