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Post 301 - Yonkers, NY

Commander: Nicholas Skirka

Deputy Commander: Peter Olijarczyk

Finance Officer: Russel Olijarczyk

Quartermaster: John Tkachuk

Chaplain: Myksym Makarczuk


Contact: Commander Nicholas Skirka

Home Phone: 914-965-3707

Email: nskirka@optonline.net

Past Commanders:
Taras Szczur (1999-2001),
Nicholas Skirka (2001-2003),
John Tkachuk (2003-2008),
Nicholas Skirka (2008-present)



UKRAINIAN AMERICAN VETERANS

HISTORY OF POST 301

YONKERS, NEW YORK

 

            Ukrainian American Veterans had served in the United States Armed Forces since the Civil War in their support of democracy. Many men and women of Ukrainian descent served in World War I (30,000) and in World War II (250,000) in the United State Armed Forces. The national Ukrainian American Veterans (UAV) organization was formed in 1948 on Memorial Day, in Philadelphia, PA. The UAV National Ladies Auxiliary is part of the UAV organization. The Ukrainian American Veterans Yonkers’ Post from World War II is no longer active. However, in St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church, located on 21 Shonnard Place, the plaques with the 400 Ukrainian American Veterans, both men and women, who served in World War II has been restored and hangs in the vestibule of the church. Additionally, 44 members of Post 301 have their own plaque in the church. The purpose of starting the Post 301 was to keep the tradition going and continue to support and participate in veteran affairs in the Yonkers Community.  

 

            On Friday, February 26, 1999, at the Ukrainian Youth Center on Palisade Avenue in Yonkers, the first meeting was held to establish Post 301. There were ten Ukrainian American Veterans from the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf War that were present at this first meeting: Nick Arden, Theodore Hoszko, Maksym Makarczuk, Bohdan Mykitschak, Russel Olijarczyk, Jerry Sachar, Nicholas Skirka, Taras Szczur, John Tkachuk, and William Zakotiria.  These are the original charter members of Post 301. The first elected Commander was Taras Szczur and Vice Commander was Nicholas Skirka. By the fifth meeting other new veterans were sworn in: Eugene Brozyna, Bohdan Byniowsky, Peter Kaszczak, Theodor Kocur, Bohdan Lotocky, Michael Lotocky, Peter Olijarczyk, Stephen Rudyk, Sam Warycha, and Steve Warycha. The honorary member is Bishop Basil Losten of the Stamford Eparchy.   

 

            The blessing of Post 301 took place at St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church on April 19th, 1999 at 7 PM. Father Paul Wolensky, from Post 27 located in Brooklyn, N.Y., performed the church service. Immediately following the church service, the ceremony for the installation of officers and induction (swearing-in) of new members took place in the Ukrainian Youth Center. The opening speech was bestowed by Ukrainian American Veterans National Commander Steven Szewczuk. The master of ceremonies was Natalie Newmerzhychy and dignitary attendees were Mayor John Spencer, Mayor’s Office Secretary Helen Ann Henkel, Ukrainian Military Attache of the United Nations Colonel Wasyl Sydorenko, Yonkers Central Committee of Veterans Organizations (CCVO) Sam Riti, Judge Tom Dickerson, and County Legislator Lou Mosiello. County Legislator Lou Mosiello presented Post 301 with a Proclamation designating April 19th the “Ukrainian American Veterans Post 301 Day” in Yonkers.  

 

            On October 15, 2006, Post 301 participated in the unveiling of the Gold Star Mothers Monument at Getty Square in Yonkers. Post 301 contributed $550 for a granite brick with the engraving reading “Ukrainian American Veterans, Post 301, Yonkers, NY.” This was done in memory of and as a tribute to all the Ukrainian American Veterans from Yonkers. In October 11-13, 2007, Post 301 was host, for the first time, to the 60th UAV National Annual Convention including the banquet/dance at the Ukrainian Youth Center in Yonkers. In conjunction with the Gift of Life, Post 301 assisted in making it possible for Denis Baistruchenko, a nine year old boy from Ukraine, to receive heart surgery. Some UAV members have participated in the Peacekeeping Mission in partnership with the United States and Ukraine.

 

In Summary, Post 301 participates in many veterans’ affairs in Yonkers and Ukrainian communities. In the Yonkers community, Post 301 is also a member of the Yonkers Central Committee of Veterans Organizations (CCVO) and participates in Color It Proud, Oratorical Contest, Grave Decorations, Ukrainian Independence Day at City Hall, Memorial Day Parade and many other related Veterans ceremonies. In the Ukrainian Community, Post 301 participates yearly in the Holy Spirit Cemetery (Hamptonburgh, New York) flag decoration of the graves of Ukrainian American Veterans and participated in erecting a monument in memory to Ukrainian American Veterans in this cemetery. Post 301 is a member of the Ukrainian American Veterans, Inc., a national organization and supports its many initiatives, such as seeking a Federal Charter and erecting a Ukrainian American Veterans National Monument in South Bound Brook, New Jersey. This monument will honor all men and women of Ukrainian heritage that have honorably served in the United States Armed Forces. The UAV Registration Project seeks to computer register Ukrainian-American veterans, in particular UAV members. UAV is an Official Partner of the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress. The national organization has a Welfare Fund for its member veterans and a Scholarship Fund for college students of Ukrainian American Veteran descendants or their relatives.