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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Local business lends helping hand to V.F.W.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dowell Construction owner Mike Dowell and R & M Painting owner Robert Sanders watch workers Brooks Lear and Mark Taylor install the ceiling grid at the new Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 1127 building, located at 303 S. Depot St., Brazil. [Order this photo]
Painting 10,000 square feet of fresh drywall is a daunting task for anyone. But when the members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 1127 were faced with the possibility of doing it themselves, Robert Sanders knew he wanted to help.

"I wanted to support the veterans. My grandfather is a veteran and was in construction," Sanders, owner of R & M Painting, told The Brazil Times recently. "I'm not a veteran, but my grandfather taught me construction. So I wanted to volunteer to help out."

Sanders and another volunteer, Cameron Mathews, painted all the inside walls during the weekend of Jan. 3.

"It went pretty quick once we got started," Sanders said.

Appreciative of the quick professional paint job done by Sanders and Mathews, Mike Dowell, owner of Dowell Construction, is very excited about the progress of the construction project.

For more than 20 years, VFW members organized fundraisers, which were supported by the community, with the intention of building a new post.

In October 2007, the members announced they were ready to start the building process and were looking at many floor plans.

The new floor plan they chose for the larger facility featured updates to the kitchen area, a new Bingo game room, a small bar and dance floor and an area that could be used for social events.

On Sept. 13, 2008, a groundbreaking ceremony took place at the building site, and things have been busy ever since.

"It's moving along nicely," Dowell said.

"What's really impressive about this job is the VFW club members are trying to use as many local contractors and distributors as possible. They've made a real effort to stay local as a way to better our local economy. Which is really important right now."

Barring any complications, the construction project could be completed within the next six-eight weeks.

"(Sanders and Mathews) did an excellent job. They were in and out of there in less then five hours," VFW Quartermaster Randy Phillips told The Brazil Times. "They did a great service for us."

Phillips said the VFW membership is looking forward to February.

"It's been a long time coming and we can't wait to get inside," Phillips said. "We're just tickled at the way things are going."

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Local contractors? My understanding is that most of the construction was done by the Amish. Hmm wonder when an Amish man last went to war for our country? I believe their HVAC contractor is from Indianapolis. Ask most of the local contractors if they got to bid on any of this work and you might be surprised by the answer. I guess you have to be a regular to get that honor. You sure dont have to be a Veteran!

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 10:10 PM

It is nice to see people trying to give back to this community. Nice job Robert and Cameron. Keep up the good work and I wish R&M painting the best of luck in the new year.

To the VFW thanks for keeping it local.

-- Posted by myopinioncounts on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 9:37 AM

It's a shane that the Brazil VFW is more about politics than it is about serving our Veterans. It is and has always been a little political payton place!

-- Posted by dana67 on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 10:42 AM

Icareaboutbrazil and dana67,

Mike Dowell is a local contractor, who he subcontracts to could be a different story, but I still fail to see why you and dana67 are saying unkind things about the VFW. I know several of the men and women who belong there and they are fine people, some of whom I have served with here and overseas. While I belong to the VFW (and still currently wearing a uniform of the armed forces of this country, 18+ years now) I don't belong to the Brazil post, but I will defend my comrades. Before anyone goes out and says anything negative about someone, please make sure you have all the facts. If you don't like how something is being done, talk to the quartermaster at the post and get the answers from him. He answered any questions I posed to him about the construction.

And to Dana67, the last time I went overseas the Brazil Post was extremely helpful to my family and I, not to mention the men and women of my unit. So whether you personally belive it or not they have been very supportive of the local units and those from the community serving in other locations.

I don't know what has happened to give you such a negative attitude towards the members of the Brazil Post, but my suggestion is to deal with them directly instead of saying unkind things in a forum where a majority of the members won't see it (average age of the Vets at the Brazil Post is over 60).

You are entitled to your opinions as I am entitled to mine, but I will not say unkind things about the very people who have fought for your freedom and mine.

-- Posted by Localguy1972 on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 1:13 PM

I also wanted to put this in so as not to upset anyone over the age of 60, I realize many of my elders do use a computer, but the majority of people I know over that age do not. The comment was not meant to offend, my apologies if it did.

-- Posted by Localguy1972 on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 2:05 PM

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 2:17 PM

Sir I do know Mike Dowell personally and he is NOT the general contractor on this job. He was contracted only for certain things. Mike is a good man that I have no problems with him and am glad to see him working. As far as the age of the members, it is my understanding that the "older" generation of the VFW did try to make sure that the contracts were let to local contractors. However, the "younger" generation out voted them.

I do truely respect all Veterans past and present, but I have an issue with the Amish, who are anti military, anti government building this building just because they might have saved a few dollars. And unfortunately the HVAC contractor is out of Indianapolis and I hope that there are no problems or it will be like the library.

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 2:27 PM

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 4:53 PM


Then I will have to talk to the quartermaster again, this differs from what I was told by several members of the post. I will look into this and if you would like I will try and fill you in on what I find out.

-- Posted by Localguy1972 on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 7:51 PM

To Icareaboutbrazil. And Dana67 which has no CLUE...Have you been in the Military??Probably not... Have you attended a VFW Meeting??? I'm sure not!!.. I have on both accounts. And you do not know what you are talking about. For a fact the youger members did not out vote the older members. I was there and the vote was 15 to 1 to build a new building and they elected a building Committee to build the new post which cosisted of 4 members and the Commander of the post. We did try to keep it local, we asked members for names and no response only a few that didn't pan out.

Yes the Amish did build the outer shell with a svings of $ 40,000.00 dollars.!! Do you expect us to spend all our money in that fashion when we can put money back into the community.!! I'm sorry, I'll bet you didn't know that we donate money to boy scouts, girl scouts, to the homeless, to the schools, for special projects, to the local food pantry, light house mission, Christmas Baskets, we don't have enough space for me to write where all we donate..(whoops sorry) CSI- you have no clue in the process in which this was accomplished.

Since you have no clue I will tell you that the General Contractor is a Desert Sheild/Storm Veteran and flew Helicopters in that War. Almost all our contractors is or was in the military or a VFW Member or family of a VFW Member.

Please get your story straight before you comment.

-- Posted by (B_b) is an idiot !! on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 8:04 PM

I beleive that the HVAC is out of Bloomington, but I will check it out.

And by the way the GC called local HVAC and other services and left messages. NO Response until it was already bid out to someone.

-- Posted by (B_b) is an idiot !! on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 9:14 PM

In response to the neigh sayers, how in the hell did the "younger people" out vote the older people? There are hardly any "younger" people involved in the VFW. That in itself is a darn shame!

Secondly, I have spoken with a few of the contractors who did not get bid offers. A few were legitamtely overlooked as the committee had little experience in this nature of business and did not know all of the businesses available in certain trades. For a few the scope of work was more than they were able to complete. They were honest and said "no thanks". A few however, I believe thought they were "entitled" to our buisiness because many rumors were on the street about the amount of money the VFW had saved up. We did notify some contractors that we had interest and some did not respond in a timely manner. Some did not respond at all but claimed they did of which there is no record. We have records of all building meetings and all decisions.

I was also personally informed by a heating and air contractor who I know for a fact was aware that we were building a post that we would be "froze out" for service calls because we went with a large, highly competetive company. That / those companies saved the VFW huge amounts of money that will allow the VFW to continue to donate money to worthy causes in Brazil. Something that has and will continue be a major facet of the VFW's community service. The VFW does not publicize its benevolent acts. The act of giving is anonymous unless the recipient publicizes it. I can tell you that it is a very significant amount of money. Our finances are available for the public viewing of all members, that fact contributed to the ability to build a new post without borrowing. That and hard work by generations before me I am eternally greatful for.

Now lets get down to brass tacks, as you can see, I use my REAL name when posting a comment. Many who post comments do not have the guts to identify themselves which is a huge problem with the internet. No accountability! Vets learn accountability on day one.

Icareaboutbrazil, I'm sorry you feel that way. We are not perfect and never will be. Niether will you. What I am not sorry for is my contempt for you. I am proud to have provided you the freedom to whine like a little kitten in a public forum. You know who I am, who are you? My name is Michael Galloway. I/We have done our best to be fair and also take care of the future interest of the VFW. What have you done for Brazil lately?

-- Posted by michael.galloway1 on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 9:47 PM

-- Posted by opininated on Sat, Jan 10, 2009, at 6:46 PM

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