VETERAN – Veteran might not be one of the largest or busiest communities in Goshen County, but members of its fire department have a lot of pride in their contribution to the small town on Wyoming Highway 154, 15 miles southwest of Torrington. Evidence of that pride is very obvious to visitors.
The 30x60 foot truck garage, along with the 30x40 foot training and meeting building brighten the center of the small, unincorporated town of about 30 residents.
“We have 23 members, and we wanted to enhance our abilities to fight fires and protect our people,” Fire Chief Jeff McClun said.
They accomplished this by replacing the old fire hall and neighboring property that was a leftover from the town’s early days as a commercial center for WW I veterans who homesteaded the area.
A block east of the UP Railroad tracks, the new four-bay truck storage facility shines in the morning sunshine. It was built in 2014 with assistance from the Wyoming State Land Investment Board through a $130,000 grant. Three trucks are housed in the 30x60 foot building, along with bunker gear and other small equipment, while two additional trucks are housed at the Goshen Hole Company (Teeters Ranch).
In May this year, they completed their improvements with a $55,000, 30x40 foot structure for meetings and training. The fire district and department paid for it.
“The district budgets money for building improvements,” McClun explained. “Additionally, the department accumulates money from the federal government by sending our firemen and equipment to help on federal fires.”
According to McClun, whose father was an early member, and whose son, Kody, is also a member, the department is a very young and vibrant association with members who are willing to serve and protect the district whenever the need arises.
It is comprised of 23 active members, two-thirds age 50 and under, and one-thrid age 30 or less. They have a total combined experience of 375 years.
The Veteran Volunteer Fire Department was established in 1972, and is one of the few organizations still active in the small town that once was home to a U.S. Post Office, high school, grocery store, grain elevator, sugar beet receiving station, American Legion, WWII prisoner of war camp, and CCC Camp.
The Post Office and American Legion property join the VVFD as remaining public service