Contributor for plumasnews.com
After the deeply emotional and very well attended Greenville Veteran’s Day parade on Thursday, November 11, 2021, this reporter had the opportunity to sit down for a calm and engaging conversation with John Banks, post commander for American Legion 568 for the Indian Valley and Greenville. John lost his home in Greenville on August 4.
Question: How many active members does Post 568 have at present, and how many marched in the parade today?
John Banks: There are currently 58 active members of our post, including the one new member I signed up today. We had approximately 12 members of the local post marching today, plus an additional 12 area veterans who joined us from Susanville, Chester, Quincy, and Portola.
Question: What is the best single thing that has happened to you since the fire on August 4?
John Banks: It was when the regional Rotary called to inform me that they were setting up a GoFundMe account to help people in Greenville. This led to the local Rotary receiving substantial donations, and us being able to share debit relief cards with many local displaced persons. We have helped 180 local fire survivors since then. (John is also an active member of local Rotary)
Question: What are the immediate plans for activities at Post 568?
John Banks: When the clean-up phase has sufficiently progressed, The Almanor Fishing Association wants to help us bring some type of trailer or modular unit onsite, so we can at least resume meetings. We are so very grateful for their help. Being able to resume meetings is an important next step for the Post.
Question: What are the long term plans for the property belonging to Post 568 on North Main Street?
John Banks: Sadly, we did not have insurance at the time of the Fire. We were actively trying to get insurance, but companies required property improvements we could not afford. One company required improvements to our parking lot costing over $100,000. This is money we did not have, not even close. Post-fire, CalOES has agreed to clean the fire debris off our property, and we are working to find funding for reconstruction. We welcome anyone to help us rebuild and recover. With the support of Greenville, Plumas County and beyond, we know that we can do this.