IRVINGTON, NJ — The members of Camptown Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1941 haven’t served breakfast to their fellow vets and members of the Irvington community since September because the post, located on Chestnut Avenue, was being renovated thanks to the local Home Depot store on Springfield Avenue.
But the renovation of the post’s kitchen and two bathrooms was complete and the post was ready to reopen just in time for Veterans Day.
“About a year ago, Home Depot did another thing with the vets up at the VFW Post in West Orange and management couldn’t make it, so now we’re here in Irvington on Chestnut Street,” Mike Butler of Home Depot, said Sept. 30.
Butler, who worked alongside the Camptown VFW Post 1941 vets to replace their old kitchen and bathrooms with new free fixtures and appliances, said, “As far as community involvement, at Home Depot, we do a lot of things involved with the communities, but what we especially like doing is things for the veterans, to those who go out and serve and the fight for our freedom or liberty.”
Butler said Home Depot will do anything for veterans.
“We take pride and we look forward to always doing things for veterans, whether it’s at the VFW Post or even at their homes. We even like supplying ramps for disabled veterans; anything that we can do,” he said. “The only thing veterans have to do is just submit a professional letterhead. Take it to any Home Depot, not only the one that I work for in Newark, all of the Home Depots in the country and around the world. We look forward to partnering with veterans and doing things in the community for them.”
Camptown VFW Post 1941 Commander Louis Johnson said he was glad to have the help. Butler added that, “God willing and the creek don’t rise we’ll be done by next week,” on Friday, Sept. 30.
And even though Butler and his team of Home Depot employee volunteers weren’t able to finish by then, they did get the job done before Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11.
“This work was greatly needed,” said Johnson. “We applied for a grant; we got approved for it. Home Depot has volunteered to do the work, supply the technical expertise and the parts that’s needed to complete the job. By us having this done, it helps us better service the community. So for all the events and all the activities that we have going on here now, we have beautifications to go along with it, to get more people inside here.”
More people renting out the VFW hall for parties and other events is a good thing, Johnson said. That means the post will be able to raise more money to help vets in more and different ways, such as having Jennifer Myers, a public affairs officer for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Newark Regional Office, come to the post on Saturday, Oct. 29, with her staff.
“I think that they did a wonderful job; they really did and kudos to their whole crew,” Charles Jeter, a non-military volunteer who cooks at Camptown VFW Post 1941, said Saturday, Oct. 29. “The Home Depot Foundation came in and renovated the bathrooms and they renovated the kitchen for the post. The bathroom was once an open area, but they sectioned it off into two separate stalls for both the bathrooms, giving us a total of four now.
“And they gave us all brand new appliances in the kitchen, so to those of you that don’t know come down to the VFW; every Saturday we feed the public. When you come here, you do eat good. I do take requests.”