Exciting things are happening at VFW Post #335 in Cranford. Not only has it elected a new slate of officers for the upcoming year, but the front lawn of the Post Home is sporting some new and historical hardware.

Colonel Andrew Burns of Cranford has been elected Commander of the Post, replacing Jay Boxwell, who had a very successful three years at the helm of Cranford’s only veteran’s organization. Simultaneous with the election of a new slate of officers, the Post also refurbished both a World War II era “Pac Howitzer” and “Recoilless Rifle” and installed them at the front of the Post Home on South Avenue.

Along with Colonel Burns, other officers elected for the new year were Lew Blowe, Senior Vice Commander and Jerry Krug as Junior Vice Commander. Returning as Post Chaplain is the Memorial Day Grand Marshall Jim Silkensen, while the venerable Joe Del Grippo will be continuing as Quartermaster as Dennis King returns as Post Adjutant. The Post Trustees will be John Morrison, Jay Boxwell and Michael Carberry.

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Commander Boxwell forged an amazing three year tenure at Cranford’s VFW. During the 2016-2017 year he led Post #335 to become not only an “All State Post” but one of the top 25 VFW Posts in the nation winning “All American Post” honors, which is a first for Cranford in its 98 year history. Boxwell will be currently serving his second year as District 5 (Union County) VFW Commander and is the NJ State VFW POW/MIA Chairman.  

The incoming Commander Burns is a retired U.S. Army Colonel having spent 31 years in service to our country in both the regular army and the reserves.  He is an Iraqi veteran, serving at Balad, Iraq, as well as having served at Camp Casey and Yongsan, South Korea. Of commendable note is that Burns started his army career as an enlisted man and retired as a full colonel. He is married to his wife Elizabeth and they have a daughter Catherine at home.

The new armament adorning the front of the Post was acquired from the now defunct Rahway VFW and was in dire need of a facelift.  So with the professional assistance of Moran Automotive & Towing Inc. of Kearny (donated new tires), Matt’s Flatbed Towing of Westfield (free towing & delivery), Perfection Plus Auto Body, Kenilworth (donated painting), Rob’s Crane Service, Cranford (free placement of the howitzer), and JB Paverstones, Clark, NJ Truck Welding Services, Garwood and Larry’s Quick Strip, Carteret, the project was brought to an admirable completion, just in time for Memorial Day. 

The men and women of VFW Post #335 want to thank all those involved in the project to refurbish and mount the hardware at the Post.  It was a tremendous team effort.