On Sunday, the Scottsboro Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post No. 6073 had its building full, celebrating its 75th anniversary. From VFW members, their families and some public officials, people were gathered in groups throughout the room, with talks ranging from regular, day-to-day small talk or sharing old war stories between veterans.
Though many have fought in different wars, ranging from World War II to Operation Desert Storm, they all have the same experiences, just in different countries and different times.
“Just being around other guys that’s had similar experiences,” said Commander Nathan Green. “You talk to so many people that don’t know what you’ve been through, where you’ve been. You can talk to [VFW members] and you don’t talk about the gory stuff, you talk about the good times, different things you saw. If you’ve never been there, you don’t know. You don’t understand. So after a while, you kind of come to a point where you realize ‘I need to be around some guys that can help me out.’ We don’t all have problems but there’s a connection there that you lose and later on you want to try to put that connection back together from when you were in service and just talk with people that know what you went through.”
Green, a Vietnam War veteran, has been a member of the VFW for 11 years and the commander for three years. Green served in the Air Force for four years, serving homestead for two years, a year in Thailand and a year in Carswell Air Force Base.
When he got home, Green worked in construction all over the country and over time, had gotten to know some people who were members of VFW’s and got invited to join as well. Though the ages in the VFW can vary from 48-101 among active members, Green says the experience hasn’t changed much.
“Still pretty much the same experience. The big differences between World War II and the guys fighting now are the weapons, the communication systems. World War I, World War II, Korea, all you had was hand signals, a few walkie talkies, they actually had landlines that they had to pull through the jungle and they always got messed up. Now, they have an operation in Afghanistan and they’re watching it in Washington, D.C. You got guys sitting in Colorado out there flying drones bombing in Afghanistan. That part has come a long way but when you get down to the guy on the ground, at the end of the day, it’s the same thing. You’re trying to get home,” Green said.
The VFW meet monthly as well as get together for coffees on Tuesday mornings at 9, welcoming any veterans to come by and have some coffee with them.
“We’re here if any veteran needs help, come talk to us. We’ll do whatever we can to help them,” Green said.