VFW Members Go the Extra Mile for 578th Engineer Battalion

Post adopted the unit with MAP

VFW Post 184 Senior Vice Commander Richard De La Hoya and his wife Yvonne wanted to do something special for their niece’s husband Adrian before he deployed to Afghanistan with his National Guard unit, the 578th Engineer Battalion. 

The De La Hoyas started planning a send-off party for him, but they soon discovered that other Guardsmen’s families were also planning send-offs. Everyone decided to combine efforts and plan one event for the entire Battalion.  

As expenses for the send-off event began mounting, the Post turned to VFW’s Military Assistance Program (MAP) for help, where they applied for a grant. Post 184 Commander Joe Diaz also asked other Posts in District 23 if they would be willing to pitch in as well.  

The MAP grant was approved, and two other Posts in the District, Post 233 and Post 9223, contributed toward the event.  

The event was held at March Air Reserve Base Readiness Center in Riverside, Calif., and was a complete success. A lunch was provided for the entire Battalion, their families, and guests. The deployment ceremony featured several guest speakers, including Maj. Gen. Scott Johnson, Commander of the 40th Infantry Division, Brigade Commander Col. Peter Kim, and Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Richard Rabe.  

The event was a great way to show VFW’s support for our nation’s troops, and to top everything off, Post 184 adopted the 578th Engineer Battalion through MAP’s Adopt-a-Unit. The adoption allows Post 184 to support the unit before, during and after their deployment.  

A few months after the send-off event, Post 184 and its Ladies Auxiliary worked with local students and volunteers and packed care packages to ship for the holiday season. Items included everything from beef jerky and DVDs to sanitizers and USB drives.