Waverly AMVETS Post Home
Formed here in 1946 by 2nd War Vets
By: Burdett Briner
From the Bremer County Independent,
Dated: Wednesday, March 7, 1956
AMVETS is an organization (originally) composed of Veterans of World War II and the Korean War. The history behind Post 79 is an interesting one. Preliminary plans for the organization of Post No. 79 were started in the last months of 1946. The united Service Women, an organization of wives, mothers and sisters of men in service during World War II was active in Waverly. They did Hospital work, served troop trains, sent gift packages to servicemen, etc.At a meeting in Des Moines in the fall of 1946 they voted to become the Auxiliary of Amvets and were very instrumental in the organization of Post No. 79. They donated $25.00 to start a treasury, provided meeting places and served lunches for the first meetings.
At a meeting in the community basement on Wednesday night, January 15, 1947, the Waverly Charter was presented by Robert Buckmaster, Waterloo attorney. Charter members signing were:
John R Evans, Francis Boylson, Meinhardt Kettner, Elston L. Bergman, Russel E. Eggleston, Laverne G. Heyer, Russell E. Redfield, Otto A. Finger, Burdett O. Briner, Kenneth I. Harding, Creston Wells, Roger R. Burroughs, Clele R. Baker, A. H. Akers, H. C. Mensing, John B. Hemingway, Ray Osterholm, David F Fangmeier, E. R. Bodecker, Robert H. Clemens, J. F. Grawe, L. L. Craw, Ronald L. Homann, Merwyn M Bryam, Wm. I. Leary, C. D. Phillips, Reynolds E Renn. Laurel Bergman, Robert L. Dempsey, L. C Stauffer, Bin C Kroma, Melvin Ray Schiller, Dennis Allen Bienemann, Melvin C. Nelson, E.W. Steffen, Duane E Wylam.
Elections since that time have been held each fall and Commanders have served as follows:
1947-48 John B. Hemingway
1948-49 Meinhardt Kettner
1949-50 Carl Kasemeier, Jr.
1950-51 Rodney Dillavou
1951-52 Duane Wylam
1952-53 Ralph Juhl
1953-54 Clele Baker
1954-55 Richard Hemingway
1955-56 Ed A. Niewohner
Although Amvets is a young organization in Waverly, they have sponsored many worthwhile projects, among them aHome Talent Minstrel Show, two Home Talent Variety Shows, two concerts by a Waterloo a cappella choir directed by Jesse Cosby; the well-known Waterloo Amvet Chorus, a Fourth of July Celebration, a Children’s Home Christmas Party (AMVETS presented the Home with a TV set, with gifts and treats for each child; with the help of Bremer County people and merchants, a tremendous AMVET Operation Korea (A.O.K.) program covering 22 months.Amvets sent 60 gift boxes totaling 2,638 lbs. to BremerCounty servicemen in Korea.
Amvets have given their hearty cooperation to all community enterprises, Memorial Day services, parades, transportation for elections, blood banks, etc.
For some time AMVETS met in a number of places and in December of 1953 plans were discussed for an AMVET Home. During 1954 lots were purchased and a building program launched. At the present time the AMVET Home in southeast Waverly nears completion. This has been possible by the many hours of volunteer labor and gifts of AMVETS and friends of AMVETS.
AMVETS Post No. 79 is proud of the distinction of having supplied two State Commanders. Ben C. Kroma, Charter Member, served during 1953-54 and our present AVET State Commander is Ralph Juhl 1955-56.
In 1953 Post NO 79 received honorable mention, and in 1954 was awarded the Woodrow C. Stingley award as the outstanding Post in Iowa.