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Vet Continued from page 1A


A framed certificate recognizing his 25 years of meritorious service hangs on the wall opposite of Jarvis' front entrance to his home.

Hanging among his multiple highway department awards is a photograph taken during the former Fourth of July parade in downtown Eastville.

Smiling men wearing black slacks, ties and American Legion uniform caps wave as they stride past the camera.

Those veterans belonged to the American Legion Post 400, which Jarvis and other pioneering members founded.

Post 400 was originally based in Exmore, but after several years of raising money, the local group bought land in Eastville neighboring Route 13.

The veterans then constructed the Willie T. Brickhouse building, which opened in 1996 and served as the Post's headquarters.

"All the veterans would meet there and celebrate," said Jarvis, who long served as the Post's second commander.

The building was named in honor of Willie T. Brickhouse, a Northampton County native who was a high-ranking officer in the Army and died in combat.

In addition to holding celebrations for holidays, Post 400 members would open their doors for community events like Easter egg hunts.

Post members were also very active in sending Northampton High students to Boys State and Girls State, summer leadership and citizenship programs sponsored by the American Legion.

Because lower Northampton County lacked any large buildings for social functions, Post members offered to rent out their headquarters for events like wedding receptions and dances.

Galloway said some recent "disturbances" that had transpired during and after these non-veteran events led to the American Legion Department of Virginia closing the Eastville Post last year.

"We're still fighting now to maintain it," said Galloway, who was the president of the American Legion Auxiliary. "We went to court in April so we're waiting now for the judge to rule on it."

Today the American Legion Post 400 headquarters has padlocks on the front entrance.

Jarvis said he still does not understand how the American Legion could close the building since it was purchased with money raised by him and other veterans.

"We bought the land. We took off from work building the post. Begged and borrowed whatever we could get to help get that post up," Jarvis said.

"I didn't think the American Legion would do such a no count thing. We can't even go in there," he added.

In years past, Jarvis held a joint birthday and Fourth of July party at the Post.

Although he can no longer celebrate in the building he holds dear to his heart, Jarvis said he is looking forward to seeing his family and friends on Saturday.

Galloway and her four sisters, relatives from New York and Philadelphia, as well as members of Jarvis' church will gather in his front yard that will be decorated with an abundant assortment of American Flags.

Many of Jarvis' great-nephews and great-nieces who have served in the military will be in attendance as well.

Calling her father the "rock of the family," Galloway described Jarvis as a humble and giving man who has always made sure his family was cared for.

"We always call him our hero," she said. "Always on the Fourth of July he gets the highest salute."

mwatterson@dmg.gannett.com 757-787-1200 ext 123 Twitter: @malissaESN

[Image of Mr. Jarvis taken from the left showing the flag blanket mentioned on the first page]

[Image caption] STAFF PHOTO BY JAY DIEM Irving Jarvis, a World War II army veteran, looks forward to seeing his friends and family on Saturday to celebrate his birthday and the Fourth of July.