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Porter VFW builds designated smoking area to recruit more veterans

December 21, 2018

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4816 in Porter is almost done with their new designated smoking area to hopefully decrease the lingering smoke smell in their building and hopefully recruit younger veterans.

For over 50 years Post 4816 has recruited veterans from all over the Greater Houston area. Some of these veterans fought in World War II.

Commander Ron Miller said they currently have about 300 members.

Miller said the idea to build this smoking area addition to the VFW came about a couple of years ago. The latest smoking addition in Post 4816 is a $60,000 project and will be finished sometime in January, according to Miller.

“There’s been a movement in the national VFW organization that the younger people, the younger veterans, they’re not taking a look at the VFW (because) most of the younger people don’t smoke anymore,” Miller said.

According to a VFW press release back in May, the VFW’s Department of Pennsylvania has been working on eliminating smoking from member organizations to help protect members, employees and their families from preventable health risks.

“While the Pennsylvania VFW respects the rights of veterans to smoke, we also respect the rights of the many more veterans who do not smoke,” said Department Commander Dwight Fuhrman, a member of Post 8896 in East Berlin, Pa. “We want to attract and support not only veterans of all ages but also their family members.”

Half of this project is funded through a grant from the East Montgomery County Improvement District.

“We feel we’re losing younger members and older members because we’ve had a couple of older guys coming here that didn’t smoke, they walked in and smelled that smoke who said, ’I’d love to join but I can’t tolerate that smoke for health reasons,” Miller said.

The new designated smoking area will have direct access to the bar inside the VFW. The space will have lighting, tables and ceiling fans.

kaila.contreras@chron.com

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