Au Gres VFW votes to merge with Standish post

By Kevin Bunch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com
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Au GRES — If everything goes as expected, the Au Gres VFW post is looking to merge into the Standish one later this year.

Au Gres Post Commander Tom Roiter said nothing is set in stone at this time, as the post is still waiting to receive approval from the state and national VFW departments, but he expected to hear back one way or the other within a few months. If approved, the 96 Au Gres members will officially be attached to the Standish post.

“There’s nothing precise at this time, so I can’t give a lot of details,” Roiter said. “Until we hear something we’re in a limbo.”

Gerald Dewald, quartermaster of the Au Gres post, said the potential merger was voted on in mid-July, where the majority decided to apply for a post merger.

Dewald said the post is not getting new members from more recent wars, and members who fought in World War II and the Korean War are getting older and less physically able to take part in fundraising activities.

The actual Au Gres VFW building is currently for sale as well, Dewald said. Assuming the merger goes through, he said the post is interested in donating materials, such as photos, trophies, and letters, to the Arenac County Historical Society to display in the county museum.

“A lot of them take space to display, and we can’t display them without a building,” Dewald said. “There’s not enough space at Standish’s hall, so we feel the historical society is the best place for them.”

Dewald said the post merger would not affect the VFW’s cemetery visits, as he believed they would still be able to visit all the same places they do already alongside the cemeteries the Standish post members visit.

If the merger is denied, Roiter said the post membership would have to discuss what direction to go in.

Dewald told the Independent back in February that the post needed new members who served in more recent conflicts to keep it going, as many of its members were in their 70s and 80s. He added that posts across the country are facing that same issue.

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