BEDFORD, Ohio — They served their country in the military and their community as veterans.
Now, members of VFW Post 1082 in Bedford are fighting to save their historic hall.
“This building’s been here since 1932, so we’ve been here a long time,” said Vietnam veteran Willie Adams. ”It’s almost like you’re losing your house; I mean, this is what we call home.”
Much more than brick and mortar, the building on Northfield Road has been a rock for these veterans, and a place where they could feel comfortable and camaraderie.
“This hall is my solace; this is where I need to be and come to relax,” said Vietnam veteran John Freeman. “Nobody in the world other than veterans can empathize with what we feel and how we feel.”
The Post fell on hard times this past year with a number of members passing away or moving out of town and consequently they fell behind in their taxes. They lost the building to foreclosure, but have been trying ever since to buy it back or make a deal to lease it.
However, Adams says, the price has doubled and now without help they will have to leave by February 17.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Adams.
The loss would be devastating for many others in the community as well.
Over the years, Post 1082 has donated nearly $350,000 to a number of groups, charities, and scholarship funds.
Also, every two months and every national holiday they host veterans from the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center for dinner.
Boy Scouts also use the hall for the meetings.
Scout Master Ernie Walker called the news heartbreaking.
His troop has met there for years and would also use the hall to collect and properly retire American flags.
“We’ve done all kinds of stuff and the VFW’s backed us 110% so it’s like pulling our hearts right out of us,” said Walker. “Just hope we get it saved.”
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