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Veterans in Falcon working together to create first VFW post in the area

Posted at 12:08 AM, Jul 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-29 01:04:39-04

FALCON — Southern Colorado is full of veterans, but one rapidly growing community out east is becoming a home to many.

Veterans in Falcon are working to create a new Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post and create a permanent place to house their shared experiences. Julie Robertson, a veteran living in Falcon, said the need is there for the community.

"The population of veterans out here, people living and moving here continues to grow, and there's a great need for all of the veterans to get together and support each other and see everything that the VFW has to offer you. Health care benefits, employment benefits," she said.

Robertson and others have been organizing meetings every third Tuesday at the Falcon Fire Department for anyone interested in becoming a member.

"This is sort of an information gathering, membership gathering meeting, and we're trying to get the word out for more people to come and attend these monthly meetings," said Robertson.

In order to create a new VFW, organizers need at least 25 VFW members. The group in Falcon reached that threshold during their last meeting on July 18. The next step is to become recognized by the Department of Colorado VFW.

Steve Kjonaas, the Legislative Director for the Department of Colorado VFW, said he and other post commanders will be at the initial meetings to help the new members achieve their goal of creating a post.

"We think it's a natural fit here in this community," he said. "We're going to be here to help mentor them a little bit and let them grow. Let them grow to be the people that they want to be as their post."

Brian Eckley, a veteran living in Falcon, said he wants to join because of the countless free benefits the VFW offers to veterans.

"I think it's a great start. I mean, Rome wasn't built in the day," he said.

Robertson said having a post is a way to bring a sense of community to the growing population of veterans living in the area.

"Once you separate from the military, retire, whatever the case may be, or you move to another area, having that veteran community just brings everybody together almost instantaneously. It's unexplainable sometimes," she said.

Robertson emphasized the importance of VFWs being available to veterans of all ages.

"I know that there's a lot of folks out there, younger veterans, that think that the VFW is not for them due to like some sort of age thing. It's definitely not. I find it so endearing to be around veterans who have served in wars before me. It touches my heart," she said.

Kjonaas said it can take about five to 10 years for a new post to build a permanent VFW building, especially when members start fundraising from the very bottom.

The next Falcon VFW meeting will be on August 29th at 6 p.m. at 7030 Old Meridian Road in Peyton. During this meeting, members plan to send in their application to become an institutionalized post to the Colorado Department of VFW.
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