'Looking Forward to the Future'

A Minnesota Post finds new home after fire

A year after a devastating fire that destroyed a VFW Post in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Post members have a new home. Just months later, the Post opened its doors at a new location.

“When those flags were raised outside of our new building for the first time, we all jumped for joy,” former VFW Post 1720 Commander Hugh Quinn said. “We still can’t believe we got it done as fast as we did.”

Front of VFW Post 1720's building
The new location for VFW Post 1720 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, is shown off U.S. Highway 2 in northern Minnesota. After a fire destroyed the old building last year, former Post Commander Hugh Quinn said the new building has been great for recruiting new members. Photo courtesy of VFW Post 1720.
The original location in downtown Grand Rapids was the Post home since 1928. Post members started negotiating to buy the new building in April 2020. On June 1, volunteers from the Post started the remodel work to open the new location.

“The volunteer efforts to get the new building up and running were insane,” said Quinn, an Army veteran who served in the Iraq War. “We had members come out of the woodwork to help. The talent of the folks who helped was a Godsend. 

Now located off U.S. Highway 2, which runs west to east in northern Minnesota, Post 1720 now has more exposure to the public than it had at the original location, according to Quinn.

“We have seen many new members come through the doors,” Quinn said.

To mark the first anniversary of the fire, a group of Post members gathered for lunch at the new location. Quinn said the time was taken to pay respect to the members who were a part of the original Post.

“I think about all the members I got to know who passed while we were at the old location,” he said. “They helped build our Post. We want to make sure we remember them and their contributions to the community, but we also are looking forward to the future of the Post at our new location.”