POST 2485 COMMANDERS
All American status is designed to recognize outstanding units and is based on participation in VFW Programs as well as membership gains by Posts, Districts and Departments.
All Pacific/All State status is designed to recognize those high performing Districts and Posts within the Department for their support of Department and National Programs.
VFW National and the Department of Pacific Areas has announced Post 2485 has been awarded "All-American" status for 2019-2020. Congratulations to Commander James Collins, Quartermaster Norman Smith and all the Post officers and members who made it happen with their various contributions and teamwork. Commander James Collins has led Post 2485 in achieving "All-American" status for two consecutive years.
All American Norme Smith served in the US Air Force from June 1980 and retired as Master Sergeant in July 2000. Commander Smith was trained in Aerospace Defense and held a wide ranges of positions including satellite tracking and nuclear ballistic missile warning, ground mobile radar deployable to conflict zones, and radar surveillance and identification of air traffic entering and within North American and Central American airspace to include narco trafficking surveillance and interdiction. He was deployed to the crisis in Kosovo in support of Operation Noble Anvil and it's aftermath.
In Comradeship and Service to Veterans
Carl D. Burke
All American Carl Damien Burke served with the U.S Army's 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) at Camp Evans Vietnam from January to December 1970.Burke joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars at Sacramento, California Post 67.He transferred his membership to VFW Post 2485 in 2009 where he became a Gold Legacy Life Member. Burke "moved up the chairs" serving as Adjutant, Junior Vice Commander, Senior Vice Commander and then became VFW Post 2485 Commander in 2014. He was elected to serve as District 7 Commander of the Philippines for the 2015-2016 Term.His additional duties were Boy Scouts of America Troop 485 Business Executive and Member of the Post House Committee.Burke was voted Outstanding Post Commander at the 2016 Department of Pacific Areas Convention and achieved All State and All American for the Post and District 7 levels." A high tide lifts all boats" was his motto and reflected the tremendous support he was given while in office. The National VFW in 2016 awarded Post 2485 the Fred C. Hall Memorial Outstanding Post Special Project Award in honor of its "Burial Assistance Program" project.The Post also won VFW National's top honor of National Veterans of Foreign Wars Community Service Award for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.The Post continues to be recognized for having the largest membership in the Gold Legacy Life Membership Program. "My greatest honor was to serve on the Clark Veterans Cemetery Committee for six years. I became the Chairman of CVC for 2015-2016." Burke said. "Thank you for those that served and participated in Post activities during my two terms as Commander for Post 2485, Angeles City in the Philippines. I would not have done as well without your support.
John H. Gilbert
All American District Commander Gilbert became the Commander, VFW Department of Pacific Areas, on June 14, 2017. His area of responsibility includes 26 VFW Posts in nine countries. He served in the United States Army from 1970 until 1993, with tours of duty in Berlin, Germany, Korea, Japan and the Middle East. He retired from the US Army following the Persian Gulf War, where he served as the Chief Operations NCO for US Army Forces Central Command. Following Military Retirement he completed a second career as a High School Teacher and Counselor in Public Education. John holds an earned Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and is a graduate of the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy.
Commander Zaher holding the first Veterans Day Ceremony 11 November 1991, Clark Air Base Cemetery, Angeles City Philippines ... and the Post tradition carries on.
As Post Commander
Other Distinguished Awards
Commander Robert "Bob" Zaher assumed command of the VFW Post 2485 on 15 June 1991. The day after Mt. Pinatubo eruption Commander Zaher hired some friends from his compound and they went to the Post and shoveled off the ash from the roof.
As the base was closing he was working for MWR and was the Base Athletic Director, he received a call from Colonel Stevenson, then Senior Vice of the 3rd Combat Support Group, requesting the Post continue to maintain the American flag at the base cemetery or the Philippine Air Force would remove it. Commander Zaher said 'The Post will maintain the flag with pride".
On the last day the U.S. Air Force held a base closing ceremony, Bob went to the base mortician and requested all cemetery records and American flags for safekeeping. A year later he turned over the cemetery records to the assistant superintendent William Call at the American cemetery in Manila.
At the 1993 Department convention held at the Oasis Hotel in Angeles City, Bob was elected as the first District VII Philippines Commander. Three months later he was offered a position as the golf course superintendent at Osan Air Base, Korea. The course had previously failed their inspection and numerous problems still existed. Bob's previous experience as a golf course superintendent at Clark Air base helped him identify the problems and under his guidance they were corrected within one year. Bob then resigned from that position and returned to the Philippines to support Post 2485, District VII, and the Department of Pacific Areas.