Tag Archives: Iowa Veterans Cemetery

Commanders Call – March 2017

Ted Lanske

*I would like to express my condolences to family and friends of Eugene (Gene) Gaulke (AMVETS)-D.- February 2, 2017 and Norma Briner (Auxiliary)- D.- January 23, 2017.  Gene always had a twinkle in his eyes and heartwarming smile and just enough mischief to keep things interesting.  Norma was a dedicated Auxiliary member and contributed what she could until her health limited those abilities.  May we all hold them in our hearts, prayers and memories.

*I would like to remember and express condolences to Jim Lahr’s and Ruth Rosol’s family and their friends.  Although not Post 79 members, they were Post 79 family and through the years supported our activities.  I am thankful they shared a portion of their lives with me and proud to call them friends.

*To Cyndi and Lyman Campbell, on the passing of Cyndi’s Mother, Barbara (Bobbi) (Ecker) Blatchford.  Bobbi was well known and Ecker’s Nursery was generous over the years to many community activities including AMVETS.  May we also keep Cyndi and the Ecker family in our prayers and share the memories with others.

*On a lighter side:  the weather has been un-winter like, but let’s not be fooled because we still have March Madness, which could be sports or snow.  The good news is that spring is not far away and the days are noticeably longer, so please stay safe, watch the weather, and get the grill ready.

*Department of Iowa Scholarship forms were dropped off at the high school, but they are accessible on line:    http://www.amvetsiowa.org/News-.html  and scroll down to a pdf for scholarship 2016-17.  National AMVETS also has scholarships, forms accessible through National web site.

*My newsletter for March is shorter than most newsletters, and now looking at two more (April/May) to complete my term.  Minus the few months I missed, that adds up to approximately 135 newsletters.  Thank you again to everyone who has ever made a comment regarding the newsletter.

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*From Carl Benning, WAVP Board and Post 79 Finance Officer for the newsletter:

  1. Since we are spending over $1700 each year on the mailing of the newsletter, please consider giving us your e-mail address (you can drop it off at WAVP and designate it for the AMVETS newsletter, or enter your address on the front page of this site).  This will allow us more dollars that we can use for veterans’ services.
  1. There are over 180 AMVETS members in our local Post 79; however, only about 10 are present at the monthly meetings.  Pretty Sad!!  Decisions are made at these meetings; we would like more input and involvement from all members.  We meet the second Wednesday of each month at 7 pm.  This is YOUR organization!!
  1. We are looking for more activities to keep our members active.  Any suggestions?  If you are willing to help with any activity, let us know.
  1. Election of officers is around the corner; the “old slate” is getting tired!  Please consider volunteering for any office.

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Commanders Call – March 2015


Post Commander Ted Lanske



*The time has come to start settling in at the American Legion Post at 208 8th Ave. SW.  The bar has been rebuilt thanks to many hours of work by SOA’s John Mohlis and some assistance by AMVETS Duane Huisman and their families.  The sealing/staining was completed by Auxiliary Sally O’Hare, with Bob giving “base” support.  The goal was to have the building available for the February WAVP breakfast, and that was accomplished with the largest turnout for breakfast to date.  The second goal was to be able to accommodate Bev Besh and his spaghetti supper on short notice.  Even on short notice with limited exposure, we were able to have a successful evening.  Thanks to all of you that helped and supported these activities.

*There are many people to thank, and will list more of them later, but a special thanks goes to Bob Davidson, (VFW Commander and AMVET) who worked his tail off day after day, even on those cold days to inventory, move, store and clean items from the VFW.  A special thanks also goes to Frank Wilkens, who helped remove cabinets and reinstall same at the Legion Hall.  Neither the breakfast nor spaghetti would have been possible without their help and numerous hours (days) of hard work.

*We are now at the point of working on staff for bartender/waitress duties and need your help.  If you or someone you know is available to work as bartender/waitress, they need to contact either of the following: Michelle Ferguson – fergiewaterloo@msn.com or Mike Kukral.  You may also contact me and I will forward it ASAP.

*From my point of view, requirements for all employees, is that their attitude be positive towards the WAVP, listen – but do not spread or repeat gossip, and serve the customers as expediently as possible.

*OK, are you one of those individuals that are unable to volunteer for activities that include lifting, standing on your feet for a period of time, or just busy but would like to be part of this new venture?  Well, there are some items we could use that would help enhance the Legion and would be part of the new facility as well.  It would be nice if we could replace the old and heavy analog TV’s with 2 – 32” flat screens and possibly a larger flat screen.  The bar could also use some extra glasses for drinks, wine glasses, and extra bar towels.  Looking forward, maybe the kitchen could use a large George Foreman grill, an extra pizza oven, or counter top fryer for food nights or other activities.  Interested, but can’t afford one item, maybe share the cost with friends.  The more help we get, the better we can serve you in the future.

*Here is a partial list of what a few people have done along that line so far:

Bob Davidson – bought the extra electric stove

Carl Benning – bought plastic totes and steel shelving for storage units

Ted Lanske – bought material and lumber for rebuilding the bar

Michelle Ferguson – bought swizzle sticks & waste baskets and bar top storage containers for bar

*What we see in the future is truly up to you, our customers.  Now that we are away from the school, would opening at 3 pm be something to consider?  Are there enough NASCAR fans that would be interested in watching NASCAR racing on Sunday?  Are there other card players, (poker, pinnacle, cribbage, etc.) that would be interested in using the building?  When baseball/football seasons start, interest in watching games and having refreshments?  Are there other activities that WE, THE MEMBERS, could do that would bring us together?  I would ask everyone to review their PREAMBLES, then ask yourself, “am I doing my best to live up to what our organizations stand for?”.

*Final remarks to clarify a couple of items:  A Quit Claim deed has been signed by the VFW to transfer their property to the WAVP.  A lease has been signed between the WAVP and Legion for the next year.  The liquor license, state sales tax ID, insurance, and utilities are all now under the WAVP.  Phone numbers for the WAVP are:  319-352-3830 (old VFW number) and 319-483-9287 (WAVP).

*I would like to thank our State Department AMVETS Auxiliary for their donation of $200.00 towards a WWII memorial to be placed on the grounds of the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown.  There are memorials recognizing WWI, Korea, Vietnam, but sadly nothing for the WWII vets.  If interested, please contact me or Jean Lanske on where to send a contribution.

*I would like to extend my condolences to the Donald Beck family.  Donald passed away February 4, 2015.  May the family know our prayers and thoughts are with them.  Thank you for your service (1949-1953).

“Success comes when people act together; failure tends to happen alone” – Deepak Chopra

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Commanders Call – Oct. 2014

Cmdr_Ted*I wish to thank Auxiliary President Mary Steinbach for allowing me a few minutes to address the future of AMVETS and the Waverly Area Veterans Post.  I truly appreciated the positive response in regards to “food nights” and “menu changes” that will need to be addressed as we set up temporary quarters in the Legion Post.

*Wish to say “Thank you” to the Auxiliary on behalf of Bremer County Veterans for the donation to help support the Van and Bremer County Veterans Affairs.

*Reminder to all: the membership dinners will be here shortly, Women-October 15 and Men-November 12, so mark your calendars, bring a new member (call Jean Lanske 319-269-3371 or me 319-240-0734 if you have a question on qualification), and let’s end 2014 with a great turnout.

*Veterans Day 2014, November 11th will be handled by the American Legion at the Tribute.  The Bremer County Veterans Affairs will be conducting “Operation: Gratitude 2014” on November 11th also that day at the Centre next to True Value.  This is truly becoming a day to say “Thank you for serving”, but (always a but) I hope we do not lose the true importance of this day.  Originally set as “Armistice Day” for November 11, 1919, it marked the end of WWI and major hostilities on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.  So as we enjoy the attention, free breakfast or lunch, the “thank you”, please take time to reflect on the millions of men and women before us that raised their hand and offered their lives for our country.

*Please stop by the bulletin board outside the VFW kitchen and review information posted for the Marshalltown Veterans Home.  You may also check Latest News regarding the Home and Cemetery.  Please contact Jean Lanske or me if you have any questions.

*Much too quick, but it is that time of year when freezing temperatures appear and the possibility of icy roads, patchy frost or fog is common, and frost on the windshields, so plan ahead, be safe and do not become a statistic in the paper.   A “retired plumber” reminder; unhook your garden hoses, check your furnace, and make sure your car is ready for winter.  If you are one of the “snow birds” going south, please let us know or make arrangements for your mail.

*Now that a time table has been set for demolition of the VFW and construction of the WAVP, the time has also come for some to make a decision regarding their involvement.  This past weekend, as I worked on this newsletter, I also reviewed the complete donors/contributors list and somewhat saddened by the names I did not see.  What I want to emphasis is that NO GIFT is too small and will share a short story regarding that.  An individual approached a WAVP member and asked if we really would accept a gift of $1.00.  This person’s spouse has been deceased for more than 20 years and social security is the only income, which leaves nothing for extras but was willing to donate that $1.00.  This person’s name will now be on that Wall of Honor under the PATRIOT listing.  Next year at this time, a major portion of the building should be constructed and donor plaques being finalized with the appropriate listings.  Question: “Will your name or family be represented?”

*History bits for October:  12thAmerican troops enter southern Italy (1943), 14thAthens is liberated (1944), 20thThe first major city of Aachen  Germany falls to US troops (1944), 23rd – The battle of Leyte Gulf begins (1944), 26th – The battle of Santa Cruz begins (1942).

Help AMVETS Help Veterans

Latest News – Iowa Vets Home & Cemetery

To all our readers:

Recently, I had the privilege to attend the Volunteer Advisory Committee at the Veteran’s Home in Marshalltown and to visit the Iowa Veterans Cemetery at Van Meter.  Here are just a few things regarding each of them.

Iowa Veterans Home:

Marshalltown Veterans Home

Front gate to Marshalltown Veterans Home

Currently at the Marshalltown Veterans Home the census is at 580 residents and holding steady.  Construction updates to North Malloy are complete and South Malloy should all be completed after the first of the year.  The Dack facility will be next for improvements.  I wish to point out one thing that always catches my attention.  Many of these residents are here due to finances, but also for lack of family.  Because of that, the Veterans Home depends on donations to provide residents with many items we would take for granted.  A few items that are currently on the needed list:  Men’s aftershave/cologne-Full size personal care items (shampoo, body wash, lotion)-Microwave popcorn-Used tennis balls for bottom of walkers.  They do not accept: used clothing or trial/motel/used personal care items.  A Donation Information sheet will be placed on the board by the VFW bathrooms or call Jean or Ted Lanske for a copy or more information.  With the Resident_Busrenovation of Malloy and Dack next, the Veterans Home goal is to place a 32” flat screen TV in each resident’s room.  The approximate cost is $450.00 each and a donation plaque will be placed on the TV once it is purchased and mounted in the room.  This is a wonderful facility and getting better with the new leadership now in place.  Want more information, contact Ted Lanske (319-240-0734) or visit http://ivh.iowa.gov or their Facebook page “Iowa Veterans Home”.




Iowa Veterans Cemetery, Van Meter, Iowa

Iowa Veterans Cemetery:

Ted Lanske at Iowa Veterans Cemetery and SUBVETS Tribute

Ted Lanske at Iowa Veterans Cemetery and SUBVETS Tribute

Jean and I took a side trip to visit the Iowa Veterans Cemetery by Van Meter recently.  The last time we were there was shortly after it was purchased and it was an unused piece of ground.  What a difference and well worth the stop.  Please visit their web site https://va.iowa.gov/vetcemetery and update yourself on this wonderful addition for Veterans of Iowa.  If you don’t have internet, contact Ted Lanske (319-240-0734) and I will gladly provide any information I can.



From their website:

Jean Lanske in front of Administration Building

Jean Lanske in front of Administration Building

The Iowa Veterans Cemetery (IVC) is the first federally funded construction of a state-owned and operated veterans cemetery in the State of Iowa. The cemetery serves the veteran population throughout the state and around the country, as there is no state residency requirement to be interred in the cemetery. Ultimately, it will provide sufficient burial space for up to 80,000 burials.”