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Old Veterans of Foreign Wars post hopes to move forward
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Charles Brown and Raymond Maney of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8452 in Gainesville talk about revitalizing the chapter, which has been chartered since 1946.
VFW Post 8452
For more information about about Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 8452, call 678-943-2807.

A Gainesville veterans group hopes to put aside past organizational woes and move forward with new energy, possibly hoping to lure some service members returning from deployment.

“We’re more or less trying to revitalize and get everything up and going again, see if we can get straightened back out,” said Raymond Maney, past commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 8452. “(The post) is here for the veterans.”

The post has run continuously since it was chartered in 1946, operating out of several buildings. It has been at its current home at 1955 Delta Drive in Gainesville since 2007.

And while membership is at 100-plus, interest has wavered in other areas, particularly top command. The post has been under state leadership for about 90 days.

“The reason it got that way is that it lost all its officers — they either quit or resigned,” Maney said. “But now, we have all the posts filled.”

Also, the post’s canteen, or bar area, has been “up and down” over the years, mainly because of “low participation,” he added.

“It has cost too much to keep it open, more or less,” Maney said.

The canteen is closed now and the post has no immediate plans to reopen it.

“That will have to be addressed in the future, maybe by the summer months,” Maney said. “... The (canteen) was just a convenience for (the veterans).”

The post hopes to regain local control on May 1, when new officers — including post commander Charles Brown — are sworn in.

Then, “we (can) set our own agenda and goals to get accomplished,” Maney said.

“I hope to get the post running again as it should be, with more members and more participation,” said Brown, a post member for the past year, having transferred from a Conyers post.

He added that he would like to see the post become “more visible in the community, as far as volunteering for different projects, membership drives and (other activities).

“Of course, it’s not all up to me. It’s up to every member.”

Maney, who has been a post member since about 1980, said he hopes that some of the returning members of Gainesville-based Charlie Company, a Georgia National Guard unit that had been deployed to Afghanistan, will take interest in the group.

“A lot of times, your younger group, when they first get back from the war, (doesn’t) take interest in veterans affairs until several years down the road,” Maney said. “We need them for new ideas for the post.”

Brown said he has “already received two or three calls from returning veterans, asking about when’s the next meeting.”

The post meets the first Monday of each month.