BAKERSFIELD, CA. — After 65 years, the VFW Post in Lake Isabella is at risk of closing it’s doors due to the pandemic.
23ABC spoke with the commander of the VFW Post on how the community can help keep their doors open.
“This is my family, these are my friends, this is what I live for, and now I have an even bigger reason to stay alive and that's to keep this place open," Ernest Sawyer, VFW Post Commander.
The VFW Post 7665 is a staple in the Lake Isabella veteran community, but since Covid-19 hit the post has had to limit the crowds and social interaction that once flooded the inside of the building and move their services to a limited patio space.
“For starters, it's the only one up here, it's not like Bakersfield where there's more posts, and this place has been here since 1955 and the people here count on it and depend on it," said Sawyer.
The commander for the VFW Post was a member for 20 years. Three months ago he took over the position in the midst of the pandemic.
For months, the post said they struggled to pay their bills and were living in fear they’d have to permanently close their doors.
“This community would die, would literally die, if everyone started closing it's a horrible thought. I don't want to think about it, but I have to," said Sawyer.
The post which was usually open three days a week for public dining, has now moved toward seven days a week for lunch and dinner.
People can call in and order ahead of time or sit on the patio.
“It's not easy, it’s not easy, we need all the support we can get not just for us but for all the veterans up here," said Sawyer.