Everyone has heard the name “VFW,” but many don’t really know exactly what it is, or even what the initials stand for. The Bunker Bar & Grill @ VFW Post 5923 is open to everyone in the community, but we have strong ties to the Camdenton VFW, so we’d like to share a little more about it for everyone to know and understand.

What Does VFW Mean?

First of all, the initials stand for “Veterans of Foreign Wars.” It is made up of the brave men and women that fought against oppression and tyranny in Europe, Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and more through the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. All of them have, at some point in their life, put the country’s way of life before their own lives and futures, and in many ways still do.

The post’s mission is: “to bring veterans together; to preserve and strengthen member camaraderie, to encourage patriotism to our youths, to assist the veteran in need, to honor our fallen brothers, sisters, and their families, to enable the young veteran family, to contribute to and support the Lake of the Ozarks community, all in a way that brings honor to our past, present and future members.”

The VFW’s motto is “No one does more for veterans.” Veterans not only love to serve, but feel an intense need to serve. Being a part of this organization allows them to do just that for both other veterans like themselves and the community that they live in. The VFW is involved in area schools and with scouts to foster patriotism and American values. They support veterans, current service members, deceased members, and their families in a variety of ways.

The Bunker Bar & Grill’s Place

Our recently opened bar & restaurant at the Lake of the Ozarks is not just a place for veterans to gather because we are located next door to VFW Post 5923, but it’s also a place for everyone in the lake area to gather, eat, drink, play, and get to know and understand each other better. Proceeds made here help to keep both our buildings and VFW Post 5923 open and running. We offer a smoke-free environment where people may come on their own, or groups can reserve our community room for meetings, parties, and other get-togethers. Our goal is to bring veterans and non-veterans together, strengthening the community that we all live in.

How You Can Help

With 2017 quickly coming to an end, many individuals and businesses are looking for places to make donations to so they can round out the tax deductions they will be taking. Since long before the Bunker Bar & Grill @ VFW Post 5923 opened its doors, great efforts were made to raise funds for the building project via online donations, event sponsorships, and grant proposals. We are still far short of reaching the amount needed to pay for this building, plus there are also the operating expenses to keep them open, and we now have a substantial mortgage to take care of.

If you or someone you know would like to donate to help lower the debt, it would be greatly appreciated. Tax letters can be prepared. We are a 501(c)19, but we can accept 501(c)3 donations via a VFW Foundation pass-through. Your tax professional can help you understand this in more detail. You can make donations online or send a check to: VFW Post 5923, PO Box 407, Camdenton, MO 65020. If you have questions, please contact Senior Vice Commander Keith Lucas at 314-809-4666.

Volunteers are always needed and welcome too. People are needed to help with Friday & Saturday night bingo, serve on event planning committees, perform maintenance on the buildings, help with community service projects, and much more. The next time that you visit the Bunker Bar & Grill in Camdenton for lunch, dinner, or Happy Hour, we’d be happy to put you in touch with someone that can help you to get involved with this amazing organization and the people that are a part of it.