To the editor:
The Wasco VFW Post 6742 has been around for over 75 years. My uncle, James Greer, was a member when I was a small kid. He would wear his green garrison cap with lots of little pins and medals to his once-a-month evening meetings. He had lots of friends who were there at the meetings.
They would tell old stories, compare experiences at the same overseas locations and give each other much respect around town. He would point out to me someone we would run across downtown and comment, "That guy over there sitting at Hoyett's was wounded in France. He took two bullets."
On another trip, he would point out that another man at the gas station where we were filling up had flown F4F Hellcats in the navy during the war. He showed me how proud he was to be associated with those same guys in the VFW Post.
My uncle has since long passed away, but after he died, my aunt gave me his military records, medals and VFW cap. My uncle spent nine months in a hospital after the war recovering from his wounds fighting in France.
I had another uncle, the younger brother to the one above, Jesse Dabbs, who landed at Normandy beach on "D Day.” He was the only one of 28 in his boat to survive. I was very proud to have him come to my middle school at Thomas Jefferson to talk to the honors history class of Mr. Vaughan.
You see, my family's tradition was to serve our country. Another uncle, Charles Greer, served in Korea and me in Vietnam. My granddaughter Kekoa is now serving in the US Air Force in Alaska.
I have been a proud member of the VFW Post 6742 for many, many years. But sadly, our post is dying. We have supported many Rose Queen pageants, softball and baseball teams and provided many awards to students through programs like the Patriot Pen contest each year.
We have helped many veterans passing through town who didn't have the money to go any farther. We have sent gift baskets to soldiers in the Middle East and supported their wives here while they were away on missions.
We visited many hospitals and brought them cookies. We honor our dead on Memorial Day celebrations, but we are dying. We write letters for those who are seeking additional support from the VA. The list goes on and on. But we are dying.
We have had our post broken into multiple times. Thieves have stolen our lawnmowers, our chairs, our sound system, our BBQ grill, food, our refrigerators and yes, even our stove. We are dying.
We need more members to carry on. We cannot continue on the path we are on. We need past members to step up and new members to join us. You can help. If you know someone who has served, please tell them about us. We meet on the first Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. at 603 E St.
James Medrano is our current commander; he can be contacted at 661-619-7497. I am the chaplain, Steve Davis, at 661-486-2797. You may leave us a message, and we will get back to you. Thanks for trying to keep us alive.