Tuesday, June 28, 2016

VFW Post #1

The very first VFW post is in Denver.  I did not know that.

I learned this today from searching [denver news] in Twitter after being notified of a shooting here today. 2hus For Liberty, if you're interested, on Twitter identifies a notorious white nationalist as the shooter of a woman, now in critical condition, and himself, now dead.

While exploring this new link, Denver news on Twitter, I noticed something else down the line as the breaking news changes to other items and that turns out to be interesting too and a lot more happy than this shooting, the story not only of the first VFW but also the first with a gay VFW commander. Two stories in one. (Three counting the unrelated shooting.)

The link goes to channel 9 News, an obnoxious site that wants you to see other things first and puts things in your way, but aside from the site's JAVA the video is very nice thing to see once they give it to you. It is a good coverage of a good angle to a pleasant and good and happy event.

The story of course is about how great it is for the military to finally acknowledge openly there are gay people serving. The angle is about the policy of DADT being abolished. The man, John Harry, can hardly contain his emotion describing his VFW post making him commander by his service to this country and not because of any kind of idle virtue signaling either, because of his service, his tours, and this parade that puts his whole life in new perspective is moving. It is a fine video.

I nicked some screenshots.

Ch.9 News, Denver Pridefest 2016

So where is this VFW post #1, anyway? The ones I know of have very large numbers like 7945 and  2461 and 501, Of all the VFW talk that I heard, my own mum was involved, they're real big on handing out jewelry pins with their logo so Mum had dozens of those, I never did hear about VFW #1, never even thought about it. 

 841 Santa Fe Dr. 

Holy cow that's close. I can walk there easily. 

I ought to go in for a drink. A Pepsi cola. Google Earth shows the place looks like this:

Oh boy. 

It was a Tuesday at V.F.W. Post 1: yoga night. Wednesday is meditation. Friday is photography class — unless it is open gallery night, when hundreds of civilians peruse veteran artwork while a D.J. spins records. The post hosts a monthly film series. And meetings often have as many backward ball caps as V.F.W. hats. 
Do not come expecting a bar. There is none.
What? I thought that was essential.
“We didn’t want a dark dive bar,” said the senior vice commander of the post, Brittany Bartges, a 29-year-old veteran of the Iraq war. “We wanted a healing place where veterans could come together and bring their families.” 
By abandoning the traditional model of a dim, members-only tavern in favor of a bright gallery space, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in Denver have transformed the V.F.W.’s oldest post into one of its youngest. 
Once a dying post like many others, Post 1 began recruiting aggressively among veterans at nearby colleges and threw open the doors, welcoming other veterans’ groups to use the building. It is now a hub for volunteering, exercise and art, where the focus is on camaraderie and community service. And the membership is thriving. Before, some meetings drew only five people. Now, more than 40 regularly attend.  
Post members say they hope to create a model for attracting young veterans that could be adopted across the country. And just in time for the 116-year-old V.F.W. The nationwide network has lost more than 500,000 members in the last decade, tracing the declining number of veterans from World War II and Korea. More than 1,000 posts have closed. The average age of its 1.3 million members is now 68. 
Young veterans have shown little interest in joining. Only about 15 percent of eligible Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are members.

More at the NYT link.


Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

Interesting post. Thanks.

ndspinelli said...

I coached American Legion baseball but the VFW Post was just as supportive. The VFW post on the eastside of Madison has a fish fry open to the public every Friday. It's quite popular. Cheeseheads love to eat fried fish on Fridays.

Calypso Facto said...

And a simple but good fish fry it is, at 7591, Nick. Like most VFWs, it's mostly blue hairs in it these days. We've gone from somewhere in the neighborhood of a 20% veteran society to 3%. Tough to sustain ... like being the last people working as Social Security goes upside down.

A VFW without a bar?!? I've never heard of such a thing. But then again, I live in Wisconsin.

Like Chip, I for some reason had never considered that there might be posts with less than 4 digit number, but finding #1 right down the block is really cool.

Titus said...

My parents got to The American Legion in Waunakee for their fish fry, with baked potato or fries, relish tray, and slaw, served family style, natch.

There is a polka band playing at the place.


ricpic said...

Nevermind "a healing place," how about a clean, well lighted place where a compadre can sit with his drink on the patio in the shadows under the lights that the trees make, eh Ernesto?

ndspinelli said...

Calypso, That's the VFW I was talking about on Cottage Grove Road. They always have a good crowd. Good food and cheap drinks. I've been to a couple weddings there. The fucking City of Madison has Cottage Grove Road dug up in clusterfuck fashion. I bet that hurts biz. Govt. never give a flying fuck about businesses when they do construction. The nice town of Cambridge, WI.[proud home of Matt Kenseth] was becoming a good tourist stop. Then the fucking State literally closed the road to Cambridge for 2 straight summers! Put restaurants, small shops out of biz. The town has yet to recover and that was a decade or so ago.

Chip Ahoy said...

I cringed at healing place. Okay. Fine. The presumption is, the unstated axiom to that is, war is always so psychologically damaging that healing is required. Healing sounded girlish. But I'll go with it. Whatever works. The art show seems nice. And I can have my coca cola nearby.

I should show you another shop down there. It's a Catholic supply store and inside is v-e-r-y interesting. Utterly plain on the outside with no hint at all to the wonders within. You might say, Catholic, that's none of your bees wax, and I'll answer, yes it is, catholic means universal and they sell actual bees wax candles and they are for me.

They make the most outstanding gifts. I think. Long ass tapers like you wouldn't believe. Bees wax. They smell like church.

So you can doll them up, wrap them tastefully and uniquely that marks the whole package your own,m and give them away. People love these things. You can buy a whole box of them for like $50.00.

You can also buy incense. Actual frankincense and actual myrrh. Clothes, robes, vestments, habits, gloves, shoes, hats, shawls, icons, postcards, pictures, statues, actual church statues, the place is real.

Called Gerkins, named after a pickle.