Some South Mississippi veterans are looking for a place to call their own. V.F.W. Post 2706 in Wiggins has leased a Stone County owned building for the past five years. Part of the problem is they're not the only ones who use the building.
A typical meeting for Post 2706 starts not with the Pledge of Allegiance, but with a broom and a dust pan. Members share the meeting space with four or five other organizations.
Commander Bob Pizzuto pointed to the messy scene.
"Boys Scouts have their tents scattered all over the place. Chairs are all in disorder. Everything is a total mess and we come into this every time we have a meeting."
With so much traffic going in and out, the VFW is hesitant to store belongings or hang decorations. Members say the main concern is that the 80-year-old building has a leaky roof and a long list of other problems.
"We do have one bathroom that works," said Pizzuto. "There're no water, no heat, no air conditioning. We use fans in the summertime and we just freeze in the winter."
Even with all the problems, the members of the VFW say they're grateful to the county for allowing them to use this building. But, they say, they need to move on to a place they can be proud of when soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq return home.
"They've had harrowing experience over there," said member Bob Sullivan. "When they come back, they'll want to be able to relax in a place they can call their own."
"My vision is to have a nice home for the veterans. To have a place where their families can come and enjoy if they want to have cookouts, or campouts, or whatever," Pizzuto said.
VFW Post 2706 needs to raise $25,000 for a building and members are hoping for someone to donate land.
To make a tax deductible contribution, you can make checks payable to "VFW Post 2706."
Contribution may be mailed to: