Vietnam Veterans Post Closes, Members Stay Active

NANTICOKE, Pa. -- A civic organization for veterans in Nanticoke closed down earlier this year, but its members are still trying to make a difference in their community.

Members of the Veterans of the Vietnam War Post 56 in Nanticoke placed flags on several graves at a cemetery in Sweet Valley. They are still taking care of the place even though their post closed a few months ago.

"We are still trying to stay somewhat in business, although we have no official function," said former member Jim Bombay.

The veterans of the Vietnam War post formed about 30 years ago. They used to meet at the Eagles Club in Nanticoke. When the members found out their national organization closed at the beginning of the year, they had no choice but to do the same.

"It was tough, but we decided amongst us that we still do our community things," said former post commander Frank Park.

One of the main reasons the post and the organization closed is due to dwindling membership numbers.

Newswatch 16 stopped in at the American Legion in Nanticoke. Workers there were saddened to see another veterans organization close.

"Sometimes, it's the only place they have to go. If they're retired, they don't have a job to go to. Sometimes, they live alone, so they come in here and they have a place to come to and just sit and relax and talk to people," Kelly Thomas said.

"It all goes back to the old saying, you know, those who have done it know, and people who haven't don't know. Those of us that have, have had that camaraderie and we get solace out of meeting and talking about our experiences," Park added.

The veterans will continue to do their work in the community even though their post no longer exists.

They'll be back at the cemetery on Friday to clean up the grounds for Memorial Day.

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