Local VFW receives grant for generator, building work

Post 1407 provides fellowship for veterans returning from overseas

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published November 25, 2015

Benjamin F. Haith/Shutterstock

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MADISON HEIGHTS — A recent donation to the Veterans of Foreign Wars will help Post 1407 stay up and running, even when power outages threaten to shut it down.

The post received a $5,000 grant from AT&T that will pay for an auxiliary power generator. Perishable goods meant for veterans in need will no longer be at risk of spoiling when power is lost. Likewise, the post will be able to continue hosting functions, a needed revenue stream alongside state VFW-regulated charity gaming in the future and other fundraising activities.

“There have been so many power outages lately in Madison Heights,” said Sean Fleming, adjutant at VFW Post 1407. “We recently had one within a block of our building on our street, although it didn’t affect us. And during the flood last summer, we lost power for four or five days until DTE established power again. We lost food and other supplies being stored. Now we can avoid that next time.”

In addition to the backup generator, the $5,000 grant will help pay for a new facade. The hope is that the renovations will attract more people to the venue.

Gregory Clark, regional vice president for AT&T External Affairs, said that AT&T has made a point of supporting military personnel, veterans and their families for nearly 100 years.

“Our nation’s servicemen and women make sacrifices to protect our country and our freedoms,” Clark stated in an email. “As a company, we see it as an honor to support them both at home and abroad.”

In addition to charitable donations to military groups, AT&T has also donated volunteer time and sponsored events benefiting them. The company maintains policies that support employees who are members of the Reserve and Guard when they’re called for training and active duty.

During the past five years, AT&T has contributed or directed more than $18 million to organizations and projects that support military personnel, veterans and their families. It engages veteran job seekers through programs and activities led by AT&T’s Military Attraction Team, Veterans Employee Resource Group (ERG) and local external affairs partners.

AT&T has hired more than 9,500 veterans since January 2013. The company is well on the way to achieving its goal of 10,000 by 2018.

“We owe our veterans a debt none of us can adequately repay,” stated Jim Murray, president of AT&T Michigan, in an email. “AT&T employees give back every single day. We’re incredibly proud of Sean’s work with the VFW. We’re excited to stand with him to tell our veterans, ‘Thank you.’”

Fleming is an employee of AT&T and saw the opportunity to apply for the grant through the company’s resource group, Pioneers. The grant money will go into the post’s general fund.

Post 1407, previously based in Ferndale, now includes Post 9507 in Madison Heights after they merged earlier this year. Post 9507’s hall at 630 E. 11 Mile Road closed back in March due to financial instability, but it has since reopened as the home of the new Post 1407.

The post helps veterans who served in conflicts overseas. It makes sure they get the benefits to which they’re entitled and any rehabilitation they may need. It assists them with education and finding careers. And of equal importance, it provides fellowship — a community of people who have been there and understand them.

VFW Post 1407 also provides relief to veterans in need. Recently, it provided meals for homeless veterans at the shelter, Veterans Returning Home.

“Our membership is growing to include veterans of all different ages and years of service,” Fleming said. “I think things are going great.”

For more information on the post, search “VFW Post 1407” on Facebook.com. You can view the page without a Facebook account.

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