VERONA, Va -- Verona Veterans of Foreign Wars Post Commander Eugene Chavis served overseas in Vietnam. Now, he serves veterans in the Valley returning from war.
“They all have that one thing in common. They all served in combat,” said Chavis.
VFW leaders are looking for younger members, who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, to join.
Chavis said VFW posts in the Valley have lost half their members over the past decade. The VFW in Verona has about 95 members, but only about 12 to 15 of them show up regularly.
Chavis said some vets join the VFW when they are older and need help applying for services and benefits, but brotherhood is one of the best benefits of VFW.
“The camaraderie is one of the best things going. If you see a bunch of veterans together, there always laughing. They're joking.”
Some of the next generation of vets are here in the Valley and members of that generation discuss the likelihood of joining the VFW.
“It's still an option that's open, but probably not until I get into the Army or any other military branch,” said Samantha Sanchez, a platoon leader.
“It sounds pretty interesting, and if I did ever serve overseas, I'd probably want to get involved in something like that,” said Cadet Jordynn Heatherington.
In the meantime, Chavis will work to recruit new members for an organization he has served for years.
“We are still fighting. We are not giving up. We are constantly on the lookout for new members,” said Chavis.
The VFW also holds several fundraisers and other events throughout the year to give back to the community.
There are other VFW posts in Staunton, Harrisonburg and Bridgewater.
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