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Article published November 12, 2012
Every week, The Cranberry Eagle will spotlight a local volunteer, providing a glimpse into what makes them tick. QUESTION:What led you to become a member of the VFW? ANSWER: I moved to Cranberry after leaving active duty and was looking for ways to become more involved in my community. I attended a VFW meeting out of curiosity and have kept going ever since. The common bond among all the different war-era vets really makes this a great group to be associated with. QUESTION: How has the VFW made our community better? ANSWER: Our VFW has really preserved the value of service and patriotism in our community. Whether it’s placing flags on graves at Pinewood or sponsoring scholarships for Seneca Valley students, we always promote service and patriotism in all we do. We feel that promoting that value in the community makes everyone appreciative and proud of where we live. QUESTION: What is the greatest benefit that you get being a member of the VFW ANSWER: For me, it was regaining that fraternal bond that I had while in the Army. Also, as someone who is raising a family in this community, I feel a great sense of pride knowing that my children are seeing the VFW’s contributions to the area. QUESTION: How do you balance your time as a volunteer with the demands of work and family life? ANSWER: Not sure if I have actually figured that one out yet! It’s tough, but I often will include my family in as many volunteer events as possible. I’ve brought my son with me to some of the VFW fundraisers such as selling poppies outside of Walmart so he can see what we do. QUESTION: Who can join the VFW and what is the biggest reason that someone should consider being a member? ANSWER: Any veteran who has served honorably and in an overseas conflict can join. Camaraderie and pride in continuing to serve are the biggest reasons to join. I encourage anyone that is interested to come check out a meeting! STEPHEN MIHALACKI ORGANIZATION: VFW Post 879 OCCUPATION: Financial management supervisor, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System HOMETOWN: Johnstown RESIDENCE: Cranberry Township FAMILY: Wife, Shannon; children, 4-year-old Jack, 2-year-old Abigail and 2-month-old Ben If you would like to nominate a volunteer from your nonprofit/charity organization, simply e-mail us at cranberrynewszoominternet.net.