The VFW in West Chester Twp. recently received national recognition for its efforts in the community.
Ron Dzikowski, commander of VFW Post 7696, said he accepted the National Recognition Award at a district meeting earlier this month and that West Chester was the only VFW post in all of District #4 to receive such an award.
The award, signed by VFW’s national commander, recognizes the post’s sponsorship and promotion of local community program activities.
“Throughout all of last year, I kept track of our volunteering and community activities and submitted these records to the District and State,” Dzikowski said. “We may not have been awarded All State status, but our good work has been recognized at the National level.
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So how rare is it for the VFW to receive national recognition?
“In our 30-odd years of our incorporation, I can’t remember ever hearing about being recognized by VFW National for outstanding achievements,” Dzikowski said. “The VFW National only awards but a few per state in any year. It all depends on the competition and the Post’s level of achievement. At the state level we have also won “All State” twice in the last ten years and some lesser awards also during that time period.”
He said the honor is “just another indication that our post is not only about beer and motorcycles.”
“There was a perception that the VFW is only a social club for those who want to drink. They have not spent any time at our meetings and events,” Dzikowski said. “We have a dedicated bunch of combat veterans who have a love of country and desire to support our community.”
VFW members contribute many hours every month doing community service, he said.
“So often you can find them at a funeral or a football game, always willing to demonstrate their love of flag and country,” Dzikowski said. “Where a veteran is in need, at home or a retirement community, there is the VFW. Even though our members have hung-up their uniforms, they still find time to serve.”
He said it is good to be recognized by National, “not for the glory, but as an indication that we are on the correct path of meeting the intent of our Congressional Charter.”
“Our members deserve the recognition of a job well done,” he said. “They are the ones who daily volunteer within our community.”