VFW hopes to grow its ranks

Published 10:57 pm Thursday, October 18, 2012

Suffolk’s Veterans of Foreign Wars post is looking for new members after its numbers have dwindled to only a handful of participating members.

“We’re really down on membership,” said Billy Twine, quartermaster of Post 2582, which meets behind Wilroy Baptist Church on Williams Road. “About 10 is all we have at any given time.”

Twine said the post had about 30 members when he first joined eight years ago. But through deaths, extended illnesses and disinterest, participation has slacked.

Email newsletter signup

“It’s just gradually gone down and down,” Twine said. “I don’t know what it is. They’ve just lost interest.”

Twine said any veteran, from any branch of service, who has fought overseas is welcome to join. The post has tried reaching out to younger veterans of the wars in the Middle East. Some have even called him to inquire about meeting times and then never showed up.

“I’ve got lists of names of people that have called me,” he said. “I send cards to them before the meeting night, making them aware of what the time is, and they still haven’t come.”

The club participates in several service projects each year, handing out artificial poppies each year on Memorial Day and Veterans Day for donations. Members use the money to help purchase flags to be placed on graves at Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery on those holidays. They also put together care packages for veterans in the VA hospital in Hampton.

Twine said he hopes the opportunities to continue to serve will entice younger veterans to get involved and become new members.

“I don’t know what you can do to stir people up anymore,” he said. “I’ve talked to several people, but they just don’t have the interest in it.”

The post meets at 306 Williams Road at 7 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month. Its next meeting will be this Thursday, Oct. 25.

For more information, call 539-0027.