A salute to Villalobos

Published 11:31 am Wednesday, August 2, 2017

When I covered events over Memorial Day weekend this year, I gained some insight into the important services that Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) posts provide veterans and communities. I met with representatives of VFW posts 9954, 7059 and 8902, and they all conveyed and promoted a deep respect for those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom while also underscoring the immense need to properly care for those who made it back home.

Gus Villalobos has dedicated himself to the proper care of these individuals, and for his successful efforts, he recently achieved All-American status, as was detailed in a story by Dispatch staff reporter Emily Hollingsworth.

A resident of Victoria since 1990, Villalobos is the District 4 Commander of the VFW, and he is one of 64 command leaders worldwide to attain the All-American title.

“I (got) the award because I happen to be the District Commander,” Villalobos said. “But you need the support of your post. And I got the support from my post, all of them.”

The 84-year-old Korean War veteran is a member of the Lunenburg VFW Post 9954, which is headquartered in Victoria.

According to a release from the VFW, district commanders qualify for the All-American status after meeting strict requirements in their leadership roles, including achieving significant membership growth and supporting VFW core programs.

I remember hearing some VFW Post 8902 representatives on Memorial Day mourning the lack of actively participating members at their post. This trend presents a major challenge to those trying to help veterans.

Presented with this knowledge, I find it especially commendable that Villalobos has been able to achieve significant membership growth in his district, which should help foster more active participation. Hopefully, this positive momentum will spread to other districts and posts.

I salute Villalobos, both for his decades of service in the U.S. Navy and for his continued service to veterans in the community.

Titus Mohler is sports editor for The K-V Dispatch. His email address is Titus.Mohler@KVDispatch.com.