DUNCAN, OK (RNN Texoma) - Last Monday, the Duncan VFW sold its building of over 50 years. However, members are determined to find a new home and keep their chapter going.
“The older vets, like myself, I hate to say that, but, time’s coming, where I won’t even be able to participate," said Daniel Leal, senior vice commander of the Hugh H. Cherry VFW Post 1192. "So, it’s just extremely important for the younger generation to take over.”
The members said their old building may have been what is stopping younger veterans from joining the post.
“Where we move next will be more family friendly oriented,” said Leal. “We’re hoping to make it where the family can come out.”
They said the new building will be non-smoking and will also have other activities that are family friendly. The main message the members have to the younger veterans is that it is all about the camaraderie.
“It’s basically, coffee in the morning. We sit down, we have coffee. A lot of stories. A lot of lies. A lot of stretches. You know, it makes it fun and enjoyable,” said Michael Colley, post commander at Hugh H. Cherry VFW Post 1192. “You learn a lot about the other members. It’s just a fantastic place to be. And if somebody needs help, if we’re able to, you do the best you can to help the other vet.”
“This place basically saved me," said Tim Zinn, a member of Hugh H. Cherry VFW Post 1192. "I had a lot of issues that I couldn’t discuss with civilians. They just wouldn’t understand. Here, I can come in and I can vent and listen to their stories and they listen to mine and we bond.”
Zinn said he knows the younger veterans have a lot on their plate, but the VFW is there for support.
“The younger veterans have families that they’re dealing with, and their jobs, and their education. It’s hard for them," said Zinn. "But, it doesn’t take long, especially if you’re having a problem mentally, to come in and sit down and have a cup of coffee, and see if we can’t help by relieving some of the stress.”
The Duncan VFW has the next 45 days to pack up and move to a new location. They said now is the perfect time for vets to become members, so they can mold this new era into what they want it to be.