The Veterans of Foreign Wars Jimmie Connors Post 6311 is growing.
The post has 10 new members as of Thursday.
One of those new members fought in Iraq and Afghanistan but was struggling financially so fellow veterans picked up the $32 annual membership free. They went a step further. Besides helping the veteran have a greater sense of well-being they helped him secure a job.
It’s just an example of what Commander Carlon Perry believes will happen as the post — founded in 1946 after the end of World War II — moves into its first home on July 4.
Perry makes it clear that the new 3,600-square-foot building now under construction in the 500 block of Moffat Boulevard will be known as the “Manteca Veterans Center.”
That is a nod to plans the growing VFW Post has to serve the needs of veterans in Manteca and surrounding communities.
The goal is for all veterans to be able to turn to the center to find out how to access veterans’ benefits and health care through outreach efforts arranged with the Veterans Administration. Just as important is the ability for veterans to gather with other veterans that share common bonds for support and social activities.
But before it can happen veterans need the community’s help to provide $90,000 worth of equipment to outfit the building including a commercial kitchen with all of the trappings, tables, chairs, and such.
Dave Bricker is chairing the fundraising effort to equip the $1.6 million building being built by the city. He can be reached by either emailing email@example.com or calling 456.7299.
The VFW is a non-profit organization that meets IRS requirements for donations to be tax deductible.
To help generate donations and honor veterans and others as well, the post is planning a memorial wall where bricks inscribed with the name of a person the donor wants to honor will be placed.
“The building will allow us to grow services for our veterans,” Perry noted.
Included will be the ability for veterans to access medical equipment such as wheelchairs, power chairs, walkers, and such the post currently has in storage.
The 145-member strong post has been recognized as being California’s No. 1 post when it comes to both membership growth and community development.
The post is exploring all options for use of the building. It will consider possibly leasing the kitchen to someone might want to serve lunch much like is currently done at the Ripon VFW post. There will also be a bar for members.
The veterans’ center will allow the post to conduct more fundraisers to support its endeavors. It also will be rented out when not in use for veterans’ activities to raise additional money for maintenance and operations.
Serving with Perry is George Terry as Senior Vice Commander, James Barbour as Junior Vice Commander, Lee Herren as Quartermaster, Larry Lambert as Chaplain, Ruben Tarin as Judge Advocate, James DeRoos as Surgeon, John Vierra as Trustee, Dave Bowman as Trustee, and Dave Bricker as Adjutant.
Membership is open to anyone who served in combat zones during times of war.
A celebration and open house are being planned for the July 4 opening.
Perry can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 275.0410.