It is an exclusive group of people, Veterans who have experienced serving our nation in a combat zone. Claremore’s Joe Ronnie Hooper Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is reaching out to all combat veterans who have yet to take part in this dynamic organization. The requirements are simple, any Veteran who has served honorably in any of our country’s battles overseas is eligible. They do not have to be engaged in actual combat, just be in the war zone. “Come on in with your DD214 or discharge papers and we will qualify you for membership,” said Post Commander Bill Richey.

“Our main reason for being is to provide service and camaraderie to all veterans, we all have experiences that are not easily shared outside of our fellow Veterans,” Richey mentioned. The Post also offers Certified Service Officers on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., and by appointment. These Service Officers sit down with each Veteran and/or their family to determine to which benefits they are entitled and fill out the appropriate paperwork to get it started.

Not only are the members looking for fellow Veterans for membership, the Post Auxiliary is also seeking new members. Membership requirements there are simple as well. Any direct family member of a Veteran who served in a war zone is eligible, from Grandparent, to Parent, to Spouse, to Child to Grandchild. When the Veteran is eligible, the family member is as well. “We are looking for people who want to give just a bit of their time to help Veterans,” said Auxiliary President Bill Henry, himself a Veteran. The Auxiliary projects include Memorial Day Ceremonies, Claremore Veterans Center volunteers, POW/MIA and Gold Star Family events, the Veterans Day Parade and luncheon afterward, and their annual Christmas Party at the Claremore Veterans Center. “We enjoy helping Veterans and their families, that is why we are here,” said Henry. The Auxiliary works in support of the Post activities.

If you are interested in more information, contact the Post at 918.342.5730, or drop by and speak with one of the members. You may also call 918.829.9668 for more information, and one of the members will meet you at the Post.

The Post and Auxiliary meet every second Monday of the month at 7 p.m. The April meeting is on the 8th. The Auxiliary and Post often meet together briefly when projects in which they are both involved need to be discussed, then they separate for their own needs. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but it does take a determined interest in making a difference in Veterans and their family’s lives.