Veterans of Foreign Wars

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Veterans of Foreign Wars

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is a U.S. organization comprised of men who have served overseas in the military during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War. Veterans who served in expeditionary campaigns such as Grenada and Panama are also eligible to join. Female relatives of veterans and women who have served overseas in the armed forces are eligible to join the Ladies Auxiliary. In 2003 the VFW, with its Ladies Auxiliary, had about 2.7 million members in approximately 9,500 posts worldwide. The organization's national head-quarters are located in Kansas City, Missouri, but it also has a large office in Washington, D.C.

The VFW was established in 1913, consolidating three organizations created by Spanish-American War veterans. From its inception, the VFW has sought to promote patriotism and national security. Its paramount mission, however, has been ensuring that needy and disabled veterans receive aid. Beginning in 1922, it has sold a paper flower called the "Buddy Poppy," to raise funds for national service programs and relief for needy veterans and their families. The VFW fought for military pensions after World War I, planned the establishment of the Veterans Administration (VA) in 1930, lobbied for the GI Bill of Rights after World War II, and helped develop the national cemetery system for veterans. The VFW has also contributed millions of dollars to cancer research since the 1950s.

The VFW National Legislative Service office in Washington, D.C., monitors legislation that affects veterans. It alerts the membership to key legislation and lobbies Congress and the Executive Branch on veterans' issues. The office often assists congressional staffs in preparing legislation. In the early 2000s, the VFW legislative goals included a VA budget with sufficient funds to provide adequate veterans health care, vocational training and retraining for veterans, and employment opportunities for veterans.

The VFW has almost 16,000 trained service officers to assist veterans and their dependents in gaining federal or state entitlements. These service officers help with military discharge upgrades, records correction, education benefits, disability compensation, Pension eligibility, and other types of veterans' issues. Field representatives conduct regular inspections of VA health care facilities, regional VA offices, and national Cemeteries.

Historically, the VFW has promoted patriotism through its "Americanism Program." It provides materials and information and sponsors events and activities that are designed to stimulate interest in U.S. history, traditions, and institutions. The "Voice of Democracy" program is a national essay competition that annually provides more than $2.5 million in college scholar-ships and incentives.

In February 2003 the VFW issued a statement that charged the administration of President george w. bush with seriously under-funding the healthcare needs of the nation's veterans. The VFW stated that it had joined with the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, and other veteran and military organizations to seek mandatory or guaranteed funding to improve the funding provided by the Veterans Affairs Department (formerly the Veterans Administration).

Further readings

Mason, Herman Molloy. 1999. VFW: Our First Century. Lenexa, Kans.: Addax.

Roche, John D. 2002. Veteran's Survival Guide: How to File & Collect on VA Claims. Dulles, Va.: Brasseys.

Veterans of Foreign Wars. Available online at <> (accessed August 16, 2003).


U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; Veterans Affairs Department; Veterans' Rights.

References in periodicals archive ?
Minney Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3329 Auxiliary will hold its yearly Clothes Drive from 10 a.
Proceeds from the sale of Woodward Dream Girls(TM) items benefit the Royal Oak Veterans of Foreign Wars 'Acorn' Post 1669.
CONTACT: Jerry Newberry of Veterans of Foreign Wars, +1-816-756-3390
military action and the Gettysburg Address presented by Commander Dick Fenn, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post #7243 in Hawaiian Gardens.
But Abbatoye, Johnson and other regulars at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6110 and Post 6885 on Friday commemorated the friends they lost in battle with people who they say understand the most: other veterans.
NEW YORK, June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- As the United States continues its global war on terrorism, monetary support to organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars is now needed more than ever.
The City of Solana Beach and Solana Beach Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5431 will jointly host a Veteran's Day ceremony at the La Colonia Community Center, located at 715 Valley Avenue in Solana Beach, on Thursday, November 11, 2004.
At the other cemetery ceremony - in Palmdale - featured speakers will be Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford; Viola Lawrence, Antelope Valley registrar of the Daughters of the American Revolution; Jim Bilas, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3552 commander; Bobby Breech, American Legion Post 348 commander; Ruben Trejo, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 39 commander; and Henry Weaver, Moose Lodge 507 governor.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States are stunned and saddened by the untimely death of Senator Paul Wellstone and his family.
United Airlines, the City of San Jose, the United Veteran's Council of Santa Clara County, the American legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, NBC 11, and the Digital Clubhouse Network.
It's the children walking up with their parents I enjoy the most,'' says Leland, a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 11508 in Chatsworth/Woodland Hills.

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