Minnesota VFWs, American Legions selling off their meeting halls

  • Article by: Jenna Ross , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 14, 2013 - 10:15 PM

As members age and die, some large old halls are being sold off in Minnesota’s smaller cities.

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pitythefoolsDec. 15, 13 8:08 AM

Just who would buy dark, dank, cheaply built old legion halls that reek of beer, vomit and cigarettes?

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wiseguy1Dec. 15, 13 8:11 AM

They do no marketing. The elected officers are only there for a short time. There doesn't seem to be much accountability for funds raised in bingo, gambling, etc. They are outdated fraternal organizations. I belonged to the Legion at one time, but dropped my membership because of their strong emphasis on guns. As veteran, I had enough of guns.

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eddie55431Dec. 15, 1310:07 AM

Seems a shame that the rest of society that owes them so much would ever tax our veterans out of their place to meet with their comrades in arms. Why aren't Vets and Legion halls tax exempt as non-profits? I understand that some are run as for-profit businesses, but as long as all the profits go to charitable works they should not be taxed.

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supervon2Dec. 15, 1311:37 AM

I have been so busy with career and kids all my life that I have never had time to join. But it appears from the comments that society treats the veterans now the same way they did when we came back from Vietnam-including those of us that were Vietnam era vets. Government does not like us because we don't vote uber Liberal and we know that our countries safety is first before welfare. If you have never visited a government oppressed nation I suggest you go there and you will appreciate the Veterans more than ever. We stand for Freedom!

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az2010Dec. 15, 1312:14 PM

I'm a young buck who grew up in a small town. I'm not a veteran but my father was a member of the local VFW. It was a wonderful gathering place in our small town, a place for vets to call their own. In a fast moving world, it was a sanctuary for sharing war stories, or playing cards, or just visiting over a cup of coffee or a cold one. It was part of the fabric of the community. Shame on people like pitythefool who denigrate places for which they know nothing about.

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jjsbrwDec. 15, 1312:14 PM

As an Iraq War veteran, I certainly looked into joining both the Legion and the VFW. I declined membership for both. I just didn't like the emphasis on booze, gambling, guns (with you there, wiseguy). Those elements permeate almost everything I saw at those two organization, and to me it simply became off-putting. Along with both organizations' nearly exclusive support of conservative and republican causes and candidates, I just couldn't join. Just couldn't. I am involved in and a supporter of two other vet's organizations that support the employment rights of returning Guard and Reserve service members.

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tntattersDec. 15, 13 1:14 PM

Vietnam veterans never "packed" their meeting halls. 'Nam vets were treated like second class citizens by the vets from WWII and Korea. "You weren't in a real war, boy." And Cold War vets were treated even worse. I say "tough" for their plight. --USAF, 1967-71 Active Duty including 3 years overseas.

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busdriver37Dec. 15, 13 1:59 PM

Kudos to those VFW and American Legion chapters that have managed to stay true to their roots as veterans' organizations, regardless of where they hang their shingle. Unfortunately, in many towns, the VFW or Legions have effectively turned into mainstream bars, using their favored-tax-status as a reason to undercut all other local competitors on price. The mission of these groups has been diluted by those.

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blazer38Dec. 15, 13 3:50 PM

What favored tax status?

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daytonsajokeDec. 15, 13 9:56 PM

busdriver37Dec. 15, 13 1:59 PM Kudos to those VFW and American Legion chapters that have managed to stay true to their roots as veterans' organizations, regardless of where they hang their shingle. Unfortunately, in many towns, the VFW or Legions have effectively turned into mainstream bars, using their favored-tax-status as a reason to undercut all other local competitors on price. The mission of these groups has been diluted by those.............funny the article actually mentioned one VFW having to close it's doors because of high property taxes. Perhaps you can enlighten those of us who read the article as to how they are wrong?

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