Where did you serve and what did you do?
Serving as Post 2423 Commander June 2020 to June 2021
How are you #StillServing?
Post Commander Donn Kegel led his Post through the pandemic with energy and a vision. His Post hosted the Secretary of the VA, NC Senator Tillis, Congressmen, VFW Commander-in-Chief, Department officers, and several local leaders in August 2020 when sponsoring the Independence Fund in dedicating a bench in their Memorial Garden for a severely wounded veteran who is a member of the Post. A detailed article was submitted to the VFW Magazine, but never published. The Post raised significant amounts of funds with outdoor car shows and cook outs, progressive bingo games in a large hall under social distancing guidelines, continued Buddy Poppy sales, and bowling tournament donations. The members remodeled the Canteen with volunteer labor which has received praise from visitors and members for a modern look. Auxiliary and member volunteers stepped forward to serve as bartenders when the one employee bartender resigned to seek full time employment. The Post and Auxiliary members, Scouts, and bingo customer volunteers assembled 285,000 Buddy Poppy flowers for National Headquarters from October to March. The Post has also chartered two Scout troops during his duties. Kegel instituted a joint Veterans and Memorial Day event with local area American Legion Post 458 and Town of Indian Trail, NC, to increase visibly of veterans to the local community and seek new members. The Post Honor Guard continued operation during the pandemic averaging 7-9 funeral events per month and was recognized by the Department Commander in February 2021 for their community service. The Post allowed the Red Cross to collect blood donations at their Veterans Hall rent free each month due to limitations required of other organizations while following state and CDC guidelines. The Charlotte Marine Recruiting Station held quarterly training events at the Post for active duty recruiters within a 100 mile radius of Charlotte and were well fed at lunch time by our Cootie Pup Tent. During the pandemic the Post maintained contact with members staying at home, In April 2020, the Post Honor Guard and other members did a drive by of a WWII member’s home in conjunction with the police and fire department to pay tribute to this hero nearing the end of his life. Kegel’s key vision was to focus on veteran suicide prevention during his time in office. The Post Chaplain has set up a “Chaplin’s Corner” and guest speakers were invited during the suicide prevention month of September 2020 for any veteran in the community to attend. Kegel also serves as the Building Custodian/handyman, part time bartender, bingo caller, and bingo worker dedicating over 40 hours per week at home of the Post organizing events and staying in contact with over 400 members. Under the leadership of the Post Commander Kegel and his staff, Post 2423 is in better financial position today than at the same time last year, has meet all VFW programs to be an All American Post, and has made the Post a respected community service organization in the local area.
Why do you do it?
This is the job of a Post Commander to lead, manage, accept challenges and opportunities, and meet VFW goals and objectives. If you want more information, give me a call.