PLOVER – “Our work is a never-ending process of enriching the community,” Greater Plover Area Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10262 adjutant Norb Strasser said about the post’s community involvement. “We work with our community, we support our community, and the events and people within the community.”
Security Health Plan of Wisconsin, Inc., will invest $1,000 in VFW Post 10262 as part of its Employee-Driven Corporate Giving grant program. Security invests $1,000 each month in a different charity or organization nominated by Marshfield Clinic Health System employees as part of the grant program. Health System employees are encouraged to nominate organizations making a positive difference in the community.
Strasser said the funds will help the VFW Post 10262 in its mission to provide continued support for area veterans and the community.
“The VFW is defined by how it treats those who sacrificed to protect our country – we fight for those who were brave enough to fight for us,” Strasser said.
The Greater Plover Area Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 10262 was nominated by Marshfield Clinic Health System certified surgical technologist/certified first assistant Debra Manthey to receive the $1,000 grant from the Health Plan.
Manthey has been an active member of the Plover VFW Auxiliary 10262 since 2011. She said she has been involved in the organization for the past decade in honor of her father, who was a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Army for four and one-half years, including three and one-half years fighting in the South Pacific.
“My dad was a proud veteran and a longtime member of the VFW,” Manthey said. “I joined the VFW Auxiliary in honor of him and to continue his mission.”
Manthey explained her father lost his home to a fire a few years after he returned from WWII. At the time he was living with his father. When he sought assistance from the local Veteran Affairs (VA) office he was turned down for a housing unit because he wasn’t married, which was a requirement at the time for VA-assisted housing.
“He was a homeless veteran,” Manthey said. “So this is personal for me. This organization helps ensure that no veteran is left out in the cold and homeless.”
She explained the VFW’s purpose is to foster camaraderie amongst U.S. veterans of overseas conflict, to serve veterans and advocate on their behalf. Manthey said the Plover unit’s specific goals are to speed rehabilitation of disabled veterans and of those in need through hospital and veterans’ home programs. She said they assist veterans, their widows, orphans and families.
“We perpetuate the memory and history of our dead, promote Americanism by means of education in patriotism and work to enhance the lives of our citizens through service to our local communities,” Manthey explained. She went on to proudly add, “Plover VFW Post 10262 has received the National VFW Outstanding Community Service Award four times in the past 10 years. This is a high honor, requiring much work and dedication to achieve.”
Recently, Manthey said, the Plover VFW was able to provide funds to a Stevens Point disabled veteran who needed a wheelchair but could not afford to purchase one. Without it, she said, the veteran was restricted to the confines of his home.
“The mobile wheelchair greatly enhanced his quality of life, giving him mobility, functionality and independence outside of his home,” she said. “It allowed him to reintegrate into the community.”
Manthey said the $1,000 grant from Security will be used to provide veterans’ assistance through the post’s Veterans’ Relief Program, which supports area veterans and service people who are in need. She said requests for assistance can vary so each is meticulously evaluated and must be presented and voted on by members of the post. She said a portion of the funds will also be used to support the post’s rifle squad, which provides military honors for deceased veterans.
“We help provide basic necessities of living to area veterans and servicepersons,” Manthey said. “We support community causes that improve the wellbeing of community members, such as Operation Bootstrap, Empty Bowls, Salvation Army and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Stevens Point and Plover. This grant will help us continue to assist veterans and families in need.”
Strasser said the organization is thankful for the funds and said it will be well-spent as they continue to not only lobby for continued support of veterans, but also provide support to the greater Plover area. He said the organization awards $4,000 in college scholarships each year to high school and college students. He said they also provide citizenship education and flag training in local schools, provide military honors for gravesite honors, perform flag raising ceremonies at new building dedications and in area assisted living facilities.
The Plover VFW Post 10262 raises funds each year through various fundraisers – all of which have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic – such as a monthly breakfast fundraiser, annual golf outing and an annual steak feed. She said they also hold a Buddy Poppy distribution to help raise funds for the Veterans Relief Fund.
To learn more about the Greater Plover Area Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10262 visit www.plovervfw.org.