COMANCHE COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL)—
The Veterans of Foreign Wars is the largest and oldest war veterans service organization. This summer, a post in Comanche County made history by names its first female commander.
Originally comprised of only men, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5263 is taking some big leaps to be more inclusive.
For the first time in 73 years, a woman has taken over the reins as commander.
“I hope that it means that we’ll be able to reach out to more female veterans and get them involved,” Commander Erica Wilson-Traxler said.
More than two years ago, former army staff sergeant Wilson-Traxler first joined the organization, which has a rich tradition of serving veterans, military families and their local communities.
“This post supports every person and that’s very important for the community to let them know that everyone is welcome here,” Wilson-Trazler said.
She said one of her biggest priorities in this new position is ensuring that as the voice for so many, and she represents those well.
“That’s important to me,” Wilson-Traxler said. “To make sure that I’m doing what needs to be done and representing everyone in the way that they want to be represented because I’m just one person. I’m not the whole voice and so every single member of this post, their voice is what really matters. So as long as I can do that justice, that makes me happy.”
During her command, Wilson-Traxler said she hopes to see the post grow with veterans from all walks of life who want to promote Americanism by educating the community about what patriotism and civil service is all about.
In addition to being the first female commander, it’s also the first time women, three to be exact, have served on the board for the VFW.
The auxiliary has also inducted Barbie Warren Taylor as junior vice commander and Sheri Kellner is the chaplain.