The UAV Post 35 was formed at the end of 2001. This was a difficult period in our nation’s history, we had the horrific events of 9/11 and we were experiencing the anthrax attacks. However, the road to the post’s formation actually began in 1996.
The Ukrainian American Military Association (UAMA) had its 1st conference in 1996 with participants from every corner of our country. We had Major General Nicholas Krawciw (ret) former commander of the 3rd Infantry Division as well as Sergeant Major Danylo Zahody from 1st Special Group participating. Lieutenant Colonel Yaro Oryshkevych was the first operations officer for UAMA. He established a data base used by the Pentagon. UAMA’s membership consisted of active or reserve component Ukrainian interpreters and proudly participated in numerous missions to Ukraine. During the conference, the UAV commander, Dr. Dmytro Bodnarczuk asked UAMA members in Chicago to re-start the Chicago post. At the 1997 national meeting, the UAV voted to make the UAMA part of the UAV.
The UAV Post 32 organized the 1999 convention and also invited Mrs. Pyskir to address audiences in Palatine and Chicago regarding her book on the UPA “Thousands of Roads”. The post also invited Major Orest Logusz USAR to discuss his book “The Galician Division”.
Post 35 was formed with 15 charter members. Our mission consisted of several goals: to help Ukraine recognize the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army), continue to support community events and to work with youth groups.
The new post invited General V. Morozov, former Defense Minister of Ukraine, to a dinner where the general described the current status of Ukraine’s military and the use of the Ukrainian language. Members of the post became active participants in a committee, which collected funds for the re-publication of Mrs. Pyskir’s book “Thousands of Roads” in Ukraine. It is hoped that this book will re-kindle an interest in the heroic exploits of the UPA. Research is needed to determine how big of role did the UPA play in helping Hungary during the 1956 revolution. Educating the Ukrainian public is crucial.
Education is also essential here in the United States. Members of Post 35 assist the local branches of the CYM (Ukrainian American Youth Association). In 2002 the post facilitated the visit to Fort Knox, Kentucky. The youth examined the Abrams tank as well as receiving briefings from the commanders.
The post invited Mr. Yurii Shukhevych to the 2003 convention. As a sign of good faith, the post gave Mr. Shukhevych $1,000 for his medical needs. His trip was postponed until further notice. The post may plan a conference with Mr. Shukehvych attending.
The post hosted the 2003 national convention in Palatine. Bohdan Pyskir was the chairman of the organizing task force. General David L. Grange, former commander of the 1st Infantry Division was the keynote speaker. Mayor Rita Mullins of Palatine greeted the participants.
The post has appointed a Chaplain ,Father Bohdan Kalynyk, of St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Six years ago, Mr. Ivan Shandor was killed in an accident. He was a community activist and a veteran. He served in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze medal. Mrs. Lida Shandor agreed to have Post 35 named after her late husband. We are all humbled and hope that we can make Ivan proud of us.
In 2004, we have increased our membership from 15 to 20 members. In 2005, we plan to have over 30 members. The strategy committee has proposed a 7 day leadership camp to the youth groups which would be held in 2005.
Our country is now engaged in a global war on terrorism. We don’t know what the future holds, but our military will be challenged not only in Iraq but in other parts of the world. On the home front, we are all soldiers. The war on terrorism may involve civilians by terrorists using weapons of mass destruction. We must work within our communities by remaining vigilant.
The members of Post 35 move forward with vigor and determination. We all feel that veterans in our community play a vital role. We will educate our youth about our history and teach them about the military. We plan to build bridges between communities by being inclusive and responsive to the needs of our “hromadas”.
LTC Roman G. Golash, USAR
UAV 1LT Ivan Shandor Post 35
For further information about the post, please contact Roman Golash at: firstname.lastname@example.org