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   Article for Veterans of Foreign Wars

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Learn a New Skill & Increase Post membership

by Mark Persons
VFW Gopher Oversea'r
Oct. 2020 - Jan. 2021

Everyone will agree that COVID-19 has dealt our Posts, Districts and even the Department some serious blows. Post homes have had to shutter the doors. Posts and Districts have had to conduct virtual meetings. Social events have been shut down. VFW members have been testing positive for COVID-19 and have even been hospitalized because of it.

The whole concept of membership drives has been slammed and slammed hard. Things are looking pretty bleak. One can sense apathy in some corners of the State of Minnesota. It’s time that “we” do something about it. How, might you ask, can we do that? Learn how to build a Post website. Our posts need new members. They are the life blood of each post. Without new members, a post is doomed to wither and die. A good way that our posts can reach out and be “found” by new members is through a website or through social media.

One of the best examples of a post website is the winner of the MN Department’s 2020 Social Media Site competition. Take a few minutes and visit the Brainerd VFW website at and you will see what I am talking about. What is a bit unique about this website is that it was created by a post member who had no training in website design. Mark Persons just wanted to tell the story of the Brainerd Post in a positive way.

Anyone doing a Google search could discover the site, visit it and see what the post is like. Mark has been working on this site for the past five years. It did not happen overnight. He started out with a small simple site and it grew as his knowledge of web design grew. You might think that Mark is some sort of internet geek. Far from the truth.

Mark started on developing the website when he was 68 years old. It sort of negates the saying that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Mark says that he currently spends between one and four hours a week updating and improving the website. According to Mark, ”A post website needs to be current and informative. Outdated information gives a black eye to the organization.” Whether your post pays someone to develop the general structure of the website or a volunteer does it, the information cannot become dated.

The National VFW has a Website Solution Program to help posts develop a website with a minimum of effort. Visit for details. Mark also says “The younger crowd doesn’t look in a phone book to find a post. They Google using their smart phones. If your post is not on the web, then likely they won’t find you. Worst yet, they might think you do not exist.” A post website is needed to attract new members and maintain credibility in the community.

Mark has written an extensive article titled “Writing and Maintaining a VFW Post Website.” The following are some tips gleaned from his article. The complete article can be found at If Mark Persons can build a website with just a bit of trainnig, so can you.

Mark Persons was Sergeant in Charge of an avionics repair shop in Vietnam and has been a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization since his return in 1969.  His website is

This is a reprint of the article which appeared in the online version at:

     Questions?  Email Mark Persons:       

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