By Lyra Bordelon
City Hall is now the home base for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of West Virginia – 6723 Tri-County Memorial Post.
With the recent announcement from Greenbrier County Schools that the Alderson Community Center would become the Alderson Elementary School and limits their space in the building, the VFW decided to relocate after an offer from Mayor Travis Copenhaver.
Joined by James (Jim) Carter and Carl Bowyer, Herbert Burdette walked the VFW’s flag from it’s former home at the Alderson Community Center to its new base of operations in Town Hall on Saturday, May 15. The flag was then walked inside by the VFW commander Jack Gadd, a 28-year-veteran.
“We had to move over here because there’s not enough room at the Community Center,” explained Gadd. “We had to move anyway, so we just decided to go ahead and get it done. The mayor offered to let us come back in here and I said that’s fantastic.”
Burdette is taking over the post from 28-year veteran Jack Gadd, with plans to expand the organization.
“My father was in the Tri-county post,” Burdette explained. “At first it was Alderson VFW, that was established in 1934. I have the charters. The second charter was incorporated in 1967 to include Summers, Monroe, and Greenbrier counties, making it a tri-county post.”
Gadd also plans to remain involved with the organization, but not in a leadership role.
“I’ve done it for fifteen years, I’m getting old,” Gadd said with a laugh. “It’s been such an honor. At the time, we had so many old members that just weren’t able to do anything. I was a new kid on the block when I got out of service and came back. … We’re here if you need help or assistance. It’s not just giving out money, it’s giving our work to help people. If you’ve got a problem, we can tell you where to go for help. We need to be somebody that just listens. … Whatever comes up to get taken care of, we’ll do it. Don’t worry about the position, it’s the post. It’s the veterans.”
Gadd also left Burdette some advice.
“Hang in there, ignore the ones that want to complain about everything,” Gadd said. “I told him that the ones that want to complain, you give them a job, they’ll shut up. It’s really great, I’m glad to see new veterans coming in.”
The VFW currently meets every second Saturday of the month at 1 p.m., with 30 some members currently enrolled.