Veterans fight to save Marin County's only VFW hall

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In times of war, circumstances often force soldiers to destroy important buildings. In Novato, the opposite has come to pass -- they're trying to save one against long odds. (KGO-TV)

In times of war, circumstances often force soldiers to destroy important buildings. In Novato, the opposite has come to pass -- they're trying to save one against long odds.

READ MORE: Click here for the extended version of Wayne's story on Facebook.

Sometimes it's the place or the company or the memories. At VFW Post 7816 in Novato, it's all three. If this bar could talk, it would tell a lot of stories.

If Donald Westlund could listen from inside the picture frame hanging on the wall -- he would know all and more.

"He was in World War II and died after becoming a prisoner of war in the Philippines," said Stan Cudia, retired Air Force veteran.

Yes, Marin County's only VFW hall has that much history, but the pervading smell in the building these days has nothing to do with the past.

"Well it's rotting from the top down, the roof and that is our problem," Cudia told ABC7 News.

There are cracks, leaks, and the roof is caving in. If it were a question of tar and gravel this might be simpler, but it's not.

The beams are buckling. When the beams go the roof falls in.

"We have to get this roof done quick," David Ruiz added.

Because the rainy season is coming. The repair will cost $65,000. The post has opened a GoFundMe page for donations. Their urgency goes well past the historic nature of the building. Anyone who has fought in a foreign war would understand.

"Those guys coming out of battle, now, need a place to talk," said Jim Harias, who retired from the U.S. Coast Guard.

They need a place to talk where the roof won't fall in, where a kindred spirit is always there to listen.

Click here to donate to help save the VFW hall.

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societyveteranveteransmilitarycharitycharitiesstorm damagerainmarin countyNovato
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