An installation of officers ceremony was held at the Greater Pine Island VFW Post 4353 Saturday afternoon, which was followed by a light meal and entertainment.
The Greater Pine Island VFW Post 4353 installation of officers included Commander Paul Birdwell, Senior Vice Commander Keith Keefer, Junior Vice Commander Stephen Kerby, Quartermaster Joseph Vanblerck, Chaplain Peter Gonyea, Judge Advocate Ralph Guy, Surgeon Robert Betz,1st year Trustee Ashley Carr, 2nd year Trustee Austin White, 3rd year Trustee Thomas Caldwell, Appointed Adjutant Joseph Vanblerck and Appointed Service Officer Ralph Guy.
Birdwell said it is a distinct honor that the members voted for him to be the 2012-2013 commander.
Above, VFW Commander Paul Birdwell, VFW Ladies Auxiliary President Bernadette Sullivan and VFW Men Auxiliary officer President Ronald King cut the cake after a special installation ceremony was held Saturday afternoon at the Greater Pine Island VFW Post 4353.
"It is a great responsibility in leading this post," he said, adding that it is an honor that the members have placed their trust in him.
His focus is to have everyone, including the men's and ladies' auxiliaries, working together as family. Birdwell said it is important for them to work together and not against each other.
"We are a VFW family," he said. "I'm looking forward to working with each and every one of you."
The new officers for the VFW Ladies Auxiliary included President Bernadette Sullivan, Senior Vice President Diane Trazzera, Junior Vice President Carol Kirby, Secretary Penny Allen, Treasurer Joyce Lake, Chaplain Becky King, Guard Gail Johnson, Conductress Jeanette Smallwood, 1st year Trustee Diane Trazzera, 2nd year Trustee Claudia Betz and 3rd year Trustee Jill Cavidson.
Sullivan thanked everyone for their support last year during her role as president, as well as re-electing her again this year.
"We have to get together and do it all together," she said of working with the other elected officers.
The VFW Men Auxiliary officers included President Ronald King, Senior Vice President Paul Williams, Junior Vice President Gene Auge, Treasurer Sam Allen, Secretary Lloyd Back, Chaplain Paul Hartman, 1st year Trustee Dennis Sundburg, 2nd year Trustee George Butz and 3rd year Trustee Bill Schwartz.
King told everyone at the ceremony that he takes great pride in being the president of the auxiliary. He told those who attended that they must use good judgment, along with following the rules, so everyone follows in their footsteps.