Bellingham VFW Installs First Female Post Commander
Newly elected VFW officers (L-R): Marvin Ludwig, Stephen Shea, Robert Bartlett, Richard Hayward, Fransisco Chaves, Linda Trites, Gerard Dubois, Sr., and Daniel Cashman
Friday, May 19, 2017, was a special day for the Bellingham Veterans of Foreign Wars. In addition to its yearly swearing in of new officers, the post installed Linda Trites as its first female Post Commander in a ceremony at the VFW hall.
“It’s the first time we’ve had a woman Post Commander since our charter began in 1966, and we’re very excited,” explained Daniel Cashman, past Post Commander and current Chaplain. The VFW’s creed is to help veterans, assist the families of veterans, and assist the community; and the Post Commander oversees the operation of the entire post. Other officers were elected in the ceremony, as well as members of the Auxiliary – both male and female family members of military personnel.
Linda, a Vietnam veteran and resident of Blackstone, is no stranger to veteran advocacy. She has been a member of the VFW since 2005 and a veterans advocate for twenty years. Some of her previous projects have included sending care packages overseas, organizing fundraisers such as the yearly Poppy Drive, and helping veterans get the benefits they’re entitled to.
The VFW is always looking for new members. Veterans of foreign wars are welcome at the post’s monthly meetings, held on the second Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. in the VFW hall, beginning in September. Family members of veterans are welcome to come to the VFW and fill out an application to join the Auxiliary, and the post holds community fun days throughout the year that are open to the public.
“This is where my heart is,” Linda said after the ceremony, and her dedication truly shows in the respect and admiration of those around her. “I’m looking forward to the next year and working with a great group of veterans and the Auxiliary to help out active duty military, veterans, and the community.”