by Terry Rogers
Milford Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4368 welcomed the National President of the VFW Auxiliary to Milford over the weekend of August 24 through 27. The weekend ended with a luncheon in honor of Sandi Kriebel which was attended by the Delaware State President, Margo Ellers.
“This is part of a national tour I will make as national president,” Kriebel, who is from Ellicott City, Maryland, said. “I began this tour in Alaska and have traveled throughout the Midwest, Rhode Island and now Delaware. By the time I have finished, I will have visited every state in the country and will also travel to Europe where we are establishing a post.”
Kriebel began her volunteer duties with the VFW when she was only 12 years old. She met a new friend on the way home from school who was a member of the Junior Auxiliary and Kriebel went home to ask her father if she could join. Her father, who was a World War II and Korean War veteran, told her he was a member and helped her sign up. When Kriebel turned 16, she became a regular member. This year, she will celebrate 52 years as a full member in addition to her four as a junior member.
Ellers’ had a unique story for joining the auxiliary. She rented the VFW building in Greenwood for her daughter’s wedding reception. While setting up for the reception, she walked around, looking at the items on display and became interested in joining. Ellers’ father was a World War II veteran who fought at Normandy. She provided the VFW with his discharge paperwork and became a member. Although she joined in 1994, she said she had only gotten vocal in the past six years.
“I am very proud to be a member of this organization,” Ellers said. “I have a strong love and passion for our mission and I am extremely proud to be associated with such dedicated volunteers.”
One of the focuses for the VFW Auxiliary this year, according to Kriebel, is to bring back the sense of family she remembers when she was young. Her brothers three brothers were all members when they were young and her children, as well as her grandchildren, have grown up in the organization. Kriebel wants people to know that the VFW is a family organization, offering recreation and events that are specifically designed with family in mind.
“It has been a rewarding 56 years for me,” Kriebel said. “My son is a 100 percent disabled veteran. If it had not been for this organization, I would not have been able to help him. This organization helped me understand what is available for veterans so I could provide him and other veterans returning from Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom with information that can help them manage.”
While in Milford, Kriebel visited Fort Miles and Cape Henlopen State Park, a location that Kriebel did not know existed before her visit.
“It is the perfect setting to have a World War II museum,” Kriebel said. “The state really should support this location and, in fact, it should be a national park. We also visited the Lifesaving Museum and have traveled to various posts throughout the state. I like to personally thank all the volunteers because they hold the key to our mission and it is their work that makes our organization so successful.”
After leaving Milford, Kriebel will return home to Ellicott City for a celebration at her home post in honor of her new office. On September 8, she will be in Gettysburg at the annual Celebrating America’s Freedom event. The VFW Auxiliary also celebrates at the Statute of Liberty’s birthday celebration each year and has been at the celebration for the past 75 years. Kriebel explained that almost all the displays and other items at the statue were donated by the VFW Auxiliary. In addition to Fort Miles and the Lifesaving Museum, Kriebel visited the Delaware Veteran’s Home and Bicentennial Park.
“This is a beautiful town,” Kriebel said. “I have really enjoyed visiting the area and helping to further spread our mission of family and unity.”