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Thursday, May 5, 2016

VFW milestone observed

Monday, November 6, 2006

VFW Post 2253 Celebrated its 75th anniversary on Oct. 28 and the Post was presented the Diamond Jubilee Award Citation from the national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Photo by Mike Leckband
Cherokee's Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2253 celebrated its 75th anniversary on Oct. 29 at the VFW hall in Cherokee. Post 2253 received the Diamond Jubilee Award citation.

The Award recognizes the dedication, determination, patriotism and hard work and service that the Members of the VFW post 2253 have given to the community and the needs of local Veterans and their families for the last 75 year.

The VFW started after the war with Spain had ended on April 11, 1893 officially. With the men returning after Colonel Teddy Roosevelt bid farewell to his famous Rough Riders, among the men returning was the 17th Infantry Regiment from its campaign on Cuba, Sept. 4, 1893.

On the historic evening of Sept. 29, 1899 thirteen veterans of the U.S. 17th Infantry Regiment met in a tailor shop in Columbus, Ohio to found the Veterans of Foreign Service, one of several predecessor groups that merged in 1914 to form the VFW, but it has the distinction of being the first.

Therefore the roots trace to the Midwest and this small group of men. They made a firm commitment if an organization of men who served and earned a campaign badge. They also agreed to fight for better treatment of veterans and that the country be better prepared to train and defend itself against an enemy.

The Cherokee VFW organization was granted a charter on Oct. 29, 1931 and on June 23, 1933 the VFW Ladies Auxiliary was formed and the Post was named L.A. Wescott after a well known Doctor.

Wescott's vision during his years of service on Cherokee's Riverside Park Board gave the Cherokee City Council courage to buy a wasteland. He also helped with the development of the fine park and with negotiations to purchase the new area east of the road. After his death it was re-named Wescott Park in 1946.

The VFW members first met in the McCulla building, later in the Swanson building and bought the building at the present site on Aug. 10, 1948.

On Jan. 1, 1956 the new addition was completed, with a large dance hall and stage and basement with a full kitchen and dinning hall. In 1960 the house was moved and the front bar addition was added.

The statue in front of the VFW building was dedicated April 20, 1971. The Anchor and 90 lb. bell was added on May 21, 1976 from the USS Flectcher, a destroyer that saw action in World War II.

The American Flag inside the VFW club is from the Battleship USS Iowa and the Ship Plaque from the USS Dubuque.

The VFW club manager, at the present time, is Shelley Tanner. The Club can be rented out by calling the Post for details.

The Post is active in Community, State and National projects. Some of the Community projects are: Veteran's Day Programs and services in schools. Color Guard for funerals, flag raising for home football games, parades, flag dedication, Memorial Day services, flag decoration of veterans graves at Oak hill Cemetery, Calvary Cemetery, Maryhill Cemetery and Memorial Garden Cemetery, Bingo and Veterans visits at three nursing and rehab centers, Lite-a-bike day for youths, Poppy Day, I Love America Because Contest, Voice of Democracy Contest, Easter Egg Hunt at the Park, National Home Projects National Hospital Projects, Creative Arts Contest, Youth Essay Project, WHS Speech Contest, Christmas Fruit Baskets and the VFW Club.

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