Monthly News Of The Department Of Washington
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Veterans - Washington (State) - Newspapers.
Washington (State) - Seattle.
Volume 1, Issue Number 1 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States: Monthly News of the Department of Washington, was published in Seattle for release on March 1, 1943 as "a medium of inter-communication" between the Department of Washington, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) of the United States, and its districts and posts across the state. For a subscription rate of $0.50 per year, the eight-page issues highlighted the work of prominent figures, recruitment and installation news, membership standing, and the occasional obituary of a lost colleague. Commander George Wellington Rupp edited this monthly newspaper for active and discharged members of the Armed Forces and believed that this publication would be important in developing the department and "in promoting comradeship and understanding among all members of our organization." Rupp himself had considerable military experience after serving in both World Wars I and II.
A staff of officers, from commanders, quartermasters, surgeons, and chaplains, were asked to report organizational news from Department Headquarters with updates on the annual encampment meetings, legislative action committees, poppy orders for Veterans' Day fundraising, and requests for support and attendance at statewide events. Early issues reported detailed news of VFW benefits, covering healthcare, pensions, and tax issues. Each issue also contained 20-30 updates from regional posts and women's auxiliary activities.
Each year a new commander was installed at the summer encampment meeting and the newspaper would report on the VFW fundraising and events leading up to it. In the July 1946 issue, the editorship was handed over from Wellington Rupp to his son Jacques Wellington Rupp with a new name, Veterans News, just in time to publish the farewell note from Commander Victor Lindberg and announce the transfer of official duties to Bellingham Commander, Dr. Warren Spencer Moore at the July encampment in Aberdeen. Commander Moore continued the work of his predecessor to implement new districts for the VFW and created a new Department of Sports and Athletics for reporting and a stronger focus on Junior membership activities.
Under the new leadership, a meeting was held to discuss a proposal by veteran business owners, and it was agreed that advertisements would be allowed to reduce the financial burden on the department and begin at competitive rates for general, retail, political and reading notices beginning with the October 1946 issue. Regional reports, department news of pensions and training, veteran profiles and social activities would continue as they had before in their eight-page monthly issues.
Editorship changed again in February 1947 when Jacques Rupp left to pursue further education under the G-I Bill of Rights, which was passed in 1944. Olympia-born Rupp had served in the Navy during World War II, achieved an economics degree from the University of Washington, and after a year of editing the Veterans News, left to become an art designer for Disney Studios. John Francis "Jack" Gordon left his hometown of Portland, OR to attend college in Seattle and serve in the U.S. Navy and later in the Washington State Guard. His previous experience in the newsroom in Seattle and as a navy newspaper editor would enable him to support the growing Veteran News readership of 40,000 subscribers. Under Gordon's purview, the paper continued to cover emerging news of legislative activities and essential services to veterans until it changed titles again to the Washington Veterans news in 1948.