Green Bay veterans strive to keep a VFW from closing
GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Six months ago VFW Post 2037 Commander, Ken Corry showed up to help save the organization from closing in Green Bay.
"We're there to kind of help them out to make sure they're going to be successful in whatever they need," Corry said.
When Corry saw that older veterans were dying off and younger veterans lacked involvement, he knew changes had to be made.
"So we started to pay full lifetime membership and now we started to grow, we're getting the younger guys in, families are included."
Some of the younger veterans stepped up to put on events like the Beer Mile.
"All the funds raised are going back to our VFW so we can help them out if they're going through a hard time, maybe their car breaks down or they're needing housing assistance for rent," said Corry.
Being a younger veteran can have it's challenges though.
Corry told FOX 11, "for us we can't really do events in the day because we work during the day and we have families and stuff that we're taking care of. We're younger."
The local group once had 500 members, now it's down to 117.
Members say it's not just Green Bay, there's a downward trend across the country.
Currently there are 1.7 million VFW members nationwide, that's down from 2.1 million in 1992.
Navy Veteran Ron Staidl believes other veterans groups will die out but hopes that's not the case for the local VFW.
"I got my son signed up, he's still in the Navy so he's active, so if he comes back to Green Bay, if he does, he'll have a VFW to go to," Staidl said.
Local veterans encourage the younger generation to help retain the camaraderie.
The organization raised $200 for their first annual Beer Mile.
The group meets every 3rd Thursday of the month.