On March 8, members of VFW Post 1963’s Auxiliary and many of the organization’s veterans gathered to participate in a video call with Aviation Maintenance Technician Chief Joseph Sippel, who is currently assigned to the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station in Kodiak, Alaska.
The video call was made by the chief’s parents, Ken and Kathi Sippel, while scores of their VFW friends stood by and listened to the conversation.
A moment after the call began, the Sippels turned the phone’s camera in the direction of the crowd of VFW members so their son and a few of his fellow Coast Guard members in Alaska could watch as Post 1963 Auxiliary President Patti Lloyd explained that the Kodiak Coast Guard Air Station had been “adopted” as part of the Auxiliary’s annual Adopt-a-Troop program.
She also informed Joseph Sippel that the Coast Guard members would soon be receiving care packages filled with snacks, winter socks, toiletries, batteries, pet toys, homemade beef jerky and other comfort items.
“This is the fourth year that our Auxiliary adopted a troop,” Lloyd said. “The Auxiliary organizes the program, our post veterans support it, and our surrounding community graciously makes donations. And every year, our Adopt-a-Troop program gets better, thanks to the ever-increasing support it receives.”
The packages being sent to Alaska would also include over 100 handmade greeting cards created by students from the Strath Haven school district, as well as custom-made black T-shirts for each of the Air Station’s members, which read “Sea Isle City VFW Post 1963 proudly supports Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak Alaska.”
As the long-distance conversation continued, the phone’s camera soon focused on the gifts and shirts, which were neatly displayed on a long table.
Then the camera panned to a large-framed print hanging on the wall inside Post 1963.
When the print was unveiled a moment later, it revealed photos of several aircraft currently being used by the Kodiak Air Station. A plaque hanging under the pictures echoed the words of support that were printed on the T-shirts.
Lloyd said that each of the VFW members who donated to the cause was wearing identical black T-shirts that night in support of the Kodiak Air Station.
“We host this program because we want to recognize our military members and thank them for the freedom we enjoy here in the United States, which is especially poignant now as we see the hardship that the citizens of Ukraine are facing,” Lloyd said. “Thanks to our nation’s military, hopefully we will never have to face that type of oppression in this country.”
To learn more about VFW Post 1963, go to www.vfwpost1963.com. To learn how VFW Post 1963’s Auxiliary supports the nation’s veterans and active duty military members, visit http://vfwauxiliary1963.com.