FARMINGTON, Mo. — As we get ready to celebrate Veterans Day this Sunday, we need to let you know about a problem facing a group of veterans in Farmington. The VFW Post in that city is in jeopardy of closing.
"If something doesn't change, we could be closed within a year," Commander Bud Davis said.
VFW Post 5896 in Farmington is facing an issue many VFW posts around the country are experiencing: losing active members and losing money.
A spokesperson with the national VFW organization said it has more than 1.2 million members. In the early 1990's there were about 2.2 million members.
Davis, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, said the lack of younger veterans is part of the problem.
"There's a gap in veterans served. You have Vietnam War Veterans, you have a small population of Gulf War Veterans and then you have my era of Iraq and Afghanistan. My era, a lot of them have young kids, they are just getting into their profession, so time is a big deal which is totally understandable. But, if everyone gave just a little bit we could accomplish a lot," Davis said.
Fighting to stay open, the Farmington VFW just started a weekly Queen of Hearts drawing on Thursday nights. Tickets are $1 and can be purchased at the VFW seven days a week.
Davis also believes a key to staying open is restoring glory to this proud organization. In the attic, he found old war relics from current and pass members.
"This whole place is like a museum," Davis said.
He wants to make sure the treasures don't stay hidden. His plan is to put the relics on display at the VFW post.
"I want the community to see what the people around here have done for our country," Davis said.
Davis said the VFW's main mission is to take care of veterans and their families. He said in order to do that, the doors have to stay open.
"I want the community to want us to be here. I'm asking them to help," Davis said.