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Camp Zama's cammander, Major Gen. Francis J. Wiercinski, center, expresses his appreciation to members of VFW 9612 before presenting them with a national award for community service Friday.
Camp Zama's cammander, Major Gen. Francis J. Wiercinski, center, expresses his appreciation to members of VFW 9612 before presenting them with a national award for community service Friday. (Tim Wightman / S&S)

"Honor the dead by helping the living."

The motto of Veterans of Foreign Wars has been carried out especially well by Millard F. Nixon VFW Post 9612 at Camp Zama, Japan.

Earlier this year, members of 9612, the only VFW post in the world on a military base, received the organization’s National Outstanding Community Service Post Award — given to just 68 posts out of 8,500 worldwide.

Just ahead of Veterans Day, U.S. Army Japan commander Maj. Gen. Francis J. Wiercinski congratulated the post Friday by presenting the "Post of the Year" street sign.

"Having you here at Camp Zama is a great honor for us," said Wiercinski, a VFW member, to the awardees Friday. "We’ve got a whole new generation of veterans of foreign wars and we have to make sure they’re taken care of and our veterans are always taken care. … That’s why this is such a great organization."

Among the community services the post performs is working with national organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, America Supports You and America’s Promise.

Its volunteer efforts benefit education, the environment, health sciences and civic projects, according to Richard Keeley, the post’s adjutant/quartermaster.

The post beat out 29 other posts in the Pacific region for the award.

Keeley said he was "extremely proud."

"People in this post work hard," he said.

"We care about the people, the veterans, the soldiers, the active-duty, the retirees, the families. … We can help them and we will. We’ll step up."

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