YAKIMA COUNTY — The annual Washington Department of VFW Convention that was cancelled in June was to be when VFW District 17 Commander Trina Parrish of Walla Walla were to award Bill Ingram of Sunnyside a very special award.
Prior to the regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 8, Parrish along with VFW Post 12108 Commander Jerry Peltier of West Richland announced Ingram was to receive the VFW Lifetime Achievement award presentation in recognition for his lifetime of service above and beyond the call of duty to veterans, for his leadership as the District 17 commander, his service to the to the Lower Valley Veterans of Foreign Wars and his community.
The national veterans’ organization’s top honor was unexpected to Ingram. “It sure surprised me!” he exclaimed.
The Vietnam veteran served more than 23 years as the local post commander. He led his post to earn national community service awards and served as District 17 Commander for 15 years. In addition, he has led the Lower Valley Color Guard, appearing at countless community parades and events, as well as the Honor Guard in conducting military honors at veteran funerals.
“Bill has been a great mentor for learning how to try to fill his big shoes as District 17 Commander,” Parrish said. “I don’t know much about his many accomplishments as the commander in Sunnyside, I do know his post is extremely busy and involved with the community. I think the award says it all,” she added.
Ingram joined the VFW in 1969 following his service in the U.S. Army’s 10th Engineering working in supplies and troop transport in Vietnam. He joined the Sunnyside post in the early 1980s and soon eased into the leadership roles.
“I’m most proud of the service we can give our veterans, from helping as service officer and with community services to veterans,” he noted.
The post, which like most organizations, has not been meeting during the pandemic but recent changes in Yakima County’s COVID-19 health directives has allowed the Sunnyview VFW to begin serving its popular Sunday breakfast again.
“We’re open Sundays from 8-11 a.m. for breakfast Come see us,” he enthused.