Santa Paula Times

Mercer-Prieto VFW honored by National VFW for WWII Memorial support

November 03, 1999
Santa Paula News
"When we launched the VFW matching gift program for the WWII Memorial, we had no idea what response to expect from Posts. Most held steady, waiting for the program to develop. But there were a few decisive Posts - action orientated, like yours - that 'stepped up to the plate' to support the program." This missive from the top brass at the National Headquarters Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States was received recently by the Mercer-Prieto VFW Post #2043 , who indeed are known for stepping up to the plate when there is a need.The VFW national Commander in Chief, John W. Smart, has recommended the Mercer-Prieto Post to the Advance Guard of the WWII Memorial in recognition of their support."When they sent us their information on the memorial we responded right away, and with twice what they requested; they were pleased," said Commander Carl Barringer, who served in WWII in the Army Infantry, the "Queen of Battles"."And we'll be sending more money," said Richard Ruiz, an Army veteran of the Korean War who made private donations in memory of two of his uncles that served in WWII. Donations to the memorial are matched 50 percent by the National VFW organization, he added.Groundbreaking for the Washington, D.C. memorial is set for Veterans Day 2000, and will honor the nation's 16 million WWII veterans, of which less than 7 million are still alive. . .approximately 1,000 WWII vets die every day, said Barringer. "They're finally getting around to such a memorial, although a lot of veterans are gone now and not able to see it." (If you would like to make a donation, make out the check to to the VFW WWII Memorial Fund, and mail to same, 406 West 34th St., Suite 219, Kansas City, MO 64111.)
The Mercer-Prieto VFW Post #2043 is readying for the Nov. 11 Veterans Day ceremony and a military funeral ceremony demonstration at McKevett School. The Mercer-Prieto Firing Squad - the only one in Ventura County - will be present, but "We'll go through the motions," without firing shots, said Ruiz. Taps will be played and the 12-step folding of the flag will be demonstrated for the students.For more information on the Mercer-Prieto VFW or VFW WWII Memorial, call Barringer at 525-7219 or Ruiz, 525-3737.