CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – For 27 years, VFW Post 2894 was a unit without a base, on a mission to find a true home. As of this week, mission accomplished.
For decades, the post has had to rely on other organizations for meeting space, and that cramped their ability for outreach to new members. These are the same group of veterans who were part of a 10 On your Side Success story – accustomed to helping others – and now they need some help with their new headquarters.
Thanks to an arrangement with the City of Chesapeake and an annual lease of $1, the post can now use the old Fire Station #7 along S. Battlefield Rd. as its headquarters.
“This means everything to us. 27 years without a home,” said an emotional Jose Vasquez, post commander.
The building dates back to the 1950s – older than the city itself – and now comes the process of converting the cinderblock walls it into the VFW’s new home.
Service officer Jim Ireland says the kitchen will come in handy for post events, but significant renovations will need to be done throughout the building. Those will include making the building ADA compliant for members including Chris Mulholland. He was the focus of of our Veterans Voices special report last Fall.
For Post 2894, having its own space will give it greater flexibility for meetings and services for new members.
“We will have certified service officers here to help those veterans process the exiting out of military and into civilian life,” Vasquez said. “We will be offering that to any veteran.”
“Other VFW posts have a home where you could come in and just drop in at any time, bring a guest, and we could sign them up as a member there. We’ve never had that luxury,” he said.
Ireland says it will give the veterans group a showcase for the many regional and national awards the post has earned. “We’ve done a lot for Chesapeake, but nobody knows about us,” he said.
Well, at least one of many good deeds did not go unpublished. We showed you how 2894 helped organize the team of community response that helped a Navy couple in Deep Creek with major problems with their home.
Now the post itself is the one needing help with a home makeover.
The Post would welcome donations to raise funds for the renovation. You can donate through the national organization and specify that it’s for Post 2894 in Chesapeake, Va. Post members hope to have the project completed within a year.
The post will hold its annual commemorative walk for the Bataan Death March this coming weekend at the Great Dismal Swamp. Click here for details.