New VFW post to hold first meeting in Shelby County

By Nathan Howell / Staff Writer

ALABASTER– A new Veterans of Foreign Wars post is set to hold its first meeting at the Siluria Brewing Company in Alabaster on March 9.

With more than 6,500 posts the VFW is a “nonprofit veterans service organization” that offers a wide variety of services to combat veterans and lobbies on behalf of them in Congress, according to the post’s organizer, Tracy Simmons.

In the past, veterans wanting to access VFW benefits would have to travel to Birmingham. This new post will make their services more accessible to Shelby County residents.

“We’re looking out for the veterans,” said Simmons. “We know that they have gone through a lot and we’re going to be there for them. We’re a brotherhood.”

According to Simmons the goal of the meeting is to spark interest among local residents and recruit up to 35 members, which is the number required for the post to be officially recognized and receive funding. If this goal is met, the post will be able to hold monthly meetings.

If recognized, the post will be able to assist veterans in filing claims with the VA, providing assistance to families of service members and participating in and hosting events to honor veterans. Members also have access to a wide array of benefits including discounts for insurance and retail purchases, health screenings, emergency response monitoring and end of life services.

Simmons said the post also plans to participate in a scholarship program for local high school students.

Eligibility requirements for new members include “United States citizenship, honorable service and service in a war, campaign or expedition on foreign soil or in hostile waters,” according to the VFW website.

Eligible veterans interested in becoming a charter member of the post can contact Department of Alabama Commander Jerry Anger at 281-4331 or Tracy Simmons at 434-0490.