Many veterans call this area home. Some join VFW posts to meet people to whom they can relate. One Wilmington post has undergone some major changes over the past year and is looking to increase its membership to give vets a place of their own.
You most likely know VFW Post 2573 by the T-33 plane out front, which was used to train pilots during the Korean War. The look on the outside of the canteen and meeting hall on Carolina Beach Road has mostly stayed the same, but on the inside, things are brand new. “We did a lot of construction work, a lot of cosmetic work and now we have a place that is nice, quiet, safe, and enjoyable to come to,” said post commander Joe Stanley.
Joe Stanley and Frank Roberts are some of the post’s leaders. They said it is important for vets to have a nice place to turn to. “Whether you served 30 years apart or anything else, you have common stories,” Roberts said.
There are more than 300 members here, but only three women. Stanley said, “What we’re really looking for is trying to get more female veterans in here that are combat vets, because to join the VFW you have to be a combat vet.”
With an average member age between 40 and 50, they’re also looking for younger vets. “To show them what we do because this isn’t your old VFW,” added Stanley. “You don’t see a bunch of old guys sitting around drinking and swapping war stories.”
The post has stepped up its community service. Vets from all five branches of the military, from World War II all the way to the current war, turn to this post. Stanley said, “I see the canteen as a place where any veteran can come and feel comfortable and know that they’re going to be able to talk to somebody.”
These men hope they can continue to offer a nice setting for any vet who wants to join.
If you are a combat veteran interested in joining VFW Post 2573, or looking to get more information, you can call the post at 910-791-9590.