VFW Service Officer Richard Hall and Past Post Commander Denis Sommerfield show off their new sign for community service. Photo by Michelle Chance

Three signs near the entrance of the local Veterans Center recognize the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12043 and its efforts to serve the community.

In July, the post accepted a plaque for its third “National Outstanding Community Service Post” award since 2013 at the VFW National Convention in Louisiana.

“There is not another post in the state that has three (of these awards),” said past Post Commander Mike Kemery, who led the post during its second go-round winning the award the previous year.

The award measures the post’s community service during the year. Past Post Commander Denis Sommerfield accepted a sign for the award in October during a district meeting in Casa Grande.

The post achieved the accolades thanks to “help from the comrades in the post doing their community service like our service officer helping our vets, participating with the City of Maricopa, JROTC at Maricopa High, Boy Scouts” and other volunteer work with student and youth groups, Sommerfield said.

The Maricopa VFW post is small relative to others, Kemery said, with a membership of just over 150 veterans. About 20 percent of its membership attends meetings.

“We’ve been doing very good because we don’t have a bar and we don’t have anything to distract us to where we are primarily a service post and it’s starting to show,” Kemery said.

Although a lot of the work is done behind the scenes, post leaders said the real reward is the feedback from the community members and veterans they help.

“Until you do it the first time, and see those looks, and see that reaction, it changes you real quick,” Kemery said.

This story appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.


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