-

VFW member and Vietnam veteran Tom Hines sets up a booth in front of Food Lion looking to recruit members for a VFW in Emporia. Hines’ effort paid off with a VFW charter approved.

In July, Tom Hines began his mission to stir enthusiasm to bring the Veteran of Foreign Wars organization to Emporia. Mission accomplished.

“We hit the 25 number on Sept. 24, and we’ve signed up two more since then,” Hines said. “The charter application has gone to National, and we will institute the post on Nov. 7. We’re happy to be back in Emporia and we look forward to serving our veterans.”

Members of the new VFW post still seek a permanent location, but a VFW located in Emporia is a done deal.

The VFW is a fraternal organization with a mission of taking care of veterans and their families. The VFW is 120-years old. It has been in Washington for a century.

Emporia previously housed a VFW. It disappeared approximately 15 years ago as the number of living World War II veterans faded. There were not enough members left to elect officers.

Hines began canvassing Emporia in mid-July, searching for prospective members. Fast-forward two months, and the recruiting process paid off.

“This process took a little longer because of the COVID situation,” Hines said. “We couldn’t have meetings like we wanted. We pretty much had to do everything outside. It took a little longer than anticipated, but we’re there now.”

Several businesses in Emporia-Greensville supported the effort to bring the VFW back to the area. The assistance didn’t go unnoticed. The VFW presented certificates of appreciation for their efforts in the cause of bringing the organization back to the City.

Hines would be pleased to see the membership grow. Membership eligibility requires serving in the armed forces in a hostile zone.

Hines is a U.S. Army veteran that served in Vietnam. Two months into his tour, he received a Purple Heart for a combat wound. His service to his brothers and sisters in arms continues through his work in the VFW.

The schedule for the Nov. 7 installing celebration of the post is currently in the works. At least one highly recognized individual is slated to be on hand for the ceremony.

“I have been assured by the national commander that he will attend, because he is from Virginia this year — the first one we ever had in our 121-year history,” Hines said. “We’re quite proud of that also.”

The national commander is Hal Roesch, II, of Hampton. His presence on Nov. 7 will only add to a glorious day for the Emporia VFW. Veterans can still become charter members and have their names imprinted on the charter that hangs in the post home. If interested contact Hines at 434-774-7729 or

a69v_vet@yahoo.com