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Rockport's VFW Post 3904 looking to rebuild after Hurricane Harvey

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Posted at 6:07 PM, May 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-23 19:07:13-04

ROCKPORT, Texas — Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is the largest and oldest war veterans service organization, with a long history of providing vital assistance and support to America's service members and their families.

There are several VFW's scattered throughout the Coastal Bend, but only one in Rockport which could use your help.

On Saturday, May 27th, VFW Post 3904 is hosting a Crawfish Boil, which will feature live music by The Steel Water Band, auctions, and raffles. It starts at 11 a.m. and runs until 7 p.m. at 916 Highway 35 S.

"You get a KFC bucket, yes, that's a shameless plug. It's filled with crawfish, with potato, and corn, and a sausage, and you can chow down," said Katy Jackson, the Commander of VFW Post 3904.

It costs $25 to get through the door. Proceeds will go to rebuilding VFW Post 3904's current facility. The expense has been a burden, with construction costs estimated at about $100,000.

Jackson added, "It turns out having bathrooms built on a commercial scale is very expensive. Right now, we're looking at a build for $50,000 just for that."

The group proudly displays the country's flag outside their building sitting on Highway 35 S. The location became a permanent hub for members to gather. It was purchased in the Summer of 2022, about 16 days before the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Harvey. The destructive event is the reason why Post 3904 had to leave the original building they occupied for more than 70 years.

"The original property was on Market Street. Which is where everybody knew where it was. until Harvey decided he didn't want it there anymore." Jackson said.

It took about five years for the organization to find a permanent spot to rebuild its roots. The site on Highway 35 S has a 1,200-square-foot store front, which is used as an office space for veterans to gather resources and learn about services. It's also been the location Post 3904's members gather and connect.

Behind the storefront is a 5,000-square-foot warehouse, which is under construction. Jackson explained the VFW's vision for the space. She said they want to create an environment where everyone feels welcome, whether they're a veteran or not.

"We want this to really be the community center Rockport and Aransas County need." she said, "Before Harvey, we played bingo, and everyone wants bingo back and we want bingo back too. We also want to be the place people go for, maybe a dance, maybe watch a football game, maybe have diners, all kinds of stuff."

She also believes a community center could serve as a place to connect with people.

"One of the funnest things I see to lift a veteran's spirit, is someone comes in with a little one. Usually, two or three years old. And that toddler running around will put a smile on a veteran's face anytime." she said with glee. "And sometimes it's nice to just talk to people that have nothing to do with the military. Maybe the only thing you have in common is you live in the same place. You can make friends. You never know what kind of friends you'll make sitting in the VFW hall."

There is no estimated timeframe on when construction could be complete, Jackson said that will be determined by the funds they have.

If you can't make it to the fundraiser, but would like to support VFW post 3904 click here for donation information and events.