Veterans Day Tribute – VFW Post #1096 Celebrating 75th year

Posted November 11, 2020 at 2:13 pm

VFW Post #1096

celebrating 75th year

The Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 1096 in Albany has a birthday coming up later this month and it’s a big one.

On November 24, 2020, the VFW in Albany will be turning 75 years old.

According to Post Commander Jason Warinner, the charter was formed in 1945 mostly by WWII veterans.

“One of them was Murl Conner and the whole virus has put a hold on everything,” Warinner said. “Our plan was to file the paper work to have the name of the charter changed and named after Murl Conner. We wanted to have that done by this month, but we’ve not been able to have the meetings we’ve needed to.”

The VFW post, including its location and property around it has been a valued staple in the community over the years.

“I was talking with David Cross and I believe the baseball field was built in 1948,” Warinner said. “Of course, that was the first ball field in the county and that’s where little league started. They used to have kindergarten in the original room.”

During the past year and a half, the popularity of the VFW has grown, according to Warinner.

“I believe it’s because of the way it is now compared to the way it used to be,” Warinner said. “When we first started, we had some people wanting to bring back BINGO and that kind of goes into vices. When you bring that kind of stuff in, it can cause issues.”

Warinner said the post has about 80 members at the local charter.

“If anyone wants to do a lifetime membership, we can put $100 towards that,” Warinner said. “Or if they want to try it for a year, we will pay the first year’s membership.”

Warinner said they have been able to offer that because of the tremendous support they have received from the community during their fundraisers.

“When we cook the Boston butts they are usually sold out in two days on Facebook,” Warinner said. “I think last weekend we cooked 56. We should have the kitchen done this week, so hopefully we will be able to do more of that type of thing.”

Ever since Warinner took over as Post Commander he has been spearheading the renovations at the post location.

Now, two rooms are available to rent for birthday parties and other events, with the small room for $50 and the large room for $75.

“We hope to eventually have fish frys, so everyone can come out to eat,” Warinner said.

Most of the future plans for the VFW Post are solely determined on the country’s current COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have the back porch under cover now, so hopefully we can do some stuff outside and we can do the social distancing,” Warninner said. “A big thanks to Albany Redi-Mix for helping us out on that. I’m hoping next year we may be able to open that up and have concerts. People can sit on the ball field and use the back patio as a stage.”

With the VFW being a staple in the community, Warinner said it means a great deal to those who are members as well as family members of those who have passed away.

“It means a lot,” Warinner said. “Some of the guys were talking last week about how much of a difference it has made to them in just the last year and a half. We have a lot of members who don’t have a lot of family. Every time we open the doors, they are there.”

Warinner said even for him, he has made a lot of good friends since he has been post commander.

“Everybody has friends … If I call these guys at 2 o’clock in the morning and say I need help, I know they will come and that says a lot.”

The rules for being a member of the VFW are set by the organization’s by-laws. The first is, you have to have U.S. citizenship. The second is a person must have served in the Armed Forces of the United States and either received a discharge of Honorable or General (under Honorable Conditions) or be currently serving.

The third rule is you must have had service in a war, campaign, or expedition on foreign soil or hostile waters.

“I wish we could bring in a lot of the younger generation,” Warinner said. “I know with the younger generation, they are trying to make a life and they got bills to pay and so on. We are going to have to find a way to bring in those younger members to keep the VFW rolling. That’s one thing they have talked about at some of the conferences is to change the rule to allow open eligibility because there’s not a lot of wars these days. If there isn’t a lot of wars then you are not going to have very many members.”

If anyone meets the critieria and wants to become a member of the VFW, contact Warinner at 606-306-1197 or Quarter Master Travis Denney at 606-688-9946.

The VFW Post 1096 orginal members are displayed on a document at the post in Albany.

Those members include: Robert L. Abston, Oral C. Agee, L. F. Andrew, T. G. Armstrong, James A. Arron, A. B. Ashbury, James L. Beaty, James P. Beaty, J. U. Brown, William E. Byrd, O. B. Catron, Earl Collins, G. M. Conner, U. F. Conner, K. F. Conner, Willard A. Conner, James W. Craft, W. D. Cross, O. A. Cummings, Luther R. Duncan, S. T. Evans, Clyde Farmer, F. T. Ferguson, G. D. Ferguson, Gordon F. Ferguson, W. C. Ferguson, D. Green, W. B. Grider, F. W. Griffin, W. Groce, Pryse R. Haddix, Chester M. Hicks, James A. Hicks, James H. Hopkins, Kenneth H. Huddleston, Willie Sell, F. F. Shelton, G. C. Shoopman, W. T. Sidwell, D. R. Sloon, B. R. Speck, W. S. Stabner Sr., W. S. Stabner Jr., J. H. Talbot, J. M. Talbot, Fred B. Tuggle, Ethridge A. Vincent, W. K. Vincent, W. H. Vitatoe, John W. Wallen, F. M. White, C. L. Park, G. K. Huff, Jersel A. Johnson, Fred Lawson, Franklin W. Lowery, K. B. Luttrell, H. C. McDonald, James H. McGill, H. A. McKinley, J. B. Owens, James H. Pennycuff, Johnnie James Pierce, W. O. Pierce, J. L. Piercey, Wm. A. Rayborn, J. F. Reneau, R. B. Reneau, and R. M. Reneau.