VFW reopens but remains under trusteeship authority

By Thomas Wilson


   The Capt. Lynn Folsom Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #2166 in Elizabethton has re-opened for regular hours following of local members and state VFW officials on Friday night.
   However, a trusteeship of members from other local VFW posts retain management of the post's operations after being appointed by state VFW officials.
   "We had a pretty good meeting and a bunch of members came out," said Harlan Rector, one of trustees assigned to govern the post by state officials. "We hope to have it back in operation in a week or so."
   The front and rear doors of entrance to the post remain padlocked as of Saturday morning. A handwritten sign on the Post's front door reads that the post is open for regular hours.
   Gone from the doors is a letter sent from state VFW Commander-in-Chief Jim O'Neill that announced the Post's suspension, which was clipped to the door on Nov. 25.
   That letter read that Post #2166 was under suspension for violating the laws and usage of the organization and refusal to comply with lawful orders.
   State VFW Commander-in-Chief Jim O'Neill had visited Post #2166 most recently during in mid-November shortly before the post was suspended, according to a VFW official.
   Local post Commander Howard Hubbard deferred questions regarding the post to trustee members overseeing the post's operations. Hubbard stated to the Star on Saturday he was a post officer who remained "in limbo." Elizabethton's VFW has approximately 500 members.
   Rector said the state VFW office had appointed state trustees to oversee the operation of Post #2166 for an undetermined amount of time. A trustee must open the post and remain present during operating hours, Rector said.
   He also said state officers had not set a new meeting date to discuss when local VFW officers might resume control of the post.
   "We have eight trustees from different VFWs involved," said Rector, a member of VFW Boone Dam Post #4933 Boone Dam Post in Washington County.
   "We hope to have it resolved very soon."
   The VFW post will be open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends and from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. during weekdays, Rector said.
   A private organization that traces its inception back to veterans of the Spanish-American War, Veterans of Foreign Wars has 28,000 members in Tennessee and 2.2 million members nationwide.