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Veterans of Foreign Wars

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Veterans of Foreign Wars
of the United States
VFW 2018-08-14 two-color logo with name.svg
The VFW's logo since 2018
VFW Memorial wide shot by Matt Bisanz.JPG
Washington Memorial Building
Washington, D.C., United States
AbbreviationVFW
EstablishedSeptember 29, 1899
(121 years ago)
 (1899-09-29)[1]
FounderJames C. Putnam[2]
Founded atColumbus, Ohio, U.S.[2]
Merger ofAmerican Veterans of Foreign Service (organized on September 29, 1899, at Columbus, Ohio, U.S.) and the Army of the Philippines (organized on December 12, 1899, at Denver, Colorado, U.S., as the Colorado Society, Army of the Philippines)[3]
Type501(c)(19), war veterans' organization[4]
44-0474290
PurposeFraternal, patriotic, historical, charitable, and educational[5]
Headquarters406 West 34th Street,
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Coordinates39°04′01″N 94°35′27″W / 39.06694°N 94.59083°W / 39.06694; -94.59083
Area served
Worldwide
Membership (2018)
1,159,428
Official language
English[6]
Hal J. Roesch II (VA)
Since July 24, 2020
Matthew M. Mihelcic (IL)
Since July 24, 2020
Timothy Borland (AZ)
Since August 20, 2020
National Council of Administration
63 voting members
  • 8 elected officers
  • 3 appointed officers
  • 52 elected members
Main organ
VFW National Convention
Subsidiaries
AffiliationsStudent Veterans of America
Revenue (2015)
US$98,724,340[4]
Expenses (2015)US$89,099,521[4]
Employees (2014)
224[4]
Volunteers (2014)
3,000[4]
Websitewww.vfw.org
Formerly called
Army of the Philippines, Cuba and Puerto Rico[3]

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), formally the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, is an organization of U.S. war veterans, who, as military service members fought in wars, campaigns, and expeditions on foreign land, waters, or airspace.[5][7] The organization was established by James C. Putnam on September 29, 1899, in Columbus, Ohio and is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.[2][1]

History

75th Anniversary 10c postage stamp (1974)
75th Anniversary 10c postage stamp (1974)

The VFW resulted from the amalgamation of several societies formed immediately following the Spanish–American War. In 1899, little groups of veterans returning from campaigning in Cuba and the Philippine Islands, founded local societies upon a spirit of comradeship known only to those who faced the dangers of that war side by side. Similar experiences and a common language drew them together.[2] The American Veterans of Foreign Service (predecessor to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States) was established in Columbus, Ohio, September 29, 1899, by Spanish‑American War veteran James C. Putnam.[8] The Colorado Society, Army of the Philippines, was organized in Denver, Colorado, on December 12, 1899. Shortly thereafter, a society known as the Foreign Service Veterans was born in Pennsylvania. These three veterans' organizations grew up side by side, increasing in scope and membership until August 1913, when at an encampment held at Denver, they merged their interests and identities in a national organization now known as the VFW.[2]

Purpose

The purpose of the VFW is to speed rehabilitation of the nation's disabled and needy veterans, assist veterans' widows and orphans and the dependents of needy or disabled veterans, and promote Americanism by means of education in patriotism and by constructive service to local communities. The organization maintains both its legislative service and central office of its national rehabilitation service in Washington, D.C. The latter nationwide program serves disabled veterans of all wars, members and nonmembers alike, in matters of government compensation and pension claims, hospitalization, civil-service employment preference, etc."[7]

Redesigned in November 2018, the official logo of the VFW includes an artistic representation of service stripes, easily recognizable insignia indicative of military service. Worn on most service uniforms, they denote length of service. As such, the first and leaner of the two service stripes represents the VFW's entry into its second century of service to America’s veterans, service members and their families. The second, broader stripe represents its first century of service, spanning back to 1899.

Great Seal

The Cross of Malta is the VFW's official emblem.[9] The cross, radiating rays, and Great Seal of the United States together symbolize the character, vows and purposes distinguishing VFW as an order of warriors who have traveled far from home to defend sacred principles. Its eight points represent the beatitudes prescribed in the Sermon on the Mount: Blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, the pure, the merciful, the peacemakers; blessed are they who mourn, seek righteousness and are persecuted for righteousness' sake. The eight-pointed Cross of Malta harks back to the Crusades, launched during the 12th century.[10]

Eligibility

Membership in the VFW is restricted to any active or honorably discharged officer or enlisted person who is a citizen of the United States and who has served in its armed forces "in any foreign war, insurrection or expedition, which service shall be recognized by the authorization or the issuance of a United States military campaign medal."[7]

The following is a list of U.S. campaign medals, ribbons, and badges used by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States to determine membership eligibility.[11]

Eligibility guide
Campaign medal Start date End date
Navy Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg
Navy Expeditionary
February 12, 1874 Open
Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg
Marine Corps Expeditionary
February 12, 1874 Open
Spanish Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
Spanish Campaign
April 20, 1898 December 10, 1898
Army of Cuban Occupation ribbon.svg
Army of Cuban Occupation
July 18, 1898 May 20, 1902
Army of Puerto Rican Occupation ribbon.svg
Army of Puerto Rican Occupation
August 14, 1898 December 10, 1898
Philippine Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
Philippine Campaign
February 4, 1899 December 31, 1913
China Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
China Relief Expedition
April 5, 1900 May 27, 1901
Army of Cuban Pacification ribbon.svg
Cuban Pacification
September 12, 1906 April 1, 1909
Mexican Service Medal ribbon.svg
Mexican Service
April 12, 1911 June 16, 1919
Nicaraguan Campaign ribbon 1912.svg
First Nicaraguan Campaign
July 29, 1912 November 14, 1912
Haitian Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
Haitian Campaign
April 9, 1915 June 15, 1920
Dominican Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
Dominican Campaign
May 4, 1916 December 5, 1916
World War I Victory Medal ribbon.svg
World War I Victory (with battle or service clasp – including Siberia and European Russia)
April 6, 1917 April 1, 1920
Army of Occupation of Germany ribbon.svg
Army of Occupation of Germany
November 12, 1918 July 11, 1923
Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal ribbon.png
Second Nicaraguan Campaign
August 27, 1926 January 2, 1933
Yangtze Service Medal ribbon.svg
Yangtze Service
September 3, 1926 December 31, 1932
China Service Medal ribbon.svg
China Service
July 7, 1937 April 1, 1957
American Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg
American Defense Service (with foreign service clasp)
September 8, 1939 December 7, 1941
Combat Infantry Badge.svg
Combat Infantryman Badge
December 6, 1941 Open
Combat Medical Badge, 1st award.svg
Combat Medical Badge
December 6, 1941 Open
Combat Action Ribbon.svg
Navy Combat Action
December 6, 1941 Open
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon.svg
European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign
December 7, 1941 November 8, 1945
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
American Campaign (30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days of duty outside continental limits of the U.S.)
December 7, 1941 March 2, 1946
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
Asiatic–Pacific Campaign
December 7, 1941 March 2, 1946
Army of Occupation ribbon.svg
Navy Occupation Service
May 8, 1945 October 25, 1955
Army of Occupation ribbon.svg
Army of Occupation (30 consecutive days of duty)
May 9, 1945 October 2, 1990
Korean Service Medal ribbon.svg
Korean Service
June 27, 1950 July 27, 1954
Korea Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg
Korea Defense Service
July 28, 1954 Open
Vietnam Service Medal ribbon.svg
Vietnam Service
July 1, 1958 April 30, 1975
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg
Armed Forces Expeditionary
July 1, 1958 Open
Silver Navy Submarine Patrol Insignia.jpg

SubGoldPatrol.jpg
SSBN Deterrent Patrol Insignia, in silver and gold
January 21, 1961 Open
United States Coast Guard Combat Action Ribbon.svg
Coast Guard Combat Action
May 1, 1975 Open
Southwest Asia Service Medal ribbon.svg
Southwest Asia Service
August 2, 1990 November 30, 1995
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold frame.png
Air Force Expeditionary Service (with gold border)
October 1, 1999 Open
Kosovo Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
Kosovo Campaign
March 24, 1999 December 31, 2013
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary
September 11, 2001 Open
Afghanistan Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
Afghanistan Campaign
September 11, 2001 Open
Air Force Combat Action ribbon.svg
Air Force Combat Action
September 11, 2001 Open
Combat Action Badge.svg
Combat Action Badge
September 18, 2001 Open
Iraq Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
Iraq Campaign
March 19, 2003 December 31, 2011
Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
Inherent Resolve Campaign
June 15, 2014 Open

Membership and structure

As of 2020 the VFW has 1.6 million members and Auxiliary members, forming 6,000 local chapters known as Posts, grouped into 52 Departments covering the 50 states, the Asia-Pacific area, and Europe.[12]

Support and Assistance Programs

The VFW offers a wide range of assistance programs aimed at helping veterans of every generation. This includes providing free, professional help filing or appealing a VA claim, offering scholarships for post-secondary education or providing emergency financial relief.

VA Claims and separation assistance

The VFW's National Veterans Service program consists of a nationwide network of VA accredited service officers and pre-discharge representatives who are experts in dealing with the VA and are the key to your success. The VA reports veterans represented by the VFW have recouped $8.3 billion in earned benefits, including $1.4 billion in new claims in 2018 alone.[13]

Pre-Discharge

With offices located on or near major military installations across the country, VFW Pre-Discharge representatives guide military personnel through the veterans claims process and conduct physical examinations prior to their separation from active duty. They are also ready to answer questions about education and medical benefits, as well as VA home loans.[14]

Student Veteran Support

M60 Main Battle Tank on display in front of C. Robert Arvin Post No. 2408, Veterans of Foreign Wars, at Ypsilanti, Michigan (2010)
M60 Main Battle Tank on display in front of C. Robert Arvin Post No. 2408, Veterans of Foreign Wars, at Ypsilanti, Michigan (2010)

Help A Hero Scholarship

Established in 2014, the VFW's Help A Hero Scholarship provides service members and veterans with financial assistance they need to complete their educational goals without incurring excessive U.S. student loan debt.[15]  

1 Student Veteran

To help ensure student veterans receive their benefits in a timely manner and have a place to turn to if they need help, the VFW, in conjunction with the Student Veterans of America (SVA), have developed the 1 Student Veteran program. 1 Student Veteran offers direct assistance to student veterans who have questions or are experiencing problems accessing their VA benefits.[15]

VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship

The VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship grants ten exemplary student veterans (fellows) the chance to join the VFW legislative team on Capitol Hill during the VFW Legislative Conference. The fellows will walk the halls of Congress, educating their legislators on the issues facing today’s student veterans and have the opportunity to meet with policy-makers from federal agencies responsible for implementing veterans' policy.[16]

Veterans and Military Support Programs

The VFW's Veterans & Military Support Programs is the umbrella for three successful, long-standing programs; Operation Uplink, Unmet Needs, and the Military Assistance Program (MAP). These initiatives focus on troop support.[17]

Military Assistance Program

MAP is the link between the VFW and the community. MAP is designed to promote VFW interaction within the local military community through the Adopt-A-Unit Program. MAP Grants are available to posts, districts, and departments who participate in a variety of morale boosting functions such as farewell and welcome home events.[17]

Operation Uplink

Operation Uplink keeps military members in contact with their loved ones by allowing deployed troops to call home at no charge from MWR internet cafés in Afghanistan, Kuwait and other locations all around the world. Operation Uplink also distributes "virtual pins" which enable wounded warriors and veterans in Veterans Affairs facilities to call from home at no cost.[17]

Unmet Needs

Unmet Needs assists 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. Assistance is in the form of a grant of up to US$1,500. Unmet Needs assists with basic life needs such as: mortgage and rent, home and auto repairs, insurance, utilities, food and clothing.[17]

Programs

The VFW promotes civic responsibility, patriotism, and supports youth and local programs in communities across America.

Voice of Democracy

Each year, nearly 40,000 high school students from across the country enter to win a share of the US$2.1 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the VFW's Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition.[18] The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship.

Patriot's Pen

Patriot's Pen challenges students from grades 6-8, to enter to win one of 46 national awards totaling US$55,000, as well as $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the national first-place winner. Students draft a 300-400 word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic, annual theme chosen by the VFW Commander in Chief.[18]

Scout of the Year

Scout of the Year selects three young people – of the Boy or Girl Scouts, Sea Scouts or Venturing Crew – who have demonstrated practical citizenship in school, scouting and the community. The first-place winner receives a US$5,000 award, the second-place winner receives a US$3,000 award and the third-place winner receives US$1,000.[18]

Teacher of the Year

Teacher of the Year recognizes three exceptional teachers for their outstanding commitment to teach Americanism and patriotism to their students. The VFW recognizes the nation's top classroom elementary, junior high and high school teachers who teach citizenship education topics – at least half of the school day in a classroom environment – and promote America's history, traditions and institutions effectively.[18]

Community Service

The VFW host events across America, as well as giving grants and helping at large-scale volunteer events. [18]

Publications

The VFW also publishes the monthly VFW Magazine. It was known as Foreign Service before 1951.

Notable commanders

Notable national commanders of the Veterans of Foreign Wars have included:[19]

Notable members

Notable members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States have included:[20][21]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Mason Jr., Herbert Molloy (1999). VFW: Our First Century. Foreword by Senator Chuck Hagel. Lenexa, Kansas: Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. pp. 29, 39, 92. ISBN 1-88611072-7. LCCN 99-24943. OCLC 777720483 – via Addax Publishing Group.
  2. ^ a b c d e Proceedings of the 34th National Encampment of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (Report). Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Veteran. 1933. pp. 5, 31 – via Internet Archive. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ a b Mason Jr., Herbert Molloy (1999). VFW: Our First Century. Foreword by Senator Chuck Hagel. Lenexa, Kansas: Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. p. 225. ISBN 1-88611072-7. LCCN 99-24943. OCLC 777720483 – via Addax Publishing Group.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax." Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Guidestar. August 31, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Congressional Charter, National By-Laws, Manual of Procedure and Ritual (2018 Podium ed.). Kansas City, Missouri: Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. 2017. p. 7.
  6. ^ Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Congressional Charter, National By-Laws, Manual of Procedure and Ritual (2018 Podium ed.). Kansas City, Missouri: Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. 2017. p. 42.
  7. ^ a b c "Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2015. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  8. ^ Mason Jr., Herbert Molloy (1999). VFW: Our First Century. Foreword by Senator Chuck Hagel. Lenexa, Kansas: Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. pp. 29, 38–40. ISBN 1-88611072-7. LCCN 99-24943. OCLC 777720483 – via Addax Publishing Group.
  9. ^ Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Congressional Charter, National By-Laws, Manual of Procedure and Ritual (2018 Podium ed.). Kansas City, Missouri: Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. 2017. p. 44.
  10. ^ Mason Jr., Herbert Molloy (1999). VFW: Our First Century. Foreword by Senator Chuck Hagel. Lenexa, Kansas: Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. p. 15. ISBN 1-88611072-7. LCCN 99-24943. OCLC 777720483 – via Addax Publishing Group.
  11. ^ Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Congressional Charter, National By-Laws, Manual of Procedure and Ritual (2018 Podium ed.). Kansas City, Missouri: Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. 2017. pp. 56–61.
  12. ^ "VFW at a Glance" (PDF). VFW. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  13. ^ "VA Claims & Separation Benefits". www.vfw.org. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  14. ^ "VA Claims & Separation Benefits". www.vfw.org. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Student Veteran Support". www.vfw.org. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  16. ^ "Student Fellowship". www.vfw.org. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  17. ^ a b c d "National Military Services". Recruiter Success Pocket Guide [Brochure]. Kansas City, MO: Veterans of Foreign Wars. January 2014.
  18. ^ a b c d e "Programs". Recruiter Success Pocket Guide [Brochure]. Kansas City, MO: Veterans of Foreign Wars. January 2014.
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ Mason Jr., Herbert Molloy (1999). VFW: Our First Century. Foreword by Senator Chuck Hagel. Lenexa, Kansas: Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. pp. 9, 16, 47, 90–91, 118, 104, 132, 204. ISBN 1-88611072-7. LCCN 99-24943. OCLC 777720483 – via Addax Publishing Group.
  21. ^ Ford, Gerald R. (1979). A Time To Heal: The Autobiography of Gerald R. Ford (1st ed.). New York: Harper & Row. p. 62. ISBN 0-06-011297-2. LCCN 78020162. OCLC 4835213. OL 4731652M.

Further reading

External links

Official
This page was last edited on 18 April 2021, at 17:10
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