Veterans of Foreign Wars

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"VFW" redirects here. For other uses, see VFW (disambiguation).
Veterans of Foreign Wars
of the United States, Inc.
Vfw-logo3.jpg
Abbreviation VFW
Motto Pro deo pro patria  (Latin)
(For God, for Country)
Formation September 29, 1899 (1899-09-29)[1]
Founder James Putnam[2]
Type NPO
Legal status Federally chartered corporation[3]
Purpose Fraternal,
Patriotic,
Historical,
Charitable,
Educational
Headquarters 406 West 34th Street
Kansas City, Missouri
Region served Worldwide
Official language English
Commander-in-Chief John Stroud
Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief John Biedrzycki
Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Brian Duffy
Publication V. F. W.[4]
Affiliations Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW,
Military Order of the Cootie of the United States,
Sons of the VFW,
VFW Foundation,
VFW National Home for Children
Website vfw.org
Formerly called American Veterans of Foreign Service (AVFS)[5]

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) is an organization formed in Columbus, Ohio on September 29, 1899, by Spanish–American War veterans of the 17th Regiment of Infantry, Ohio National Guard.[6][7]

Mission[edit]

The organization works on behalf of American veterans by lobbying Congress for better veterans' health care and benefits.[8] It also maintains a nationwide organization of employees and volunteers to assist veterans with their VA disability claims.[9]

Membership eligibility[edit]

Members must be a United States citizen or national with an honorable discharge from the United States military, or currently serving in the Armed Forces of the United States. Eligibility requires active military service overseas during an operation and/or conflict and decoration with an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, campaign medal, or ribbon. A Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) showing receipt of hostile or imminent danger pay is also acceptable proof for membership.

Partial list of awards, devices, ribbons & medals for eligibility[edit]

VFW World Map of Membership Eligibility

and/or

Service for thirty (30) consecutive days duty in Korea or sixty (60) days of non-consecutive duty in Korea.

Service members currently deployed to a combat zone meet the qualification for joining the VFW.

A DD214 or World War II era discharge paper with campaign medals, and/or badges printed on back is used to verify membership eligibility.[10]

Several presidents of the United States have been members of the VFW. They include - Theodore Roosevelt, Harry S Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford and George H. W. Bush.[11] Vice Presidents Spiro T. Agnew and Albert Gore were also members.

National Military and National Veterans Service Programs[edit]

National Military Services[edit]

VFW National Military Services (NMS) promotes positive awareness of the VFW through community involvement, communication tools, and financial support to qualified military service members. With the variety of support offered, three separate programs were developed under the VFW National Military Services department. These programs are the Operation Uplink, Military Assistance Program, and Unmet Needs.

Operation Uplink[edit]

VFW started Operation Uplink in 1996 to connect deployed and hospitalized service members with their families through free phone calls. In 2004 VFW began providing Free Call Days twice a month to service members deployed abroad. Since then Free Call Days have provided service members with more than 4 million free phone calls home.[12]

Military Assistance Program[edit]

The Military Assistance Program (MAP) is the VFW's most direct connection between military units and Posts at the local level. Through MAP Posts have held going away, welcome home events, and unit picnics for numerous military units. In the last 5 years MAP has helped Posts host more than 1 million service members and their families. The Adopt-a-Unit program also falls under MAP and connects military units around the world with a local Post that can offer resources and support.

Unmet Needs[edit]

VFW Unmet Needs was created in 2004 through a corporate partnership to assist military service members and their families who run into unexpected financial difficulties as a result of deployment or other hardships directly related to military service. Unmet Needs assists with basic life needs such as mortgage and rent, home and auto repairs, insurance, utilities, food, and clothing. Unmet Needs helps meet unanticipated financial demands on service members' families that can not be remedied through existing means and provides service members with the comfort of knowing that their families have additional support stateside. The financial assistance is in the form of up to $2,500 in grants that do not need to be repaid. All grants are paid directly to the "creditor" (such as an electric company) and not to the individual. Each case is reviewed individually and acceptance determined by a committee.

National Veterans Services[edit]

The National Veterans Services exist to assist veterans in dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs. This is usually in the form of providing advice and assistance to veterans filing disability claims for pensions, but can also come in the form of advice filing for VA home loans, education benefits, small business loans, or filling out other VA forms. VFW National Veterans Services can offer guidance to veterans wishing to file their own claims, or full-on support preparing, submitting, and tracking the progress of a claim.[13] VFW Service Officers can also help veterans or surviving spouses resubmit denied claims or file a Notice of Disagreement as well as simply answer questions regarding medical, death/burial, and other miscellaneous benefits.

Community involvement[edit]

M60 tank, VFW post 2408, Ypsilanti, MI

Direct community involvement is a VFW priority, extending beyond the realm of veterans helping fellow veterans. Annually, VFW and the Men's and Ladies Auxiliaries donate more than 13 million volunteer hours of community service.[14] VFW members mentor youth groups, help in community food kitchens, volunteer in blood drives, and visit hospitalized veterans. Others help veterans file compensation claims. VFW's Community Service programs are designed to encourage community service and increase civic pride, which ultimately enhances education, improves the environment, and ensures the availability of health services for veterans.

VFW's Citizenship Education program is designed to stimulate interest in America's history and traditions and to promote citizenship, civic responsibility, and patriotism. VFW's Youth Scholarship programs provide more than $3.5 million in scholarships to our nation's youth. They include Voice of Democracy, Patriot's Pen youth essay contest, and Scout of the Year. The VFW's partnership with the Boy Scouts of America includes sponsoring more than 1,200 Scouting units with 40,000 members across the nation. VFW's Safety Program encourages VFW Posts and Auxiliaries to conduct programs in home, auto, and bicycle safety, as well as programs dealing with drug awareness and substance abuse.

The VFW National Home for Children is a community development in a family-like environment that is home to orphaned or single parent children of VFW or Ladies Auxiliary members. The home, which was established in 1925 on 160 acres (0.65 km2) in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, emphasizes the values of education, good work habits, and sound moral character.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Mason 1999, p. 29.
  2. ^ Mason 1999, pp. 37-40.
  3. ^ Mason 1999, p. 92.
  4. ^ Mason 1999, pp. 210-11.
  5. ^ Mason 1999, p. 39.
  6. ^ Mason 1999, p. 29.
  7. ^ American Veterans of Foreign Service at Ohio History Central
  8. ^ "Legislative Victories" (PDF). VFW. 2004-09-02. Retrieved 2006-11-04. 
  9. ^ "Services to Veterans" (PDF). VFW. 2004-09-02. Retrieved 2006-11-04. 
  10. ^ "VFW Eligibility Information" (PDF). VFW. October 2005. Retrieved 2006-11-04. 
  11. ^ "Presidents". Vfwhawaii.org. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  12. ^ VFW National Military Services – Operation Uplink, Unmet Needs, Military Assistance Program. Vfw.org. Retrieved on 2011-03-13.
  13. ^ National Veterans Service NVS Assistance from. the VFW. Retrieved on 2011-03-13.
  14. ^ Veterans of Foreign Wars. VFW. Retrieved on 2011-03-13.

References[edit]

  • Mason, Jr., Herbert Molloy (1999). VFW: Our First Century. Lenexa, Kan.: Addax Publishing Group. ISBN 1-88611072-7.