State Congressmen Crowe, Holsclaw donate $400 to VFW

It is a big deal when the state legislator raises awareness and support for a community non-profit. It is something else entirely when members of that legislature donate their own time and money to help support their efforts.

State Congressmen John Holsclaw and Rusty Crowe came to the Veterans of Foreign Wars building to donate $400 of their own money to help the center in its rebuilding efforts.

David Burleson, a volunteer at the VFW, said they have been working hard to get their meeting place on Elk Avenue as up to code as they can.

The VFW recently named their new commander several months ago, Andy Wetzel, who has taken it upon himself and his volunteers to revitalize the outreach organization.

“John and I are asking the community to help, and we hope others will,” Crowe said.

The VFW relies almost completely on community support.

“It is amazing,” Wetzel said of the check presentation. “This is exactly what we are trying to do.”

Crowe said the VFW is serving a vital part of the community, a population he said is particularly numerous in Carter County.

“Our veterans are so important to us,” he said. “Carter County has more veterans than any county in Tennessee.”

The $400 check, half of which came from Crowe and half from Holsclaw, comes as Wetzel has been working to restore the center to its old glory, back when it was much more active in the community several decades ago. The building itself went up in the early 1950s, and it needs major repairs and rework before it can regularly host events and community members.

Crowe said honoring veterans as often as possible is paramount because of the sacrifices they have made for their communities.

“Our veterans cared more about our liberty than they did their own lives,” he said.

That has not stopped the VFW from reaching out anyway, however. Wetzel said they are going to host a New Year’s party Tuesday, Dec. 31, until about 12:30 a.m., and the whole community is invited to attend and see what they have to offer.

“We would like for everyone to come and support us,” volunteer David Burleson said.

He said you can buy tickets for the event right at the front door.

Wetzel said serving the community is the point of all the effort they have put into the restoration.

“These are the folks we care about,” Wetzel said. “It will go a long way here.”

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