LOUISVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A local VFW Post is in rebuild mode and wants to thank the public for helping them rebuild better.

POST 51-54 in Blount County took a big blow in a summer storm and the veterans who gather there are still working to get it fixed up.  But, they’re not just repairing it. They’re making their post better than ever. 

“Right there. There you go. Bang. Bang,” said Jim London as he directed the building of a wall frame at VFW Post 5154. “We’re doing basically a remodel job.” 

Back in August, the post was attacked by a storm that ripped parts of the roof off.  

“It peeled the gravel and tar off the back of the building,” said London.

The damage allowed hundreds of gallons of water to pour into the ceiling and the floor of the 75-year-old building.  

“The 55-gallon trash cans we were filling up every 15 minutes. There was water standing all over the floor.  Several inches of water. It was a pretty big mess,” said London.

Fast forward to now, London as well as others are busy not only rebuilding their post but making it better than it was before. 

“We’re going to make the building a much safer place by doing it the right way and up the way it is supposed to be done,” said London.

London and other veterans, like Johnny Campbell, also want to make it better for those who like to gather here and be with others who understand. 

“We need a place where our veterans can come to and come relax and have comradery with other veterans and stuff. We can sit around and talk war stories or whatever else is going on – just a good place to meet,” said Campbell.

Campbell said it’s important work because the post is important to veterans. 

“Up here they have their brothers and sisters they can converse with who have been through similar issues. Kind of a personal therapy type I guess,” said Campbell.

Both men say the remodeling job is taking time and costing money because insurance only covered what was damaged – not the improvements. But they say people and businesses have stepped up to help them finish the task. 

“I would just like to thank the public for any contributions and donations that they have sent to the post. We didn’t ask for anything, but people are doing a kind thing this time of year and stepping up and helping us out which we really appreciate so I’d like to thank all the people who are doing that,” said London.  

Campbell said they have put up most of the roof and they plan on finishing up in April and will hold a grand re-opening on April 15.