On Stands Now
June 2024

Questa  •  Red River  •  Cerro  •  Costilla  •  Amalia  •  Lama  •  San Cristobal

northern new mexico news boy
Access Back Issues of
Print Editions Here
Courtesy Photo Questa VFW Serves as Community Gathering Place for Local Meeting

Questa VFW Chapter in Danger of Closing Amidst Low Membership

The local Questa VFW chapter 7688 is at risk of closing its doors and operations permanently amidst low membership numbers. Commander Danny Garcia says it’s a troubling predicament.

“We don’t have the membership we’ve had in years past. We used to have a lot of involvement from the Korean War veterans and WWII veterans but many of them have passed away. It’s gotten so low that we can’t have a quorum to host meetings,” Garcia says.

While the aging population is a big challenge, the number of younger veterans who have served in a foreign war and are interested in joining is also limited. “I approach people and ask them to join, but it’s more than just joining. It’s being actively involved, attending meetings, planning community events to give back to the people. That’s where we are just not able to get the commitment.”

Historically, the Questa VFW has had a big presence in the community. They used to run the community bingo on Sundays until the state took over the gaming division, creating many roadblocks for veterans to continue as volunteers.

Additionally, the VFW has traditionally given out scholarships to graduating seniors from Questa High School from money raised in fundraising through community breakfasts and poppy flower donations. This was done to reinvest in the youth in the community. As the membership numbers have grown dismal, many of these efforts have been put on hold. “There are months we won’t open the building, but we still have to pay for gas, electric utilities because we’re deemed a commercial building. Sometimes, that has to come out of my own pocket because I don’t have a way to make up the costs,” Garcia says.
In addition to the community involvement, the VFW building serves as a central gathering place for funeral comidas, showers, community meetings, and graduation celebrations. Additionally, the Questa VFW manages the working permit from the U.S. Forest Service to operate the Pueblito Cemetery.

“The closure of the Questa VFW would have cascading effects on the Questa community. We have historically done a lot and want to continue to do a lot, but we need support and involvement of our local veterans.” Garcia continues.

If you’re interested in joining the Questa VFW, you can contact Danny Garcia directly at (575) 779-6214.