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VFW Working to Reactivate Boy Scouts in Reynolds County

By Randle Tolliver, Quartermaster / Adjutant  / Post-6660

For veterans in crisis, the Veterans Crisis Line’s number “988” then press “1” or 1-800-273-8255 and press “1”.

VFW Auxiliary will meet at 1 PM on 17 December at the Donald L. Cook / Billy J. Swyres Memorial Veterans Center in Centerville.

The next post meeting will be 2:30 PM on 15 January at the same location.

Our Christmas Raffle runs until 19 December. Prizes are a Turkey Basket and Ham Basket.

Post 6660 and the VFW Auxiliary have partnered with Santa for elderly or homebound veterans who need a bit of Christmas Cheer this year. If you know of someone, please contact Jay Parks ( (573) 689-1477), Randy Tolliver ((573) 924-2382) Steve Holcomb ((618) 402-1278), or Deb Rayfield ((573)) 461-2243) no later than 15 December.

We have also joined with the Marine Corps Reserve for the “Toys for Tots” Program.  You can donate a new toy no later than 15 December at the drop boxes located at the Reynolds County Court House, and both Spooners and Town & Country Supermarket in Ellington.

Scouting in Reynolds County. We are working with Ozark Trailblazers Scouting District (St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Washington, Iron, Madison and Reynolds Counties) to reactivate Scouting programs in Reynolds County. If you are interested, please contact Anthony Mann at (803) 924-0608.

VFW Post 6660 and the Auxiliary held our annual Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony at the Veterans Memorial located at the Reynolds County Courthouse in Centerville by placing a wreath at the War Memorial.  Post Commander L. Jay Parks thanked those in attendance for coming and shared his thoughts regarding both Pearl Harbor and WW II.  Commander Parks and VFW Auxiliary 6660 Denise Szafranski placed the wreath at the memorial to honor all WW II veterans of Reynolds County. Brother Tom Volner of Black provided the Invocation, and Benediction.

We had a nice evening at the Jolly Holiday Stroll.  We would like to thank the Reynolds County Library for hosting us, and the Ellington Chamber of Commerce for putting on a great community event.

386 years ago this week on 13 December 1636, the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony ordered the organization of the colony’s militia companies into three regiments: the North, South and East Regiments. The colonists had adopted the English militia system which obligated all males, between the ages of 16 and 60, to possess arms and participate in the defense of the community. The early colonial militia drilled weekly, and provided nightly guard details. The growing threat of the Pequot Indians to the Massachusetts Bay Colony required that the militia be in a high state of readiness. The organization of the North, South and East Regiments increased the efficiency and responsiveness of the militia. Although the exact date is unknown, the first muster of the East Regiment took place in Salem, Massachusetts. The National Guard was born and the Guard continues its mission of providing units for the first-line defense of the nation.  For more information I recommend “History of the Militia and the National Guard” by John K. Mahon or visit .

78 years ago this week, a large German Army force composed of Schutzstaffel (SS) armored units, infantry, armored infantry, and paratroopers penetrated through the snow-covered Ardennes Forest and attacked the weakest stretch of the Allied frontlines in Belgium. The Battle of the Bulge had begun. Also known as the Ardennes Counteroffensive, this major German offensive campaign took place from 16 December 1944 to 25 January 1945.  The offensive was intended to stop Allied use of the Belgian port of Antwerp and to split the Allied split the Allied lines, allowing the Germans to encircle and destroy the four Allied forces and force the Allies into a negotiated peace. Despite the initial shock along a 60 to 70-mile front and a 50-mile deep penetration, fierce American resistance on the northern shoulder of the offensive, around Elsenborn Ridge, and in the south, the 101st Airborne Division at the strategically vital highway hub at Bastogne, blocked German access to key roads to the northwest and west. This forced German armor and infantry that were supposed to advance along parallel routes to use the same roads. This congestion delayed the German advance and allowed the Allies to reinforce the thin defensive line. Improved weather conditions beginning on 24 December permitted air attacks on German forces, and on 26 December the lead elements of Patton’s U.S. Third Army reached Bastogne.  Although the offensive was effectively broken by 27 December, the battle continued for another month.  Of the approximately 450,000 German troops that took part in the battle, between 63,222 and 98,000 of these men were killed, missing, wounded in action, or captured.  Additionally the battle severely depleted Germany’s armored and air forces. For the Americans, out of a peak of 610,000 troops, 89,000 became casualties out of which some 19,000 were killed. This was the largest and bloodiest single battle fought by the United States in World War II and the third-deadliest campaign in American history. Of the large number of books written on this battle, I recommend “Battle: The Story of the Bulge” by John Toland.

Now for a few reminders:

Homebound veterans requiring assistance, please contact Jay Parks, Randy Tolliver, or Scott Rosen.

For more for information concerning local VA health care call the Poplar Bluff VAMC at (573) 686-4151 or

The VA one-stop telephone number is 1-800-698-2411 and press “0” to reach a live agent for immediate assistance. The VA one stop website is Home | Veterans Affairs .

The Missouri Veterans Commission (MVC) one-stop Benefits and Resource Portal is or call (573) 522-4061.

To order military service documents such as a DD 214/Separation Document or Official Military Personnel File (OMPF), contact the National Archives, National Personnel Records Center at, or call (866) 272-6272.

For more information, contact Jay Parks, Randy Tolliver, or Heather King ((573) 330-1020), email , or go to

“Here to Serve”

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