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MEEKER I Have you noticed that the home of our local VFW Post 5843 is no longer co-located with AC’s Bar? Our records, plaques and signs have all been removed. For quite some time now, your local VFW has been meeting at Kilowatt Korner on the second Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. The VFW Ladies Auxiliary meets on the second Thursday of each month at Kilowatt Korner. Most people do not realize that we are a community service organization.
We have records of the original charter of Meeker’s VFW Post 5843 dating back to 1923. There is also a local VFW Ladies Auxiliary who support the Post in its community service. The members of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars live by the motto, “Honor the dead by helping the living.”
“We set out to serve the veterans of this country and our communities as a testament to the sacrifices and commitment of every man and woman who has served in uniform.”
You can become a member of the VFW if you are a U.S. citizen who has served honorably in the Armed Forces and has served in an overseas conflict. You can join us even if you are still serving in the military. The VFW counts over 75,000 active-duty, Reserve and National Guard service members among our ranks. You can become a member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary if you are over 16 years of age, a wife, widow, mother, foster or stepmother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, foster or stepdaughter, sister, half-sister, foster or stepsister of a person who is or was eligible for membership in the VFW.
The VFW’s mission is to foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts. To serve our veterans, the military, and our communities. To advocate on behalf of all veterans. The VFW’s vision is to ensure that veterans are respected for their service, always receive their earned entitlements, and are recognized for the sacrifices they and their loved ones have made on behalf of this great country.
The VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service: Many arrived home wounded or sick. There was no medical care or veterans’ pension for them,and they were left to care for themselves.
In their misery, some of these veterans banded together and formed organizations with what would become known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. After chapters were formed in Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania, the movement quickly gained momentum. By 1915, membership grew to 5,000; by 1936, membership was almost 200,000. Since then, the VFW’s voice has been instrumental in establishing the Veterans Administration, creating a GI bill for the 20th century, the development of the national cemetery system and the fight for compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange and for veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. In 2008, VFW won a long-fought victory with the passing of a GI Bill for the 21st century, giving expanded educational benefits to America’s active-duty service members and members of the Guard and Reserves fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The VFW also has fought for improving VA medical centers services for women veterans.
Besides helping fund the creation of the Vietnam, Korean War, World War II and Women in Military Service memorials, the VFW in 2005 became the first veterans’ organization to contribute to building the new Disabled Veterans for Life Memorial, which opened in November 2010.
Annually, the 2.1 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliary contribute more than 11 million hours of volunteer-ism in the community, including participation in Make A Difference Day and National Volunteer Week. From providing $2.5 million in college scholarships and savings bonds to students every year, to encouraging elevation of the Veterans Administration to the president’s cabinet, the VFW is there.
Your Meeker VFW Post 5843 and Meeker VFW Ladies Auxiliary have spent countless hours volunteering at Pioneers Hospital and the Walbridge Wing by helping with crafts, feeding people, playing games, fixing and cutting hair and helping with the Meeker Streaker on field trips in and out of town; taking local residents (veterans and civilians) to doctors and other appointments, grocery and holiday shopping, the Post Office, haircuts (in and out of town); going to local residents’ homes (veterans and civilians) and helping with meals, housework, yard work and snow removal; delivering holiday or birthday meals and gifts to those less fortunate; organizing fundraisers such as Buddy Poppy, bake sales, dinners, local festivals for scholarships, cancer, medical equipment and relief funds; providing funeral dinners for V.F.W. and Auxiliary members and their families; presenting our colors at local sporting events; marching in the Fourth of July parade; placing flags on graves on Memorial Day; participating in Veterans Day celebrations; hanging flags around town for Patriot Day; presenting awards for Voice of Democracy, Patriot’s Pen and Teacher of the Year; participating in “Just Say No to Drugs” programs; presenting scholarships to graduates at graduation.
If you are a Veteran who has served in a foreign conflict and would like to have fun while helping others and serve your community, please contact David Cole at (970) 878-5326 to join us. If you are a relative of a qualified veteran and would like to join our VFW Ladies Auxiliary contact Vicki Crawford at 878-0477 or (970) 321-0425.