Man's petition sparks help from Tulsa VFW to keep historic military landmarks in Glenpool
GLENPOOL, Okla. (KTUL) -- Historic military landmarks all over the state are owned by the federal government but loaned to local VFWs to display and maintain.
When Glenpool's VFW closed in October, they were incorporated into Skiatook's VFW. This meant the military landmarks located at Black Gold Park in Glenpool off of Highway 75 had to move too.
Benjamin and Bressy Hopper's kids have played on the landmarks for years. As an Army Veteran he wants his kids to be surrounded by this type of history.
"It's important to pass things on like this to the next generation so they can understand what we have here in America and what we've had to do to secure our freedom," said Hopper.
When he heard there could be a possibility of moving them to Skiatook he said he had to take action.
"That struck something inside me," said Hopper. "I couldn't really deal too well with the thought of seeing these move to somewhere else."
He started an online petition to rally the community together. He clearly listed a solution.
"Appointing someone to be entrusted with taking care of these artifacts," he said. "I would volunteer myself if it was necessary."
This gained the attention of Joshua Starks, Commander of Tulsa VFW, Post 577.
"These older VFWs that used to be thriving in these small communities, that were epicenters for these communities are now slowly dying, for lack of a better word," he said. "The one here in Glenpool had three members in it, all over 80-years-old."
He made a deal. The Post would take possession of the landmarks until Glenpool could re-establish a VFW to maintain them.
"Anything we can do to help make sure this stays for the Glenpool citizens is really our mission," said Starks.
Hopper said he is looking forward to being a part of the team responsible for taking care of these landmarks for future generations to enjoy. He is currently looking for other people to join him in reviving Glenpool's VFW.
"This is about history and I was not about to stand by and let history be changed for what we felt was not the better," Hopper said.
Starks said Tulsa's VFW will maintain the landmarks until Glenpool's community has at least five people willing to reestablish a VFW.