For the generosity of time and money by the members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1105, the Watertown veteran’s organization received the VFW Post of the Year award.
VFW 1105 was chosen for the award from the 150 posts across the Bay State for recognition, said Michael Raymond, the immediate past Commander of the State VFW. He also serves as the Veterans Services Officer in Mansfield.
“It’s based off their community services, everything from helping veterans to seniors, to the disabled, students, scouts,” Raymond said. “They also look at who they donate two and what they donate.”
Donate the Watertown VFW did after selling their building. They purchased a trolley for the Veterans Administration Hospital in Bedford for $130,000.
“It’s an old fashioned trolley, like you see in San Francisco, that is drivable — not on a track,” Raymond said.
Post 1105 also bought a van for Project New Hope, a non-profit veterans agency in Massachusetts, for $50,000. And the group also donated $10,000 to NEADS, a non-profit that trains service dogs for veterans. The money sponsored two dogs, Raymond said. The last major donation was a $10,000 contribution to the Wild Hearts therapeutic equestrian program.
“That’s $200,000 just on those donations alone,” Raymond said. “Plus they did a lot of community service and volunteering at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Bedford.”
VFWs log their service hours and donations onto the state VFW’s website.
“We track this and generate reports. It spits out what posts have done,” Raymond said. “They clearly, by far, were one of the best.”
The award was presented to VFW Post 1105 during a the state VFW convention in Mansfield in June.
Last week, the City Council passed a proclamation recognizing the work of VFW Post 1105 and of the award.
Watertown Veterans Services Officer Patrick George thanked the Post for the work they have done.
“Any opportunity I have to praise the VFW an any veterans organization in Watertown, I take advantage of,” George said. “As you can see it was noticed, not just here in Watertown but across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, all the good work that the VFW has done. If anyone was at the Memorial Day parade this year you saw the trolley, you saw the other vehicles that they donated, you see the hours, you see their presence every time at different events.”
Council President Mark Sideris thanked George for alerting the Council to the VFW’s award, and praised the Post.
“Thank you for your service to our country. Thank you for your service to our community. Thank you for what y0u do at your post and Patirck thank you for bringing this to our attention,” Sideris said.
The VFW was a special place for Councilor John Gannon’s father.
“My father was a veteran of World War II, overseas service, and he was very committed to Post 1105. I attended Christmas parties and other events way back in my youth and the youth programs that were active when I was growing up,” Gannon said. “My father, his last position was chaplain of Post 1105 before he went into nursing homes. He always valued the camaraderie of being a member. I want to thank all the members of Post 1105 and the members of the other veterans groups for their service to their community.”
The wording of the proclamation can be seen below:
PROCLAMATION HONORING THE BURNHAM-MANNING
VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS POST 1105
WHEREAS: The Burnham-Manning Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1105 was installed on 14 May, 1924, and
WHEREAS: The mission of the VFW is: “To foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts. To serve our veterans, the military and our communities. To advocate on behalf of all veterans”, and,
WHEREAS: Watertown VFW Post 1105 has consistently been involved with the community, to include: providing scholarships through the Voice of Democracy and Patriot Pen essay contests; nominating a Watertown Middle School Teacher for the VFW Teacher of the Year Award in Massachusetts; and various other community-based initiatives in Watertown, and
WHEREAS: VFW Post 1105 has made significant investments in support of the VA in Bedford with a new trolley; a new work van for Project New Hope in Worcester; costs to train and provide a service animal to a Veteran free of charge; as well as financial support to Wild Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Programs in West Bridgewater, demonstrating VFW Post 1105’s commitment to supporting all Veterans, and
WHEREAS: Watertown VFW Post 1105 was recognized for their members committing over 350 hours of community service, and
WHEREAS: Watertown VFW Post 1105 was recognized by the State Commander of the VFW, Michael Raymond, as the VFW Post of the Year in Massachusetts.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT PROCLAIMED: That the Watertown City Council wishes to express their appreciation to Watertown VFW Burnham Manning Post 1105 for their strong commitment to Veterans and their community, and encourages residents to join in thanking them for being a partner in support of the City of Watertown.