VFW state commander visits Gloucester post

- Posted on Jan 09, 2019 - 12:20 PM

Photo: Ken Wiseman, 2018-2019 Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Virginia, visited with members of VFW Post 8252 on Route 14 in Gloucester on Friday evening, listening to their ideas and concerns. Virginia VFW has 131 posts with approximately 32,000 members and Wiseman (second from left) said it is his goal to visit with as many posts as possible during his tenure. He also had the opportunity to chat with U.S. Coast Guard BMC Josh Menges of Station Milford Haven (second from right) about effect the partial federal government shutdown is having on members of that unit. Wiseman said the state VFW would assist with gift cards and other aid to members of Station Milford Haven to make it through this period. Additionally, the local VFW post offered to prepare meals on an ongoing basis. Talking in the clubhouse are, from left, 1st District Virginia VFW Commander Jim Gierlak, Wiseman, Post 8252 Commander Chris Emanus, Menges and former Post 8252 Commander Don Tellock. Photo by Charlie Koenig

Ken Wiseman, 2018-2019 Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Virginia, visited with members of VFW Post 8252 on Route 14 in Gloucester on Friday evening, listening to their ideas and concerns. Virginia VFW has 131 posts with approximately 32,000 members and Wiseman (second from left) said it is his goal to visit with as many posts as possible during his tenure. He also had the opportunity to chat with U.S. Coast Guard BMC Josh Menges of Station Milford Haven (second from right) about effect the partial federal government shutdown is having on members of that unit. Wiseman said the state VFW would assist with gift cards and other aid to members of Station Milford Haven to make it through this period. Additionally, the local VFW post offered to prepare meals on an ongoing basis. Talking in the clubhouse are, from left, 1st District Virginia VFW Commander Jim Gierlak, Wiseman, Post 8252 Commander Chris Emanus, Menges and former Post 8252 Commander Don Tellock. Photo by Charlie Koenig

VFW Virginia State Commander Ken Wiseman visited Gloucester Post 8252 Friday afternoon. The visit was the first leg of a tour of the First District, according to District Commander Jim Gierlak.

The seven posts in the district are located in Gloucester, Hampton, Phoebus, Newport News, Yorktown, Lackey and Tasley on the Eastern Shore. Under the leadership of Past Post Commander Patrick Pratt, the Gloucester post was the only one of the seven to attain All-American status last year, the highest national recognition available to an individual post.

Wiseman’s visit began with a stop to talk with Past All-State Commander Charles Thompson at the Walter Reed Convalescent and Rehabilitation Center, where he is a resident. Wiseman then spent several hours at Post 8252, located on Route 14 just east of the Village Lanes bowling alley.

He spoke at length with Post Commander Chris Emanus and Coast Guard Station Milford Haven Officer-In-Charge BMC Josh Menges. Wiseman emphasized the efforts that the Virginia VFW has established to assist present and prior servicemembers. Menges, a life member of the Gloucester VFW post, was interested in ways that the VFW could assist his unpaid Coast Guardsmen during the current government shutdown. The U.S. Department of Defense is fully funded during the shutdown; however, the Coast Guard, part of Homeland Security, is not. Emanus said that Post 8252 is available to assist those Coast Guardsmen, and all local veterans, as it is able.

To achieve All-American honors, the Gloucester post had to advance its membership over the previous year. Additionally, the post had to excel in five different areas: Americanism, Service to the Community, Safety, Youth Programs, and Visiting of Veterans in Hospitals. Specifically, under the category of Youth Programs, the post participated in the Patriot Pen competition for middle school children; the Voice of Democracy competition for high school students; and submitted a nominee for Teacher of the Year. These youth programs provide thousands of scholarship dollars nationwide every year to deserving students, a release stated. In 2018, the Virginia VFW High School Teacher of the Year came from Gloucester High School.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is a nonprofit veteran service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, guard and reserve forces. Their mission is to foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts; to serve veterans, the military, and its communities; and to advocate on behalf of all veterans.

For more information about the Virginia VFW, visit its webpage at www.vfwva.org or contact Gierlak at CdrDist1@vfwva.org.