The VFW’s warm welcome

0

To the Editor:

Hello to all at the Oak Bluffs VFW. This past May, my wife and I decided to fix up our house on Martha’s Vineyard in order to put it on the market. I came up in May, while my wife Gail came up one month later.

While sitting at a bar hoping for someone to talk to, this nice lady introduced herself to me and we enjoyed some conversation. Her name was Valerie (didn’t get a last name). Somehow it came up that I was a Vietnam vet, and she told me about the Oak Bluffs VFW. She described it as a lot of nice people, and invited me to drop by and have a drink.

Not being much of a joiner of clubs, and not really interested in talking war stories with a bunch of old guys like me, I pretty much dismissed the invitation. The VFW was on my route to my house, so I passed it frequently, and always noticed lots of cars there.

One day, I decided to go in and check it out. Being an ex-New Englander, I knew that most people at bars are cliquey and don’t talk much to strangers, so I was not expecting to stay for more than one beer.

Boy, was I mistaken.

A guy came over to me to check me out and see why I was there. He introduced himself as Rick, the “soon to be” commander of the post. We hit it off, and I was introduced to a bunch of other nice people whose names I would never remember.

My wife Gail came up, and I told her about my experience; we decided to go in together. She loved it as well. We sat with Ray, the former commander, and laughed and talked until we were all pretty plastered. Meeting Jimmy “the Mayor,” Jerri, Squeaky, and Tiffany the bartender during later visits finally shamed us into coughing up $28 to join and get a key.

We would like to say to all of you, including those whose names we forgot or never knew who said “Hi” to us while we were there: Thank you for letting us be your guests, and welcoming us into your family. You are truly fine people, who will not be forgotten.

If anyone comes to Marco Island and tells us they are Oak Bluffs VFW members, they will be our guests whether we know them or not.

In the meantime, Tiffany, use this money to buy a round on Jim and Gail. We will be raising our glass to you guys at 6 pm this Tuesday. It would be cool if you guys would do the same. In the meantime, God bless all of you.

Jim and Gail King

Marco Island, Fla.