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VFW Post to Move Headquarters to Former Bar/Restaurant on 43rd Street

New development site, former location of VFW Post (Photo: Google Earth)

Dec. 15, 2013 By Christian Murray

Sunnyside and Woodside’s veterans are about to move base camp.

The VFW Post 2813, which has been a social vehicle for Sunnyside and Woodside veterans since 1933, will be vacating its 51-27 Queens Blvd headquarters in January and moving into a former restaurant space, located on 43rd Street (between 47th and 48th Avenues).

The post, according to Commander Michael J Smith Jr., will be paying about $2,000 per month for the new space, down from about $6,000 a month in rent the club is paying now.

Keeping costs low is what the veterans are all about these days.

“Membership has been dwindling as many veterans continue to pass away,” said Jerry Sisco, a former commander of the post who fought in Korea.  “There are not as many younger veterans replacing them.”

However, Sisco is hopeful that the 43rd Street location – which is easier to get to—will help the post recruit younger veterans.

The post is largely comprised of veterans who served in either Vietnam or Korea. There are two WWII veterans that are part of the organization and a handful of younger members who fought in Iraq.

However, it’s been a long time since the post’s heydays—when membership was booming as the neighborhood was flush with WWI and WWII veterans.

The post, which formed in 1933 and is co-named the John V. Daniels Post, has a rich history.

During its expansion years of the 1950s and 1960s it owned some significant pieces of Sunnyside and Woodside property– as it catered to a large membership.

The organization’s beginnings were, however, humble, when it operated out of stores and basements throughout the neighborhood.

The post’s first significant step occurred in 1951, when it purchased its first building, at 45-08 Skillman Avenue (which today is Holy Mountain Pre School).

In 1965, as membership continued to swell, the post sold the Skillman building and bought a property at 41-20 Queens Blvd. It erected a new building and created one of the largest Post Rooms in New York. It sold the building in 1992.

Today, that property is the lot comprised of Dunkin Donuts, Salt & Fat, a threading store and the vacant space where the Korean church Nak Won Reformed Church was located.

The post, with its sales proceeds, then moved to 43-16 Queens Blvd (now a Nepalese restaurant) after the sale, and rented the property for about $10,000 per month. It was there for about a decade before relocating to its present spot, where the rent was lower.

Despite the decline in membership as the older men pass away, it should not be forgotten that Sunnyside/Woodside neighborhood has a rich military history, the younger veterans say. Many men from the neighborhood have given their lives for the country.

The Woodside zip code suffered more casualties during the Vietnam War than any other zip code in the nation.

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14 Comments

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South Side Johnny

This is going to be a bar, but for veterans only? I live near this building- I’ve seen businesses come & go- this building has never had success. For one thing, the afternoon sun is brutal. I wish them luck.

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Mike P

I live right around the corner!!!! I hope the vets will let me stop for a few cold ones even though I never served.

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sunnyside_south

Thank you to these heroes for their service, and great job Sunnyside Post getting their story out there. I also enjoyed reading the comments from local military families.

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Krissi

Zone Drone –

If I remember correctly, there’s a Memorial in that sorta “Town Square” in Woodside stating as much.

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zone drone

This is something I’dnever heard before.

The Woodside zip code suffered more casualties during the Vietnam War than any other zip code in the nation.

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Krissi

I’m happy to see this space go to good use. Thank you for your service, vets and welcome back to the neighborhood!

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JaneGrissom

There are several young neighborhood people who are currently in the military or at least in the reserves. They should be encouraged to join.

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Doug Ogle

My Father, Ted Ogle, was a member of the post for many, many years. My Mother, Mildred Ogle, was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary. My Father-In-Law, Ed Lynch, and my Mother-In-Law, Mary Lynch were also long time members of the post, too. I remember the Skillman Avenue location very well. My sister and I would go there every year for the Memorial Day party and for the annual kids Christmas parties. My two younger sisters belonged to the junior girls auxiliary.

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Arline Syperreck Deegan

I remember the 41st St. & Q.B.
Location was there many times. My father George Syperreck & stepfather Sam Sirianni both belonged to this Post as well as my mom Georgiana Sirianni & my self belonged to the Women’s Auxiliary. It was a great place to socialize and meet with other people and members. I’m glad they are still around I have some fond memories from this place. ♡♡♡

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Jo-Ann Sirianni Marx

My father Salvatore Sirianni was Commander of this VFW.
He was very involved with the Post.
My mother Helen Sirianni was a Women’s Auxiliary member.
My sister and have such lovely memories.

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Mark of the Beast

Best of luck to these superb gentlemen. Right across the street from Celtic Park, great location.

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I'm so tired

Thanks to all our vets. I hope it gives pause to all the complainers on this site who moan about every little thing. These men gave a lot for our country, thank you

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Thanks

This is a wonderful story. I didn’t know all this history.
I will now look at the club more fondly (not that I’d didn’t before).
And thanks for your service. You make us proud.

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