WAVP Veterans Center Updates

The Waverly Area Veterans Post Board of Directors continues its efforts to build a new Veterans Center in Waverly.

The 2008 flood in Waverly destroyed the Amvets building and heavily damaged the American Legion Hall. Following the devastating flood, members of the four service groups (VFW, Amvets, American Legion, and Marine Corps League) discussed a shared facility. Following legal work, site selection, and building needs/specs, fundraising began in 2011. The generosity of the Vern Iserman Family led the effort.

Cedar River at current VFW site

To date, over 850 families and businesses have donated or made pledges to the project.

Outside the area, the project captured the attention of actor Tom Hanks and Retired General Colin Powell. "In December, we had a friend of the project drive from Wisconsin with a check", states Board Chair Darrell Blasberg. "He remembered the military rights and tribute we gave his deceased brother earlier that year".

Treasurer Lee Schissel reports that $3.4M has been pledged to date with over $100,000 pledged for in-kind support from various business trades.

The Building Committee is working with area contractors to identify areas of cost savings. More requests for contractors' involvement will be forthcoming as the plan unfolds.

The Board is working closely with INVISION Architects and Iowa Northland Regional Council of Governments.

A comprehensive conceptual design is being shared with the community. The campaign will also complete a validation of campaign materials with prospective donors and current donors to expand upon the recent informative and engaging focus groups. The validation process will ask stakeholders for vital input on the current plan and fundraising process.

The new WAVP Veterans Center will focus on service to today's Veterans, their families, and those who serve in the future. The building will have space for Communications & Career Development; space for four Veteran organizations and their Auxiliaries to host monthly meetings as well as regional and state meetings; funerals with full military rites; post-funeral receptions; civic celebrations; and Post dinners (community fish fry historically serving 700+).

In addition, there will be a museum (honoring Veteran sacrafices); storage for Avenue of Flags — flags, poles, uniforms, plaques; an armory for safe weapon storage; and a reception banquet hall for pre/post-deployment gatherings, family gatherings/celebrations; and Civic celebrations on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Veterans Day. "Every square foot of the facility has multiple uses. We hope the general public will share our vision" adds Richard Miller, Secretary of the Board.

"Please visit our website www.waverlyvets.us to view our progress and to see our Wall of Honor", states Carl Benning, Vice-Chair of WAVP. "We are especially proud of our Wall as it bears the names of those who have supported the project. We hope we never miss listing anyone as each gift is very important to us. These donors are ever mindful of the reality that freedom is not free. It is in this spirit that we thank them for helping build this very special home — a place "Where Patriots Gather".

In Closing...

The WAVP Veterans Center honors the Veterans of yesterday, today and tomorrow. It recognizes and celebrates the sacrifice of those who served in past conflicts, those who serve today, and those whose service awaits them. These men and women and their families are ever mindful of the reality that freedom is not free. It is in this spirit that we build this very special home "Where Patriots Gather"