Taking on debt is VFW members’ largest concern

A message from the Commander 

Building a new facility is important to future survival

Taking on debt is VFW members’ largest concern

It was obvious that just over 47% of those VFW members present at the Nov. 21 meeting, who voted against selling the VFW property, had a primary concern about taking on debt with the purchase of land and building a new facility. Although, those who voted in favor of the project was 53%, however, the VFW requirement to move ahead was two-thirds or 51 of the 76 votes that were cast.

Our committee was not as prepared as we should have been. In an earlier meeting we answered questions for nearly two hours and felt we had covered everything. Several of the members present had planned to vote in favor of the project, but their primary concerns were taking on additional debt and determining how we planned to service the debt (mortgage).

There were several pieces of information which were being passed around that were simply untrue. One member alluded to the statement, “Is there any truth to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) were pulling out of the project.” The DAV had stated just a few days before the meeting that they were in for “the long haul,” according to Kevin Coley, State Adjutant for the DAV. The DAV has since provided a signed letter to the VFW stating their intentions of being involved with the project.

Half-truths and innuendos are always flying around in a bar atmosphere. There are even people who do not have a “horse in the race” who like to give others their thoughts on what should and should not be done. We are always open to discussion about anything we are doing, and we will listen to anyone, whether a VFW member or Auxiliary member. On occasion, some good ideas come from people you would not expect.”

It is important to analyze what we are doing. Selling beer, whiskey and wine will never make us any money. Our kitchen has been doing well. What is amazing is that our weekly

Bingo games on Wednesday and the pull-tabs we sell during that time during the Bingo games, is netting the Post on average, over $1,100 per week. Our Banquet Room rentals are up over 50 percent from the previous year and with a larger facility, we could increase our income substantially in that area.

Yes, we are a veteran’s club and we are here for our veterans; however, we are a business first, and we must operate like a business. Everything we can do to make a “buck” is very important. Many have said, “Where are our younger veterans?” If you are a Vietnam veteran, think back to when you got home and joined the VFW. We were lucky. We had a tremendous amount of World War II and Korean War veterans helping “prop us up”. Today, the ranks are thinner and Vietnam veterans are getting older. There are over 3,000,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans around, as well as Kosovo, Bosnia, Serbia, Korea and the other small incursions that are ongoing. Yes, there are many veterans who are eligible.

With all of that said, based on what was heard at the meeting, if we obtain the money to have a “low debt,” it appears that almost everyone would vote in favor of the project.

Commander Steve Milbourn