May Update



The Significance of AAPI Heritage Month for Cathay Post #186


At the close of World War II, Chinese American veterans faced discrimination that barred them from joining existing posts. In response, they formed Cathay Post #186—a beacon of community and service.  Over the years, our post has played a vital role in supporting veterans, fostering community bonds, and uplifting the next generation.


Here’s why AAPI Heritage Month holds special meaning for us:


As we step into the month of May, I want to take a moment to reflect on the incredible events and milestones that have shaped our community. Here are some highlights:

As we celebrate AAPI Heritage Month, let us honor our history, embrace our diverse heritage, and continue to move Cathay Post #186 forward with purpose and dedication.  Together, we shape a brighter future for our community and uphold the legacy of service that defines us. 🇺🇸🌸


Thank you all for your commitment to Cathay Post #186.  Let’s continue to support one another and make a positive impact in our community.


In service,

Gerald Chang

2nd Vice Commander, Cathay Post #186

Brown Bear Car Wash: Honoring Veterans and Strengthening Communities


Brown Bear Car Wash, designated as the official car wash of the Seattle Seahawks, has been a household name in the region for over six decades.  Founded in 1957 by Victor Odermat, a former Marine Corps Officer and current member of American Legion Cathay Post #186, Brown Bear Car Wash embodies the values of service and commitment instilled by its founder.


Guided by Odermat's ethos of "taking care of the customer," Brown Bear Car Wash has emerged as a staunch supporter of the military community.  The company proudly backs national guard and reserve troops through membership in Employer Support of Guard and Reserve (ESGR).  Alongside providing complimentary car washes for veterans on Veteran’s Day and contributing a portion of their proceeds to the Puget Sound Honor Flight, Brown Bear actively engages in charitable endeavors, including the Brown Bear Charity Car Wash Program, which aids non-profit organization’s fundraising.

Cathay Post #186 is pleased to participate in the Brown Bear Charity Car Wash program, essential for raising funds for our programs.  We express our deep gratitude to Brown Bear Car Wash for their steadfast support of the Puget Sound community.  Brown Bear has also extended its backing to organizations like the USO, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, and Boy Scouts of America, underscoring their commitment to fostering a positive impact in the Puget Sound area.

In acknowledgment of his philanthropic contributions, Victor Odermat will receive Cathay Post #186's Veterans Strengthening America award later this summer.  As a Legionnaire and post member, Odermat epitomizes the spirit of service and community dedication, serving as a source of pride for both Brown Bear Car Wash and American Legion.   Semper Fi

We are honored to welcome Chief Cheol Kang as the newest member of Cathay Post #186.  Chief Kang is the Community Programs and Services Division of the King County Sheriff's Office (KCSO).  Chief Kang is a U.S. Navy Veteran where he served as an aviation maintenance officer and later as a public affairs officer.  In 2004, Chief Kang began his law enforcement career with the Mukilteo Police Department, where he rose through the ranks from patrolman to Police Chief, a role he held for 7 years before transitioning to the King County Sheriff's Office.


In addition to his distinguished career in law enforcement, Chief Kang currently serves as an Honorary Planning Committee member for Cathay Post #186’s AAPI Hometown Hero Celebration, further demonstrating his commitment to serving the community.

Several members of Cathay Post #186 had the privilege of meeting Chief Kang at his office and had the opportunity for a brief office tour. We had the pleasure of meeting King County Sheriff Patricia Cole-Tindall, Undersheriff Jesse Anderson, and other Chiefs in the KCSO executive leadership team.  

Welcome aboard, Chief Kang! 

Washington Department Champion to Compete at National Finals

The 2024 National Finals will take place from May 17-19 in Hillsdale, Michigan, hosted by Hillsdale College.  Quarterfinal and semifinal contests are set for Saturday, May 18, followed by the finals on Sunday, May 19.

Representing the Department of Washington in the 2024 National Finals is Aubrey Jane Moore, a homeschooled sophomore proudly sponsored by Cathay Post #186.  Aubrey Jane earned a $2,000 scholarship from the Department of Washington and an all-expenses-paid trip to Hillsdale to participate in the National Finals Contest.  At the event, she will compete for over $203,000 in scholarships awarded to participants.

We extend our best wishes to Aubrey Jane as she competes among the top orators from each state in this prestigious event.

For more information and live streaming, please go to the following links:

What an unforgettable evening we had at our April Cathay Post #186 meeting (20240424)!

Kevin Kruse, the leader of Alaska Airlines Fallen Soldier Program, delivered a very moving presentation on the program's mission to ensure that the fallen soldier, their families, and military escorts reach their final destination with utmost dignity and respect. He shared the program's origins and the initiative of converting baggage carts into Fallen Soldier Carts.

He recounted stories of previous Fallen Soldier honors and the profound effect it had on both the families and employees. There was hardly a dry eye in the room. We extend our utmost respect and gratitude to Kevin and his team of Alaska Airlines volunteers for their unwavering commitment to honoring our Fallen Military Heroes.

In the second half of our meeting, Patty Carter, spokesperson for Puget Sound Honor Flight (PSHF), along with Keith Yamaguchi, a PSHF Volunteer, delivered an inspiring presentation. Patty's passion for honoring veterans by facilitating visits to Washington DC memorials shone through. She was successful in enrolling several of our veterans for future Honor Flights. For more information Puget Sound Honor Flight, please visit their website.

In conclusion, it was a truly unforgettable evening. We hold deep gratitude and utmost respect for both the Alaska Airlines' Fallen Soldier Program and the Puget Sound Honor Flight.

Election for the 2024-2025 Cathay Post #186 officers will take place during our May 22nd meeting.  The Nomination Committee has nomiated the following Slate of Officers:

Please "Save the Date" for our Officers Installation & Celebration luncheon at Terry's Kitchen on Saturday, June 29, 2024, 11:00 AM.  During this luncheon, we will proudly recognize our newly appointed officers, honor our scholarship recipients, oratorical contestants, and Boys State delegates, along with expressing our gratitude to all our valued partner organizations.  We will also present our Veteran Strengthening America award.  Please mark this important event on your calendars.

May is AAPI Heritage Month.  In the military, AAPI Heritage Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islander service members.  Throughout the month, various events and activities are organized to honor the diverse cultures and heritage within the military community.  Since Cathay Post #186 is rooted in Asian heritage, we proudly join in celebrating AAPI month, highlighting the achievements and sacrifices of AAPI service members and their families.  It's an opportunity to promote diversity, inclusion, and understanding within the United States armed forces, fostering a stronger sense of community and camaraderie.

Memorial Day Ceremony - Hing Hay Park

We extend an invitation to all our members and the community to join us at our Memorial Day ceremony, as we come together to remember and honor the sacrifices of our military war heroes.  Our speaker is Seattle Councilmember Tanya Woo.  Also in attendance is representative from the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, Seattle Police Department Chief Adrian Diaz and many other dignitaries.  The Seattle Chinese Girls Drill Team will also be performing.  Your presence and participation are deeply appreciated as we pay tribute to those who have served our nation and gave the ultimate sacrifice.  After the ceremony, around 5:30 P.M., we will be hosting a dinner at Tai Tung Chinese Restaurant for those who are able to attend.  The cost will be $25.00 per person.  Please email Adjutant Kent Wong if you want to RSVP and make payment for the dinner.


Aunty Lilyan Leong's Memorial Service

We had great representation at Aunty Lilyan Leong's memorial service.  Darsie Dela-Cruz purchased a very nice flower arrangement on behalf of Cathay Post #186.  It was very heartfelt to see our community come together to honor her memory.  Aunty Lilyan will be greatly missed.  

Department of Washington Weekly Operational Highlights Email

You can receive weekly Department of Washington operational news right in your email inbox.  To sign up, please click the button.

Sign Up

We're proud to recognize Erin McGlenn, an invaluable member of Cathay Post #186, for her recent election as American Legion District 1 representative to participate in the upcoming Constitutional Convention.  Erin's role will involve contributing to the rewriting of Washington Department's Constitution and Bylaws.  Additionally, Erin has been nominated for the position of Cathay Post #186 2nd Vice Commander.  We extend our heartfelt thanks to Erin for her volunteerism and for offering her valuable experience to shape the future of our Department!  Way to go....Erin! is a free and secure website for American Legion members to manage their membership profile.  For example, you can update your personal information, print your membership card, renew your annual dues.  Contact me if you need help setting up your account.

How to Get My Membership Card

- Print a copy of your membership card directly from

- Pick up your membership card at our monthly post meetings

- Email Adjutant Kent Wong and have a card mailed to you

Order American Legion Uniform Cap

Please contact Adjutant Kent Wong if you would like to purchase an American Legion Uniform Cap.  I can explain what needs to be on the cap and guide you through the ordering process.  


Lock In Your 3-Year Membership Now!

Reminders about multiyear membership:

Questions About Your Membership?

Please do not hesitate to contact Adjutant Kent Wong for any questions or issues about your American Legion membership.  

Contact the Adjutant

Note from American Legion Grant Hodge Post #17 Commander:  

Cathay Post #186 Orator Gives Speech at Post 17

High School sophomore, Aubrey Jane Moore, sponsored by Cathay Post #186, is the current Department of Washington's oratorical champion.  When Post Commander Bob Clark of Centralia Post #17 was looking for a volunteer oratorical contestant to speak at their Commander's Dinner, Aubrey Jane readily stepped up.  She delivered her Constitutional speech at the dinner, leaving a lasting impression.  Here's a brief summary provided by Post #17 Commander Bob Clark.

"The Grant Hodge Post 17 in Centralia, WA had the honor of hearing this year's Washington State winner, Miss Aubrey Jane Moore Constitutional speech during our annual Past Post Commander/Past Auxiliary Unit President dinner. We were also honored to have Centralia Police Commander Evans, Miss Lewis County Katelynn Guenther, Lewis County District Judge Honorable Samuelson, Washington Rep. Orcutt, and Washington Senator Braun in the audience.


They all appreciated hearing her speech and some didn't know that The American Legion had a program like this. Thank You to Commander Haydon Mar from Cathay Post 186, and a BIG Thank You to Miss Aubrey Jane Moore. Grant Hodge Post wish you the best at the National contest."

 -  Robert “Bob” Clark, Commander, Grant Hodge Post 17, Centralia, WA

Armed Forces Day will be on Heritage Hill on McChord Field from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. The event is free and open to the public.

Saturday, May 18, 11 a.m.– 6 p.m.



Come out and enjoy activities for all ages. Explore static military aircraft and vehicle displays, including infantry-carrying vehicles and weapons displays. See living history encampments representing military life in the past and ask questions to learn more about bygone eras of military field life.

Rice Collection Update:

Everything donated will be given to the ACRS Food Bank.   We plan to continue this initiative throughout 2024 by collecting at each month's post meetings.  Thank you for your generosity.   Your kindness plays a crucial role in aiding community members facing food insecurity.

"Veterans Strengthening America"        

The American Legion motto is "Veterans Strengthening America."  Let's continue to work together and make a positive impact in our community.


Some service projects we're currently planning are:

- Sending off the Puget Sound Honor Flight veterans at SeaTac airport.

- Cookout for the Beacon Hill VA Medical Hospital Volunteers with Post #1.

- C-ID Hing Hay Park Clean Up.  Clean up Hing Hay Park before Memorial Day.

- ACRS Food Bank Help.  


If you have other ideas for community service projects, please email Adjutant Kent Wong.   


The Chinese American Citizens Alliance-Seattle hosted its annual banquet at China Harbor Restaurant on Sunday, April 28, 2024.  Ten members of our post were in attendance.  The banquet was a wonderful event celebrating award winners, past year’s achievements and enjoying the company of friends.  Kudos to CACA for putting together such a memorable and enjoyable event!

The upcoming Puget Sound Honor Flight Mission #36 is scheduled for May 18-20, 2024.  As part of our support, some of us will gather at SeaTac Airport to greet and help send off this group of veterans.  This heartwarming send-off is supported by numerous organizations including VFW 6785, Patriot Honor Guard, Freemasons, Junior ROTC, and active military personnel.  Upon their return, there will also be an opportunity to welcome them back.  If you're interested in participating, please reach out to Adjutant Kent Wong for more information.

VA Puget Sound:  Live WholeHealth Roadshow

Want tips to live life to the fullest? Ready to make some changes in your life in areas that matter to you? Don’t know where to start? The road to better health and well-being starts with the VA Puget Sound WholeHealth Roadshow.  

Their next event is at the American Lake Auditorium (Building 9) May 9 at 11:30 a.m.   Complementary tai chi and yoga demos, whole health challenges, free food, free swag, resource fair and more!

Their previous Whole Health Roadshow sound bath and mindfulness experiences from April 11 Seattle event are available on demand -

Our "Veterans Helping Veterans" program goals are to foster mutual support among veterans through a variety of initiatives:

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you require assistance.  We're here to help.

I Need Help


 We Are "Foo Dogs"

- Guardians & Protectors!

Cathay Post #186 members are "Guardians and Protectors" of AMERICAN VALUES and PATRIOTISM!  

Which means we advocate for upholding and defending the United States Constitution, equal justice and opportunity for everyone and discrimination against no one, youth education, responsible citizenship and honoring military service by observing and participating in memorial events.

Veterans Crisis Line