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DEER PARK POST HONORED WITH NATIONAL AWARD

"... a shining example of what VFW is all about."

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To mark the 50th anniversary of the start of the Korean War, members of Post 10077 in Deer Park, Md., spearheaded a service project to honor Korean War veterans.

It was this project that earned Post 10077 the 2011 Fred C. Hall Memorial Outstanding Post Special Project Award, which recognizes VFW Posts for going above and beyond what is expected of them.

The Post began by hosting a ceremony at the Garrett County Courthouse, during which 163 veterans were presented with proclamations honoring their service in Korea.

“It made me so darn proud,” said Post 10077 Commander Paul Everly. “I admit, it brought tears to my eyes.”

Post members then invited 50 of the veterans to participate in “Flag on the Mountain.” Each carried a flag from one of the 50 states.

“We knew we wanted to honor these veterans,” said Project Organizer Carl Rebele. “But we also wanted to learn from them … to understand the war as they remember it.”

With this in mind, Post 10077 called on the help of local high school students to interview the veterans. The interviews were used to create an exhibit on Garrett County’s Korean War history. The Post then compiled the interviews into a book called Korean War Oral History.

Post 10077 concluded the project, which came to be called “Freedom is Not Free,” with a special ceremony at the Republic of Korea’s Embassy in Washington, D.C.

The Post members are thrilled to be the first in Maryland to receive the Fred C. Hall Memorial Outstanding Post Special Project Award, and they’re already looking forward to their next project.

“This award means the world to us,” said Everly, “but what it really means is that we’re doing our jobs as members of the VFW. We’re honoring our veterans, taking care of our widows and teaching our youth. We love the work that we do.”

According to Past National Commander Richard L. Eubank, “This project is a shining example of what the VFW is all about. Members of this Post have been serving their community and the country for nearly 30 years. They are the best of the best.”

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