Our VFW Post here in Laguna Beach is in trouble. The issue is one that the officers of this Post have been concerned about for quite a few years. My commander predecessors faced it during their respective terms and now it is my time to do so.
This proud 68 some years old Post could be in its final days. We have not been able to recruit a sufficient number of veterans who will not only join the organization but will also actively serve and participate in the many support services we provide veterans and the community. We are also faced with the vicissitudes of aging as members become ill, immobile or pass away (our declining membership can be attributed primarily to the latter).
The result is that we are having difficulty filling the officer positions that are mandatory for managing, maintaining and directing the Post. Over the years, like playing checkers, we move our dedicated cadre of active members from one position to the other.
Due to the generosity of the community, we have seen an improvement in our financial condition, we just have not been successful at attracting younger veterans who meet the VFW’s criteria of having been honorably discharged and served overseas in a hostile area.
I have served the Post as commander for the past two rewarding years. Because of current health issues, I can no longer do so. Fortunately one of our dedicated, energetic comrades, Frank Daniel, agreed to accept leadership as commander for the coming year.
The future concerns me. If we cannot adequately fill the officer positions, the regional and national organizations could decide to close and merge this Post with another in Mission Viejo or Dana Point. With the heritage of this proud Post, that would be regrettable.
To keep it going, we need your help. If you know of anyone who meets the criteria of VFW membership, again honorably discharged and served overseas in a hostile area, please persuade them to contact and consider joining us. They can contact me at (949) 643-5534 or at [email protected], or they can also send us a note at VFW Post 5868, P.O. Box 629, Laguna Beach, CA 92652.
We are here to serve veterans and the community but need your help if we are to continue doing so.
Arnie Silverman, Laguna Beach
The author is commander of Post 5868.