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Published on June 13, 2024
Historic VFW Post 76 in San Antonio Defaced with Graffiti Amidst Financial StrugglesSource: Google Street View

San Antonio's venerable VFW Post 76, the oldest in Texas, fell victim to mindless vandalism recently, as miscreants defaced the traditional meeting spot for veterans with graffiti. According to KSAT, the 130-year-old Petty House which serves as the post's headquarters, was marred on its roof and second-floor siding panels, leaving the nonprofit organization grappling with repairs amidst a backdrop of already strained finances.

Post 76 Commander Mike Toreno expressed his dismay, "How could someone do this? We are a nonprofit veteran-supportive organization that tries to do a lot for the community,” as he told KENS5. The historic nature of the building complicates matters further, demanding clearance from the historical society for any alterations even if it is just remedial paint. This isn't the first time the building has been trespassed; during winter, homeless individuals have previously broken into the attic space.

Organized and chartered back in 1917, VFW Post 76 sits prominently at 10th Street and Avenue B along the Museum Reach extension of the River Walk. Preserving the Petty House, recognized as a Texas Historic Landmark in 2017 and a remnant of a bygone San Antonio neighborhood, is part of the post's broader struggle against a backdrop of long-needed repairs, including issues with roofing, plumbing, and an aging air conditioning system. Events and ceremonies at the post have offered a crucial nexus for veterans stretched across many conflicts and generations, spanning from World War II to more recent engagements in the Middle East.

The recent defacement has come at a particularly inopportune time as the post faces an uphill battle, with a looming “massive restoration project” according to Toreno who lamented the decades of neglect that have left the building in a precarious state, stating that due to their limited budget they plan to "tackle [this project] in sections"; yet, now the Post sees itself reaching out to the community for assistance with the added burden of the senseless vandalism. Those looking to contribute to Post 76's building fund can reach out by phone or visit the post in person, as the group continues to try navigating this latest challenge while supporting the veterans' community it was established to serve.

For more information or to make a donation to help with the restorations and the upkeep of VFW Post 76, interested parties may call 210-451-0111 or stop by the location at 10 10th Street, San Antonio.