Ukrainian American Veterans (UAV) Post 40 was founded in 1999. Atanas T. Kobryn was the first Post Commander.
Meetings and Location
Meetings are held at 3:00 PM on the first Friday of each month in the Post Room at St. Andrews Religious and Cultural Center (better known as Oseredok).
St. Andrews Religious and Cultural Center
4100 South Biscayne Drive
North Port, FL
Post 40 Founding
Atanas Kobryn, a Past National Commander of the UAV who had previously belonged to Post 7 in New York City, organized Post 40 in 1999. Mr. Kobryn requested the designation of “40” for the new post as a way of honoring its home city of North Port, which serves as the center of Southwest Florida’s Ukrainian American Community and which celebrated its 40th birthday in 1999.
The post held its first official meeting on April 30, 1999, in the clubroom of the William A. Garvey VFW Post 8203. The post’s first members were Karen A. Bapst, Atanas T. Kobryn, Orestes S. Lazor, Roman G. Lazor, and Edward Rokisky. Although small, this group of four men and one woman reflected the diversity of the Ukrainian community, with representatives of various waves of immigration and generations, and with birthplaces in Ukraine, the United States and Canada. With such a small membership, it was necessary for each member to take an office.
The 1999-2000 officers were:
- Atanas Kobryn, Post Commander
- Roman Lazor, Adjutant
- Edward Rokisky, Finance Officer
- Karen Bapst, Judge Advocate
- Orestes Lazor, Chaplain/Service/Welfare Officer
The post celebrated its first Memorial day on May 31, 1999, by placing flags on the graves of veterans, sponsoring a Panakhyda at the Presentation of the Most Holy Mother of God (St. Mary’s) Ukrainian Catholic Church, to which members of the community and of other veterans’ organizations were invited, and then joining other local veterans’ posts and citizens for a ceremony at Veterans’ Park. The following November 11, the post observed its first Veterans’ Day in a similar manner. The post has continued to celebrate these two holidays annually, alternating the location of the Panakhyda services between St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church and St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Religious and Cultural Center. On Independence Day, July 4th, post members march in the North Port town parade.
On September 29, 2000, the post elected its 2000-2001 officers:
- Commander Jerry (Jaroslaw) G. Zinycz
- Vice-Commander Marian Bojsiuk
- Adjutant Atanas Kobryn
- Finance Officer Edward Rokisky
- Judge Advocate Karen Bapst
- Chaplain Orestes Lazor
- Quartermaster Julian Helbig
On December 19, 2000, post members joined members of the Ukrainian-American club of Southwest Florida at Pelican Pointe Golf and Country Club in Venice for a holiday party, organized by the Club president and UAV member Karen Bapst, thereby establishing yet another of the post’s annual events.
At the 54th UAV convention, held October 12-14, 2001 at “Soyuzivka” in Kerhonkson, New York, Post 40 was represented by Marian Bojsiuk, William Drabyk, and Atanas Kobryn, who managed to secure the passage of an amendment to the UAV national bylaws providing for a “hot weather uniform”, which had been submitted by Post Judge Advocate Karen Bapst.
On November 10, 2001, Post 40 held its first annual Veterans’ Day dinner-dance at the parish hall of St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church. National Adjutant Peter Polnyj presented the post, which now included twenty-six members, with its charter, and presided over the installation of the post’s 2001-2002 officers:
- Commander Jerry G. Zinycz
- Vice-Commander Marian Bojsiuk
- Adjutant Karen Bapst
- Finance Officer Arthur Berehulka
- Chaplin Orestes Lazor
- Judge Advocate and Historian Atanas Kobryn
- Quartermaster Julian Helbig
Chrystyna Lazor, the widow of post patron Roman G. Lazor, was honored, and Vice Commander Marian Bojsiuk present Atanas Kobryn with a plaque “in recognition for outstanding contributions and achievements to the Ukrainian-American Community in North Port”. After the ceremonies, over 130 people enjoyed a delicious dinner organized by Mrs. Maria Ciko, followed by music and dancing.
It its first three years, UAV Post 40 accomplished a great deal, thanks, above all, to the outstanding leadership and hard work of its first two commanders, Atanas Kobryn and Jerry Zinycz. Starting with five members, it has grown to include over thirty and has become one of the most respected organizations in the local Ukrainian community. It has fulfilled its dual mission, serving as both a Ukrainian organization and an American veterans’ organization, and has thereby provided some much needed linkage between the ethnic community and the larger community. Having established a solid foundation, Post 40 looks forward to continuing its active role, to new members, and to new projects. Post 40 supports many charitable causes.
Post 40 Accomplishments
- Organization of Post in 1999 with 6 members.
- Number 40 was chosen for our Post in honor of the City of North Port Celebrating 40th Anniversary of Incorporation.
- Citizens of North Port respect Post Number 40 for our work and our commitment to the community.
- Began participation with other veterans organizations in honoring Veterans at Veterans Memorial Park in North Port on National Holidays (Memorial Day, Veterans Day) and 4th of July Parade.
- As a UAV function in Ukrainian American Community on Memorial Day and Veterans Day we place American and Ukrainian flags on graves of Veterans of USA and Ukrainian Veterans of WWII.
- A Panakhyda is said on those Holidays for departed veterans in both Ukrainian Churches. Post members provide Color Guard and attend services in full uniform. Prior to Church Services UAV Members distribute RED WHITE AND BLUE lapel ribbons to church attendees.
- Post 40 grew to 26 members.
- We initiated a new event on Veterans Day by organizing first social event of the year in the Ukrainian American Community, “Post 40 New Officers Installation Diner Dance “and “Commanders Community Achievement Award”. This award is presented to individuals in Ukrainian American Community for their achievements and support of national or local ideas. It is a highly successful fund raiser.
- We generously contribute the proceeds to the UAV Scholarship Fund and to the local High School “ROTC- NAVY“ Fund
- During our Diner Dance in November, we were presented with a UAV National Charter by Peter Polnyj, UAV National Adjutant. For that occasion, we invited Officers of Ukrainian Armed Forces with their wives from McDill AF Base Central Command in Tampa FL. Great time was had by over 150 attendees.
- Post began to participate in Ukrainian Independence Day celebration by obtaining permission from the City Council of North Port to fly the Ukrainian flag. We raise the Flag at the City Hall and Post Colors at the Ukrainian ‘Academia’ ceremony.
- Charter Member Roman Lazor passed away; members of Post 40 provided his family with a full Military Funeral, and named him our Post Patron. Cpl. Roman G. Lazor, US Army-Korean War.
- During 54 UAV National Convention Post 40 Introduced proposal for Summer UAV Uniforms; motion was accepted.
- Post members made a beautiful Post 40 flag which is used for all occasions. Flag was made by Mr. & Mrs. Bojsiuk and Mr. & Mrs Petryk.
- To keep Post functioning properly A. Kobryn and our Bylaws Committee wrote Post Bylaws in line with UAV National Bylaws.
- During our Annual Dinner Dance and Officers Installation ceremonies we were fortunate to host a special guest from Ukraine Mr. Yurij Shukhevych and his wife Lesia. He is the son of General “Chuprynka”, Commander of UPA during WWII.
- Post has now 36 members.
- We and six other local veterans Posts formed “South Sarasota County Council of Veterans Organizations”. Together we honor Pearl Harbor Day. We support each other in various activities.
- By changing our Bylaws we allowed former members of “ DYVIZIA and UPA” to join our Post as a social members.
- For the 50th Anniversary Celebration Parade in North Port. Post members and Ukrainian American Club of SW Florida build a beautiful float and entered in parade competition. Our float was awarded ”Best in Show.” Ukrainian group was led by Post Color guard.
- Post 40 Hosted the 62nd UAV National Convention and celebrated the post’s 10th Anniversary.
- According to the delegates it was one of the best UAV National Conventions. We are happy that the delegates enjoyed Florida.
- Post 40 members have attended every UAV National Convention for the past 10 years.
- US Central Command in Tampa and the Ukrainian Armed Forces Team invited UAV Post 40 and the Ukrainian American Club of SW Florida to participate in the Coalition International Night at MacDill Air Force Base. Members from UAV and UAC helped Ukrainian Officers to present a Ukraine Table. Coalition members from 55 countries displayed native customs and traditional cuisine for all to sample. Over 2000 people attended this event.
- Our Post now has 40 active members, several live in other States, they like our activities and chose to join our Post. Minutes of the meetings and other communications are sent via e-mails to all members. We also submit articles in The Ukrainian Weekly.
- Our members served in WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Middle East Conflicts
- We have former ranks from: Colonels to PFC.
- We have former members of the United States Army, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard
- We have a veteran of IWO JIMA Campaigns.
- We have two active duty members – one in the United States Navy and one in the United States Army; both are LADIES
- Some of our veterans were Carrier Soldiers. Some members also belong to other veterans organizations: VFW, American Legion, AMVETS, Marine Corps League.
- In civilian Life our members are doctors, dentists, scientists (PhDs), engineers, business owners, law enforcement officers, machinists, teachers and councilors.
Post 40 Patron
When Roman G. Lazor passed away on May 18, 2001, post members decided to honor him, first by giving him a full military funeral, and then by making him the post’s patron.
Born September 23, 1929, in Ukraine, Mr. Lazor immigrated to the United States in 1948 and enlisted in the United States Army in 1949. A highly decorated combat veteran of the Korean War, Mr. Lazor subsequently earned BS and MS degrees in geology from Temple University and worked for thirty years in the United States Army Corps of Engineers, from which he retired. Roman Lazor and his brother, Orestes, were two of the post’s original members, and Roman served as the post’s first Adjutant. Roman Lazor is survived by his wife, Chrystyna, a highly respected and active member of the local Ukrainian community, their son, Askold, their daughter, Bohdanna Fairchild, and grandchildren.
Past Post Commanders
- Atanas T .Kobryn (1999-2000)
- Jerry Zinycz (2000-2002)
- Marian Bojsiuk (2002-2006)
- Ihor W. Hron (2006-2008)
- Eugene A. Tomashosky (2008-2011)
- Ihor W. Hron (2011-2012)
Post 40 has been active in the national UAV with several members serving on the UAV National Executive Board. Several members served as UAV National Commander.
- Walter Shipka (1949-1950)
- Atanas T. Kobryn, PPC (1986-1988)
- Ihor W. Hron, PPC (2012-2016)