THROOP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is starting a new chapter. While some social organizations are struggling, post 72-51 is saying goodbye to its old home and opening a new one.
“We’ve been here since right around 1949 in this building. And we’ve had multiple repairs and other issues with the building. We had estimates to upgrade this building to make it handicap accessible, but unfortunately, it was just way too much above a budget,” said John Tomasovitch, Post Commander Throop VFW Post 7251.
The membership decided to build a new post home on Boulevard Avenue at the rear of the property near the Lackawanna River.
“Since we started the building, and other veterans have seen what we are doing out there, we’ve had an influx of new members. It’s amazing the wildlife that is out there. We’ve seen deer, bear, a bald eagle was in the tree one-day, countless fishermen down here all the time fishing. So like I said, it is an asset for everybody,” said Tomasovitch.
The pandemic has actually both slowed and helped the construction, bringing more members to help with the project.
“Strictly volunteers built this bar. Me and a few other guys who happen to be contractors and do the work themselves. The current shutdowns and stuff, it slowed our progress a bit, but it got us much more donations and volunteerism to build the building. So we went from a $400,000 loan down to almost $300,000. So we saved quite a bit of money,” said Tomasovitch.
Local veterans have great memories at the old post home but are thrilled for the future.
It’s sad to see this go after, you know, being around since I think the 40s this building was built. But, to see our ability to come together as a post, and build that new building. It’s just have so much pride in everybody that has been around. It’s fantastic,” said Don Thompson, who’s part of VFW Post 7251.
“I’ve embraced my younger veterans, the ones that are just coming back. So we have several new young veterans that are getting involved. I anticipate good things for the post. It is going to be great for the Throop community. It is going to be great for everyone,” Tomasovitch added.
Demolition of the original post home is planned for next week and the new post home along the Lackawanna River is planned to open on October 10.