“The VFW is as relevant as ever. This is why I’m proud to say ‘I am the VFW,’” stated Craig DeOld, who is #StillServing a and Post Commander of Boston Police VFW Post 1018 in Massachusetts.
“I am the VFW because I keep my Post and veterans out front!”
DeOld completed nearly 20 years of service in the U.S. Army Reserve and was deployed to Bosnia for Operation Joint Forge and Qatar for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. A few years after leaving the military, he decided to get more involved with the VFW after joining Post 281 in his home state of New Jersey. He moved to Boston and is now a VFW Bronze Legacy Life Member in his fourth year as Post 1018 Commander, and he serves as Massachusetts District 5 Commander.
Always ready to answer the call of duty, DeOld didn’t hesitate to step to the front lines of COVID-19 response and has helped coordinate efforts for Post 1018 to serve veterans, their community and the state.
“Early on in the pandemic, the VFW Department of Massachusetts collaborated with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency to offer assistance in the collection of personal protective equipment (PPE) being donated by private citizens and businesses,” DeOld recalled.
“Post 1018 was one of many Posts in the state that immediately responded and opened their doors as collection points for the donated PPE to be collected by the Massachusetts National Guard for the greater protection efforts of first responders and medical personnel throughout the state.”
The Post also was quick to organize and host blood drives for the American Red Cross and food distribution events sponsored by the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation. As vaccines became available, they held clinics for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines through a partnership with the VA Boston Healthcare System to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to eligible veterans.
In March 2021, the Post had the honor of helping 2020-2021 VFW Commander-in-Chief Hal Roesch receive his COVID-19 vaccine. Roesch happened to be visiting at the same time a vaccination clinic was scheduled. DeOld is proud that he and his fellow members of Post 1018 have been able to assist in protecting Roesch and hundreds of other veterans in the fight against the invisible enemy of the virus.
Under DeOld’s leadership, the Post’s responsiveness to their city and state earned them the VFW’s 2020-2021 All-American honor as well as citations from the City of Boston and governor of Massachusetts.
“We stand ready to assist our community in any way possible,” said DeOld.
“I am making sure that our Post remains relevant in our community by engaging with our elected representatives, other affiliated associations related to veterans and the Boston Police Department.”
DeOld is grateful for all he was able to help accomplish in a challenging year, and he plans to continue a life of service in the hope of bringing more veterans and community members alongside him.
If you’re a veteran with a #StillServing story to share, we want to hear from you.