Longview VFW back from the brink - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Longview VFW back from the brink


One of the oldest veteran of foreign wars posts in East Texas had nearly closed its doors forever, but is back from the brink. It wasn't that long ago Longview's veterans of foreign wars post 4002 was in financial trouble. Almost dead and buried.

"The post was in dire straits," says current post commander Ben Gurganus.

"I was very shocked and hurt that we were getting to that point where we were not going to have the building," said former post commander Charles McGregor.

Over the years it had become more than just a building. It had hosted memorial events, and numerous times the 'run for the wall' motorcycle ride. And a haven for memories of so many veterans who had been part of it.

"As veterans we have common ground. Listening to the stories and there are many of them , from world war two B-17 pilots to C-47 cargo planes over the hump in Burma," Gurganus says.

"The photos and stuff on the walls to remind us of the people we have lost in the past, I was here when it started going down and it has been an amazing change," says navy gulf war veteran Lonie Sparks.

But under new leadership, members began to turn it around.

"A lot of veterans , concerned citizens, and businesses that helped and contributed to us," says Gurganus.

And they intend to be around for all veterans yet to come.

"We're back on our feet, we're here and its a great feeling," Gurganus says.

VFW 4002 established its charter shortly after world war two in 1945. Veterans encourage the public to visit their area VFW posts to find out what events and activities they have.

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