On January 9, 1944, a group of veterans came together to create a Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Naperville.
In the 75 years since that day, the post has grown from 31 members to over 700 former servicemen and women.
“We’ve been here for many, many years and we’re ingrained in Naperville and huge support from this community,” said Nina Petru, a past commander of VFW Post 3873. “It’s a very proud post and a very supportive community.”
But that isn’t all they’re celebrating.
“We actually have a unique opportunity, we get to celebrate two things,” said Tom Parker, another past commander of the post. “First being the 75th anniversary of the charter of the post and the second thing is the 100th anniversary of the death of the namesake of the post.”
Judd Kendall was an army engineer from Naperville who was killed during the First World War. He was captured and tortured, but refused to give up critical intelligence to the enemy.
The founders of Post 3873 knew there was no better name to honor their organization dedicated to veterans. And they continue that tradition today.
“Seventy-five years ago, I’m not sure what it was like,” said Parker. “More recently what the VFW has become is multifaceted. It exists to help veterans and support veteran causes, but also, especially here in Naperville, what I see this post doing is were very active in the community in promoting patriotism as well.”
Celebrating 75 years of service and a heroic namesake.
To commemorate the anniversaries, the VFW held a military-style “dining out.” In attendance was a serving member of the army’s first division – the same division in which Judd Kendall served 100 years ago.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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