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Fairfax VFW Post Presents Awards to Four Public Servants in Local Ceremony


4 March 2024, Fairfax, VA.  Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 8469 in Fairfax, VA recently had the honor to recognize four local public servants for their outstanding achievements as part of the VFW’s national program, VFW Public Servant Awards. Each year, VFW Posts across the U. S. may select members from the Law Enforcement, Firefighting, EMT, EOD, and Dispatcher fields to receive these awards.    


On March 4th, 2024, the Fairfax VFW Post presented awards to two Virginia State Police officers, a Fairfax County Police Dispatcher, and a Fairfax County Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer.  Each awardee was nominated by their supervisors.  The supervisors and family members of the awardees, along with Post 8469 affiliates, attended the ceremony.  James “Mac” McCarl, VFW Post 8469 Post Commander, opened the event by explaining the importance of the awards: “Too often these people are not recognized for the extreme value they provide to the community, every day and at some personal risk, and more often are called out by the media when something goes wrong. Congratulations to these good people and many thanks for their service. Public servants recognized were:


Award Category - Law Enforcement:  Virginia State Police Special Agent Robert M. Guyton. Special Agent Guyton has been with the Virginia State Police since 2014. He currently works in the Drug Enforcement Section of the Fairfax Field Office. Special Agent Guyton is being recognized for his role as lead investigator in the case of a police officer-involved shooting that is considered one of the largest in Virginia State Police history due to the number of troopers and officers involved in the incident. Special Agent Guyton conducted numerous interviews during the investigation and coordinated efforts with other state and federal law enforcement agencies. As noted in his award nomination, “His work and professionalism were significant factors in determining the facts that ultimately led to multiple charges.”  


Award Category - Law Enforcement:  Virginia State Police Special Agent Ira J. Dallam, Sr. Special Agent Dallam has been with the Virginia State Police since 2014 after a 21-year career with the United States Marine Corps. He is assigned to the Northern Virginia Mass Transportation Initiative (NVMTI) which is a multi-agency drug task force coordinated by the Drug Enforcement Administration.  Special Agent Dallam’s work with NVMTI was instrumental in the seizure of illicit narcotics with a combined street value of more than $13.7 million.  His award nomination states that “countless families should be thankful to Special Agent Dallam for preventing them from experiencing the pain of losing a family member to an overdose death.” 


Award Category – Dispatcher: Public Safety Communicator John Ihling. PSC Ihling is employed as a Public Safety Communicator with the Fairfax County Department of Public Safety Communications.  In 2023, PSC Ihling answered 23,939 calls, surpassing the average limit by a margin of 10,000 calls.  He routinely volunteers for overtime and answering callback pages.  Additionally, he represents the agency in the APCO Government Relations Counsel and currently serves as Co-Chair of two Virginia APCO committees – Emerging Technologies in 911 and the 911 Committee.  According to his award nomination, “His unwavering dedication and work ethic have significantly contributed to the agency’s ability to meet the demands of our community, showcasing his commitment to public safety, responder safety, and life preservation.”


Award Category – Explosive Ordinance and Disposal Technician (EODT):  Master Police Officer Brian Storm. MPO Storm has been a member of the Fairfax County Police Department EOD/Bomb Squad for almost 10 years. He is also a certified explosive detection K9 handler.  MPO Storm is being recognized for planning and executing bomb squad training events, creating a training program for patrol officers to assist in dealing with suspicious package and improvised explosive devices which is the first of its kind in the Fairfax County Police Department, and providing over 500 hours of Bomb Squad training.  MPO Storm’s award nomination states that “MPO Storm is recognized for his knowledge and experience as an EOD technician by commanders and fellow officers. As a certified explosive breacher, he has been consulted by the department’s tactical team on explosive breaching procedures.”


Three of the awardees have been submitted to the VFW Department of Virginia to compete at the state level. 




The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States of America (VFW) Blue and Gray Post 8469 is a tax-exempt organization under Internal Revenue Code, Section 501(C)(19).  Per IRS Determination letter dated November 5, 2004, donors can deduct contributions made to or for use of our organization in accordance with applicable laws.  








Photo Captions:

1. Karen Cosgrove, VFW Post 8469 Junior Vice (JV) Commander, presents an award in the Law Enforcement category to Virginia State Police Special Agent Robert Guyton.

2. Karen Cosgrove, VFW Post 8469 JV Commander, presents an award in the Law Enforcement category to Virginia State Police Special Agent Ira Dallam.

3. Karen Cosgrove, VFW Post 8469 JV Commander, presents an award in the Dispatcher category to Public Safety Communicator John Ihling.

4. Karen Cosgrove, VFW Post 8469 JV Commander, presents an award in the Explosive Ordinance and Demolition category to Master Police Officer Brian Storm.


5. Awardees stand with James “Mac” McCarl, VFW Post 8469 Post Commander, after the ceremony.  

2021  Memorial Day Buddy Poppy Drive
VFW Post 8469 was out in  at Mission BBQ in Chantilly (13067 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway
Fairfax, VA 22033) , the staff and management always do a great job supporting us.  We thank them for their support.

2021 Voice of Decocracy  
Last years theme for the Voice of Democracy (VOD) oral essay contest was "America: Where Do We Go From Here?"  The Post had 36 entries.  From those the winners were-- 1st Finan Grace ($200-Paul VI High School), 2nd Jackson Herrera ($150 Paul VI High School), and 3rd Adam Dembicki ($75 Robinson Secondary).  Award money came from ASTA who made a donation to the Post's Youth and Education Awards Program


2019 Fairfax Fall Festival
VFW Post 8469 was out in force at the Fairfax Fall Festival in downtown Fairfax City today. We helped man the Beer Tent for which we get a cut of the money, all of which goes into the post funds to support veterans. Additionally, we manned a post tent and recruited two new members, two potential transfers,and three additional possible members. At the tent, we also raffled off a Flag of Valor flag (donated by Bill J.) and two very nice hand made children’s books from Norma L. Many thanks to all the post members who came out to support. 

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