Black Mountain VFW honors veterans with golf tournament

Ezra Maille
Black Mountain News
VFW Post 1957 hosted a golf tournament to raise funds for their organization and honors lives lost on Sept. 11.

Many Black Mountain locals, including the mayor and three council members, participated in a golf tournament fundraiser for the local VFW to honor veterans and remember those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. 

The tournament aimed to raise funds for the VFW to improve its establishment, an old building that has become rundown in recent years. Michael Neder, the VFW post commander, said he also hopes that a renovation will bring new life to Post 1957, especially for the younger crowd of new and active service members.

"It's kind of an image thing that new, young members like myself and the majority of active members at our post are trying to overcome," Neder said. 

Black Mountain Mayor Larry Harris led a team of town council members at the tournament.

Afghanistan veteran Brittany Deyton opened the tournament with a short speech to commemorate the lives lost on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Deyton acknowledged the sacrifice of roughly 2,400 fellow armed service members who died oversees in the aftermath as well as the 2,977 individuals who lost their lives in the attacks. 

"Today is a remembrance and a tribute to both the living and the dead," she said. 

Afghanistan veteran Brittany Deyton spoke of commemoration and honor before the start of the tournament.

Deyton spoke of self-sacrifice, honor, heroism and patriotism and a deep appreciation for the resolve of the U.S. in the face of tragedy and fear. In acknowledging not only service members but also first responders and everyday Americas, Deyton said no sacrifice should go unnoticed. 

"We should also remember the acts of ordinary people who did extraordinary things for the love of mankind," Deyton said. 

This year's tournament was the second time the VFW has organized an event like this, the first one being prior to the pandemic. Neder said this year's event was much more successful as they were able to get the word out and bring in many more participants than before. 

"Last year we had five teams, this year we have nineteen teams signed up," Neder said. 

Council member Doug Hay practices putting prior to the start of the tournament.

The post commander said he appreciated the support from the town officials, crediting much of the organization to council member Doug Hay, whose team consisted of himself, the mayor and council members Archie Pertiller and Bill Christy. 

In addition to the tournament, the VFW held a silent auction and established sponsors to raise money. Neder, a veteran of Iraq, said with all the things happening in the world currently, and this year being the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, it felt like a good time to bring people together. 

VFW Post Commander Michael Neder helped organize the event to raise funds for Post 1957.

"While I'm not sure where this journey will go from here, I'm sure that duty, loyalty, self-sacrifice and love still have meaning and still flourish in the hearts of ordinary people who live and work with us everyday," Deyton said during opening remarks.