PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #39 in St. Petersburg — which has survived World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, among other wars — is fighting a different kind of battle, one to survive the coronavirus pandemic.
What You Need To Know
- VFW Post needs operating funds
- Post makes most of its income from alcohol sales
- Members say it’s important to stay open for future generations
- Young veterans are encouraged to join the group
“It’s like the invisible enemy. Let’s call it that,” Post Commander Janice Pettit said.
The post is holding a fundraiser Saturday to raise money and support to keep the 101-year old post running. Members say it’s their duty to keep it open for future veterans of foreign wars.
“We have to have a place to get together,” post member Alonzo Hill said. “I mean comradeship means a lot.”
The post was established in 1919 and is one of the oldest the VFW has in the world.
But like most VFW posts, it makes most of its money from alcohol sales. COVID-19 made about $5,000 in revenue every month disappear months ago when bars were shut down to try to curb the spread of the disease.
“The younger people are not coming into the post,” Hill said, “I guess they have other things to do, other activities. But they can still join the post. We need them to join the post. Otherwise, the next hundred years, there won’t be no post.”