ANGOLA — The national office of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States has named Angola’s George Anspaugh Memorial VFW Post No. 7205 a 2018-19 All-American Post.
The award is in recognition of outstanding contributions made by the members of the post. To earn the award, veterans and auxiliary members participated in VFW programs throughout the year. Two of the programs are Patriots Pen and Voice of Democracy, a way to help youth of the community earn potential scholarship funds for further education.
The award is also based on the post’s ability to retain and recruit members, said Commander Greg Thompson.
The Angola post was recently named part of the 2018-19 VFW All State Team as well.
This is the first time in the 73 years the VFW has been in Angola that is has been named an All American Post.
Every year, a select group of VFW Posts are presented with All American Post status. All American status is meant to recognize outstanding VFW posts and is based on participation in VFW programs as well as membership gains by posts, districts and departments. It takes into account participation in various VFW programs, such as Voice of Democracy, Patriots Pen, National Citizenship Education Teacher Award, Buddy Poppy distribution, National Military Services fundraiser and veterans services.
“I moved here about three years ago,” said Thompson. “I love how Angola supports their veterans.”
He thanked everyone in the community for their support of Post No. 7205 and helping to make the award possible.
The Angola VFW post was founded May 26, 1946 and named after George Anspaugh, a Steuben County native who died while serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
There are currently about 115 veteran members and 250 auxiliary members. Auxiliary members have relatives that are veterans.
Thompson said he has a relaxed leadership style, allowing “the people to come up with ideas and run with those ideas and help the veterans.”
There have been plenty of innovative ideas and events at the post, said Thompson, which have assisted not only the veterans but the post itself.
The post is located at 2013 N. Wayne St., Angola.
The VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service.
“Many arrived home wounded or sick. There was no medical care or veterans’ pension for them, and they were left to care for themselves,” says the organization biography at vfw.org. “In their misery, some of these veterans banded together and formed organizations that would eventually band together and become known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.”
After chapters were formed in Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania, the movement gained momentum. Today, VFW membership stands at more than 1.6 million members of the VFW and its auxiliary.