GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. (KMSP) - After more than three decades, the Golden Valley hang out spot for veterans and the community is closing down for good. The VFW post on Medicine Lake Road is making way for a new apartment complex.
On Sunday, loyal patrons celebrated for one last time and shared all their memories. It was a place where the veterans knew they could go for comrade and respect, but also where couples had wedding receptions and locals enjoyed a good drink.
“You know, it's like a home,” member Mike Bogucki said.
Time is running out for one last hug, one last meal, and one last game of bingo.
“Lots of bingo, and I'm going to miss that the most,” Ray Robinson said.
Robinson, 96, is a WWII army veteran. And for more than 30 years, he's called the people at the Golden Valley VFW his family.
“They always got your back, they always got your back,” Robinson said.
VFW member and post commander Cookie Rivera said they're on prime real estate and the financial realities of the market place are dictating the terms.
“It's the last open spot that's up for grabs evidently,” she said.
Rivera said it's also hard to keep the place open when new people aren't joining.
“I think there's a generational gap taking place -- this place was founded more for the WWII, Vietnam eras, Korean war,” member Luke Steinbach said.
The decision has left long-time members like 87-year-old Donna Plack with broken hearts – “I don't want to see it leave,” she said.
One last call, to cherish the memories and the people they've met along the way.
“At my age, I know I don't have too much time left, but I'll carry these memories with me till my last day,” Robinson said.
Golden Valley VFW members are still looking for a new place to meet. Construction on the apartment complex is scheduled to begin in September.