The post has been a place for foreign war veterans and their friends and family to gather for nine decades
ATASCADERO — The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 2814 had a lot to celebrate on Saturday, Jan. 27, when its members came together to commemorate its 90 years in Atascadero. The post has been a place for veterans of foreign wars and their friends and family to gain local support and have a great place to hang out for the last nine decades, which is definitely something worth throwing a party over.
“I want to thank you all very much for being here tonight. We’re having a great time here with all the people, all the members, auxiliary visitors, and our volunteers,” said Commander of the VFW Leonard Sanchez in his speech. “I’m just kind of overwhelmed by it being our 90th birthday. It kind of snuck up on us.”
Sanchez then stated that the post is really going to make a party out of their 100th birthday in 10 years.
“It [the post turning 90] is amazing,” added Sanchez. “We’ve got a great group of volunteers, and members, and community. The volunteers, they take care of us pretty well.”
The party kicked off with a tri-tip barbecue at 4 p.m. The meal included beans, bread, and salad to go along with the tri-tip. All 72 meals sold out in about 20 minutes, and everyone raved about how good it was.
Though all the members of VFW are veterans, there are also many other locals who volunteer, interact, and have become part of the local family at the post, including Terry Brazil.
Brazil is an Atascadero native who started coming to Post 2814 when one of the post’s bartenders invited him to come by after COVID was over. He added that the environment was super friendly and welcoming, and it was great to meet so many new people, even some vets who knew his dad from high school. Right away, he started volunteering, even though he is not eligible for membership as he has never served in the military, foreign or otherwise.
“I do volunteer a lot with the post. I did the tri-tip barbecue [tonight] with the help of a lot of other volunteers as well,” Brazil stated. “I’m probably one of the rare few that is active here that is not a member. There are other people that aren’t eligible for membership that are very active in the post as well.”
None of this is surprising, given that VFW Post 2814 has been a part of the community for so long and continues to host events like its annual Chili Cook-Off and classic car shows that take place on the property. These events invite the community into its doors.
“We want to try to get more involved with community actions,” added Sanchez.
He continued that he’s very happy that the VFW made it through COVID and that the post is ready to get back out into the community in more significant ways.
After the barbecue, the party continued with rounds of pool, drinks at the bar, and the camaraderie of friends who have known each other for years. And the evening ended with some good old-fashioned karaoke.
“We can’t do this without the support of the vets and you guys, and that’s why we’re here,” stated Senior Vice Commander Brandon Phillips when he spoke to the crowd at the party.
For more information on VFW Post 2814, including the weekly meals they provide for local veterans and many other fun events, go to vfwpost2814.org.
Here’s to another 90 years.
Feature Image: Senior Vice Commander Brandon Phillips (second from right) is shown with Commander Leonard Sanchez (right) and other VFW officers at the VFW Post 2814 90th anniversary celebration on Saturday, Jan. 27. Photo by Rick Evans.