Elizabethtown’s Veterans of Foreign Wars post is closing its building.
The veterans group notified the Elizabethtown Rotary Club, which meets at the post building on Fridays, that it would have to find a new place to meet. Elizabethtown Rotary President Tim Haak said the VFW told him the last time the post building would be available for a Rotary meeting would be Friday, May 4. Elizabethtown’s Kiwanis Club also meets in the building.
It was unclear whether the closing of the building meant that Fred Barley VFW Post 5667 was disbanding as an organization or whether the organization would continue to exist without a building of its own. Post President Joyce R. Reese responded to the Advocate’s request for information by emailing, “No information should be put out until after the meeting on May 8th.” A message left for John Getz, the Pennsylvania state adjutant of the VFW, was not returned by press time.
The post building at 126 Maytown Road opened in December of 2007, replacing an earlier post building. The property sits at the border of Elizabethtown Borough and West Donegal Township, with the building in the township but the parking lot in the borough.
VFW Post 5667 is one of two major veterans organizations in Elizabethtown. American Legion Post 329 has its post building at 240 N. Hanover St. in Elizabethtown Borough. The two groups have worked together on many projects in the past, including organizing the annual Memorial Day parade and observance in Elizabethtown Community Park.
Membership in the VFW is limited to honorably discharged veterans and current military personnel with military service overseas during an operation or conflict. Membership in the American Legion is limited to honorably discharged veterans and current military personnel who have served during times of war, whether they served overseas or not. That includes any service between Aug. 2, 1990, when the first Persian Gulf war began, and the present day. It also includes service during the invasion of Panama that began in 1989, conflicts in Lebanon and Grenada between 1982 and 1984, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, World War II and World War I.
The VFW has more than 1.2 million members at more than 6,000 posts worldwide. The American Legion has more than 2.4 million members at more than 13,000 posts worldwide.