VFW Post 3617 was first chartered in 1983 and evolved from an older Post in Waterville,
Washington, that traced its roots back to the early part of
the last century, with veterans of the First World War.
Seeing the need for representation of veterans who lived in the western parts of
Douglas County, the Post was chartered on January 1st, 1983,
in East Wenatchee with 18 founding members.
In those early days, the members met at the East Wenatchee Grange Hall on Sunset Highway.
In 1990, with the Post membership growing to 100,
it was decided to look for a place to call our own.
Fundraising efforts were started, and some members even mortgaged their own homes
to establish a line of credit to buy a property that we could call ours.
One of the primary leaders spearheading this immense project was
then Post Commander Dean M. Baughman.
The East Wenatchee Garden Club building, and associated property,
located at Baker Avenue and 11th Street NE was purchased in 1991,
and soon after, renovations began to convert the facility for use by our Post.
New electrical, bathroom facilities, and an upgraded kitchen project
were part of the many changes necessary to make the facility serviceable to our needs.
A major addtion of 1000 square feet to extend the north side
of the primary structure was added, and included a much needed general office area.
Today, with even more additional remodeling projects completed,
including the addition of offices for our VFW Service Officer,
the Post is thriving with over 350 members.
In June 2014, VFW Wenatchee River Post 10445 consolidated into our post
and the post has been renamed Dean Baughman River Post 3617.
Post 10445 was originally founded in 1922, and under the VFW National Bylaws,
our combined Post adopts the oldest founding date,
so our Post founding date is now 1922.
Our post now serves all the Wenatchee River Valley from Leavenworth to Cashmere,
to Wenatchee, south to Malaga as well as serving north to Entiat
on the Chelan County Side of the River and to Bridgeport Mansfield, Waterville,
Orondo, East Wenatchee and Rock Island on the Douglas County Side of the River.
On September 16th, 2015, the Post made a name change to more accurately reflect the area we serve
by voting to change our name to Wenatchee Valley VFW Post 3617.
We also adopted a gender neutral standing for our Post & Auxiliary
which will from now forward be the Wenatchee Valley VFW Post 3617 Auxiliary,
and open to males, who may be related to veterans or spouses of female veterans.
The Post provides many direct veteran services, honor guards and color guards,
ongoing education and support to county area schools,
scholarships and community awards, as well as support of our Active Duty Adopted Unit,
the 787th Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit,
stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
The post also participates in numerous annual events,
including Veterans Day Parades and school assemblies,
the Wenatchee Apple Blossom Parade,
Memorial Day Ceremonies and Buddy Poppy programs,
as well as Wreaths Across America.
The Post is also active with continual fundraising, with weekly Bingo.
Our present major focus is on the development of a New Veterans Memorial
to be built in the near future.
We also offer comradeship and a sense of belonging to any and all veterans
within the North Central Washington community.