Area VFW's face challenging times

Robin Bradshaw
Alice Echo News Journal
Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)  Post 8621 in Alice, Texas.

Many Texas' Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Posts across the state have struggled this year to keep their doors open and operations functioning. The VFW Post 8621 in Alice and Post 8931 in San Diego are struggling with revenue and are unsure what the next few months will hold. 

"We applied for a Small Business Loan during the start of the pandemic and are currently surviving on those funds," said VFW Post 8621 Commander Ronnie Ramirez. 

"The VFW in San Diego received grant funding from the county, city and the Veteran Affairs Administration that is planned to support the facility an additional four months," said VFW Post 8931 Quarter Master Juan Perez.

VFW administration are having to brainstorm and think about funding to keep them going until they get can get back to some normalcy after the coronavirus (COVID-19).

"Some VFW's in our region were forced to shut down their facilities after Gov. Greg Abbott issued the statewide executive order closing bars in response to rising COVID-19 cases amid the pandemic," Ramirez explains. "For right now we are holding on but undergoing financial strain due to our members' fear of the virus and the possibility of getting sick from the coronavirus." 

The Post in Alice is still hosting bingo's as their primary source of income but participation numbers are extremely low. 

"We are barely breaking even on the Bingo's and the cost of utilities to maintain operations is the major expense," said Ramirez. "We appreciate the community, but without the community support, we cannot maintain. Veterans participation is down approximately 50 percent. We are hanging in there for today, but just surviving." 

"The VFW in San Diego closed the bar down in March and has canceled activities at the current time due to COVID-19," Perez said. "The post currently rents out the building for funeral luncheons and has plate fundraisers to help with funding."

Both VFW's plan to adapt and overcome the obstacles in the months to come with fundraisers and special events to help raise funds and wants to remind the community their venues are open for renting out for events. 

To follow upcoming fundraisers and events follow the VFW Post 8621 of Alice on their Facebook page and Juan Perez at jperez8654@gmail.com for the VFW Post 8931 in San Diego.