There was not an empty parking stall at the Fairbury VFW on Saturday, August 4, for the Third Fairbury National Guard Reunion. 
“This is the largest reunion of its kind in Nebraska,” said organizer Roy Worm. 
Worm, a National Guard veteran of over 20 years’ service, along with a committee of dedicated individuals was able to put on the event for national guardsmen of all eras. He acknowledged the attendance of veterans from the Korean, Vietnam, WWII, and the present wars that were all accounted for at the event. 
The concept of putting together the reunion was born when Worm attended a Memorial Day service four years prior where Thomas Brewer, a speaker at the August 4 event, spoke at a service.
“I just called a few guys and one said, ‘we need to have a reunion,” Worm said. “So, I took it on myself and I started calling people by memory. I’d talk to one person and they’d say, ‘well how about this person?’ So, I would contact them and that’s how this all got started.”
In 2014, Worm was able to gather 106 people for the first Fairbury National Guard Reunion. 
Although he noted that 30 of the invited veterans were unable to attend the reunion on August 4, they served 171 people, which was up from the last event in 2016 that had 157 people served. 
“The furthest was from Tennessee,” Worm said. “And the rest were from Nebraska and Kansas.” 
At least one other veteran contacted was from California, Arizona, and another from Iowa. They could not attend but expressed their desire to be at future events. 
The next reunion has been set for August 15, 2020. In the early concept of the reunion, Worm and his committee took a vote from the attendees for how often to hold the event. When the vote was over it was decided to hold the reunion every two years. 
At the event on August 4, the VFW was so packed, there was no parking left by 11:30a.m. when the first of three guest speakers addressed the crowd. Leading the succession of speeches was Mark Schoenrock, a veteran of many eras and current chairman of the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners. 
Worm had reached out to the office of Governor Pete Rickets in October of 2017, inviting him to attend the event and be a guest speaker. Unfortunately, he could not attend the event, but his office recommended John Hilgert, the Director of the Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Hilgert spoke of the department’s efforts and programs for veterans and their families. He closed his speech by thanking the service of all the men and women who served and are currently serving to this day.
Col. Thomas Brewer rounded out the day of guest speakers. He gave his speech after lunch was served, which was catered by Ricky’s of Hanover. 
When asked why here, why Fairbury, Worm recollected the unit base that once was in town but closed in 2001. He went on to say that so many came here to Fairbury and the surrounding area.
“The Fairbury unit was based here up until 2001 when they closed it and I volunteered to get this whole thing started and we just kept it right here in Fairbury,” Worm said. 
With such a large turnout for the reunion, Worm had to make some special accommodations for parking. Every available parking stall was occupied, along with parking extending around the side and some crafty parallel parker. Despite the overcrowded parking, Worm made sure to acquire extra handicap parking for the front of the building. 
The next reunion has been set for August 15, 2020 and with the hope that the attendance will swell even greater than this year’s event.