VFW to celebrate 75th anniversary

A daylong anniversary celebration will honor area military veterans Saturday



June 9, 2021 - 9:57 AM

LaHarpe Veterans of Foreign Wars post officers Don Gay, left, and Doug Northcutt, participate in Memorial Day services at the LaHarpe Cemetery May 31. On Saturday, the VFW post will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a day filled with games and food for veterans and their families, and a community dance open to the public that evening. (REGISTER/RICHARD LUKEN)

LAHARPE — A daylong anniversary celebration will honor area military veterans Saturday.

LaHarpe’s Willis J. Ross Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6324 will host the celebration, open to any veteran, regardless of whether they’re a VFW member.

The activities begin at 11 a.m. with a hot dog lunch and assorted games, such as a cornhole tournament and bingo.

That evening, the veterans and their families are invited to a dinner to commemorate the post’s 75th year of existence with a smoked brisket and smoked turkey dinner. Pins will be given to every veteran who attends.

Following the dinner, LaHarpe DJ Phil Ebert will play music starting at 8 o’clock for a community dance.

While the earlier events are for veterans, the dance is open to the public, noted Post Commander Doug Northcutt.

The celebration is among the myriad activities the post has resumed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizers resumed weekly bingo games on Friday evenings after activity in and around the post was halted because of the pandemic.

“It was a tough year,” Northcutt said. “We didn’t have any money coming in, but we still had to pay our bills.”

Nevertheless, the post has continued to grow with new members joining frequently, including several from recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“That’s what we want, several younger veterans,” Northcutt said. “They’ll be the ones who take this over someday.”

The post has more than 100 members, which garnered LaHarpe a second straight all-state designation by the VFW organization.

Northcutt is eager to hear — perhaps as early as this month — whether LaHarpe will be recognized nationally as well.

“It would be a big, big thing,” Northcutt said. “We’ve never had that before.”

The recognition is warranted. On top of getting new members, the LaHarpe post is a regular presence at community events, with members frequently assisting veterans in a number of ways, from helping clean yards to point vets in the right direction as they seek insurance benefits.

“We’ve done so much,” Northcutt said. “I’ve got a great group of comrades. They do a lot of stuff. They’re getting involved, going out and getting members on their own.”

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