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To watch John A. Biedrzycki, Jr., address the VFW National Convention delegates for the last time as Commander-in-Chief click here.
After a year-long, whirlwind, international journey as the Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Past All-American Department Commander John A. Biedrzycki, Jr. finished his term as the VFW’s highest executive officer on July 27, 2016. Witnessing his returning of the Chief’s gavel during the National Convention in Charlotte was a large contingent of Pennsylvania VFW leaders and members who joined 11,000 other delegates in congratulating Chief Biedrzycki for achieving many accomplishments during the 2015-16 program year.
A member of McKees Rocks Post 418 and an Army veteran of service in Korea during the Vietnam War, Chief Biedrzycki became only the 10th Pennsylvanian to serve as the National VFW’s Chief and the first Pennsylvanian to do so since 1971-72.
“I will be forever grateful in my heart for all the support that the Department of Pennsylvania has shown me leading up to and during my year as Chief,” commented “Big John” recently, whose travels as Chief included stops in Korea, Taiwan/Taipei, Laos, Japan and Europe. “These last four years have been such a wonderful and memorable experience, and it has been an honor to serve the Veterans of Foreign Wars and to represent our Department.”
Chief Biedrzycki’s highlights over the past year include meeting international dignitaries, giving testimony before the U.S. Congress, discussing key veterans issues in the Oval Office with President Barrack Obama, placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and other memorials that honor veterans, visiting with military personnel around the world, and providing VFW statements on breaking news stories.
During his testimony to the joint congressional committee on veterans affairs, Biedrzycki urged lawmakers to stop at nothing short of providing veterans with the best healthcare and adequate VA funding to meet current and evolving needs. He echoed those remarks when meeting with President Barrack Obama.
He participated in many VFW department conventions and attended patriotic events across the nation.
“Having served in the highest positions at all VFW levels, I fully appreciate the depth of how the VFW works in all areas of veterans issues,” he stated. “This experience has shown me that our motto, “No One Does More than the VFW,” is absolutely true. I will dedicate my future working with anyone at any level to share what I’ve experienced so others fully appreciate the importance of the VFW to veterans’ future.
“With all of my experiences as Chief, I must say that attending dinners that the VFW held for wounded warriors deeply touched my heart. To see the sacrifices that these troops have made to serve their nation and the cause of freedom just tugs at your heart so strongly. It was an honor and inspiring to spend time with them.”
During Chief Biedrzycki’s term, the PA Department was also well represented on the national level by Allen Q. Jones (Post 92) as Biedrzycki’s Chief of Staff, Robert C. Eiler (Post 8805) as a National Council representative and Dwight R. Fuhrman (Post 8896) as National Voice of Democracy Chairman.
Comrade Eiler (Post 8805) will continue his term while State Chaplain Peter R. Hook (Post 6393) was elected as the VFW’s National Chaplain.
You can contact Big John at:
John A. Biedrzycki, Jr., 625 Magnus Lane, Coraopolis, PA 15108-3421, (412) 859-6387, [email protected].