Ukrainian American Veterans (UAV) Post 6 was founded in 1946 in Newark, New Jersey.
In 1946, a groups of World War II veterans from the Newark, New Jersey area met to establish a veteran post for those of Ukrainian descent who had served in the United States Armed Forces. “Lest We Forget” is the motto that has prevailed all the years since its inception. Some members are deceased, others are getting up in years; nevertheless, the post has survived.
The original post headquarters was the Ukrainian Sitch Hall in Newark. Meeting attendance was good and spirits were high. It was a great time to be a veteran. The dynamic personality of Michael Gwiazda in helping to form this Post resulted in his election as the first Post Commander, with Walter Wygera as his Adjutant.
Michael Goy Project
Perhaps the most memorable and emotional highlight in Post 6’s history was the Michael Goy project, which involved securing prosthetic arms for a three-year-old Ukrainian immigrant. Post members conducted a concerted drive to solicit funds for the lad by standing on street corners with collection cans, by Commander Michael Lytwyn’s appearance on the television show “Strike it Rich,” and by enlisting public support with the cooperation of The Newark Star Ledger newspaper. The drive was successful, and memories of the project are cherished to this day.
Events and Projects
Post 6 members participated in many other events and projects. They marched in Memorial Day parades in Newark and Irvington with the Post 6 Color Guard and floats. They participated in Veterans’ Administration hospital programs by giving live-band performances, led by Dr. Julian Bemko and Vic Romanyshyn, and gave donations of television sets and other favors to ease the plight of the forgotten veterans.
The post also arranged for a volunteer work crew of members to travel to Scranton, Pennsylania, on weekends to help re-establish households destroyed by Hurricane Agnes fury and destruction in 1972.
For socializing, there were picnics at local public parks, beach parties at Steve Harmatuck’s swim club, bus rides to Pennsylvania and Atlantic City, fundraising affairs for needy fellow veterans, sports banquets, dances, past-commander dinners at interesting restaurants and other events. Sports participation in the Ukrainian Bowling League and sponsorship of a Post 6 team for juniors in the N.J. Ukrainian Basketball League brings back many fond memories.
Ukrainian American Veterans
Post 6 was an original founder of the Ukrainian American Veterans(UAV), a national organization that was founded in 1948 with Michael Hynda, esq. of Post 6 as the first National Commander. The following year, Post 6 hosted the second UAV National Convention at the Douglas Hotel in Newark, NJ.
Through the years, post members have participated as officers and committee members of the national organization and the UAV NJ State Department. The latest Post 6 project was the ”Adopt a Hospital” committee, which was started in 1993 by Robert “Borys” Gulay of New Jersey Post 25. This project involved collecting surplus medical equipment from New Jersey hospitals and shipping it to Ukraine for use in Ukrainian hospitals.
UAV Post 6 Monument
Post 6 members decided to erect a monument for our deceased veterans. Under the chairmanship of Vic Romanyshyn, a vigorous drive was made to have this dream become a reality. The impressive monument was dedicated on Memorial Day, 1992, at Hollywood Cemetery in Union, NJ, and it is the site for patriotic services held on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
Contact Post 6
UAV Post 6 is currently led by Post Commander Michael Fedirko.
Michael P. Hrycak
316 Lenox Avenue
Westfield, NJ 07090