Few would envy the position Luke Morris was put in — becoming the top dog of an organization struggling after a public conflict.


Few would envy the position Luke Morris was put in — becoming the top dog of an organization struggling after a public conflict.
But Morris, a Navy veteran, loves the Newton Veteran of Foreigh Wars Post 971  — he always had.  Becoming post commander wasn’t something he gave a second thought, even though the VFW went through a rough patch when the city of Newton chose to suspend the post’s liquor license.
“We are moving forward at this point,” Morris said. “There are things that upset people in the past, and the business with the city, but that is over and done now. It’s time to move on.”
As post commander, Morris has a clear-cut goal — help the post grow.
There are two groups he wants to reach out to, the first being young veterans and their families.
“A lot of Iraq and Afghanistan vets don’t know where to turn for help,” Morris said. “We can help them get pointed in the right direction to find what they need.”
Morris said most people don’t know about the programs, like access to veterans service representatives, offered by the post.
He fell into that category at one time.
“I used to think the VFW was a place for the old boys go to tell stories and drink beer,” Morris  said. “I didn’t know the VFW had programs going on.”
The VFW sponsors scholarship programs, troop support programs and assists veterans with their needs.
Morris said he would like to get more family events started at the post, one way to get younger Veterans to plug in with Post 971.
“Last year we had a barbecue with the Legion,” Morris said. “There were a lot of families there. I thought that was a good idea. We want the younger vets and families involved with the VFW. That’s a direction we want to head.”
That doesn’t mean he is forgetting about older veterans who may have been part of the VFW but are no longer participating.
“I am working on getting members back to the post,” Morris said.
There will be an election of officers in April, and Morris may no longer be the post commander after that process. But he will still be a member, and he will still work at helping the post grow.
“We want to be involved with the community,” Morris said. “People have good ideas, but we need manpower to do them.”