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Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Windham Veteran Center - "all for one and one for all" - By Don Swander


In my opinion, the best way to understand the creation and existence of the Windham Veterans Center located at 35 Veterans Memorial Drive in Windham, is to picture in your mind a three legged stool.
Having three supporting legs indicates that if any one of those supporting legs become weak, fails to provide the necessary support, or attempts to undermine the strength of the other legs – the Windham Veterans Center will topple and fall and (as we know it) cease to exist.


One supporting leg is the American Legion Field-Allen Post 148 – the current commander is Mel Greenier. Another equally supporting leg is the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 10643 – the current commander is Willie Goodman.

The final supporting leg is the Windham Veterans Association Inc. (WVA), which acts like a military “Headquarters Company” regarding the building and the land. The current president is Dick Small.
The WVA owns the building called the Windham Veterans Center and all the land which includes the Veterans Memorial Park established and dedicated in 2005 and the Veteran’s Memorial Garden established and dedicated in 2006. Both the park and the garden were dedicated in honor and memory of all Veterans on Veterans Day (11-11 at 11 in 2005) and (11-11 at 11 in 2006). All six branches of American Armed Forces were recognized by display of their individual branch flags.

The American Legion leg is made up of all veterans who have become members of Legion Post 148 and the VFW leg is made up of all veterans who have become members of VFW Post 10643. Each “post” calls the Windham Veterans Center “home” and each post uses the hall (WVC) to conduct their post business and social events. Each “post” has its own set of officers and each “post” conducts their business according to the rules and regulations controlled by their individual “charter” with their state and national organizations.

However, the Windham Veterans Association (WVA) leg is made up of all the Veterans who are members of American Legion Post 148 and VFW Post 10643. This combined group of veterans has its own set of officers who conduct the business related to the ownership of the building and the land. This combined group operates under the rules and regulations in the by-laws of the corporation created to operate initially as a “Veterans only” 501(c)19 non-profit corporation. However, as a plan to change the non-profit status to 501(c)3, the Windham Veterans Association has recently revised their by-laws to include people as WVA members who “do not” belong to either Am. Legion Post 148 nor VFW Post 10643.

As of this date, we have two Windham people who have joined the WVA who are not members of Am Legion Post 148 nor members of VFW Post 10643. These “WVA only” members can attend all WVA meetings, voice opinions, make suggestions, serve on committees and work on projects alongside veterans on WVC and community projects. Their membership fee is $10 per year. Anyone interested in joining the WVA should call Dick Small at 207-310-0310. 

In review, contact information is:
If your contact reason is in regard to the building (WVC) or the grounds or our public function rental hall – call Dick Small, WVA President, at 207-310-0310.

 If your contact reason involves a question regarding American Legion Field-Allen Post 148 – call Commander Mel Greenier at 207-854-8616.

 If your contact reason involves a question regarding VFW Post 10643 – call Commander Willie Goodman at 207-956-7090.

 If your contact reason involves a question regarding the American Legion Auxiliary, call president Pam Whynot at 892-4720.

In conclusion, - Abbreviations we use:
WVA = Windham Veterans Association, Inc.
WVC = Windham Veterans Center
AL = American Legion
VFW = Veterans of Foreign Wars
AL-AUX = American Legion Ladies Auxiliary
“WVA only” membership = people who join the Windham Veterans Association who are not members of AL Post 148 nor VFW Post 10643.

This article has been written as a public service message by:
Don Swander – contact 207-838-1455 (docaswan@aol.com), past president WVA, past commander VFW Post 10643 and current member of all three legs of the stool.






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