VFW Post 1657 Year Summary


As the year 2022 comes to an end, I would like to give Pampa and the surrounding communities a summary of the many and varied activities VFW Post 1657 and our wonderful auxiliary have been involved in this year. Our slate of officers stayed the same for more year, however the auxiliary did have a change, but sadly we had to say goodbye to Cavin Coleman as auxiliary president due to his work responsibilities – he will be missed. Currently, Debbie Black has taken that position, and needless to say, she is a ball of fire. She and the group take very good care of “their” veterans. I cannot even begin to think how our post would operate without the help the auxiliary provides for all our activities.

In the spring, four of us with spouses attended the state convention in of all places, Durant, OK. That is another story. This summer, we jointly sponsored a golf tournament which was headed up by our outstanding Quartermaster, Pat Montoya. He did a great job, and it was a resounding success! The members and the auxiliary developed a float which we entered in the 4th of July Parade, and that evening we provided the Color Guard for the City of Pampa fireworks display out at the Rodeo Grounds. On Memorial Day, we held a service in the park on the north side of our post. It went very well, the weather cooperated, and we had a good turnout. In remembrance, some of our members placed flags on veterans’ graves at the Lefors Cemetery, and I feel confident the residents appreciated their efforts.

I hope everyone has noticed the outside renovation to our building which has made our building one of the nicest in downtown Pampa. Next, we will be renovating our bathrooms, and that will begin here in December. All this made possible through a grant from the Gray County Commissioners Court. During “Veterans Week” we had a very nice Veterans Parade followed by free hamburgers to the public served by our friends and supporters from Atmos Energy. The next Friday, the Pampa Elementary School 4th Graders held their yearly tribute to veterans at MK Brown. As always, it was wonderful, and there were many wet eyes among a bunch of crusty old veterans. If you haven’t attended that event, you have really missed something special and need to attend next year. That evening our Post and the auxiliary held a free Thanksgiving Dinner for veterans and their families, and a good time was had by all. Along with the dinner, we held a silent auction with many items donated by local supporters. The funds raised will assist us in our activities in the upcoming year.

All funds the Post raises during the year goes toward two purposes: 1. Our normal operating expenses and 2. Extending a helping hand where we can. Our Post is still the sponsoring organization for the FREEDOM Museum, and the museum, under the direction of Andy Epps and RJ Howell, has had a very busy year with the many area schools that have come to tour it. Andy, RJ, and the board of directors work tirelessly to make the museum a real asset for this community, and if the necessary funds can be raised, we have some amazing plans for its expansion.

This year has been a banner year in our membership as we added 7 new members to the post, 5 Vietnam and 2 Iraq/Afghanistan. We sincerely hope more local veterans will appreciate our many activities and decide to “come on down” and get involved. Early in the fall, we met with a youth organization from PISD called the “Ambassadors”, and we hope that will grow into a worthwhile relationship. Most recently, we have sponsored a Boy Scout Troop for disabled scouts, the first ever in Gray County. That is most assuredly a win, win, win, for Pampa and the Panhandle.

I realize this has been somewhat lengthy, however, I wanted to emphasize that our Post is alive and well, contrary to some rumors, “ME thinks the rumors of our demise are greatly exaggerated”. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all.