VFW dedicates new pavilion


Cowlitz Tribe gives its blessing in dedication ceremony for new structure outside of Veterans of Foreign Wars building

The Cowlitz Indian Tribe, the Patriot Guard Riders, and many other dignitaries celebrated with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 7824, on Saturday as they dedicated the new pavilion outside of its headquarters in Vancouver.

The new pavilion outside the Veterans of Foreign Wars building in Vancouver. Photo by Paul Valencia
The new pavilion outside the Veterans of Foreign Wars building in Vancouver. Photo by Paul Valencia

The pavilion was made possible by a gift from the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, under the supervision of the Clark County Veterans Board. More than two dozen other companies or organizations donated money, equipment, and/or time to make the vision of this pavilion become a reality.

“We are grateful, as a tribe, to be able to help build a pavilion that will bring you some joy, some peace, some comfort,” said Tanna Engdahl, Spiritual Leader of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe.

The flags of the United States military fly outside the new pavilion outside of the VFW building. Photo by Paul Valencia
The flags of the United States military fly outside the new pavilion outside of the VFW building. Photo by Paul Valencia

Retired Judge Darvin J. Zimmerman, the veterans board founder, said the project still has a little work left, but 90 percent of it is complete. Soon, there will be granite benches dedicated to Gold Star Families, veterans, and first responders. 

The pavilion stands tall in front of the VFW post at 400 N. Andresen Road in Vancouver.

The post has more than 700 members. Besides events put on by the VFW, leaders expect other veteran groups to be able to use the pavilion. It can be used for weddings, reunions, and celebrations of life, Zimmerman said.

Retired Judge Darvin J. Zimmerman, who founded the Clark County Veterans Board, got emotional at times, thanking all who gave in order for the new pavilion to be built. Photo by Paul Valencia
Retired Judge Darvin J. Zimmerman, who founded the Clark County Veterans Board, got emotional at times, thanking all who gave in order for the new pavilion to be built. Photo by Paul Valencia

“We are here at this very special occasion to ask a blessing for all of you here and all of those who are not here,” Engdahl said. “For all the veterans everywhere, wherever you are, wherever you live, wherever you wake up in the morning, we ask a blessing for you, and your families, and your loved ones because we know we are here, to be safe, surrounded by something like this, only because of you. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and our souls and our spirits.”

Patriot Guard Riders stood guard around the pavilion, holding American flags. 

After the dedication, all were invited inside for food, and to hear the sounds of guitarist Doug Smith, a Grammy Award winner.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 7824, is located at 400 N. Andresen Road in Vancouver, Photo by Paul Valencia
The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 7824, is located at 400 N. Andresen Road in Vancouver, Photo by Paul Valencia
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Melissa
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Melissa
16 days ago

I’d like to thank Judge Zimmerman for your commitment, and loyalty, as your work will never be forgotten. You’ve put your heart and soul into this community for 43 years and still counting. It was an honor working with him.
To the Vetrans, Thank you all so much for what you’ve done for the country. Your bravery is highly appreciated and you’ve inspired so many. I, for one, am incredibly glad to have selfless people such as yourselves to volunteer their time for the greater good. You don’t know how much this really means to me. Thank you again and I wish I could hug and thank every single one of you.

Frankie & Oso Rodela
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Frankie & Oso Rodela
12 days ago

Great dedication for the cause. Couldn’t have been better. It was an honor to be a part of this.

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