LAKEVIEW, Mich. (WOOD) — An Iraq War veteran who bravely served our country is now working to save her local Veterans of Foreign Wars post.
In March, VFW Post #3701 in Lakeview was close to shutting down for good, but now its first woman commander is using Memorial Day to remind people how important it is.
“I couldn’t just let this go and not have this here for the veterans in the area,” Stacey Roberts told 24 Hour News 8.
Roberts joined the Army National Guard as a senior in high school and was a diesel mechanic in the 1073rd Support Maintenance Company in Greenville. She deployed to Iraq for a year in 2004, returning home at the age of 19.
When she got back, long before she left the National Guard in 2008, she became involved with the VFW.
Over the years, the post has hosted dinners, parades and honored local veterans by taking part in funeral services. As veterans from last century’s wars grew older, though, many of the events slowed down.
“VFW members in general are actually passing away, that’s why we’re losing them, so that why it’s really important to get the younger next generation Iraq veterans involved,” Roberts explained.
She believes the key to the post’s success is tapping into future veterans.
“One of the biggest things for me is to get with the students because they’re our next generation of veterans. So I want them to know that we’re here for if they decide to join the military. We’re here for them when they’re gone. We’re here for their families when they’re gone and we’re here from them when they come home,” she said.
The Memorial Day events the post is hosting include a parade through Lakeview, ceremony at the cemetery and live music. The day’s full itinerary can be found on the event’s Facebook page.