TEMPLE, Texas — The Temple Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1820 (VFW) is planning on a re-grand opening to help bring in new patrons while making sure the regulars feel right at home.
Veterans have been disappointed with how the organization has ran in the past, but the VFW hopes to change this as one if its members took to Facebook for the community's input.
"I haven't been excited in a long time and I've been the commander for the last four years," Post Commander Jimmy R. Douglas said. "When I got here and I looked at the place, the first thing I said is, this is a diamond in the rough. It's going to come to fruition now. We're going to shine. We're going to make this community proud that we're part of this."
After the VFW asked for feedback on Facebook, some local veterans say the VFW has let them down in the past.
Loscar Maldy on Facebook said, "As a veteran who use to be a member years ago, 1820 has let their veterans down. Recent years it has opened as a regular bar to the public. With no incentives towards veterans."
Some even say they feel out of place.
Chris Dunovant responds to Maldy and says, "Absolutely agree 100%. My wife and I were members a few years ago and saw it as you did. Like why should I as a combat vet make a point to go there when it's basically the same as any other place. I honestly felt outta place there and it's supposed to be about us!"
Others are ready for the organization to open back up and have a variety of suggestions.
Melinda Stanton says, "When is the grand opening? I want to come out to support? I love when you have DJ in there. It is great. I love to dance. It is close to my house. They should have some performers come. Concerts will be nice. Let's make this VFW rock. This will bring the crowd in."
Douglas says he hopes the veteran community will give them another chance.
"First of all, we're going to stand firm as the Veterans of Foreign Wars," Douglas said. "We'll take care of the veterans as far as the benefits, some of the needs they may have and include the community as part of this."
Along with redoing their canteen area, with the big focus being on family.
"We've got more than just a canteen that serves alcohol," Douglas said. "We want to have a place for veterans and their families can meet and feel comfortable."
There also will be concerts, fundraisers, food trucks and car shows.
"The biggest thing is I am so excited," Douglas said. "I haven't been excited for a long time, but I've got a staff. I've got some people that have reenergized me to say, things are going to be better."
The VFW Post says they hope the official grand opening will be in the second week of February.
6 News will make sure to follow-up with this story as the grand opening approaches and share any updates we may have.