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Franklin VFW post chartered in 1929 suddenly shuttered, local leaders ousted by state organization

Union Leader Correspondent

June 14. 2018 9:52AM

Franklin VFW Post #1698 was closed Monday after state leadership suspended its charter and relieved the commander and quartermaster of their duties because of alleged violations of the veteran's organizations bylaws. (Bea Lewis/Union Leader Correspondent)

FRANKLIN — The local Veterans of Foreign Wars post has been suddenly shuttered after running afoul of its state leadership, who raised concerns about the bar inside the fraternal organization.

Post No. 1698 was vacated and the locks changed on Monday at the request of state VFW Judge Advocate Dana Hussey.

State Quartermaster Greg Lynch confirmed that the Franklin post’s commander and quartermaster have been relieved of their duties and that the post home has been temporarily closed.

“We’ve got to get them back to being an honorably VFW Post and being run according to the bylaws,” said Lynch.

“It’s an awkward situation for all of us,” he continued.

The Franklin post which was chartered on April 18, 1929 has been temporarily suspended per order of the state Department Commander William Ryan.

A letter has been sent to all post members notifying them of a June 20 meeting with state leadership during which the issues and problems will be discussed and a plan forward developed, according to Lynch.

“They’ve been a post for a long time and have done a lot of good things for the community,” Lynch said, explaining the temporary closure was prompted by a violation of VFW bylaws.

Head Adjutant Paul Lloyd said over the past several years the post has been lax in submitting paperwork documenting the work it does which maintains its nonprofit status and as a result it seemed prudent to relieve the local leadership of their duties. The post had been more focused on operation of its bar then on the fraternal side of the organization, according to Lloyd.

Such action by state leadership has occurred in the past. Last year the Milford post was suspended, and the move, Lloyd said, had the desired effect.

“They finished the year as one of the better posts in the state,” Lloyd said.

A nonprofit veterans service organization made up of eligible veterans and military service members, the VFW claims a worldwide membership of 1.7 million with nearly 6,400 posts.

Their mission is to foster camaraderie among veterans of overseas conflicts and to advocate on their behalf.

They were instrumental in creating the Veterans Administration, the development of the national cemetery system and in getting compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange and for soldiers diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome.

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