Camdenton VFW Improvises, Adapts, & Overcomes
VFW Post 5923 Grows 20% in Membership and Will Open Their New Building This Summer
It’s no secret that VFW Post 5923 in Camdenton has had more than its fair share of struggles. With a building project that has left them deeper in debt than they planned and leadership changes, the post lost many members and money. “Every penny lost is a penny that doesn’t go to our mission, and every member lost makes it more difficult to complete our mission to serve our fellow veterans, the military, their families and our community”, says Post Quartermaster Terry Reaka.
But this group of combat veterans knows no quit. The winds of change are whipping the flags that fly above the 53 years young post, as excitement over the new building and a commitment to adapt to the modern veteran’s needs has caused membership to grow dramatically. While many VFWs are struggling to attract new members, the Camdenton VFW is seeing members join and transfer online. Seeing the new energy and potential, many expired or inactive members have returned to the post.
“Many veterans are not joining the VFW because they are joining recreational and community service driven smaller organizations. We are trying to be both those things and more”, says Post Senior Vice Commander Keith Lucas. “Once the new building opens this summer, we plan to offer many new events and programs.”
“We gained 32 members in the last quarter of our VFW year, and we plan to gain even more when the new building opens”, says Post Commander Blake Distler. This growth enabled them to receive recognition at the VFW Department Convention as an All-State Post. The post is a strong contender to make “All-American” later this summer.
The post also plans to add an honor guard for funerals and local ceremonies.