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Guest Column: Outer Banks VFW Post 10950 active in community service and support

By Michael T. Lewis, Commander, Outer Banks VFW

The Outer Banks Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW Post 10950) was formed in April 1990. At that time, it consisted primarily of World War II and Korean War veterans, with a few “young guys” that had served in Vietnam. Several of the original charter members are still active in the organization, and the new young guys and gals are those who served in the conflicts in Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The post has about 80 members representing all branches of the military service. Nearly three years ago, the post added an auxiliary with about 50 members, consisting of relatives of post members from grandchildren to grandparents.

Our post and auxiliary acknowledge that it is an honor to have served our country. The VFW mottos are, “Still Serving” and “No One Does More for Veterans.” We are devoted to assisting veterans and their families and actively support our local community. As a vacation destination, we frequently get calls from visitors asking about our canteen (bar/restaurant) – we don’t have one or even our own meeting place. The Colington Volunteer Fire Department graciously provides us a place to get together and each meeting includes the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States, prayers for the widows and orphans at the VFW Home for Children, and remembrance of the killed/missing in action, wounded and disabled veterans, prisoners of war, and those currently in service. The highlight of the meeting is the discussion and plan of action regarding a fellow veteran in need of assistance.

In providing assistance, we typically coordinate support with the Interfaith Community Outreach and their extensions to County Social Services and the Outer Banks Community Foundation. The types of help we offer include construction of access ramps for disabled veterans, assistance with housing expenses, provide rides for veterans on Dare County Transportation System at no cost, provide service dog for veterans suffering from PTSD, disaster relief, and food, clothing, and shelter assistance for unmet needs.

We facilitate veteran benefits through the Veterans Administration, including vocational training, advanced education, health care, disability compensation, and burial services.

Our local community involvement is multifaceted. We offer annual programs for recognition of EMT Techs, Police, Firefighters, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, ROTC cadets, and Teachers. We offer scholarships through Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy essay contests and a Patriotic Art Contest. We furnish honor guards, color guards, and guest speeches at civic ceremonies and veteran funerals. We conduct flag etiquette training and veterans in the classroom patriotic leadership sessions at schools. We look forward to leading the parade each St. Patrick’s Day. We attend to the needs of veterans at Peak Resources and Spring Arbor with visits, parties, reading materials, decorative door wreaths, and personal requirements.

VFW Post 10950 has qualified for All State and All American Honors in recognition for being an elite organization, but that’s not what motivates our activities. We strive to meet our goals and objectives for the right reasons. Eligible veterans and relatives wishing to join and participate are invited to visit our website at WWW.OBXVFW.ORG or call/text (252) 305-6681 for more information.

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