We are the VFW Post No. 7573, located in New Baltimore, Michigan.  Our post was chartered on October 30th, 1949 and is known as Lempke - Blackwell Post 7573.  We are a proud member of District 5 of the Michigan Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.


Leonard Lempke

1920 - 1945

United States Army

Leonard Lempke was born on October 26, 1920 in Memphis, Michigan.  He was educated in the Memphis school system and moved to New Baltimore in 1940. He was inducted into the U.S. Army in December of 1942 and took his military training in Washington and California.  In July of 1943 upon completion of his training he was stationed in Hawaii.  He later took part in military operations in Guam and the East Indies.  In July of 1945 his unit was deployed to the Philippines to reclaim this island nation that had been captured by the Japanese at the beginning of the war.  He was wounded in action on the island of Luzon in the Philippines on March 17, 1945.  He died eight days later from his wounds.  He is buried in the Santa Barbara Military cemetery in the Philippines.

Frank Blackwell

1926 - 1945

United States Marine Corps

Frank Blackwell was born on April 17, 1926 in Marion, Kentucky.  He attended school in University City, Missouri and later New Baltimore, Michigan.  He joined the U.S. Marine Corps on August 26, 1944 and trained at Parris Island, South Carolina.  He was deployed overseas on April 13, 1945 to the Pacific theater.  He took part in the Military actions at Guam and the island of Okinawa.  He was killed during the fighting on Okinawa on May 31, 1945.  He served with the 22nd Marine, 6th Marine Division.  He is buried in the 6th Marine Division cemetery on Okinawa.  His diploma from the New Baltimore Public High School was posthumously received by his mother in June of 1945.  He was only nineteen (19) years old.



About the VFW
The 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.