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Doors Once Again Open At Local AVF
John Hinkel AVF
American Veterans First President John Hinkel is shown here wiping down the panels that have the names listed from those killed in action during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. AVF did a thorough cleaning prior to reopening the doors. Photo Contributed

American Veterans First (AVF) has reopened as of this past Tuesday, May 19 after adhering to the shelter-in-place orders from the state which led them to close their doors in March. The doors are now reopened as CEO Duke Cooper and board members John Hinkel, Jonathon Benjamin and William Babbitt did a thorough cleaning this past Monday of the facilities on Patterson Road.

They disinfected everything from the top to the bottom and everywhere in between making sure that it was ready for guests the next day.

With the request for services coming through to Cooper from veterans and community members in need, it is back to business for AVF. Although Cooper and other AVF members have done things for others during the pandemic including delivering meals and supplies the doors at AVF have been closed and their reach has been minimal. For the past few weeks they have collaborated with Heath Flora and Ted Howze’s team to help the Manteca-based Three Rivers Indian Lodge, Native Directions, Inc. with food and supplies as they have been in dire need.

This week the doors will be open for a few hours so if the flags are out the community is welcomed. All safety precautions will be followed as COVID-19 is still a threat and they take it very seriously.

As businesses start reopening and the state’s phases progress, AVF has tentatively slated a Rib Cook-off and Brewfest on June 20 from noon to 4 p.m. at 2372 Patterson Road, depending on the restrictions at the time. The California Outlaws Band is scheduled to perform to entertain the guests. AVF and Protecting Soldiers Rights are hosting the Rib Cook-off and Brewfest. Vendors are invited to showcase their goods and chefs are invited to bring their best ribs to the cook-off.

For more information call 209-863-8480 or email