VFW Post 3285 was chartered in 1935 and was named for a Frederick native, John R. Webb who made the supreme sacrifice for his country in October, 1918 during World War I. The post was first located in the building on top of the hill where West Patrick Street intersects with College Terrace and Catoctin Avenue - 500 West Patrick Street.
With membership based on U.S. Armed Forces personnel who had participated in Foreign Service campaigns recognized by USA MEDALS OR AWARDS, Membership in the post-World War II era grew rapidly to over 500, plus an active Ladies Auxiliary.
In June 1951, the Post purchased the Old Catoctin Country Club property, including the 9-hole Golf Course, Tennis Courts and present Clubhouse building and established its headquarters here. Ex-Senator Charles C. McMathias represented our Post and Commander Austin Bruchey in the negotiations. A large macadamized parking area later covered most of the clubhouse grounds.
This major move resulted in an increased membership and a more active Post, particularly in the use of the Golf Course and Dining Room which rapidly became a very popular meeting and dining location for native Fredericktonians, service clubs and other organizations.
In 1967 the Post constructed an Olympic-size Swimming Pool and bath-house, moving the No. 9 golf green to its present location. This Post activity has proven to be extremely popular with members and Fredericktonians.
With the growth of the Post and the improved facilities Membership growth increased which also brought about increased participation by the Post members in the main Patriotic, Community Service and Youth Activity programs, which are the hallmark of strong VFW Posts.
Currently, the Post has over 1000 members, despite the fact that membership criteria is more demanding than that in other service organizations. The Post Quartermaster, who functions under the Post Commander and 11-member Executive Committee, conducts day-to-day operation of the Post. General meetings of all Post members are scheduled on the first Monday of each month at 1900 (7 PM).
The following Members of Post 3285 Have been Awarded these medals for their actions and participation in direct action against an
Enemy of the United States.
We Salute their Bravery and Sacrifices protecting the freedoms and ideals of the United States of America. Their actions have helped preserve our great country as the beacon of Democracy for the rest of the world.
May they provide guidance and inspiration for future generations of Americans so they have the strength and courage to make the decisions that must be made in the protection of Freedom.
History shows that the Cross of Malta, the emblem of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, is 1,000 years old. Nearly ten centuries ago the Maltese Cross was made the symbol of fighting men who were united by a solemn pledge of comradeship to fight for freedom and to aid the sick and the needy. Those ancient obligations are still symbolized by the Cross of Malta today, for the more than two million former servicemen who are the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The Cross of Malta is the symbol of their battles in time of war and of their campaign to defend the God given rights of human beings in time of peace. The Cross of Malta symbolizes the compassion, or sympathy, of those men and women for the needy. It is the sign of services, which our contemporary veterans render to help make living a little better for everyone.
To appreciate fully the original meaning of the Cross of Malta we must look back a thousand years, to the Crusaders serving in the Middle East. There we find the Knights of St. John, the world's first great brotherhood of warriors pledged to chivalry. The Knights of St. John represented all walks of life. They were noblemen and priests, artisans and laborers. Regardless of those differences, however, they were united by a solemn pledge of unwavering courage and compassion. Together they fought against oppression. They carried their crusades far from home across deserts and seas, into the Holy Land, Cyprus, Rhodes and Malta. At the same time they administered to the sick, the needy and to the poor. The Crusaders adopted the Cross of Malta as their insignia because its eight points represented the eight Beatitudes prescribed in the Sermon on the Mount.
Those, in effect, declare:
1. Blessed are the poor in Spirit
2. Blessed are the Meek
3. Blessed are the pure
4. Blessed are the merciful
5. Blessed are the peacemakers
6. Blessed are they that mourn
7. Blessed are they that seek righteousness
8. Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness sake.
The Cross of Malta had a religious origin but the Knights of St. John also made it their battle standard for the liberation of all men, women and children who suffered oppression. The ideals for which the original Crusaders fought parallel the principles of democracy today, freedom and justice.
Centuries passed to the year 1899. Again fighting men banded together. Again they pledged themselves to campaign for the rights of mankind and to administer to the sick, the needy and to the poor. That was the birth of a new organization, known today as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
Why did the Veterans of Foreign Wars select the Cross of Malta emblem?
What has been added to the Cross and what does the symbol mean?
Let us look at the VFW ensign closely. We see the eight-pointed Maltese Cross. Upon the Cross is superimposed the Great Seal of the United States, encircled by the name, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Within the circle is the American eagle; the emblem of a proud nation whose warriors of many generations have fought and sacrificed to preserve the free mans way of living. Between the four arms of the Cross, the Veterans of Foreign Wars has added the suns rays to emphasize the vigor and warmth with which the present day brotherhood defends our ideals. Every detail in the VFW emblem has definite meaning. The Cross, the rays and the seal together symbolize the vows, purpose and character of men and women who have traveled far from home to defend humanity.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars is the world's oldest and largest overseas war veteran's organization. It is chartered by the Congress of the United States. That charter states specifically that The purpose of this corporation shall be: Fraternal, Patriotic, Historical and Educational To preserve and Strengthen Comradeship among its members, To assist worthy comrades, to perpetuate the memory and history of our dead, and to assist their widows and orphans. To maintain true allegiance to the government of the United States of America and fidelity to its constitution and laws, to foster true patriotism, to maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom, and to preserve and defend the United States from all her enemies whomsoever.
Upon joining the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a person vows in the presence of Almighty God and the members of this order to maintain loyalty to the government, to the VFW, and to his fellow comrades. When the Cross of Malta is bestowed upon a new VFW member, he or she is pledged to advance the principles of the organization. Like the original Crusaders 1,000 years ago, the 2.1 million members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars today fulfill their vows through a wide variety of vigorously executed services.
The VFW is also joined by members of our Ladies Auxiliary in our efforts. They foster true patriotism, and strengthen the institutions of freedom by word and deed. They improve their cities, towns and neighborhoods through community service. They give aid to worthy comrades and to the widows and orphans. They extend helping hands to the needy and the sick. Like the original Knights of St. John, those who wear the VFW Maltese Cross express their comradeship in terms of service.
These are the reasons why the Veterans of Foreign Wars chose the Cross of Malta as its emblem. The Cross of Malta symbolizes truly the character and objectives of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. People qualified through military service to wear the VFW Cross of Malta do so with pride because that emblem represents the highest of ideals. Every member has earned the Cross of Malta proudly - and he or she wears it proudly.