VFW Post 791 in Yankton celebrates 100 year anniversary

South Dakota News

YANKTON, S.D. (KELO) – This Memorial Day weekend holds special meaning for VFW Post 791. It’s been a century since the Yankton VFW was named for a fallen soldier.

May 14th marked the 100th anniversary for the Ernest Bowyer Post 791.

“It’s quite an accomplishment, there are posts across the country that do not make it to 100 years,” state VFW commander, member of Post 791, Cody Mangold said.

The post started in 1921 and is named after Lieutenant Ernest Bowyer.

“Who was killed in action in 1918 in France during World War 1 and after the war local veterans from Yankton came together and they chartered this organization and named it in honor of him,” post quartermaster, Dan Klimisch said.

Laddie Novak Junior has been with the VFW for about 20 years.

“I’m a Marine, I served in Desert Storm, I came back, and I’ve been coming down to the post even before that,” house committee member, Laddie Novak Jr. said. “I remember coming in that side door, that’s when it was members only, and I remember sitting at the bar getting a pop and candy bar, it was really neat, and I was in awe of all the guys here, and I honestly believe that’s where I got the desire to go into the Marine Corps.”

The VFW is open to everyone.

And now members are looking forward to continuing to have a presence in the community.

“The VFW has been serving the community of Yankton for over 100 years, there aren’t a lot of organizations that can say that and we are very proud of that fact,” Klimisch said.

“We can’t let it go, and 100 years, I want another 100 years to get the 200 year certificate,” Novak said.

The VFW was closed for more than a year because of the pandemic and financial trouble – following an embezzlement case. Members credit support from the community it getting reopened.

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