The Story of Dana Point VFW Post 9934
“Is To Provide Support For Veterans, Active Duty Military, And Their Families”
The Veterans of Foreign Wars, District 2 in Orange County, originally formed Posts as early as 1946 in San Clemente, Laguna Beach, San Juan Capistrano, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and other locations. These were in existence for many years; however, as new cities formed in South Orange County, there was a need to develop additional Post locations.
A VFW expansion team researched locations where Veterans resided, and who were members of the National VFW, but did not have an affiliation with a local Post. This research yielded a high number of households in the South Orange County, and in particular the Dana Point area who displayed flags and other patriotic symbols. In time, Dana Point met the criteria, and was selected as a location for a new Post. 30 Veterans signed up to become charter members; on February 25, 1995, Post 9934 was officially issued a charter by the National VFW organization.
9934 has since grown to become the largest Post in Orange County and the Inland Empire; even though the City of Dana Point is the one of the smallest in the area. Over the years, our Post has attracted members from the entire South Costal Orange County region; as well as Active Duty Marine and Navy Military personal from nearby Camp Pendleton.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars and other Veteran service Organizations saw their major growth after World War II. As the numbers of this core group began to decline as a result of old age taking its inevitable toll, the efforts to recruit new members was not maintained. However, Post 9934 embarked on a recruitment drive targeting Korean and Vietnam era Veterans, so as to stimulate an interest in becoming a part of an organized Veteran Community. During recent years, our Post’s membership has not only maintained, but experienced a significant growth due to the enrollment of younger members who served our country in hostile combat regions worldwide.
One of the premiere undertakings that our Post engages in is to have our Corps of Service Officers assist Veterans and their family members, apply for their benefits with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Our Service Officers undergo regular training, so as to keep up to date with changing VA policies and procedures. We are proud of the fact that we have assisted literally thousands of Veterans successfully submit and receive claim awards. We have dubbed our Service Officers “The 100 Percenters”, as a result of not only their success with almost all claims, but additionally the number of Veterans who received a 100% disability benefit rating from the VA.
In addition, Post 9934 provides emergency financial assistance to Veterans and Active Duty Military. We particularly focus on those who have become homeless or are in peril of becoming homeless. This is accomplished by paying past due rent, mortgage, utilities, vehicle repair and other necessary expenses. Furthermore, we belong to, and partner with, several other service provider organizations to assist Veterans with job training, resume preparation, interview tuition, and even the proper wardrobes to work in.
Our Post members regularly provide volunteer work at the Long Beach VA Medical Center, as well as local VA Clinics. We focus on wards that care for blind and paralyzed Veterans by sponsoring a variety of activities such as monthly bingo games and live entertainment. During holiday times we visit with each patient and deliver handmade greeting cards as well as comfort items donated by our Auxiliary and other members of our community. In addition, we financially support the Fisher House, which provides on campus housing and meals for family members who are visiting patients undergoing treatment at the VA Hospital.
Dana Point VFW Post 9934 provides annual financing for the VFW National Home For Children, located in Eaton Rapids, Michigan. The VFW National Home for Children was founded in 1925 as a place where families left behind by war could remain together; keeping the family circle intact even when their serviceman didn’t come home. Today’s military and veteran families face different challenges — reintegration, post-traumatic stress, high unemployment and rehabilitation from battlefield injuries, among others — and the National Home has evolved over its decades-long history to meet those changing needs. The Home offers case management services to help families establish their plans for the future and set goals, education, recreational, and enrichment opportunities for parents and their children, as well as free housing and daycare. Community resources and counseling is provided as needed.
We provide a Post Honor Guard to perform at funerals and other public events.
At its inception, Post 9934 became an active partner with the City of Dana Point and its community members. Our members joined the committee that organized the first Festival of the Whales Parade and partnered with the Marines from Camp Pendleton. On two occasions we sponsored the Traveling Vietnam Wall which was displayed in our City Park.
Each year VFW Post 9934 organizes and presents formal programs on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. These events feature keynote speakers from our Military, Local Civic, County, and State Officials. We provide musicians and vocalists to enhance the patriotic reverence that we have for the hero’s in the Military whom have served our Nation.
Our Post was instrumental in constructing a Veteran’s Memorial at Strands Vista Park, overlooking the majestic Pacific Ocean. Displayed at this Memorial, are bronze plaques commemorating the names of local Veterans who have passed.
The founders of our Post launched an initiative to designate the portion of Pacific Coast Highway that runs through Dana Point as the “Korean War Veteran’s Memorial Highway”.
Additional programs that we cosponsor are:
- Concerts in the Park Series
- Winter Festival
- National Night Out for First Responders
- Community Halloween Parties
- New Year’s Eve Senior Citizen Parties
- Dana Hills High School “Honor the Valor” football game
- Saddleback College Veteran Service Expo
- Scholarships for Saddleback College student Veterans
- “Veteran’s in the Classroom” programs at our local schools
- Homeless Veteran “Stand down”
- American Cancer Society “Relay for Life”
- Dana Point Auto Show
Each year, Post 9934 participates in a wide range of programs promoted by our National Organization.
- High School “Voice of Democracy” speech contest
- Middle School “Patriot’s Pen” essay contest
- Teacher of the Year recognition for elementary, middle, and high school educators
- Scouting award
As a participant in the National VFW Military Assistant Adopt- A-Unit program, Post 9934 has adopted Marine Aircraft Group 39 and the Navy 1st Medical Battalion located at Camp Pendleton. Our outreach includes support for many welfare and recreational activities; as well as providing gift packages to units who have deployed overseas. In turn, these troops have partnered with us in various community programs which we sponsor.
As a result of the extraordinary efforts that our 550 members put forth over the past 25 years, VFW Post 9934 has continually been the recipient of numerous awards.
- 9 times prestigious “All American Post” award
- 14 times “All State Post” award
- 11 times “Best of the Best” award for military assistance
- Numerous proclamations from Local, County, State, and National legislators.
Needless to say, the vast array of outreach and activities that our Post participates in requires much financial support. We are grateful for the generosity of our City and members of our community who have a willingness to help us finance these projects.
Please go to our DONATE page for an opportunity to contributee to various fund activities.
We are grateful to all who have made VFW Post 9934 one of the premier Veteran support organizations in our Nation!