What’s up at the VFW?

By R. Christopher Cook
Issue Date: 
January, 2018
Article Body: 

To dispel an old misconception, the VFW Post 2452 (Veteran's of Foreign Wars) it is not only a place where World War II veterans sit around and tell their war stories. In fact, most of those honorable members have passed on to join their fathers and grandfathers, who fought in wars long before them. It was not a military march that took them, more like the march of time.
Today, the VFW it is a very different place, with a mixture of veterans from Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq and civilians, who want to support the veterans, not only in active service, but also at home, and especially in recovery. Yes, there are other ways to become a member beyond being a veteran. For example, if you ever had a family member who went to war, you are eligible to join. There are also other avenues to follow for people who just want to take an active part in supporting the veterans and the local community. Yes, there is a lot more going on beyond the parades, cookouts, chicken bakes and fundraisers.
The VFW offers a beautiful hall available for rental for parties, weddings, showers, meetings and more. The DAV and Marine Corps League meet there as well as the Norwood Italian Lodge. The Colonial Pipers Bagpipe Band of Massachusetts, started by Father Crowley years ago and now directed by Donna Lucas, has used the Post as their home base and practice hall for years.
Today, there is a whole new group of veterans that they are concerned about the lady veterans. Women have served in the armed services for years; however, since 9/11, they now serve in combat roles and are in just as much danger and peril as their male counterparts. How many of us really take time to think about them?
Here is a short list of some of the projects the Post and its Auxiliary have participated in this last year.
• Supported the VFW Auxiliary Department of Massachusetts State President’s Special Project Hero Stars through a monetary donation of $2,500.
• Attended and passed out American flags at the Honor Flight Ceremony at Logan Airport.
• Worked collaboratively with the Norfolk County Marine Corps League and properly retired over 100 American Flags on Flag Day with the Norwood Police Department, with an Honor Guard. Members of Norwood High School Music Department played taps and sang the National Anthem with great emotion. There were also approximately 50 Scouts in attendance with their families and participated in the ceremonies.
• Provided financial support to local military families in crisis and need.
• They responded to an immediate call to action for slip on shoes for the Mental Health Ward at the VA Hospital in Brockton. Thirty-eight pairs of slip on sneakers were purchased to give these Veterans dignity while at the same time reducing the number of falls and injuries from not wearing proper footwear.
• Sponsored a very successful Homeless Veterans Soap and Shampoo Drive to help Massachusetts Homeless Shelters during their time of need
• Participated in honoring a Norwood fallen hero, Arthur Hennessey Jr., with a beautiful bench memorial at Hennessey Field
• Provide yearly support to Fisher House families in seasonal projects while their Veterans receive care at the West Roxbury VA Hospital
• Worked with Norwood schools to run essay contests regarding patriotism for the students, which are examined, judged and the winners are awarded prizes and certificates to help instill at an early age a sense of patriotism and civic pride.
The long and the short of it is, there is a lot more going on at the VFW than you realize. Come down to a Meat Raffle on a Saturday afternoon, when the kitchen is open and they’re serving hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, wings, rings and other things. Stop in any time and say hello. The public is always welcome to visit.
The Norwood VFW Post 2452 is located at 193 Dean St. For more information, call 781-762-6910