SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - There’s rarely a time when Pearce Gilbert or a member of his family is not at VFW Post 660. It’s more likely that they’re all there.
"It’s very important to us because we’ve served and we all love what we did,’’ said Gilbert. “And we love helping veterans, so this is how we ended up here.’’
Gilbert is the commander of Post 660. His wife Kathy is the post adjutant. Their oldest daughter, Amber is house committee chair and youngest daughter, Courtney, tends bar. But they are all there for the same reason, to continue to serve those who served.
"You have veterans come in the doors and they served in different wars and different activities,’’ said Katy Gilbert. “And so you can learn about what they experienced and be like, hey I did some of this, I went that same area of the country. So it keeps us pretty close.’’
"Us here at the VFW,’’ added the Gilbert’s daughter, Amber Shelton, “it’s just a continuation of service.’’ A level of service that has defined the family since Pearce and Kathy met almost 30 years ago.
"So, she was looking for the credit union,’’ Gilbert says of the first time he saw Kathy. “I took her to the credit union, took her back to the barracks and that’s how we started.’’ Soon, they would start a family that would spend a combined half-century in the military.
Gilbert was in the Marines and his wife served in the Navy. When the time came for Amber to surrender her dependent ID card, she enlisted in the Army.
"I had to find a way to keep my base access and keep my PX access and my commissary access,’’ said Amber. “So, I decided I’d join for myself.’’
Courtney attempted to join the Air Force but was turned down because of asthma and instead has given 26 years of support.
"I’m tremendously proud,’’ she said. “It does take a special kind of person to be willing to make that kind of sacrifice. Because it is such a non-selfish thing to do. It’s not just about you, it’s about the whole country, it’s about everybody and making sure everybody gets to experience this freedom that we as a country take so much pride in.’’
They are all proud of their volunteer work at Post 660, and happy to play an active role in the lives of local veterans.
"It keeps us very close and I think that’s why we’re here,’’ said Kathy Gilbert. “Because we know it’s a continuation of what we’ve done and what we continue to do. "Even though we had three different branches,’’ added Pearce Gilbert. “We all have a common bond and I think with this VFW is what really makes us a solid family.’’