WELCOME TO VFW POST 4031

Teamwork ~ Leadership ~ Commitment
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.

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.

 

 





Announcements

These Are The Latest Things Happening Around the Post
 
 
Find the Firecracker Website Contest.
The VFW Post 4031 website is holding a contest to find a clip art image of a Firecracker hidden somewhere in the website. The firecracker looks like the image above. If you find the firecracker you will be directed to send an email to the Post webmaster who will then put you on the Hall of Fame. Good luck in your search!!
The Find the Firecracker Hall of Fame
First - Kim Dickinson
 
 
 
 
Durango's Adaptive Sports Association offers several events this summer which are free to Veterans with a disability rating. These events include the following: July 15th - Animas Rafting, August 19th - Local Fishing, September 1 - Local Canoeing, September 9th - 11th - Moab Rafting and Camping. Here is a link to the activity Flyer. 

 

40 Minute Yoga Classes available
Matthew Sommerville is making a series of video yoga classes entitled "Veterans Strength, Ease and Breath Exercise Class". The lessons are available under the Resources section of this website. Here is a link to the Veterans Yoga Page.

 
 
    Youth Scholarship Programs
National VFW has announced this year's Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen subjects for this year. The Voice of Democracy Contest is for High School Students. The subject of the audio-essay is "Why is the Veteran Important". Here is a link to our Voice of Democracy Page. The Patriot's Pen Contest is open to Middle School Students. The Subject for this year's contest is "My Pledge to Our Veterans." Here is a link to our Patriot's Pen Page. The deadline for both contests in October 31st, 2022. Here is a link to National VFW's news page regarding these contests. Please contact Jeff Punches at webmaster@vfw4031.org for more information . You can also donate to VFW Post 4031's Scholarship Fund by sending a check to Quartermaster, VFW Post 4031, 1550 Main Avenue, Durango, CO. 81301 or by going to either the Voice of Democracy or Patriot's Pen page and clicking on the donate button.


Our Website Added  New Pages
One new page is called Event News and is found under the heading News. This page will contain descriptions of VFW Post 4031 Events and will feature photos taken at the events. The current event covered by the Events Page is the many Memorial Day Events. Another new page is a page called Awards, under News, which shows recent awards that the Post has received. The third new page is Departmental News, under News, which shows the VFW Colorado Newsletters.


     Veterans Benefit Breakfast
The next Veterans Benefit Breakfast will be held on Sunday July 3rd between 9:00 AM and 11:00 PM.  Breakfast is $8.00. Veterans eat free courtesy of Star Liquors. Great food and the public is welcome. Here is a link to our Veterans Benefit Breakfast Page. 
 
 
 The next Veterans Relief Committee Monthly Meeting will be held on Monday July 18th at 5:30 PM.
 

 Veterans Relief Committee News
The Veterans Relief Committee has disbursed more than $6,000.00 to help needy veterans. The Veterans Relief Committee along with the Elks Lodge 507 and American Legion Post 28 are hosting several events in the coming months .

Future Planned Events
Veterans Relief Committee events in the upcoming months, include:
(1) a future event on September 2nd, Veterans Labor Day Weekend Poker Run, no flyer available as yet.

 
 The Public Relations Committee Monthly Meeting will be held on Tuesday  July 12th at 1:00 PM.

 
Public Relations Committee News
 
The PRC is running an Advertising/Sponsorship Drive in June. The goal is to sign up 10 companies to advertise on our website. We need the help of any member who owns or works for or with a company in La Plata County. Here is a link to our Sponsorship Page which has the flyer for the drive. Flyers are also available at the Post see Meg. In addition the PRC planning a number of events in the coming months including a Membership Drive in November.


The Post 4031 final May Post Meeting Minutes and previous months as well as the June Post Draft Minutes are available for reading on the Members Only page. Additionally all the Public Relations Committee minutes are always available for reading. 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

The Vietnam War Commemoration Provides Sitrep 8 About the Fourth of July

~ Our Flag Does Not Fly Because The Wind Moves It... It Flies With The Last Breath Of Each Soldier Who Died Protecting It ~

VFW Post 4031 Receives Several Awards at the Recent District Meeting

VFW Post received several awards at the recent District 12 meeting. These awards represent all the hard work put in by Post and Auxiliary Volunteers. The award pictures are shown on the Awards page of the News Section.

National News

Important info from National VFW

All In the Same Boat

WASHINGTON - On July 4, 246 years ago, the Second Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, but it ...

Veterans Organizations Comment on Halt to VA's Asset and Infrastructure Review Process

OUR MISSION

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
 
 
 

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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.