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History of Bixby VFW Post

by George Wilmott

Background

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States of America, was organized by the Amalgamation of the Army of the Philippines, American Veterans of Foreign Service and the Army of the Philippines, Cuba and Porto-Rico on Sept 14 - 17, 1914 at Pittsburgh, PA.

The purpose of this corporation shall be fraternal, patriotic, historic and education with a mission to:

Preserve and strengthen comradeship among its members
Assist worthy comrades
Perpetuate the memory and history of our dead and to assist their widows and orphans
Maintain true allegiance to the government of the United States of America and fidelity to its constitution and laws
Foster true patriotism
Maintain and extend the institution of America freedom and defend the United States from all her enemies, whomsoever.

LOCAL VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS

The first Veterans of Foreign Wars, Bixby Post #5579 was organized January 26, 1956 as the Charles E. Bardon Post. *Charles E. Bardon was the first person from Bixby that was killed in World War II. He was killed December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor.

VFW Post #5597 continued until March 25 1982 when it was merged with Glenpool Post #1327 (Glenpool Post #1327 organized November 28, 1978). At the time the two Posts merged, the name was changed to Bardon-Humphries VFW Post #1327. Larry Humphries of Glenpool was killed in Viet-Nam. The chapter date of the original Bixby Post (#5579 - January 26, 1946) was assigned to the combined Post.

A VFW Post from Jenks, OK was, also, merged with Post #1327. In 1982 another Bixby VFW Post #8630 was formed. This post did not prosper and after eight years it consolidated with Glenpool Post #1327 in April of 1996.

Since April 1996, Post #1327 has continued the activities of the originated with Bixby Post #5579. Activities include posting grave flags at the Bixby Cemetery. Over five hundred veterans, two of whom are Civil War veterans, are buried there. Flags are posted on the graves of the veterans on Friday before Memorial Day and are left until the Friday after Memorial Day. Each year the Boy Scout Troop, sponsored by the First Methodist Church of Bixby assist in placing the flags.

VFW Post #1327 has a membership of one hundred twelve members. It is one of fifteen VFW Posts in District Five of the Department of Oklahoma. The majority of Post #1327 membership is from Bixby, Glenpool, Jenks and local small towns.

Post #1327 is very active in community and youth activities in the surrounding towns. It is also active in District Five and State functions. One Post member is the District Five Commander and three others hold district offices. A Post member is a certified service officer. Service officers are trained to assist veterans and their families in obtaining any and all benefits they are entitled to under the G. I. Bill of Rights.

Bardon-Humphries VFW Post #1327 has a great working relationship with the city government of Glenpool,Bixby and all other service organizations in the area, as well as other organizations in Oklahoma.

POST #1327 RIFLE SQUAD

In the mid-1990s, Post #1327 members organized a rifle squad to honor deceased veterans when families requests it. Seven members fire rifles and two members fold and present the flag to the next of kin. At that time the honor squad dresses in white shirts, black pants, black shoes, white gloves, yellow vests with VFW Post #1327 printed on the back and the VFW cap.

In the late 1990s, the honor squad received so many requests from families of deceased veterans that help from other posts was solicited. Because of the demand, District Five began sponsoring the Honor Rifle Squad. The uniform changed to white shirt, black pants, black shoes, VFW cap, white gloves, black wind breaker jackets for cold weather and black vests for warm weather. The jackets and vests are embossed with "Veterans of Foreign Wars District Five Rifle Squad," in white lettering on the back. Several other members from District Five are now members of this Honor Squad.

The Squad sometimes travel long distances to honor a deceased veteran. In an average month, the Squad receives about five requests for service. The Rifle Squad is volunteer. There is no charge for this service. This service is in part to fulfill our goal, "Perpetuate the memory and history of our dead and to assist their widows and orphans."

YOUTH ACTIVITIES

Post #1327 sponsors Voice of Democracy, youth essays, Boy Scout Troops, Girl Scout Troops, Junior ROTC and other youth projects. These projects, as well as other Post projects, are funded by events such as posting flags on holidays (approximately twelve times a year, sponsoring a carnival at the annual Black Gold Days Celebration and selling fire works for Independence Day celebrations.

MEMORIAL PROJECTS

Along with the Memorial Day project at Bixby Cemetery, Post #1327 maintains a Veterans Memorial near downtown Glenpool that honors veterans of all wars. The inscription on the memorial reads "To those who served - To those who died." At the site, the United States flag and the MIA-POW flag fly day and night. Bricks with veterans' names and their service unit are placed in the sidewalk leading to the monument. Tables and benches are provided for the use of visitors. On holidays the monument is decorated with twelve additional flags.

One block to the west of the monument, in the Glenpool Black Gold Park, are a seventy foot flag pole with a twenty by thirty foot flag, a sergeant missile and a 105MM Howitzer, which are all maintained by Post #1327 and the City, cooperatively.

ACTIVITIES THAT FULFILL POST#1327 OBJECTIVES:

  1. Service to veterans in need of entitlement
  2. Fly large American Flag, maintain sergeant missile and 105MMHowitzer in Black Gold Park
  3. Support youth activities in Glenpool and Bixby
  4. Maintain Veterans Memorial in Glenpool
  5. Help support Claremore Veterans Center
  6. Sponsor Black Gold Day Parade and Carnival
  7. Post American flags for subscribers on national Holidays
  8. Observe special holidays, Loyalty Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day and Pearl Harbor Day
  9. Sell fireworks as a fund raiser during Independence Day celebration

MONTHLY MEETINGS

Monthly meetings are held at 7:00 P.M. on the second Tuesday of each month at Glenpool Community Center.

Dues are $15.00 for the first year and $14.00 per year thereafter. Post#1327 pays one-half of a life membership for any new member joining the Post.

POST AUXILIARIES

Most of the Posts in District Five have Ladies' Auxiliaries. Post #1327 Ladies' Auxiliary became inactive in 1992. Criteria for establishing a VFW Ladies' Auxiliary is as follows.

The Post must have fifteen members, six of whom are officers. There is no limit to the number of ladies that can belong to an auxiliary. Eligible to join are wives, widows, daughters, granddaughters, sisters, adopted daughters and stepdaughters of eligible veterans.

POSTS IN VFW DISTRICT FIVE OF OKLAHOMA

District Five consist of the following Posts:

Bixby/Glenpool Post #1327 | Broken Arrow Post #10887 | Claremore Post #23975 | Cleveland Post #6678 | Collinsville Post #3077 | Jennings Post #4757 | Mannford Post #7441 | Oolagah Post #10575 | Owasso Post #7180 | Sand Springs Post #3698 | Skiatook Post #7977 | Tulsa Post #1334 | Tulsa East Post #10057 | Turley Post #9077

© George Wilmott, Bixby OK, All rights reserved.


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