A heart for veterans

When Verna and her husband moved to Chula Vista, California after they retired, Verna had no idea that she would soon become a 25-year “veteran” volunteer of her local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post.

Verna’s husband had been in the Navy before they were married, and occasionally they would stop by the VFW to eat a meal or play pool. “I offered to help with something, and they jumped on that!” said Verna, who eventually became Auxiliary President. From dinners to dances to raffles, Verna worked hard alongside other VFW members to fundraise and support and honor veterans in the Chula Vista community. “Make sure people are having fun and they’ll work for you,” laughs Verna. “It’s the truth, too!”

Verna and a group of Navy recruits at the VFW in Chula Vista, California.

Verna says she became known among veterans at the VFW for her friendliness – she’d walk up to anyone and start a conversation. “Sometimes they’d joke or kid me about it, but I didn’t care. I would talk to them to make sure they weren’t sitting there by themselves.”

Once, when Verna learned a group of Navy recruits would be visiting the VFW the next day, she stayed up all night baking chocolate chip cookies. “I visited with all of them or tried to. They were very nice to me. They enjoyed seeing somebody who was glad they were there. They just needed a friendly face.”

Verna remembers VFW volunteers posting American flags on the streets of Chula Vista on every holiday, and carrying the American flag at local parades to represent veterans and those who had died serving their country.

“Our country is very important,” says Verna. “It’s important that we honor those who are keeping us safe.”

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