What is the VFW to you? Too often, if we ask a random person in the street, or even a younger Veteran, the response is similar… “Depressing dive bars with sad old alcoholics” That is a quote taken from an article from Stars and Stripes. To me, The VFW is a Hub and a Haven. A hub for the Veteran Community. A hub for Veteran non-profits to hold events, a hub and meeting place for different veteran organizations. It is a hub for any and all Veteran activity. It is also a Haven. It is a haven for combat veterans to socialize among their own. We don’t often discuss the grittier details of our service. We don’t have to. Our comrades get it. We all ate it. We ate it in the deserts of the Middle East, the mountains of Afghanistan, the streets of Somalia, the jungles of Vietnam, and so on. We can leave things unsaid, and just know that the person sitting next to you has had a similar experience. It is a haven for our families. Different holidays events, it fills my heart with joy and pride when I see the little ones running outside, our little boy Chris will be joining them in the months to come. THIS is why we fought. We fought to end fascism, communism, jihadism. We fought for each other. But ultimately we fought for our children, and our way of life.
One of my mentors, CSM Peter Ladd, used to say, “If your current duty assignment is not your greatest duty assignment, look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, what have you done today to make it great?” That is the way I view the Veterans of Foreign Wars. It takes hard work, dedication, and passion for the Mission to make this place great! While we want everyone to come and support the post and the canteen, and come to our meetings, I challenge each and every Comrade, and potential Comrade, become truly engaged, bring a Veteran to the post, pick a project, improve the post, participate in a committee or community service, make VFW Post 8787 as Great as it can be!