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Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1820 gets back on its feet

Co-event coordinator Chris Krueger is planning a spring market vendors and food truck festival on May 13 for all families.

TEMPLE, Texas — The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1820 (VFW) is making some changes for the public on 3302 Airport Rd in Temple, TX. They started renovations in January and are almost ready for their re-grand opening ceremony. 

Veterans helped spark the VFW revamp because they were disappointed with how the organization has been run in the past. 

Chris Krueger, co-event coordinator, is ready to take on the challenge. He is striving to bring people back in with his renovations. 

"We tried to take anything that was bar related and just moved it up to make our walls that are down where everybody can see them about the organization and different branches of the military," Krueger said.

Krueger says the canteen area got a face lift with lights and additional seating that's handicap accessible. The draft system is back in and gaming machines have been moved around to make them accessible for every customer.

The best part - the VFW is partnering up with the local soul food restaurant, PJ's Tabletop. The restaurant originally started in downtown Temple in 2020.

"I started cooking when I was younger," co-owner of PJ's Tabletop, Paula Jackson, said. "Once I became a parent, then I really started taking on the passion for cooking."

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and serves all the fan favorites from cornbread to meatloaf to mac and cheese. To check out their options, visit their Facebook page.

The VFW plans to hold their re-grand opening ceremony on April 1. Bell Post 1820 Post Commander Jimmy Douglas says he's more excited than ever. 

"If anything develops sooner than that, trust me," Douglas said. "Everyone will know." 

They hope to bring in new people while making sure the regulars feel at home. 

"We're not just a bar," Douglas said. "We're a place for veterans to come to feel comfortable."

Krueger says the biggest goal is to create a family friendly environment.

"One of the things we're trying to do is change that image that we're not just about alcohol," Krueger said. "We're trying to put together family nights, have movie nights, movies under the stars, try to have a few more workshops for veterans and their families or even the community to learn more about what veterans are entitled to."

For Douglas, his goal is for more people to join. 

"We represent the veterans and the military community as far as passing legislations, as far as getting benefits to ensure that we have a voice to Congress," Douglas said. "The more we have, the bigger voice."

Now they need help and support from Central Texans. The Bell Post 1820 is inviting the public to the spring market vendors and food truck festival on Saturday, May 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on 3302 Airport Rd in Temple, TX. 

They have over 40 applicants for spring market vendors, but they are still looking to find some food trucks. To help out, call 254-368-3121.

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