Hollie Shoellhorn joined the National Guard at 17, wanting a bigger experience than her small town of Monticello, Ind. could provide. She finished basic training just two weeks before 9/11. She began serving at Camp Atterbury in 2003, and served one tour in Afghanistan from ’06-’07. It was when her husband, Britton, was going to deployed that she joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Greenwood.
“When he was gone, they became my support system,” Hollie says. “The people at Greenwood VFW were really supportive. They saw me on my best days but also saw me on my worst. They have so many great things and people just need to realize what they can do for veterans and their families.”
Seeing how much the VFW has helped her through the years, she says she and other veterans and active military saw a need for a post near the Center Grove area. The post is for all veterans of any age, but specifically focused on attracting younger veterans who might shy away from joining because of the stigma of the VFW being for an older generation.
“We need to bring more people in,” Hollie says. “If you can’t bring people in, the organization itself will fail. We need to get the new vets to see what we have to offer and get them excited about what we can do to help out our brothers and sisters.”
Hollie serves as the post’s commander. Indiana has not formed a new VFW post in more than 30 years. The post would serve Greenwood, Bargersville, Whiteland and Center Grove areas.
“We just moved here to Bargersville and didn’t know anyone until we met Holly and Britton,” says Phillip Sinnett, who has served in the army since 2006. “We made friends and felt we made a good choice in joining. It’s been great times. We get together, laugh, help each other out. That is what the VFW is all about.”
The Post is temporarily located out of 2688 Longleaf Dr. Greenwood. It currently consists of a veteran’s gym, family movie lounge, combat videogame loft, family kitchen, and camaraderie canteen. These facilities are available Thursday-Sunday from 1 – 10 p.m.
A meeting was held on Oct. 12 where Hollie says they should reach enough members to finish the charter application. To file for the charter, they have to have 25 new members and 10 transfers. Upon approval, the state commander will install the VFW post on a date to be determined by Governor Mike Pence.
Hollie says they will then be looking to fundraise to save enough to build a permanent location. They will host a concert on Nov. 7, 2 – 4 p.m. at 50 N. Marion St. in Morgantown, Ind.