Grove City VFW


Jim Brown, left, Veterans of Foreign Wars district commander, presents the VFW Century Award to Ben Lewis, commander of the Cpl. Claire Van Eman Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 519 in Grove City. Post 519 celebrated its 100th anniversary with a ceremony on Oct. 3.

The Cpl. Claire Van Eman Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 519 in Grove City is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Members and guests gathered on Oct. 3 to recognize the occasion.

VFW Post 519 was established on Oct. 6, 1920, in memory of Cpl. Claire Van Eman of Grove City, who gave his life while serving his country during World War I, according to a news release issued by the VFW.

Van Eman served in the 5th Marine Regiment, 2nd Division. He was killed in action on June 6, 1918, at the Battle of Belleau Wood – an historical battle in Marine lore.

He is buried in the Aisne-Marne Cemetery in France with his fallen comrades.

The anniversary celebration was led by Post Commander Ben Lewis, with historical details provided by Post Adjutant Jim McClelland.

Various dignitaries presented awards and proclamations to Lewis. The VFW district commander, Jim Brown, presented the VFW Century Award.

Shelli Oakes, a representative from the office of state Rep. Tim Bonner, 8th District, presented a citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Grove City Mayor Randy Riddle presented a proclamation from the mayor’s office that designates Oct. 3 as “VFW Day” in Grove City.

Also, 100th anniversary coins were presented to attendees by Lewis and Senior Vice President Milan Mijatov.

The first person to receive the coin was Dallas Schull, Post 519’s oldest living member and a World War II veteran.

Attendees enjoyed a meal catered by Family Tradition Restaurant.

Both the Cpl. Claire Van Eman Grove City VFW Post 519 and the Post 519 Auxiliary are very active in the Grove City community.

Various patriotic and charitable activities take place at Post 519 and in the surrounding area with monies raised going to help veterans and other local organizations in need.

Those activities include Fourth of July and Memorial Day celebrations, Christmas gifts for veterans, children’s Christmas parties, posting flags in the cemeteries, poppy sales, and funeral and fundraising dinners.

It’s been a busy 100 years with plans for another 100 years of helping others just getting started.

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