We are approaching the one year mark since COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, closures and restrictions began. The Landry-Sic VFW Post 9544 canteen closed its doors in mid-March 2020 with the hope to re-open sooner rather than later. During this time, a few members decided to take the initiative to make use of the closure time to begin some humble interior changes to the canteen.
On a shoe-string budget and with several generous donations from local citizens and members to include: flat screen TVs, wall mounting brackets, a couch and chairs, a table and chair set, lighting fixtures and cash donations, work began to take shape. Cosmetic changes are being made to modestly update the canteen making it brighter along with more available seating within COVID-19 requirements and the addition of multiple flat screen TVs for viewing sports games, news and entertainment. The planned reopening date is March 17, St. Patricks’ Day. Guests are always welcome.
The Post hall, with a maximum capacity of 175 people and an elevated stage, is also available for special occasions, such as wedding receptions, Jack and Jill, birthday and anniversary parties, music or small theater performances as well as religious and club meetings, to name a few. Catering is the responsibility of the organizer.
The Landry-Sic Post 9544, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States was chartered on August 6, 1947. The Post was named in honor of Fred Landry, U.S. Navy, and Edmund A. Sic, U.S. Army, the first men from Suffield killed in action during World War II in the Pacific and European theaters, respectively.
In the past, the Landry-Sic Post has teamed with Suffield Sportsman Club in fundraising and scholarship grants to local students. It is our intent to re-establish that partnership and others in order to foster community spirit and assist veterans with expenses for heating oil, medical bills or other financial burdens; as well as academic scholarships for motivated students and to support other charitable organizations.
First Selectwoman Melissa Mack noted in her recent Veterans Day remarks that Suffield has over six hundred military veterans. Nearly without fail, following every Veterans Day or Memorial Day celebration I have been a part of, a veteran from the crowd will approach me to offer thanks and share their story. I implore any and all veterans living in Suffield and surrounding towns to visit the Post on Sheldon Street to enjoy the camaraderie and patriotism with your fellow veterans.
The Post at one time had many members and was very active in our local community for decades. But with the passage of time, membership has shrunk due to the passing of members, some have moved away, some becoming unable to participate due to health reasons and some have simply lost interest. Currently the Post has 120 members, and we are asking any veteran of a foreign war to visit the Post if only for a social visit, but to perhaps consider membership.
Any qualifying veteran wanting to join the VFW may stop by the Post for an application or go online to https://www.vfw.org/join. When joining the VFW online, you become an “at-large” member, you can then apply and be locally transferred to Post 9544.
Any individual or organization interested in supporting the Suffield VFW Post by making tax-deductible donation; please mail to “VFW Foundation” with a memo note to “Direct funds to Post 9544.” Mailing address: VFW Foundation Attn: Richard Freiburghouse, 406 W. 34th Street, Kansas City MO, 64111. The VFW Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. Thank you for your support.