Killeen’s American Veterans Post 91 was selected as Post of the Year June 20-22 at the 68th AMVETS State Convention in Tyler.
Commander David McClure, of Harker Heights, accepted the award.
“With so many other organizations, our focus is to fill in the gap or void to support the local community,” McClure said.
With membership fluctuating and no physical building, McClure said the organization’s main source of funding to give back is through bingo games.
According to data from the national AMVETS office, Post 91 provided 39.1 percent of funding for Texas’ AMVETS projects.
To earn the Post of the Year recognition, the local post’s contributions were factored in with hours volunteered for projects converted to a dollar amount.
At last count, 130,000 total hours were put in, McClure said.
McClure said the post contributed to area Boys & Girls Clubs, Killeen Independent School District’s and Copperas Cove ISD’s JROTC programs and Military Order of World Wars scholarships for JROTC cadets to attend a leadership camp at Central Texas College.
They also sponsored the Americanism and AMVETS Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse poster and essay contest through the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas that resulted in 26 winners at the state level representing 14 schools.
Through AMVETS, medals and certificates were presented to nine JROTC cadets in Copperas Cove, Killeen, Belton, Temple and Round Rock, in addition to four awards going to the ROTC programs at Central Texas College, Texas A&M University-Central Texas, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and Tarleton State University.
“We’ve had a focus on supporting our local youth,” McClure said.
The local post also held a blood drive in Lampasas that collected 73 pints of blood and made a donation to AMVETS Post 19 in Waco for flags at a local cemetery.
Each of the state’s AMVETS posts also made contributions for funding of veterans’ cemeteries, which Post No. 91 made about $30,000 in contributions to.
McClure said the next task for the local post is a membership drive through July.
“The goal is to have younger veterans join to keep the organization going,” he said.
Any active-duty or former military veteran of any branch of service, including National Guard and Reserves, is encouraged to join.