[Congressional Record Volume 160, Number 25 (Tuesday, February 11, 2014)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E203-E204]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                        HON. GERALD E. CONNOLLY

                              of virginia

                    in the house of representatives

                       Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the Springfield 
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7327 and the recipients of its 2014 
Annual Awards.
   The Veterans of Foreign Wars, VFW, traces its beginnings to 1899 
when veterans of the Spanish American War established local 
organizations to bring awareness to their service and to advocate for 
veterans' retirement benefits and improved medical care. Annually, the 
nearly 2 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliaries contribute more 
than 8.6 million hours of volunteerism in the community, including 
participation in Make A Difference Day and National Volunteer Week.

[[Page E204]]

  With approximately 700 Comrades and 150 Ladies Auxiliary members, the 
Springfield VFW Post 7327 stands out for the depth of its commitment to 
our community. Often called ``The Friendliest VFW Post in Virginia,'' 
Post 7327 has one of the most aggressive ADOPT-A-UNIT programs in the 
entire VFW organization to support our service members stationed 
overseas. VFW Post 7327 visits the VA hospital at least quarterly; 
bringing along goodie bags for our Wounded Warriors. Each Thanksgiving 
and Christmas, VFW Post 7327 adopts military families in need through 
the USO and provides them with meal baskets for each holiday, gifts for 
children, commissary cards for the parents, and a Christmas party where 
the children can meet Santa and receive a gift-filled stocking. The 
Ladies Auxiliary members collect, sort, and distribute more than 2,000 
pieces of clothing each month to various charitable organizations. VFW 
Post 7327 is a strong supporter of local youth organizations including 
the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Little League Baseball that contribute 
greatly to the education and well-being of our children.
  Each year, VFW Post 7327 bestows awards to local students who have 
submitted outstanding essays on a theme and to local citizens in 
recognition of their extraordinary actions and dedication. I am honored 
to enter the names of the following 2014 honorees into the 
Congressional Record:
   Voice of Democracy:
   Winner: Sebrina Hess.
   2nd Place: Tirzah Sheppard.
   3rd Place: Nicia Grier-Spratley.
   Patriot's Pen:
   Winner: Aubrey Taradash.
   2nd Place: Madelynn Cerami.
   3rd Place: Skyler Foley.
   Fire Fighter of the Year: Anthony Shaffer.
   EMS of the Year: Sean Wetjen.
   Police Officer of the Year: PFC James L. Thur.
   Teachers of the Year: Aaron Tagert, Silverbrook Elementary; Jennie 
Lindner, South County High School.
   I would also like to recognize the following sponsors of the VFW's 
Recycled Rides Program that provided an automobile to a needy soldier 
at Fort Belvoir: Progressive Insurance, Enterprise Car Rental, Refinish 
Solutions, Tan Auto Body, LKO Northern Virginia, and Jerry's Collision 
   Finally, I wish to thank the following sponsors of the 2013 VFW 
Thanksgiving/Christmas Program which provided food and gifts to 14 
needy military families at Fort Belvoir. The sponsors of this program 
were Hilltop Golf Club, Olympians Family Restaurant, Safford Dodge of 
Springfield, Frizzles Salon and Spa, Residence Inn Marriott of 
Springfield, Northern Virginia Surgical Center, Greater Springfield 
Chamber of Commerce, Women's Club of Springfield, Springfield Optimist 
   Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me in congratulating the 
2014 Awardees and in thanking the members, Ladies Auxiliary, program 
sponsors, and supporters of VFW Post 7327 for their continued service 
to our country and our community.