Jim Miller and Bruce Fillmore can recall the positive impact being a member of the former Dad’s Post at Maple City VFW Post in Charlotte had on their lives. That’s why each has stepped forward to help revive the Post, hoping to be the same kind of support for family members of military veterans they fondly remember receiving.
Dad’s Post 286 was originally chartered in 1994 in Charlotte, but for various reasons became inactive within the last few years. At the urging of the National VFW organization, the two put the word out that they were looking for new members and have met a couple times this spring.
“Once we establish our membership, we can begin to build the structure of the post,” Miller said.
Dad’s Post 286 meets the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at VFW Post 2406, located at 695 Lansing Road in Charlotte. The next monthly meeting takes place Tuesday, May 15.
Fillmore said membership doesn’t require a great deal of commitment beyond the monthly meetings. Currently, meetings are open to anyone interested in becoming a member. The lone requirement is that you must be a relative of a veteran or active duty military that has served overseas. Dad’s Posts used to be open only to fathers of service men and women, but that rule has since changed, Miller said.
“It was just plain fun,” Fillmore recalls of the 10 years he was actively involved in the former Post. “It gives you a chance to connect with other families and develop relationships.”
Miller said he valued the opportunity to talk with other individuals who knew what he was going through as a father of two servicemen.
“Sometimes talking with other people about what you have to face and go through to deal with those tough situations really helps,” Miller said.
In addition to the camaraderie and relationships that are formed through the Dad’s Post, Miller and Fillmore said members have traditionally helped local organizations through fundraisers and projects — something the new Post would like to do again.
Dad’s Post 286 has contributed to Eaton Community Palliative Care, SIREN/Eaton Shelter, VFW Post 2406 in Charlotte, Christmas Kiddies, Eagles Christmas Dinner, Eaton County Medical Care Facility, Peace Lutheran Church’s Thanksgiving Dinner, Holiday Food Baskets, Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Helping Hands Food Pantry, Camp Trotter, and the VFW National Home in Eaton Rapids.
If you’d like more information about Dad’s Post 286, contact Jim Miller at (517) 543-6755 or Bruce Fillmore at (517) 543-0706.