VFW Post Celebrates 75th Anniversary

For many veterans of foreign wars,  VFW Post 2539 in Gulfport has been a place to fellowship, swap stories and has served as a support system for the troops abroad. On Friday, the Post celebrated its 75th anniversary.

"Alfred Alleman was in a ship wreck, and the post is named after him," said Marie Bangs, Outgoing President of the Ladies' Auxiliary.

On May 15, 1932, veterans of foreign wars and their families got a new place to gather and to turn for support, the VFW Post 2539.

"This is the place where they can come and get help when they need help, get assistance, their families, their children," said Jeanette Sweet, Incoming Ladies' Auxiliary President.

But on Friday night, members celebrated the post's history and future. New officers were installed, but before that, the post celebrated its 75th anniversary.

Outgoing Commander Ivan Bangs recalled one of the biggest challenges the post has faced in recent year--Katrina.

"We worked seven days a week, 24 hours a day contributing food, water, everything," Ivan Bangs said.

The post is now standing stronger than ever and accomodates a lot more VFW members since Katrina wiped out a number of VFW posts in the area. With so many troops serving overseas in the war on terror, there's plenty to do back here at the home base.

"The Seabees, we do specifically a lot for. We sent them supplies and equipment overseas and care packages, trying to help improve their quality of life while they're serving over in the desert. We've adopted a few units that we'll specifically take care of," said the post's Incoming President, Charlie Purchner.

Purchner says the post is looking ahead to the challenges of the future and will build on the firm foundation left by those before them.