Dedicated to the Veterans of Foreign Wars' mission of "fostering patriotism and honoring America's veterans,"…More Blue and Gray VFW Post 8469 is a service community of 315. Members are veterans who have seen active combat duty in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Operation Desert Storm, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Post 8469 was founded in October 1946, meeting in several Fairfax locations before acquiring its current headquarters in 1987. Seven charter members, veterans of WWII, remain active.
The Post's headquarters was originally built as a residence in 1899 and borders historic Fairfax Station Road where "Union soldiers were bivouacked during a lengthy rainstorm," according to Post Commander, Colonel Floyd Houston, USMC (retired).
In the past, passersby might have mistaken the Post for a historic home. The recent restoration and placement of two demilitarized cannons, one from each World War, now mark the Post's purpose. Commander Houston says parents enjoy bringing their children to play and be photographed on them, but wants residents to know they are regularly certified by the US Army as completely safe and "street legal." Volunteers used military paint to paint the exterior a true "battleship gray."
Commander Houston is quick to point out the VFW's broader purpose, saying "it's the members who make this Post great." Members range in age from about 21 to 95 years of age and participate in a host of community service programs, including Veterans Day commemorations, Buddy Poppies, VFW Teacher of the Year Award, sponsorship of a local Cub Scout Troop and scholarship essay contests.
Members also visit wounded veterans the Soldiers Home in Washington, DC and the Martinsburg Veterans Hospital. Post 8469 meets on the first Monday of every month, except July and December when the Post hosts celebrations. A volunteer is on-site to counsel and assist members with accessing veteran benefits during those meetings.
Commander Houston wants local residents to know that Post 8469 is "a melded community" and "an active part of this community."