WELCOME TO VFW POST 4031

Teamwork ~ Leadership ~ Commitment. Veterans Helping Veterans.
As yesterday's defenders of freedom, we, at VFW Post 4031, want to welcome today's military service members into our ranks and become part of our elite group.  Our common bond is the battlefield, whether it is service in the Persian Gulf, Vietnam, Korea, Kosovo, the war on terrorism or peace-keeping expeditionary campaigns. Your courage and sacrifice have made a difference in preserving and defending world peace. We are dedicated to support of our most important National Asset.... our veterans. Please join us and contribute to our efforts to support our local veterans and their families. We are Veterans helping Veterans.

Sponsor - Durango Silverton Train

The Durango Silverton train is America's number one historic train. The Durango Train loves veterans and is proud to sponsor VFW Post 4031's Web Site.
 

Train History 

Durango was founded by the Denver & Rio Grande Railway in 1880. The railroad arrived in Durango on August 5, 1881 and construction on the line to Silverton began in the fall of the same year.

Durango was founded by the Denver & Rio Grande Railway in 1880. The railroad arrived in Durango on August 5, 1881 and construction on the line to Silverton began in the fall of the same year. By July of 1882, the tracks to Silverton were completed and the train began hauling both passengers and freight.

From the very beginning, the railroad was promoted as a scenic route for passenger service although the line was constructed primarily to haul mine ores, both gold and silver, from the San Juan Mountains. It is estimated over $300 million in precious metals has been transported over this route.

By 1885 the population of Silverton had grown to 1100 and Otto Mears completed the toll road to Ouray and additional narrow gauge track out of Silverton was laid down in 1887. In 1893, 10 large mines in the Silverton district were forced to close when silver prices dropped from $1.05/oz to $.63/oz. Just three years later the Yankee Girl and Guston Mines played out. In Durango, the fire of 1889 virtually destroyed downtown and the first automobile arrived by train in 1902. By 1906, Mesa Verde was designated a National Park, increasing the potential for tourism promotions.

Throughout the next twenty years the railroad faced many challenges; slides, floods, snow, war and financial instability. When the US Government entered WW I, it assumed operation of the railroad. Shortly after resuming control of railroad operations, the D&RGW reorganized due to financial difficulties. Silverton suffered devastating effects from the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918 – 10 percent of the population died in just six weeks! In addition, the Gold King Mine closed, the Sunnyside Mine temporarily ceased operations for almost ten years and the Silverton Railroad closed.

With the advent of WW II, the US Government requisitioned narrow gauge equipment to use in Alaska and the smelter in Durango reopened to process uranium for use in the war. The smelter continued to process uranium instead of silver into the late 1940’s due to the Cold War. By 1947 the Silverton branch was in danger of being abandoned. A determined staff stepped in and helped to promote tourism keeping the line alive. Then Hollywood discovered Durango and the railroad. Over the next ten years several movies were filmed in the area showcasing the train: Ticket to Tomahawk, Across the Wide Missouri, Denver & Rio Grande, Viva Zapata and Around the World in 80 Days.

During the latter part of the 1960s, the Durango-Silverton was registered as a National Historic Landmark and was awarded as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. In 1969 the D&RGW abandoned the tracks south of Durango isolating the line and leaving the future of the line in question. Hollywood continued its fascination with the area and the railroad with the filming of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. As the railroad prepared to celebrate its 100th birthday, Charles E. Bradshaw, Jr. purchased the Silverton branch and with the restoration process complete, engine #481 returned to service after 20 years in retirement.

Throughout the 1980s, the D&SNGRR continued to build on the scenic tourist railroad industry. Engines and coaches began to be weatherized for winter use; a third train to Silverton was added to the schedule along with an alternative fourth train to Cascade Canyon Wye; major track reconstruction occurred as nearly ten thousand ties were replaced. Locomotives #497 and #480 were restored and returned to service, the #497 being the only K-37 to run on the line and the innovative RailCamp was built for use in the summer. In 1985 the D&SNGRR purchased the Silverton Depot, returning it to service. By 1986 there were four trains running to Silverton with a fifth running to Cascade Canyon Wye!

Today the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad continues to provide year-round train service, operating a historical train with rolling stock indigenous to the line. The locomotives used to pull today’s train remain 100% coal-fired, steam-operated. The locomotives are 1923-25 vintage and are maintained in original condition. The coaches each feature bathroom facilities and are heated during the winter months for passenger comfort. Open gondola cars provide a panoramic view of the mountains. Concessions are available on every train. The Durango & Silverton is owned and operated by American Heritage Railways.

 

 





Wrangler Shirts Now On Sale

New Store Products

These are wonderful rodeo weight shirts that come in Men's and Women's sizes. These shirts come in both a white style and a red style. The shirts are true to size. This is a one time offer as these will not be replaced. The shirts are brand new and are being offered at 66% off retail price. This is a great offer.

VFW Membership is Special

Join, Renew, or Transfer our Membership

We at VFW Post 4031 honor each of our members. We encourage you to join, renew, or transfer your membership to VFW Post 4031. By joining or continuing your membership you are making a statement that you support your fellow veterans in La Plata County. The linked page also allows you to download an application, a membership form, or to renew your membership by credit card. If you have questions please contact us at any time.

Sponsor a US Flag

Sponsor a Replacement US Flag for Downtown Display

VFW Post 4031 maintains a set of 56 US Flags which are designed to be displayed along Historic Main Avenue on Patriotic Holidays including Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Veterans Day. Our Flags are 40m years old and ready to  be retired. Help us by Sponsoring a replacement US Flag(s).

Hall Rental

Rent One of Our Halls for Your Event

VFW Post 4031 offers rental of one or more of our facilities for your event. The link here will send you to our webpage describing our Hall Rental Opportunities and where you can also download our brochure.

Announcements

    Updated June 16th, 2024
 
These Are The Latest Things Happening as the Post

 
 The updated June Calendar is available. Click here to go to the Calendar.


 Fencing Summer Camp
The Four Corners Fencing Club will hold a Fencing Summer Camp For three days between July 9th and 11th. The Fencing Camp will be held starting at 1PM and ending at 5PM. Chris Bartlett is the Point of Contact and can be reached at durangofencing@gmail.com or at (512) 743-5820. Click on the thumbnail below to see a full sized version of the flyer.

 
 

 

 New Product! The VFW Store Now Has Wrangler Patriot Nation Polo Shirts For Sale. Buy Now!

FREE SHIPPING!

The VFW Post 4031 Store has received a generous donation of a lot of White Wrangler Patriot Nation Polo Shirts. The Polos are very nice shirts at an unbelievable price of $15.00. The Polos are ideal for outdoor activities now that warmer weather has arrived. Click on the pictures below to go to the On-Line Store.

 
White Wrangler Polo Shirt
$15.00
 
White Wrangler Polo Logo
$15.00
 
White Wrangler Polo Tag
$15.00
 


 
New Product! The VFW Store Now Has Wrangler Patriot Shirts For Sale. Buy Now! FREE SHIPPING!
The VFW Post 4031 Store has received a donation of lots of White Shirt and Red Shirt Wrangler Brand Patriot apparel. These are brand new heavy rodeo weight shirts that are available at more than one half of retail price. This is a one time really good deal and when these are sold there will be no more. The Men's Shirts feature conventional buttons while the Women's have snap fasteners. The proceeds from the sale of these offering will be split between the Store and our Honor Guard. Click on one of the photos below to go to the On-Line Store to purchase these shirts. We are offering FREE Shipping on these shirts. Click on the pictures below to go to the On-Line Store.

 
     
 Mens White Shirt, $20.00  Mens Red Shirt, $20.00  Womens White Shirt, $20.00  Womens Red Shirt, $20.00
 


 
I Want to Sponsor a US Flag for Downtown Durango
VFW Post 4031 maintains a set of 56 US Flags and Flag Poles which are designed to be displayed along Historic Main Avenue on Patriotic Holidays including Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Veterans Day. Our flags are nearly 40 years old and ready to be retired. Help us replace them by sponsoring a US flag and pole. The images below show the flyer for the event, the Flag order form, and the QR to purchase a Flag.  Click on the thumbnails below to see the full size image. Click on the Sponsor a Flag link below to go to our sponsorship Page and pay by credit card. Sponsor a Flag.

 
 
On Line Store News: The VFW Post 4031 On-Line Store is now offering both short sleeve and long sleeve RED Shirt Friday Shirts. See the promotion banner above. We have a large number of both men's and ladies' shirts now with more coming soon. Join all those who have purchased their RED Shirts and Support Our Troops. Wear your RED Shirt proudly. You can order using this website's On-Line Store or by downloading, filling out, and submitting a Red Shirt order Form. Orders are being accepted now. Click on the thumbnail below to see the Red Shirt Flyer.

 RED Shirt Flyer

Click on the thumbnail below to download one of the VFW Post 4031 Red Shirt Order Forms.

   
 
 
The VFW Colorado Departmental quarterly newsletters are available under our News Heading.  You can see the latest Departmental Newsletter by clicking the following link. Colorado VFW May 2024 Newsletter.
 

VFW Post 4031 has added a Suggestion Box to our website. We welcome your suggestions on how to improve your Post. You can find the suggestion box on the News  top menu and then scroll down.  We will use these suggestions to improve our ability to better serve our La Plata County Veterans. You can also click on the icon below to go to the Suggestion Box.
 

We Need Volunteers!
The lifeblood of VFW Post 4031 are its volunteers. Without our volunteers we cannot accomplish our mission to support veterans. The following is a list of things for which we need volunteers to help us.
  1. Color Guard/Honor Guard Members
  2. Members of the Public Relations Committee
  3. On Line Store Support staff
If you are interested in volunteering for one of these jobs please E-Mail Jeff Punches by clicking on the icon below.
 
 
Thank You Sponsors!!
In June 2022 the Post first ran an Advertising and Sponsorship Drive. As a result of that drive and following years, the following sponsors are helping VFW Post 4031 achieve its goal.

Sponsors who have sponsored us three years
Dalton Ranch Golf Club
Star Liquors
Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
A&L Coors
Sponsors who have sponsored us two years.
Wells Group
Serious Texas BBQ
La Plata County Republicans
The Southwest Community Foundation
New Sponsors
Kroegers
Site Development Solutions
The Strater
     Veterans Benefit Breakfast
The Veterans Benefit Breakfast is one of the most important events that VFW Post 4031 undertakes. The proceeds from these breakfasts directly support veterans in need. The next Veterans Benefit Breakfast will be a Father’s Day Brunch and will be held on Sunday June 16th between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Great food and the public is welcome. For more information about our Veterans Relief Program and to see a flyer for how to sponsor a breakfast click the link here. Here is a link to our Veterans Benefit Breakfast Page. Click on the thumbnail below to see a large version of the Veterans Benefit Breakfast Flyer.

 

 The next Veterans Relief Committee Monthly Meeting will be held on Monday June 17th at 5:30 PM.

 
 Veterans Relief Committee News
The Veterans Relief Committee has disbursed more than $20,000.00 in 2022 and more than $2,500.00 in 2023 to help needy La Plata County veterans.  For more information about Veterans Relief click here.

Future Planned Events
Veterans Relief Committee events in the upcoming months include the following: A Father's Day Brunch on June 16th between 9AM and 1PM  Remember the VRC always holds a Veterans Benefit Breakfast on the first and third Sundays of each month. Click on the thumbnails below to see the large versions of the flyers for the breakfast and brunch.

 

 
Events/Public Relations Committee
The next Events/ Public Relations Committee Monthly Meeting will be held June 11th at 1:00PM. The Events/PRC meeting will normally be held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. 
 

Public Relations Committee News
The PRC is planning a number of events in the coming months including a continuous Red Shirt Friday Shirt On-Line Store sale, and publishing a Joint Post and Auxiliary Newsletter approximately July 1st, 2024 (time flies!). As always the PRC welcomes all members to seek new members for the Post and the Auxiliary. Ask Jeff Punches how you can help. Contact Jeff at (503) 961-3201.
 

The Post 4031 final April 2024 Post Meeting Minutes and previous months minutes as well as the Draft May 2024 Post Minutes are available for reading on the Members Only page. Additionally all the Public Relations Committee Minutes are always available for reading. The Events Committee Minutes are now on the Members Only Page. Go to the Log In button at the right of the menu above, click on Members Only and then log in.

News & Events

Upcoming events

Click above to view events.

View Local, State and National events. 

Membership

Membership Details

As yesterday's defenders of freedom...

 ...we want to welcome today's military service members into our ranks to become part of our elite group.

WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, Kosovo, War in Afghanistan, War in Iraq, War on Global Terror and other Peace-Keeping Expeditionary Campaigns throughout the globe.

Assistance & Benefits

Assistance & Benefits

The Veterans of Foreign Wars is dedicated

 to supporting those who sacrifice so much for this country, veterans, service members in the US Armed Forces, and their families and continues to be a voice for returning and currently deployed service members and their families.

Post News

Important Info for Post4031 Members

VFW Post 4031 Has New Officers

VFW Post 4031 has a new set of interim officers. These officers will serve until elections are held and the newly elected officers are installed.

VFW Post Announces Youth Scholarship Winners

At the Veterans Benefit Breakfast held on December 3rd, VFW Post 4031 awarded checks to this year's Youth Scholarship Winners.

National News

Important info from National VFW

Happy Birthday Army ... and to the Flag You Carry

WASHINGTON - On June 14, The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) joins in with our grateful nation in celebrating the birthday of the U...

New Study Links Cancers to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

A study published in January found an increased risk for cancers among troops and civilian contractors stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune ...

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OUR MISSION

 Updated November 15th, 2023
 
National VFW Mission Statement

That the purpose of this Corporation shall be fraternal, patriotic, historical, charitable, and educational; to preserve and strengthen comradeship among its members; to assist worthy comrades; to perpetuate the memory and history of our dead; and to assist their widows and orphans; to maintain true allegiance to the Government of the United States of America, and fidelity to its Constitution and laws; to foster true patriotism; to maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom, and to preserve and defend the United States from all her enemies.
 
VFW Post 4031 Mission Statement
 
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is a nonprofit veteran service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, guard, and reserve forces. The mission of the VFW is to foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts; to serve our veterans, the military and our community: and to advocate on behalf of all veterans.

Click the button below to become an Advertiser/Sponsor of VFW Post 4031
 
Click the Button Below to Sponsor one of VFW Post 4031's Events
 
 

 
 
 

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IN-COUNTRY

A satirical reflection by Author/Artist Phil Fehrenbacher

Phil enlisted in the Army in 1965 where you served for years in Vietnam.  He became a graphic designer and has worked for the state of Oregon for 26 years.  He retired in 2003 and started the Cartoon "In-Country".  The cartoons reflect his experiences during his tour of duty in South Vietnam.


There is a new cartoon everyday.

JOIN THE VFW

Join us as brothers and sisters of America to preserve the rights of veterans and support each other as only those who share in the camaraderie forged by conflict can. 

DONATE TO VFW POST 4031

Our programs support our service members while they are on the front line, as they are being discharged and long after they return. Your tax-deductible donation will be immediately directed to the VFW programs where your support is most urgently needed.

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