By: Doug Broek
Did you know that there is a VFW post right here in Wyoming that has been chartered since the mid-1940s? It might be better to start with a more basic question, do you know what the VFW stands for?
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) is a service organization comprised of veterans who have served our country overseas in times of war. To be eligible for membership, the veteran has to have served honorably as a member of the Armed Services of the United States in a foreign war, insurrection, or expedition that has been recognized by the United States Government. Also, a campaign-medal service badge has to have been issued.
Post #702 Wyoming-Grandville is one of 300 VFW posts in the State of Michigan and is currently looking for a place to call home.
With the WWII and Vietnam veterans passing on at the rate of over 100 a day nationally, it is imperative that Post #702 recruit veterans from the current global conflicts, with Iraq and Afghanistan being in the largest combat zones. In order better recruit, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 702 Wyoming/Grandville is looking for a post home to better serve the area’s local veterans.
Currently, Post 702 does not have a post home, but they meet on the 1st Tuesday of every month at the United Postal Workers Union hall on Burlingame Avenue SW in Wyoming.
Post 702 is very active in the community. Current membership is about 96, with about 10% being active. Some of the many activities they participate in are:
• Marching in both the Walker Memorial Day Parade and the Grandville 4th of July Parade.
• Manning booths at the Grandville Pre-Fourth of July Kick-off and Blueberry Festival.
• Active at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans working with their staff in providing activities not supported by the Michigan Department of Veterans Affairs such as the Bait Shop, Clothing Room, and Bingo two times a month.
• Wreaths Across America.
• Passing out American flags to each child in a Wyoming/Grandville elementary school around Veterans Day.
• Grilling hot dogs for the 6th grade at Cummings Elementary School this past Spring.
• Assisting the Grand Valley Armory with Christmas parties, picnics and other activities.
• Manning a booth in the Wyoming Metro Cruise.
• Raising donations for the Veterans Scholarship Fund for Grand Valley State University, Department of Michigan VFW’s Camp Trotter, and the veteran causes.
• Several post members are part of the WGVU ENGAGE committee for Veterans. This is the organization that produced the LZ Michigan program in 2010 at the Fifth Third Ball Park and the Veterans Salute at GVSU the past two Fall seasons.
In order to promote new membership to keep VFW Post 702 alive and flourishing, a central hub – a home – is needed. Without the influx of new membership, the VFW will have a hard time continuing to exist. Coordinating future activities engaging with the community would be easier with a post home complete with its own phone number and address.
VFW Post 702 is looking for a suitable building within the cities of Wyoming and Grandville to call its Post Home. A building with a canteen (bar) is not a necessity. The VFW is more interested in being community involved and assisting other veterans than having a canteen to contend with. Members need a place that they can have family activities: graduation parties, wedding receptions, birthday parties, etc. A post home would provide for that. Serving the community and assisting other veterans is the most important to the post’s membership.
Your support of VFW Post 702 would help better support our local veterans and the local community.