Why you should join!
Veterans of Foreign Wars

In 1899, two veterans' organizations both started in 1899, the American Veterans of Foreign Service (veterans of the Spanish-American War) and the National Society of the Army of the Philippines (veterans of the Philippine-American War) merged and at a conference at the Schenley Hotel in Pittsburgh in September 17, 1914, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) was born. On May 28, 1936 by an act of congress, the VFW became a government-chartered non-profit organization. Why was this necessary? The main reason is that the Army had recruited those (Spanish/Philippine War Veterans);they performtheir service and at wars' end, released with just a "thank you". Many of those same veterans were sick, had been wounded in battle andwere in need of medical care as well asfinancial support. They realized that they needed to band together to secure medical and basic financial assistance. They knew that there was strength in numbers.Why should I join the Veterans of Foreign Wars, besides the camaraderie you may ask?

The VFW is a benevolent organization with the sole purpose of helping veteranssince the very early days and has achieved great accomplishments that have improved the well-being of veterans. The VFW played instrumental roles in passing every major piece of legislation involving veterans in the 20th and 21st century, more than 57 Acts. These are but a few of those Acts;

  • 1917 War Risk Insurance Act Amendments
  • 1920 Widows & Orphans Pension Act
  • 1921 Veterans Bureau Act
  • 1924 HouseVeterans Affairs Act
  • 1930 Veterans Administration/ World War Service Disability Pension Act
  • 1944 G I Bill of Rights
  • 1952 Korean War G.I. Bill
  • 1966 Vietnam War G.I. bill
  • 1982 Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS)
  • 1991 Persian Gulf War Veterans assistance Act
  • 2011 Stopped TRICARE Premiums from increasing annually
  • 2013 Reinstated Tuition Assistance Programs /Stolen Valor Act Passed

The VFW also promotes many other services like the National Military Services (NMS) that promotes positive awareness of the VFW through community involvement, communication tools, and financial support to qualified military service members. To accomplish this, three separate programs were developed, Military Assistance Program, VFW Unmet Needs and National Veterans Services.

  • Military Assistance Program (MAP), the VFW's most direct connection between military units and Posts at the local level. Through this program (MAP), Posts held going away, welcome home events, and unit picnics for numerous deploying or returning military units.
  • VFW Unmet Needs, 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 cannot be accomplished through existing means. The financial assistance is in the form of up to $2,500 in grants. All grants are paid directly to the "creditor" (such as an electric company) and not to the individual.
  • National Veterans Services,assist veterans in dealing with the VA by providing advice and assistance to veterans filing disability claims for pensions, filing for VA home loans, education benefits and small business loans.
  • Direct community involvement is a major VFW priority going beyond veterans helping fellow veterans. Some of these include;

  • The VFW and the Men's and Ladies Auxiliaries units donate more than 13 million volunteer hours of community service annually.
  • VFW members do mentoring to youth groups; help in community food kitchens, volunteer in blood drives, and visit veteran's hospitals.
  • VFW's Youth Scholarship programs provide more than $3.5 million in scholarships to our youth through Voice of Democracy, Patriot's Penyouth youth essay contests and Scout of the Year programs. The VFW sponsors more than 1,200 Boys Scouts of America units throughout the United States.
  • The VFW supports the National Home for Childrenin Eaton Rapids, Michiganand home to orphaned or single parent children of VFW or Ladies Auxiliary members. The VFW stands firm on its commitments to these endeavors
  • Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, the VFW currently has 1.5 million members and 7,644 VFW posts, making us the largest American organization of combat veterans. VFW membership is unique. Members must be U.S. citizens with an honorable discharge from the U.S. military, or currently active duty serving in the U.S. Armed Services. Membership also requires military service overseas during an operation or conflict and decorated with an Armed Forces Expeditionary Metal, a campaign metal (or ribbon). Service members currently deployed to combat zones meet these qualifications for joining the VFW. What the VFW does to and for veterans and the community is why you should join the best veterans' organization in the world - The Veterans of Foreign Wars.

    Rolando S. Webber, Commander
    VFW Helotes Post 7108
    San Antonio, Texas