VFW serves veterans, community

Marshalltown Veterans of Foreign Wars members have been reviewing a long list (more than 70 items) of services to the community by Post 839 and its Ladies Auxiliary and wish to bring them before the public. Hopes are to illustrate why some financial assistance is being asked from our businesses and citizens as we aim to serve our fellow residents and descendants for years to come.

Harry C. Harter Post 839 was first chartered on Sept. 20, 1921… one of the oldest posts in Iowa. Its slogan has continually been “Honor the dead by helping the living.” That continues to be our motive, and the compiled list of volunteer charities and other assistance to our community is too lengthy to be noted in this letter.

You see, VFW Post 839 though chartered in 1921 when a group of our ancestor veterans at the Iowa Soldiers Home first organized, they gradually passed along and the charter lapsed. Succeeding veterans then revived the charter on Jan. 18, 1930 and carried on until during World War II when most of our men in uniform were eligible for the VFW.

The Marshalltown veterans then purchased the old Motor Inn garage building at 20 W. State St. (now the Senior Citizens Center) and remodeled it for veterans services, that have involved unknown numbers of youths and adults of our community. Our veterans take roles with the various patriotic youth projects such as Voice of Democracy, also Care Packages, Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Community Based Outpatient Clinic, Iowa Veterans Home, etc. We contribute to a wide realm of services such as Salvation Army, Special Olympics, House of Compassion, Iowa River Hospice, Memorial Day Services, and Buddy Poppy Days that provide veterans relief.

Our veterans march in parades and ceremonies like Oktemberfest and High School Homecoming. But probably most important of all are the always-ready Honor Guard volunteers who brave all kinds of weather conditions to serve during our fallen comrades’ funeral ceremonies.

Those early charter comrades began our Post 839 history, that has seen moves to quarters at 209 N. 13th St., then to 108 N. Center St. (where winter weather of 2009-10 damaged our building beyond repair), and now to 107 E. Meadow Lane, where we are currently refurbishing facilities in hopes of continuing help for our community until who knows how long.

This costly latest move has brought us to dire need of further financing until we can develop fund-raisers. We hope also that for benefit to all of us, our call for help is heard.