The VFW National Home for Children is celebrating its 90th Anniversary throughout 2015. As part of that celebration, we will be focusing on one decade of the National Home’s history each month. This month, we highlight the 1970’s. New Fire Truck A full functioning fire department operated on campus until the late 70’s, when new state regulations prevented children from participating in actual fire runs. A new fire truck was acquired in 1975 by collecting 6,600,000 Betty Crocker coupons from all over the country. This huge undertaking included an appeal in the November, 1973 issue of the VFW Auxiliary magazine for help collecting coupons. The new fire truck had 1,000 pounds of pressure, a 750 gallon tank and a foam apparatus. The truck was affectionatley named “Sweet Pea”. The fire truck is still used for ceremonial purposes and every December during Cootie Christmas, when the children receive Christmas presents delivered to their homes personally by Santa and Mrs. Clause. The National Home celebrates it’s Golden Anniversary January 1975 marked the 50th Anniversary of the Home. Those 50 years inclued many challenges, including 3 wars (WW II, Korea, and Vietnam) and a depression. While the Home has evolved over time to fit the changing needs of military and veteran families, the mission has stayed clear. As we celebrate our 90th Anniversary this year, that mission still rings true. The VFW National Home for Children serves as a living memorial to American’s veterans by helping our nations military and veteran families. Hospital Transition As times changed there was no longer a need for a full service hospital so the building was renamed the Health and Education building. It became home to a dental office, nurse’s office, coupon center, sewing center, library, barber shop, model train club room and other program related activities. Today the building is the location where all the Helpline calls are answered and it is where Program staff offices are located who work directly with the families and children living on campus.