Medford VFW, 98, gets a new home thanks to donors
A 98-year-old VFW in Medford received a long-awaited facelift on Wednesday.
Volunteers from several local businesses donated their labor and materials to replace the dilapidated roof of VFW Post 2937.
For post commander Niel Marturiello and his colleagues, the repairs mean a breath of fresh air for a place they consider a home away from home.
The hall gave Marturiello a safe haven when he returned from service in Vietnam.
“It meant a lot when I got home. It helped me reintegrate into the community. Some of the older members who were here before me took me in,” he says.
Marturiello says the post couldn’t afford the $15,000 bill to fix the crumbling roof.
Like many VFWs across the country, the venue is struggling with declining memberships and loss of rental income due to the pandemic lockdown.
Lawmaker Dominick Thorne rallied a troop of local businesses to donate labor and supplies to repair the roof.
Gina Farese of MarCor Construction is one of the volunteers who answered the call to help those who served.
“They’re the reason I can put my feet on the ground and go to work and have the life I lead here in America. If it wasn’t for them, what would we have?” Farese said.
Veterans say the VFW repair work is more than cosmetic. They say these volunteers have saved a lifeline for civilians in this community.
“It’s where people come to meet, it’s where they donate their space to local charities and neighborhood projects,” says Thorne.
Volunteers will also install solar panels on the VFW at no cost to help the post save money on electricity bills.