They've fought foreign wars and now members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 751 and Ladies Auxiliary face another battle getting their club back into shape after it was flooded.
The club had 34 inches of water in it, said Wayne Paulson, post quartermaster. "In '69, we had water to the doorstep but not inside," he said. The river runs behind the club building which is on the east side of Minot.
The water was in the lower level of the building, which includes the bar, a large area for tables and chairs, dance floor, restrooms and storage area.
The lower level of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Club on the east side of Minot had 2 feet of water in it. Volunteers removed the flooring, sheetrock and insulation after the flood.
Debbie Olhauser, club manager for 30-plus years, said it brought tears to her eyes when she saw the building after the flood. She's the only full-time employee. There are six part-time employees.
Paulson, who also is the bookkeeper, said they want to get Olhauser and the other employees back to work as soon as they can.
Paulson, Olhauser and about 18 others met Saturday at the club to talk about what they will do to fix up the club and get it back into operation.
After the meeting, Paulson said he estimates the cost of the flood damage will run between $60,000 to $75,000.
The post is accepting donations to help with the repairs as well as replacing coolers and an ice machine. The coolers and ice machine will cost about $10,000 to replace.
Olhauser and Paulson said they've had to cancel some parties, wedding receptions and a picnic that were planned at the club before the flood.
The picnic grounds behind the club were green grass before the flood. Now it's covered with tan-brown mud. The picnic tables are strewn around the grounds.
Peggy Headrick's homecoming as state president of the auxiliary on Sept. 10 had to be moved from the Minot club to Bismarck. It will be held there at a later date as a joint homecoming with the department commander. Headrick was elected and installed as state president in Grand Forks in June.
After the water went down, the VFW post and auxiliary members along with some nonmembers, all volunteers, removed the damaged carpet, sheetrock and insulation in the club's lower level.
A construction company was hired and now is doing cleanup of washing and sanitizing the downstairs.
When that crew finishes its work, tentatively this week, then volunteers of club members and nonmembers will begin the job of redoing the lower level. If the cleanup crew is finished, they'll start their work this weekend.
"We're going to survive. There's a lot of work but we'll make it," Paulson said.
"I'm hoping we can have it all done by Thanksgiving," he added.