Alta VFW Post #6172 to celebrate 66th anniv.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

It was back in 1946 that a group of young men, who had recently returned to Alta from serving their country during World War II, organized the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #6172.

Rolly Roberts, one of the charter members, still recalls all the hard work that many guys in the community - namely Roy Post and Morris Peterson - put in to get the group together.

"It was a big task to get it off the ground," Roberts said. "Everything was new to us and we had to guess on what to do."

The organization whose purpose is to support American veterans also devotes a great deal of time volunteering in the community. The Alta members have since 1948 hosted a Memorial Day service for the public to attend. The group has always been highly regarded throughout the community, as they should. Over the years the members have made their appearances in many, many parades and presented programs at the schools.

Roberts shared that for many years the VFW met in the basement of the Roxy Theatre; for the past many years they meet monthly at the Alta Community Building.

He also shared that in the beginning, the group worked hard to think of creative ways to raise money to purchase necessary items for the organization. Picking up fallen corn from a field provided dollars for the group as did raffle tickets which included prizes of an International Harvester tractor from the local IH dealer and beef from the owner of the Alta butcher shop.

Thos first funds were used to purchase uniforms and hats for the members and to purchase many flags which could be displayed in the community.

As he recalled, the Ladies Auxiliary was formed a few years later than the VFW's organization.

Alta's Ladies Auxiliary is very busy and get the word out about patriotism as often as the can. They currently sponsor essay and art contests for youth, select and reward a local youth volunteer each year and present flags to the kindergarten class.

Roberts served as the commander of the Alta VFW from 1949-50 and also held other offices with the local group. A Navy veteran, he makes time to attend the monthly meetings, saying, "I hardly ever miss."

That patriotism runs deep with Roberts. He and his five brothers - Cliff, Guy, Clovis, Roy and Herb - all served during WWII.

"Having military organizations is important for our country, it's important as a whole, and gives people the opportunity to recognize those that have served their country. I will always be patriotic. That means a lot to me."