VFW at a Glance
The VFW is a nonprofit veterans service organization composed of eligible veterans and military
service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. The VFW and its Auxiliaries are
dedicated to veterans service, legislative advocacy, and military and community service programs.
Randi Law, VFW communications manager, 816-968-1104, firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Davis, Washington Office public affairs director, 202-608-8357, email@example.com
In 1899, the American Veterans of Foreign
Service (Columbus, Ohio) and the National
Society of the Army of the Philippines (Denver,
Colo.) were organized to secure rights and benefits
for veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898)
and the Philippines War (1899-1902). These two
organizations merged in 1914, creating the
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
VFW was chartered by Congress in 1936.
Those serving honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces
in a foreign war or overseas operation recognized
by a campaign medal, in Korea after June 30,
1949, and recipients of hostile-fire or imminent
danger pay. Veterans of World War II, Korea,
Vietnam, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Persian
Gulf, Somalia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and
other smaller expeditionary campaigns, as well as
tion duty, qualify.
A national volunteer service organization, the
Auxiliary of the VFW was founded in 1914 and is
the backbone of many local VFW volunteer
Nearly 1.7 million VFW and Auxiliary members
in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and many
Thousands convene each year at VFW's national
convention to elect officers, adopt resolutions and
discuss business affairs. Leading the organization
are the elected commander-in-chief, senior vice
commander-in-chief and junior vice commanderin-chief.
The National Council of Administration
serves as the VFW's board of directors.
More than 6,700 Posts worldwide comprise 53
Departments in the 50 states, the District of
Columbia, the Asia/Pacific Areas and Europe.
Posts form the basic local chapter.
• VA Health Care: Ensure veterans have timely
access to high quality, comprehensive and veterancentric
health care, and secure sufficient funding
for the VA Health Care System.
• Women Veterans: Expand women's health care
services to all VA medical centers to ensure the
growing number of women veterans have access
to gender-specific services.
• Suicide Prevention & Homelessness: Ensure
Congress funds support programs, including
providing education and career training
opportunities, substance abuse and mental health
services and permanent housing solutions for all
• VA Benefits & Compensation: Urge Congress
to require the Veterans Benefits Administration to
reduce its workload of all types of claims and
appeals, and not just focus on new claims it
defines as in the backlog. This effort must not
sacrifice quality or a veteran's due process rights.
• Seamless Transition: Demand the creation of
one integrated medical and personnel record for
every service member and continue to improve the
quality and access to Transition Assistance
Programs, both during and after service.
• Military Quality of Life: Oppose all proposals
that will damage morale, call on Congress to
improve the quality of life for all service members
and support efforts to lower the Reserve
Component retirement pay age to 55.
• Education & Employment: Urge Congress to
address the unemployment rate among veterans,
fight to sustain G.I. Bill benefits and insist on
• Defense & Homeland Security: Fully support
the troops and their mission in the war on
terrorism, and to secure U.S. borders against all
enemies, both foreign and domestic, who are
intent on doing us harm.
• POW/MIA: Achieve the fullest possible
accounting of America's 83,000 MIAs from
World War II forward.