Veterans Of Foreign Wars Post Nearing Centennial Celebration

Glen Cove VFW prepares to celebrate anniversary.
Glen Cove VFW prepares to celebrate anniversary.

Members of the Glen Cove Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 347 on Hill Street are preparing to celebrate its centennial anniversary this spring.
The post is named after Glen Cove resident, WWI Corporal James Erwin Donahue who was killed in action on Sept. 26, 1918.
Presently at the helm of Post 347 are: Commander Ben Farnan, Senior Vice Commander Anthony Preski, Junior Vice Commander Henry Nowicki, Quartermaster Bill Lawson, Chaplain Vincent Martinez, Adjutant Joe Rondeau, ABC Officer Ton Kenary and Trustees Ronald Crowe, Joseph Moores and Joseph Lavery.
The building at 15 Hill St. was erected from its foundation by the post’s founding members and community residents.
“No one went to college back then; they were all tradesman and they all volunteered to build this post,” said Farnan, including his own father, a war veteran.
His father was friends with a lot of the post members at the time; he was a stone mason and bricklayer who learned his trade in the mines in Scotland and helped to build the Glen Cove post after moving to America following WWI.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is the largest and oldest organization of U.S. war veterans established in 1899 following the Spanish–American War.
Its headquarters is in Kansas City, MO. VFW members consist of veterans who, as soldiers, sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and airmen served the U.S. in wars, campaigns and expeditions on foreign soil or in hostile waters.
“We’ve been here 100 years; we are not going to be here another 100 years,” Farnan told the Glen Cove Record Pilot, which is celebrating its 103rd anniversary in 2020. “We will be lucky to see another 20 years.”
Farnan said the younger generation, Gulf War era veterans usually cannot afford to stay on Long Island and if they can, they are busy working three jobs in order to survive.
Just as it is happening across the country, many veterans’ organizations across Long Island are closing their doors and disbanding their charter.
Although the numbers of qualified veterans are not dwindling, membership in veterans’ organizations is; younger war era veterans are notably not seeking membership in veterans’ organizations due to family and work commitments, among other various reasons.
“The only thing that’s keeping us together right now are the Vietnam guys; being that it was a 10-year war, there’s a wide range of ages there,” Farnan said.
He is one of two Korean War era veterans actively serving the Glen Cove post. The post has approximately 90 members on its rolls, but only a small percentage of those registered members take an active roll in preserving the VFW in Glen Cove.
“Financially, we keep ourselves going here,” Farnan said. “We support Little League, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, scholarships, first responders, charity requests; we are a good neighbor in this town.” He said the post’s kitchen and banquet hall are the main source of income.
Members of the 100th Anniversary Committee are: Joe Moores, Joe Rondeau, Joe Lavery, Ron Crowe, Bill Lawson, Henry Nowicki, Ben Farnan and Duke Preski.
Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 347 in Glen Cove will celebrate its centennial this spring with a gala at The Metropolitan on Saturday, April 25. Call 516-676-9641 for details.

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