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story.lead_photo.caption Austin Hornbostel/For the News TribuneMoniteau County’s VFW Post No. 4345 celebrated its 75th anniversary last week. Students Shaye Siegel, left center, and Camryn Schlup, right center, received scholarship awards at the event, presented to them by post Quartermaster Tom Winters, far left, and post Commander Jim Hamilton, far right.

Moniteau County’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 4345 celebrated its 75th anniversary last week.

The post invited the community to celebrate its history Nov. 12, the day after Veterans Day, at its headquarters in California.

Special recognitions in honor of the anniversary were on display for attendees. The post received a Diamond Jubilee Award from Harold “Hal” Roesch II, commander-in-chief of the U.S. VFW, honoring the milestone and a certificate of recognition for its commitment to veterans and military support programs, also on behalf of the U.S. VFW.

Post Commander Jim Hamilton said while there were not as many people as they might have liked present at last week’s event, the evening was a good celebration.

“We definitely understand, as well, with the (coronavirus) people are nervous to get out,” post Quartermaster Tom Winters said.

Moniteau County’s post is one of two posts in its district, along with Linn’s, that celebrated a 75th anniversary this year, Hamilton said.

“Hopefully, we can stay a few more years,” he said.

The post’s official anniversary is Dec. 2, but the milestone lined up nicely with celebrating Veterans Day this year, prompting the joint celebration last week, Winters said.

Both men are lifetime VFW members. Hamilton has been involved with the post in Moniteau County for one-third of its history, and Winters has been a fixture since he transferred to the area from Colorado about four years ago.

Looking ahead to the next 75 years, Winters said it starts with the younger generation, such as those who have returned from serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, stepping up and getting involved.

“If we want to continue on, we’re going to have to get some younger members,” Winters said.

Winters said if any veterans in the area are in need, the VFW can help. They don’t need to be a member of the post; they simply need to let the post know and it will assist them.

The Moniteau County VFW post meets at 7:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the post headquarters at 204 E. North St. in California. For more information, visit the post’s website at vfw4345.org/di/vfw/v2/default.asp. Those interested in learning more about the post can call Hamilton at 573-796-2475 or Winters at 719-660-9012.

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