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Veterans of Foreign Wars

National Nonprofit

The VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service: Many arrived home wounded or sick. There was no medical care or veterans' pension for them,and they were left to care for themselves. In their misery, some of these veterans banded together and formed organizations with what would become known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. After chapters were formed in Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania, the movement quickly gained momentum. By 1915, membership grew to 5,000; by 1936, membership was almost 200,000. Since then, the VFW's voice had been instrumental in establishing the Veterans Administration, creating a GI bill for the 20th century, the development of the national cemetery system and the fight for compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange and for veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. In 2008, VFW won a long-fought victory with the passing of a GI Bill for the 21st Century, giving expanded educational benefits to America's active-duty service members, and members of the Guard and Reserves, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ratings & Reviews

Jerrell S

Submitted October 26, 2013

The VFW is a national organization that encompasses much, much more than getting drunk and swapping sea/battle stories. Right now a lot of chapters are hurting for members for many reasons including the aforementioned, generational gaps, whether Texas Hold'em or Bridge is better, and so on. As a veteran that has served in many capacities including Counter-Drug Operations in the Caribbean, Special Warfare, and nearly a year in Iraq over a 17 year span in the Navy, I have found the VFW to be a great resource for those of us that have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations. The VFW has a vast network of information and a familiar chain of command style of running things. Familiar, but democratic. lol

So head down and check out your local VFW. Even if you just want to knock a few back and compare tales.

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Community Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


  200 Maryland Ave., N.E.
Washington, DC 20002