Northwoods Veterans Post nears completion
What began two years ago with a ground breaking in an empty 4.3 acre lot on Johnson Street, will soon be the home to the Northwoods Veterans Post and the eight organizations that will occupy the 14,376 square-foot facility.
The building is nearing its completion, however there is no firm date on when the building will be open for use. According to VFW Post 1638 Commander Mike Porath, the VFW is eyeing a late August open house of the facility.
The new post will include eight offices, four meeting rooms, an education center, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, a bar and grill and access to outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, an ATV and snowmobile trail. According to Porath, the facility will be used for training events, sports, meetings, social events, but most importantly veteran affairs services. Currently, many vets must travel to Tomah, La Crosse, Milwaukee or elsewhere in Wisconsin for such services. Another service that will be unique to the Northwoods Veterans Post is the Chaplin’s Registry, which according to Porath, will be the only Chaplin’s Registry in the nation.
In an interview with the Merrill Foto News on Thursday, May 14, Porath expressed why this is such an important building.
“This new facility will give eight organizations that don’t really have a place to conduct their business a new home,” said Porath.
The organizations moving into the building include: Local VFW, VFW Auxiliary, American Legion, DAV (Disabled American Veterans), AmVets Post, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and the Merrill Girl Scouts.
“These organizations have been without a real home for some time and to be able to give them a space where they can take care of all their business and host events is a big deal. This building will also serve as a place where veterans can go and help one another. It will also give the community an opportunity to use the facility that they’ve been supporting for the past couple years.” added Porath.