SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio is a military city, in the United States, because we have thousands and thousands of active military personnel as well as a multitude of veterans living in the city.
And a local VFW post has done 21st century renovations in an effort to recruit more local veterans to the post and help veterans after serving our country.
“Honestly, with the quarantine stuff, I realized that before all of this, I was way more isolated than I even thought,” said US Army veteran Jake Van Hovel.
Van Hovel completed two overseas tours and was injured in Afghanistan. He is now one of many local veterans to use a new and improved games room at VFW Post 8541.
“I’m excited about the VFW program incorporating games because I saw how it helped him as a combat veteran and my father as a combat veteran, who had never dabbled in video games before” , said Roslyn Vasquez, Jake’s girlfriend.
The construction of the new and improved room took months, and the pandemic did not facilitate the process. In fact, the post was even forced to close for a bit.
“We took this time to improve our fighting position here. You know, it was just an old storage area. We hit it off and we were like, ‘Hey, we can build a rec room,’” said Chris Espinoza, the station’s junior vice commander.
The influx of technology means a lot to the VFW as it promotes camaraderie and sanity.
“As soon as they walk through the door, they feel welcome. They know it’s a place to escape and you know, I’ll sit and talk with them, for two or three hours, like any new face that comes here,” Espinoza said.
As for Jake, he’s a big fan of the new facility and doesn’t plan on slowing down his game anytime soon.
“I make the playroom at VFW a big part of, you know, just my week and the schedule that I’m trying to figure out on my own,” Van Hovel said.
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