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Tumwater DAV's new home

Frank Schnarr is awesome

The new Disabled American Veterans hall in Olympia receives a red, white and blue paint job. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

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If you've been to Frankie's Sports Bar & Grill in Olympia, you might already know the proprietor's secret: he believes in giving to a fault when it comes to the local community.

"Sometimes, especially when it gets a little colder out, I put this up on the board outside ... ‘If you're out of work and still searching, come in for a free lunch,'" stated bar owner Frank Schnarr. "I've had rough times so I know what it means to get a little help."

Recently, Schnarr, a military veteran himself, provided more than a little help to the Disabled American Veterans, Tumwater Chapter #41, when he gave them a new place from which to run its organization.

For years, the Tumwater DAV was crowded into a small place on Martin Way and had a hard time getting funding to keep up with the rent. A few members happened to mention it to Schnarr when they were in the bar and he immediately realized he could fix the problem.

"I had a house that used to be a barbershop and now for awhile it has been vacant and just used as storage, so I offered it to them, rent-free," Schnarr said.

The DAV, which was founded in 1920, is dedicated to "empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity." From helping navigate Veterans Affairs's claims to advocacy in Washington, D.C. to coordinating volunteer efforts to help veterans in need, the DAV is constantly working for its members.

"He has really taken care of us and we appreciate it so much," said Jim Martinson, the first junior vice commander of DAV Chapter #41.

Schnarr has been working on having the house retrofitted with a few small offices, a working kitchen and a handicap accessible bathroom. He has even gone so far as to have the building re-painted patriotically in red, white and blue so that people will recognize and respect it.

"I served in the military and I've been unfortunately denied my claims by the VA, so I believe in helping my fellow veterans," explained Schnarr, who in the past has donated pool tables to the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post and donated money to help them fix roof leaks.

And he's not done yet.

"I want to get a real flagpole put in the ground because they deserve a flag," Schnarr said. "It might take awhile to raise the funds, but we'll get it done."

In fact, the generous businessman already has plans to raffle off a hot tub at the sports bar in order to help raise funds for his favorite DAV chapter.

The DAV's new digs are at 920 Poplar St. SE in Olympia. Meetings are held at 7 p.m. the second Thursday of every month. For additional DAV chapter information, call 360.459.7400.

"We have to help one another, especially after we're out of the military," Schnarr said.

Frankie's Sports Bar & Grill is at 3663 Pacific Ave. SE in Olympia. It's open every day from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

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