About the VFW
The Veterans of Foreign
Wars of the United States, with its Auxiliaries, includes
2.4 million members in approximately 9,000 Posts worldwide.
Its mission is to "honor the
dead by helping the living" through veterans' service,
community service, national security and a strong national
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.
The VFW also has fought
for improving VA medical centers services for women veterans.
Besides helping fund the creation of the Vietnam, Korean
War, World War II and Women in Military Service memorials,
the VFW in 2005 became the first veterans' organization to
contribute to building the new Disabled Veterans for Life
Memorial, which is being constructed in Washington, D.C.,
and is expected to open in 2010.
In 2001, VFW unveiled
its tribute to service and country with its dedication of
Annually, VFW members
and its Auxiliary contribute more than 13 million hours
of volunteerism in the community, including participation
in Make A Difference Day and National Volunteer Week.
From providing $2.5 million
in college scholarships to high school students every year
to encouraging elevation of the Veterans Administration
to the president's cabinet, the VFW is there--honoring
the dead by helping the living.