“This VFW Post doesn't do a lot here to commemorate Veterans Day,” said Frank Gless, quartermaster and CFO for Post 5985, which serves some 300 to 400 members between the VFW and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 552, which both use the facility.
But Gless pointed out members at VFW Post 5985, which has existed since 1938 at 853 Turquoise St., are “usually in the (veterans) parade downtown, or are doing other things at Naval Base Coronado, which our guys enjoy.”
On its Facebook page, VFW Post 5985 notes that, for more than 80 years, the organization has “combined the laid-back San Diego beach mindset with good, old-fashioned values to provide a timeless location where our nation's veterans come together to relax, unwind and reminisce.”
Gless said conviviality is why members and friends keep coming back to Post 5985.
“It's a little bit rustic, but ours is a great place, and we have a lot of fun here,” said Gless. “People comment on how friendly the Post is. We get members transferring from other posts because they like the camaraderie here.”
Post 5985 has an on-the-spot veteran service officer who is eager to assist veterans with V.A. claims and/or issues. The post also has a rentable hall for private events, and multiple big screens to watch sporting events. There is a pool table available for patrons, and, during hot days, the air conditioning is always on and guests are welcome to come in an chill.
“We have a canteen,” said Gless. “We rent our meeting room out for parties for $150, which takes care of security.”
Gless said PB VFW Post 5985 has a licensed kitchen with low-cost meals served to the local community. “We have a $4 meal on Tuesday nights featuring items like lasagna or chili, as well as serving big breakfasts, a $7 meal every other Sunday, offering bacon, corned beef, biscuits and gravy, pancakes and fruit salad with all the trimmings, that usually draws 40 or 50 people.”
The Post's vision is to “ensure that veterans are respected for their service, always receive their earned entitlements, and are recognized for the sacrifices they and their loved ones have made on behalf of this great country.”
Core values of the VFW Post:
n Always put the interests of our members first;
n Treat donors as partners in our cause;
n Promote patriotism;
n Honor military service;
n Ensure the care of veterans and their families;
n Serve our communities;
n Promote a positive image of the VFW; and
n Respect the diversity of veteran opinions.
Gless pointed out the PB VFW Post annually sponsors Boy Scouts, as well as offering fellowships to local seventh- and eighth-grade students who qualify by writing essays on patriotism.
“Every year, around December or January, [Post 5985] picks our national scholars, our top seventh and eighth graders, who go on to compete for $2,000 to $3,000 in prizes, doing a speech rather than an essay, also on patriotism. Our future is the children of this world.”
But Gless noted the Post's main function is to “be of service to our veterans.”
On Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11 this year, many VFW Post 5985 veterans will be attending the annual Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial ceremony in La Jolla starting at 2 p.m. The event will feature keynote speaker Bonnie J. Dunbar, NASA astronaut, professor of aerospace engineering at Texas A&M, and former president/CEO of the Museum of Flight.
The Mt. Soledad Memorial Day ceremony includes music by Marine Band San Diego from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot and Marine Veteran Rocio Sanchez, and honors will be presented by the MCRD Color Guard and Rifle Team.
As in years past, an emotionally moving “Fly By” will be conducted by Air Group One of the Commemorative Air Force, and the San Diego Performance Team Aircraft, which will cross over the memorial following the keynote address, executing the traditional Missing Man formation.
Veterans Day attendees are encouraged to arrive early. Old Town Trolley will provide complimentary shuttle service to and from the memorial from nearby Mt. Soledad Presbyterian Church (6551 Soledad Mountain Road) and The French American School (6550 Soledad Mountain Road) parking lots.
VFW Post 5985
Where: 853 Turquoise St.
What: The Post serves some 300 to 400 members between the VFW and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 552, which both use the facility.