|From left, Home Depot Kitchen and Bath Dept. Supervisor Art Virrey, Store Manager Tim Miller, and Floor Dept. Supervisor Johnnie Thomas install an FRP panel in the great hall in the new post home of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10227 in Prescott Valley.|
Trib Photo/Cheryl Hartz
Patience and persistence could be the motto of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10227 in Prescott Valley. Chartered 42 years ago in 1971, its members have continuously worked toward meeting in a post home of their own.
Money making projects from recycling newspapers to buying and selling building lots, along with donations, kept the building fund growing, and in 2002, the Post felt the amount warranted formation of a building committee.
In 2009, the Fain family presented the deed to the donated 2-acre building site above Fain Park, and in 2010 a steel building was erected.
Now, going on three years later and following a series of "whatever can go wrong will" events, the unfinished structure still can be used only for building meetings by the VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary.
But it's coming closer to completion, thanks to volunteers from the Prescott Valley Home Depot's Team Depot and grants from the corporation.
Home Depot manager Tim Miller explained how the service project came about.
"We do quarterly projects to reach out to the community. I went to the VA hospital to see if there were some veterans there we could help, and they told me about the (Prescott Valley) VFW," Miller said.
Miller met VFW Post 10227 Commander Fred Nelson at the building site two weeks ago, and told him Home Depot would lay down flooring in the bathrooms and kitchen, and install water-resistant FRP panels on walls in those areas, as well.
"He asked my opinion, what do I want, and I said, 'It doesn't matter to me, it's free! Leave it up to the experts,'" Nelson said.
A week later, Team Depot made that a reality, installing 3,000 square feet of sheet vinyl and VCT (vinyl composition tile), not only in kitchen and bathrooms, but also in the office, great hall and gameroom.
"We just want to get that place together and get it open," Miller said. "We've made a commitment to partner with them until it's done."
He said that commitment includes landscaping - trenching or digging with shovels and laying out the water drip system and eventually donating plants.
A goodly number of the store's 107 associates are donating their time, working on their days off at the VFW.
Among them are flooring specialist Travis Steck, kitchen and bath department supervisor Art Virrey, and flooring department supervisor Johnnie Thomas.
"We're having lots of fun," Virrey said with a grin as he put up an FRP panel.
"It brings a swelling of pride that I work for a company that allows us to do these kinds of things," Thomas added. "At Home Depot, we take care of the community."
"We're trying to get another grant through the store," said Miller, who has worked for Home Depot for 16 years, and been the Prescott Valley store manager for a year-and-a-half.
He said in Tucson, the store helped with a park and 12 homes in a Habitat for Humanity subdivision. Seeing the happy faces of the beneficiaries "makes it all worthwhile," he said.
"We've been waiting so long. He can't imagine what it means to us veterans," Nelson said of Miller initiating Home Depot's involvement, adding the Post previously had purchased all of its building materials from the store.
Nelson also said the VFW building will be open to all services and organizations.
So far the Submariners and American Legion Post 140 are on board. He's hopeful that all veterans will use it.
"A lot of people are coming back (from Operation Enduring Freedom) with issues. There are a lot of suicides, because they don't have a place like this," Desert Storm veteran Nelson said.
"The idea is a place to help, with people to laugh and cry with," Clyde Kincaid, VFW public relations officer and WW II veteran, said.
"People who know what they've been through," Nelson added.
"These aren't just walls, it's what happens inside the walls," Kincaid said.
Current VFW membership is 188, with 100 percent retention for the Post, which received All-State honors in 2012 for its programs and reports.
"Now we're going for All-American," Nelson said.
Nelson noted the two grants already received from Home Depot total $9,000.
Miller said Prescott Valley Home Depot assistant manager John Johnson has been making calls to the home base in Atlanta, working on additional grants.
"We'll take it one project at a time (at the VFW)," Miller said.
"This is such a great thing for us, three years in the making," Nelson said.
"It's nice to be able to help out," Miller said. "They're so appreciative."
In fact, Miller said the veterans' positive response to the Team Depot volunteers almost surprises him.
"It's just what we do," Miller said.
The VFW still needs tens of thousands of dollars to complete the project, including paving the parking lot, before the Town of Prescott Valley will issue a permanent occupancy permit.
Those wishing to donate can make checks payable to: VFW Mingus Mountain Post #10227, notate it for the Building Fund, and send to: P.O. Box 25702, Prescott Valley, AZ 86312. Or call construction committee members Lee Wurz at 928-999-1773 or Aubra Phillips at 928-420-2124.
For more information on the post, visit: www.vfwpost10227.org.