Kearny Mesa Post 3788 was originated and organized through the efforts of Comrade Sid Smith, who at that time was a member of O.K. INGRAM POST. Sid believed there was a need for a new post in the Kearny Mesa Area, knowing the area housed many active as well as retired military and ex service personnel. Every Saturday Sid walked the streets of Linda Vista knocking on doors recruiting for eligible veterans. During the month of October 1956, Sid was instrumental in signing enough new qualified Veterans and met the required number for a quorum in order to legally conduct a meeting. The VFW By-Laws state a minimum of 5 members must be present to conduct a meeting.  The meeting was arranged and 16 new members attended to begin the process of establishing Post 3788. For the first three months meetings were held in Sid's garage where elections were held to select the first core of new officers.

New Officers elected to get the post started were as follows:   

  • Commander:                  Sid Smith

  • Sr. Vice Commander:     Ray Morales

  • Jr. Vice Commander:     Dale Jones

  • Quartermaster:               Jim Keough

  • Adjutant:                        Rick Richard

The members voted to leave the charter open in hopes of recruiting several more members. On January 27, 1957, the charter was closed with 88 members and Kearny Mesa Post 3788 was chartered as the new post in the San Diego area.  

From 1957 thru 1961, Post 3788 conducted its monthly meetings by renting space in the American Legion building located on the corner of Genesee Ave and Linda Vista Road.  In the year 1961 the City of San Diego offered to rent Post 3788 a vacant Maintenance Building (40' x 80') located on Levant St. (across from the American Legion Post). The rent was $1.00 per year.   At the same time the City also gave Post 3788 the option to purchase this building for the grand sum of $1.00. The conditions being that, this building had to be removed from the city land and relocated to another area. At that time Post 3788 was unable to locate any affordable land and the sale option was dropped, but the growth of post 3788 continued.

In 1964 a building at 7785 Othello Street was founded and the move was made into a large stucco building that had been used as a Service Garage for repairing automobiles. Over the next several years the new Post home began to take shape- thanks to the many hours of work volunteered by the members. Membership at that time was just under 200. Post 3788 remains in the same building today.  

Post 3788 holds the honor of having two of its Past Commanders and two Auxiliary Presidents elevated to the higher positions within the District, Department and National levels.

On December 28, 2002, a new charter was issued and Kearny Mesa Post 3788 was renamed "Lcdr Arnold E. Betcher - Kearny Mesa Post 3788" in honor of a great dedicated member, Retired Navy LCDR Arnold E. Betcher. From the first day Arnold became a member of Post 3788 he spent numerous hours working to better the post. He was instrumental in setting up and maintaining many programs that helped the post progress to its current status - known as- "the friendliest post in the 1st District".    

Arnold left us February 7. 2000 to be with other departed comrades in the heavens above. Thanks Arnie from all the members of Post 3788-We miss you!

In Memory of Arnold

He left us February 7, 2000 to be with other departed comrades in the heavens above.

Thanks Arnie from all the members of Post 3788

-We miss you!