HAMPTON, Va. - American Legion Post 67 didn't just survive the pandemic - it thrived, thanks in part to Commander Tony Parker.
Parker, a 21-year Air Force veteran, was able to grow their membership from 145 before the pandemic, to now topping 175.
“We try to provide a comfortable area for veterans to come and share their stories," Parker said. "We’ve got veterans who have traveled all over the world from wars all the way back to the Korean War up until now.”
Monday, fallen service members were honored in a Memorial Day service. Nearly 70 names were read, a bell being rung between each, and the ceremony concluded with TAPS.
“We don’t want it to be a sad time; we want it to be a happy time where we remember them and we talk about them and as we call their names," Parker said. "We want people to say, 'I knew that person. I knew that person this way; I knew that person that way. You know, we were friends.'"
Parker said the post focuses on supporting fellow veterans, as well as community outreach.
“Some veterans didn’t come back from the war, and when they didn’t get back from the war, there was kids left and what we try to do is we try to pick up the pieces and provide for those kids that were left behind,” Parker said.
The American Legion Post 67 is always looking for more Hampton Roads veterans to join their ranks. More information can be found here.