Local American Legion and VFW Posts looking for the next generation of members this Veteran’s Day
SOUTH BEND, Ind.— This Veteran’s Day, local VFWs and American Legions are hosting several events to honor those who have served our country.
But they do much more than that year-round, and they need the help of the younger generations to continue doing so.
Post 9820 is the last standing VFW in South Bend.
Located on the city’s west side where they told me, they have seen a drop in membership in recent decades.
The American Legion in New Carlisle is working to combat that same problem.
The U.S is home to more than 13,000 American Legions and 6,000 VFW posts.
Both groups do much more than socializing.
They work to assist veterans, advocate for them, and provide resources and a sense of comradery, that prevents them from feeling alone in their struggles.
The aging membership continues to decline across the country and increased costs are leaving some worried, spots like these could become a thing of the past.
American Legion Post 297 in New Carlisle is trying to attract the next generation to continue the mission of their four pillars.
Commander Sam Colalillo has worked to uphold the Legion for the past 34 years, after his time as a Vietnam Veteran.
"The boys coming home from service, some of them are hurt... some are wounded, and they need us to represent them to help them and they need the comradery,” said Colalillo.
Colalillo and Barry Barnett, the First Vice Commander who is in charge, say the groups give Veteran’s a second family and they need the younger generation to carry on the legacy.
"There is a need for this type of organization, veterans are sometimes treated well, and are sometimes not treated so well and we are here to assist them in getting treated well,” said Barnett.
The American Legion and the VFW have a full calendar of events.
If you are eligible to join their organizations, just reach out.