VFW post celebrates 75 years

Published 8:47 pm Thursday, June 27, 2013

Members of VFW Post 2582 show off the proclamation from VFW Commander-in-Chief John Hamilton in honor of their 75th anniversary at their meeting on Thursday night. From left are George Martin, Denis Confer, Bob Grady, Billy Twine, Kenny Wiseman, Ben Plewes and District 2 Commander Eric Mallett.

Members of VFW Post 2582 show off the proclamation from VFW Commander-in-Chief John Hamilton in honor of their 75th anniversary at their meeting on Thursday night. From left are George Martin, Denis Confer, Bob Grady, Billy Twine, Kenny Wiseman, Ben Plewes and District 2 Commander Eric Mallett.

The VFW Joe Bagley Post 2582 celebrated its 75th anniversary and the addition of seven new members during its regular monthly meeting on Thursday.

The post, now named after one of the first men from Suffolk to die in World War II, was formed on June 13, 1938. It has had its ups and downs since then, including during a recent drop in membership.

“The economy was down, our donations were down, some of our members passed away, but now we’re coming back,” said Post Quartermaster Kenny Wiseman.

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The new members added Thursday bring the membership roll to a healthy total of 43. It also this year earned a membership retention award.

The post enjoys a mix of World War II veterans, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and everyone in between. Wiseman himself served in the Colombian drug wars.

Post member Ben Plewes, a Korean War veteran, said he thinks the post’s longevity proves the worth of the work it does.

“I think it’s a testament to the respect we have for other veterans,” he said.

Member George Martin has been a life member for more than 20 years, although he has only been a member of Post 2582 for about three years.

“I’m going to live as long as I can so I can stay here as long as I can,” the World War II veteran said.

The post carries out a variety of activities throughout the year in service of other veterans. It donates care packages to the Veterans Administration hospital, pays for wreaths and flags to be placed at gravesites at Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery, and more.

It also does much work in the community that is unrelated to veterans. It sponsors baseball teams and bowling leagues and regularly honors outstanding teachers, students, firefighter, police officers and emergency medical technicians. It even combines service to country and children by teaching patriotism lessons to school classes and Boy Scouts.

“We try to be a force for good in our community,” Wiseman said.

The chapter meets the fourth Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the lodge behind Wilroy Baptist Church, 306 Williams Road. For more information, call Wiseman at 860-501-3035.