AMVETS in Action

Callaway AMVETS named Outstanding Large Post for 5th time

COLLIN BREAUX | News Herald Reporter

July 2, 2017 – When members of AMVETS Post 2298 in Callaway went to Orlando earlier this month for the annual statewide AMVETS convention, they were four-time winners of the state’s Outstanding Large Post award.

They returned five-time winners.

Members credit their frequent community service, including sending members to staff the Military Welcome Center at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, as one reason why they received the recognition five times.

“We have people that go out to Sims Veterans Home, we’ll go over and do bingo for them,” said Post 2298 Public Affairs Officer Danny Somers. “We take veterans to appointments. … On June 6 we gave $5,000 each to the five Bay County high schools that have Junior ROTC programs. On July 4 we’ll give $10,000 to The Fisher House Foundation.”

Some of the post’s other work includes supplying local police departments with trauma bears to give to children and working with other veteran groups to raise money for veteran causes. Post members mark down their community service hours, with annual credits estimated to exceed $200,000.

Post 2298 Cmdr. Rocky Bradford said the post, and AMVETS in general, is about veterans helping veterans and the general community. Somers said they also support the active military, which they do by reaching out to military members at Tyndall Air Force Base.

The post provides a place for veterans to meet, swap war stories and eat dinner together, because some don’t like to meet in other public places and talk about their military experiences, Somers said. Post 2298 is also a family-friendly place where spouses and kids are welcome, Bradford said.

“I think that the post provides the veterans in the community with a lot,” Post 2298 member Al Schmidt said. “I think we’ve got a good group of people here who try to do a good job for everyone around here. … I’ve had a lot of good times here, and I plan on having a lot more. The camaraderie of the group is extremely good.”

The Callaway post was organized in 1987 and has used the same building since 1992. Post 2298 has about 660 members and is one of 81 posts in Florida.

AMVETS is open to all veterans with an honorable discharge, regardless of where someone was stationed or when they served, and they are always seeking new members. They also have a Ladies Auxiliary, Sons of AMVETS squadron and a motorcycle riders chapter.

Post 2298 is at 5510 State 22 and is open seven days a week. To join or for more information, call 850-784-0066.

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