Community Notes, Featured, Stories

Don Diego VFW Nationally Recognized

September 15, 2016

By Mario A. Cortez 

Left to right: Jaime Yancey, Nani Yancey, and John Crispin.

Left to right: Jaime Yancey, Nani Yancey, and John Crispin.

Operating since 1955, Barrio Logan’s Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 7420, also known as the Don Diego VFW, has been providing an environment where the men who fought in armed conflicts abroad can find camaraderie and support. Having earned various recognitions in the 61 years since its foundation, Don Diego can now add 2016 All-American VFW post to its list of condecorations.

This year, Don Diego VFW received the National VFW’s All-American award in recognition of the post’s outstanding efforts and to recognize Post 7420’s exceptional leadership, authentic accomplishments in membership retention and growth, and support of the VFW organization’s core programs. The criteria leading to the All-American award is such that very few VFW posts across all of the United States receive the All-American recognition. The 2016 award marks the third time in the posts’ 61 year history in which Don Diego has been named an All-American VFW post.

“One of the things that the organization is doing is fighting for veterans rights and benefits, especially dealing with the Veterans Administration,” explained Jaime Yancey,  a Vietnam veteran and member of the Don Diego VFW. “Our focus is to get more members to speak for us and through the National VFW.”

Selection for the 2016 award takes into consideration activities and membership from July 1 of last year through June 30 of this year.

“We give out scholarships, we also do community involvement activities, we donate to the preschool next door, and donate through the Marine Corp’s Toys For Tots. We have to be involved in such programs,” Yancey specified.

The award brings in an extra significance as it has been presented to a post with a predominantly Mexican-American membership located in a historically Mexican-American and Chicano neighborhood of San Diego.

“This is a Mexican-American, post and this particular post is one of the larger Mexican-American posts in the United States. We have a membership of close to 500 members here,” Yancey added.

In addition to the All-American award, the Don Diego VFW has also received two other VFW recognitions during the 2016 cycle. Post 7420 has been awarded the All-District award and the All-State award from the California VFW, for which Don Diego Commander Miguel Alatorre and Quartermaster Nicolas Christlaw have been presented with certificates of achievement. Don Diego’s VFW Auxiliary also satisfied all requirements for the All-State award as well.

“Our military background is so significant to who we are and earning these awards is huge to all of us. We are so proud of who we are and what he have done to be named All-District, All-State, and All-American,” said Don Diego member and Vietnam veteran John Crispin to La Prensa San Diego.

If you are a veteran that served in an overseas conflict, meet eligibility requirements, and are interested in joining Don Diego VFW Post 7420,  you can contact the post through their website or by calling (619) 239-5373.

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