The local VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Post has fallen on hard times. With declining membership and expensive building repairs, the local organization is struggling to meet even its basic expenses like utilities.
Post Auxiliary secretary/treasurer, Sarah Elkins says that the local post has had to cut back on basic utilities and amenities. They cut out cable TV, turned off the phone service, and scaled their Internet service back to just accommodate the needs of the Bingo players.
To save on utilities, the group only turns on the heat when they’re having a meeting or event. It takes a while to heat up, so sometimes their meetings are a little chilly.
Several years ago, the roof of the Post’s building was damaged by the hailstorm that wreaked havoc across the valley. The insurance settlement they received didn’t cover the cost of replacing the roof. To date, they’ve been unable to come up with the additional funds necessary to fix the roof.
The VFWs financial problems all boil down to declining membership. “We need members, younger members,” Elkins says. “(Our) active members are getting up in age and their health is declining. We need younger members.”
The hardy group at the helm of the auxiliary is determined to put the organization back on course so they can continue to serve the veterans and needy citizens of our community as they have done for decades.
“With the government shutdown,”says Elkin, “There are those in our community who need assistance, but if we don’t have it to give we can’t help them. That’s why we’re trying to get the funds to help those in need in our community. To our veterans and anybody else who needs it.”
Friday Night Fish Fry is back – with a twist
Veteran’s organizations are well known for their Friday night fish fry. The local VFW is bringing it back, starting February 1, 2019. But now they’re adding something new to the menu. If you don’t like fish, you can now get a fried chicken plate instead. Both plates cost $10.00 and come with fries and cole slaw. Drinks are $1.00 and dessert is $1.00. The Friday Night Fish Fry will continue every Friday night from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.
Bingo is also scheduled on Friday nights starting at 6:45 p.m. You don’t have to play Bingo to eat, and you don’t have to eat to play Bingo. You can do one or the other, or both.
Valentine’s Steak Dinner
The Auxilliary is planning a Valentine dinner on February 14thfrom 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at the VFW Post. The menu includes Rib Eye steak, baked potato, salad and a dinner roll for $20.00 per plate. Drinks and dessert are extra. Reservations are required by February 12 so they can plan enough food.
To make reservations, call 928-965-1281 or 928-965-1621.
VFW Post 10385 is located at 3481 W 8thStreet in Thatcher.
Checks and cash are accepted. They’re not set up to accept credit cards.
Donations are also accepted. Volunteers are also accepted.
The local post is actively seeking new membership both in the Post and the Auxiliary.
How to become a member of the post
There are three qualifiers for membership in the VFW, as set out in their By-Laws. An individual must meet all three in order to become a member. They are as follows:
1: Citizenship – must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. National.
2: Honorable Service – must have served in the Armed Forces of the United States and either received a discharge of Honorable or General (Under Honorable Conditions) or be currently
3: Service in a war, campaign, or expedition on foreign soil or in hostile waters*. This can be proven by any of the following:
– An authorized campaign medal (see a full list of qualifying medals and badges)
– Receipt of Hostile Fire Pay or Imminent Danger Pay (verified by a military pay statement)
– Service in Korea for 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days
*This information is usually available through a veteran’s DD-214. If other information is needed or if a veteran’s DD-214 is not complete, they can contact the National Personnel Records Center online or at 314-801-0800 to request more information.
More detailed information on VFW eligibility can be accessed here.
Annual dues are just $45.00
Join the Auxiliary
The VFW Auxiliary is comprised of members from all walks of life with a common connection: all are relatives of those who served in overseas combat. Foster children of foreign war veterans are also eligible for auxiliary membership.
Eligibility Requirements for VFW Auxiliary Membership:
Members must be citizens of the United States or a United States National, and at least 16 years old.
Those eligible are:
Of persons who were or are eligible for membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
The VFW Auxiliary is pleased to offer members access to one of the nation’s largest networks of money-saving products and services in the insurance and benefits industry.
- Discounted policies for life, health, accident, long-term care and dental insurance, along with many other benefit plans.
- Access to discounts on products and services that are important to you – including local offers!
- Credit cards and certain financial services are available through USAA.
Membership for the auxiliary is $25.00 for the first year and $20 each year thereafter.
The local VFW Auxiliary has about 70 members. Their ages range from 16 to 95.
Auxiliary meets once per month on the second Tuesday of the month for about an hour. The group also has weekly visits to get to know each other and to work on projects every Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to noon.
Auxiliary member Mike Andozola says, “We need to support our veterans and our posts locally. We greatly enjoy the community and we all pull together and with this we can get done what we have to to make sure we’re going in the right direction and assisting the community.”
Auxiliary president, Charlotte Reynolds says that the focus of the auxiliary is the community. “We love our community and we want to help the community.”
The local auxiliary donates quilts for veterans hospitals, the care center, and anyone else who needs help. They organize blanket and coat drives for the homeless. they’re always looking for people they can help. The local auxiliary also manages a scholarship fund to benefit area students.
The local VFW Auxiliary supports the Fisher House Foundation – an organization that builds comfort homes where military & veterans families can stay free of charge while a loved on is in the hospital. These homes are located at military and VA medical centers around the world.
The VFW National Home for children is another organization that the local VFW Post supports. The National Home for Children was founded in 1925 in Eaton Rapids, Michigan as a place where families left behind by war could remain together, keeping the family circle intact even when their serviceman didn’t come home. The residential community features 42 homes with facilities like a gym, library, computer and science lab, day care center, playgrounds, fishing pond and hiking trails. Families are welcomed into the small-town community where they may live for up to four years. They work to identify what they need and want to accomplish, during which time they are furnished housing, education, daycare and basic needs, such as food, healthcare and clothing, if needed.
You can help restore VFW Post 10385 to its former glory and help them continue their legacy of service. If you qualify for Post or Auxiliary membership get involved. Be sure to support their weekly fish fry, Valentine’s Dinner, and other fundraising activities.