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Hunker Down At The Mall’s New Bunker

Indian River Mall now offers a special place for local veterans.

Vietnam veteran John Darling displays some of the items available in the Victory Center Military Store.

Vietnam veteran John Darling displays some of the items available in the Victory Center Military Store.

A store opening is quite an event these days at local malls which, like malls across the country, have suffered a number of closures due to the uncertain economy. So a special welcome is due to the Victory Center Military Store, an unusual facility near Macy’s in the Indian River Mall that’s designed to serve the area’s vets.

“We have a two-fold purpose,” explains John Darling, a Vietnam veteran who is now president of Indian River County Veterans Mall Foundation Inc. “First, we have a retail store that sells various types of military surplus, from camo and trinkets to flags. The second section is an area we call our R&R bunker, where veterans can enjoy coffee and doughnuts, and read or watch TV. We have Wi-Fi available, so they can use their laptops if they wish, and there are two computers set up for Skype for those who would like to talk to their service family.” Another feature is a Wall of Honor – “We’re inviting local residents to bring in a 5x7 photo of themselves or a loved one, past or present, to be placed on the wall.”

Read the entire article in the April 2012 issue