American Legion clubs quickly disappearing in the panhandle - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

American Legion clubs quickly disappearing in the panhandle

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A mainstay of many panhandle towns' social lives in the 50's and 60's, American Legion clubs are disappearing from the scene at a rapid pace.

Western Nebraska towns like Hay Springs, Bridgeport and Dalton have closed the doors for good at the popular gathering places, the victims of declining membership and business.

Some, like the American Legion club in Gering continue to flourish, but not all are so lucky.

American Legion commander Chris Lane says that the post in Gering has been among the lucky ones, but if they were to close, it would be a huge blow to the community.

"No more military rights from us at funerals, we couldn't do parades anymore, and it'd be a pretty big impact," says Lane. "And not only that, but a lot of these veterans, that's how we get in contact with each other. That's kind of our new brotherhood. That's our camaraderie."

It is not just veteran organizations that are struggling, however. Clubs like the Elks, Eagles, and more are fighting to stay afloat in a changing world.
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