Kohl-Jeck VFW Post 2866 History
Our post has celebrated over 80 years of service and excellence.
The Post was organized on July 16, 1933. We then became instituted as Kohl-Jeck Post 2866 VFW on July 23, 1933 and instituted by comrade Dan Tarantola, Chief of Staff, Department of Missouri.
The post got it's name in honor of Edward G Kohl and Gilbert C. Jeck. They were two, very young, Saint Charles men who enlisted at an early time, were in outfit, went overseas together, and were both killed in action just within four days of each other during World War I at the ages of 17 and 18 in the Argonne Forest. Their unit was the 138th Infantry of the 35th Division. At our Post's very first meeting there were 26 Charter members signed and by the end of the meeting there were 55, Including two honorary members , Mr. Kohl and Mr. Jeck, the fathers of the two young men after whom the post was named. Also at the Post's first meeting it was voted to have an Auxiliary.
Our First Commander was Francis Seabacher and the Post was organized by Harry Grote & Francis Seabacher. The Auxiliary was officially instituted on November 9th of 1933 and the meeting was held at Rechtern Hall ( also known as Central Meeting Hall), the Auxiliary closed with 38 members.From 1933-1937, meetings were held at Rechtern Hall. In 1938, Auxiliary meetings were held at the public library and at Kings Highway and Clark Street in the hall above the garage and were held there until January of 1946. After that , meetings were held at the VFW home on 4th and Jefferson Streets, an earthquake damaged our Post home which then led to meetings being held at the Moose building and the Saint Charles savings and Loan building.
Our New Post home was Built in 1966 on South Highway 94, which is now Old South Highway 94 and we have held our meetings and many other events here since then.
The VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service: Many arrived home wounded or sick. There was no medical care or veterans' pension for them, and they were left to care for themselves.
In their misery, some of these veterans banded together and formed organizations with what would become known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
After chapters were formed in Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania, the movement quickly gained momentum. By 1915, membership grew to 5,000; by 1936, membership was almost 200,000. Since then, the VFW's voice had been instrumental in establishing the Veterans Administration, creating a GI bill for the 20th century, the development of the national cemetery system and the fight for compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange and for veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. In 2008, VFW won a long-fought victory with the passing of a GI Bill for the 21st Century, giving expanded educational benefits to America's active-duty service members, and members of the Guard and Reserves, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The VFW also has fought for improving VA medical centers services for women veterans. Besides helping fund the creation of the Vietnam, Korean War, World War II and Women in Military Service memorials, the VFW in 2005 became the first veterans' organization to contribute to building the new Disabled Veterans for Life Memorial, which opened in November, 2010.Annually, the 2.1 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliary contribute more than 11 million hours of volunteerism in the community, including participation in Make A Difference Day and National Volunteer Week. From providing $2.5 million in college scholarships and savings bonds to students every year, to encouraging elevation of the Department of Veterans Affairs to the president's cabinet, the VFW is there.