Our Post History 

 VFW Post 4346 was organized on 16 September, 1945 under the leadership of Dr. Bruce Schaefer with 42 charter members who were World War II veterans. Charter members were as follows: William H. Adams, Benjamin P. Andrews, Will Ayers, Harris R. Baird, Jess W. Barrett, Joe L. Batson, Albert L. Beasley, Clarence Bell, Joe Bell, Hubert E. Bertschin, George W. Blackburn, Benjamin M. Brown, Dewitt M. Edmonds, George W. Elrod, Bruce W. Fricks, Riley L. Garland, Daniel D. Hemphill, Arthur M. Hulsey, Gilmer L. Jones, Noah Kelley, James B. Lergers, Thomas W. McIntyre, John F. Mills, Kytle Oliver, Frank Payne, Willie B. Poole, Harris Roberts, Francis M. Sisk, Jack D. Smith, Edwin O. Terrells, James Thomas, Allen W. Ward, Harvey L. Watkins, William Westbrooks, William Whitehead, Herschel D. Whitworth and John L. Whitworth.

The post was named in memory of Leon Williams, the first Stephens County Resident that was killed in action during World War II.

The first meeting was held in the Stephens County Courthouse. Later meetings were held in several locations including: The Woman’s Club Building, The Hacienda on Highway 123, further up 123 past Currahee Mountain and behind Tabor Motor Company, and behind Tabor Motor Company.



The VFW’s present home on Savannah Street began with the completion in 1967 of Ryals Hall (Pictured Above), named in memory of the late Blake Ryals and James Ryal, who were very active in Veteran Affairs and Post activities. An addition was completed in 1983 and named in honor of Jimmy E. Turner, now deceased, who served as Post Commander.

The motto of the VFW is "Honor the Dead by Helping the Living.” Since its origin, the Post has not only advocate veterans and their needs, but has reached out to the community. It is behind the scene of practically every charitable organization and almost every major project in the community.

The VFW’s most visible community project is the annual Voice of Democracy Contest. This is a broadcast script writing contest for high school students that each year has a patriotic theme. Scholarships are awarded on the local, district, state and the national level.

The Post has produced two State Commanders: The late Norman Brown and R.D. (Bulldog) Smith, as well as one National Commander, R.D. Smith.

To be a VFW member, and individual must have served on foreign soil in war time.


The VFW Organization

VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service: Many arrived home wounded or sick. There was no medical care or veterans' pension for them,and they were left to care for themselves.


 In their misery, some of these veterans banded together and formed organizations with what would become known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. After chapters were formed in Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania, the movement quickly gained momentum. By 1915, membership grew to 5,000; by 1936, membership was almost 200,000. 

Since then, the VFW's voice had been instrumental in establishing the Veterans Administration, creating a GI bill for the 20th century, the development of the national cemetery system and the fight for compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange and for veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. In 2008, VFW won a long-fought victory with the passing of a GI Bill for the 21st Century, giving expanded educational benefits to America's active-duty service members, and members of the Guard and Reserves, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

The VFW also has fought for improving VA medical centers services for women veterans.

Besides helping fund the creation of the Vietnam, Korean War, World War II and Women in Military Service memorials, the VFW in 2005 became the first veterans' organization to contribute to building the new Disabled Veterans for Life Memorial, which opened in November 2010.

Annually, the nearly 2 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliaries contribute more than 8.6 million hours of volunteerism in the community, including participation in Make A Difference Day and National Volunteer Week. 

From providing over $3 million in college scholarships and savings bonds to students every year, to encouraging elevation of the Department of Veterans Affairs to the president's cabinet, the VFW is there.