Basehor VFW Members Discuss Community Involvement

Kelsey Coleman

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A bunch of older guys sitting around telling war stories and playing bingo, that’s what we think the VFW is, especially in this day and age. However, below the bingo, war stories, and flag presentations a much more inspiring narrative is told, one of “veterans helping veterans” and the camaraderie only found after sharing a foxhole with a man.

The VFW’s impact on this community may be nothing more than a blip on the average student’s radar, but their story truly is of the most inspirational and patriotic kind.

“You don’t understand unless you’ve been in a uniform like this.” That’s what Phil Jenkins, commander of the local post said when describing the brotherhood.

They truly stand together, their brotherhood especially shows when the VFW runs their poppy drive to raise money for the 57,849 homeless veterans in the United States.

The VFW doesn’t just aid veterans, but also current soldiers. They’ve sponsored care packages sent to troops in war-ridden Iraq and Afghanistan. Care packages contained things such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, along with other personal hygiene products, and even some fun things to pass the time.

In addition to that, they try to pay for local soldiers’ membership into the organization, in hopes of attracting new members.

Additionally, the VFW offers scholarships (For more info visit http://www.vfw.org/Youth/). They also have an endowment that anyone related to a soldier can apply to, although there is no guarantee that you will receive an award. This opens a possibility for those who have a father, mother, aunt, uncle, or other relative in the military to get money to help them through college.

The VFW doesn’t just assist soldiers and veterans, they even help the community by retiring flags, presenting the colors at events like the 4th of July and graduation.

In addition they host fundraisers and do community service, along with many other acts. Unfortunately, many of these actions go unnoticed. These men and women have sacrificed their time, and lives, to making sure we live a life with freedom and privilege.

The VFW is, by all accounts, a pillar of our community. They restore our faith in America far more often than we deserve, and exemplify the values of our country. The next time you pass it while trying not to speed down Main Street, take a moment to think about the VFW and all they do, then go back to trying not to speed.

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