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Veterans of Foreign Wars

VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is a U.S. organization comprised of men who have served overseas in the military during world war i, world war ii, the korean war, the vietnam war, and the Persian Gulf War. Veterans who served in expeditionary campaigns such as Grenada and Panama are also eligible to join. Female relatives of veterans and women who have served overseas in the armed forces are eligible to join the Ladies Auxiliary. In 2003 the VFW, with its Ladies Auxiliary, had about 2.7 million members in approximately 9,500 posts worldwide. The organization's national head-quarters are located in Kansas City, Missouri, but it also has a large office in Washington, D.C.

The VFW was established in 1913, consolidating three organizations created by spanish-american war veterans. From its inception, the VFW has sought to promote patriotism and national security. Its paramount mission, however, has been ensuring that needy and disabled veterans receive aid. Beginning in 1922, it has sold a paper flower called the "Buddy Poppy," to raise funds for national service programs and relief for needy veterans and their families. The VFW fought for military pensions after World War I, planned the establishment of the Veterans Administration (VA) in 1930, lobbied for the GI Bill of Rights after World War II, and helped develop the national cemetery system for veterans. The VFW has also contributed millions of dollars to cancer research since the 1950s.

The VFW National Legislative Service office in Washington, D.C., monitors legislation that affects veterans. It alerts the membership to key legislation and lobbies Congress and the executive branch on veterans' issues. The office often assists congressional staffs in preparing legislation. In the early 2000s, the VFW legislative goals included a VA budget with sufficient funds to provide adequate veterans health care, vocational training and retraining for veterans, and employment opportunities for veterans.

The VFW has almost 16,000 trained service officers to assist veterans and their dependents in gaining federal or state entitlements. These service officers help with military discharge upgrades, records correction, education benefits, disability compensation, pension eligibility, and other types of veterans' issues. Field representatives conduct regular inspections of VA health care facilities, regional VA offices, and national cemeteries.

Historically, the VFW has promoted patriotism through its "Americanism Program." It provides materials and information and sponsors events and activities that are designed to stimulate interest in U.S. history, traditions, and institutions. The "Voice of Democracy" program is a national essay competition that annually provides more than $2.5 million in college scholar-ships and incentives.

In February 2003 the VFW issued a statement that charged the administration of President george w. bush with seriously under-funding the healthcare needs of the nation's veterans. The VFW stated that it had joined with the american legion, the Disabled American Veterans, and other veteran and military organizations to seek mandatory or guaranteed funding to improve the funding provided by the veterans affairs department (formerly the Veterans Administration).

further readings

Mason, Herman Molloy. 1999. VFW: Our First Century. Lenexa, Kans.: Addax.

Roche, John D. 2002. Veteran's Survival Guide: How to File & Collect on VA Claims. Dulles, Va.: Brasseys.

Veterans of Foreign Wars. Available online at <www.vfw.org> (accessed August 16, 2003).

cross-references

U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; Veterans Affairs Department; Veterans' Rights.

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"Veterans of Foreign Wars." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Veterans of Foreign Wars." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/veterans-foreign-wars

"Veterans of Foreign Wars." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Retrieved June 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/veterans-foreign-wars

The Veterans of Foreign Wars

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) was organized in 1913 with the emergence of two organizations of Spanish‐American War veterans. Formed as an association of veterans who served overseas, its membership, which consisted of over 1 million in the aftermath of World War II, includes veterans from every war in the twentieth century. Its headquarters is in Kansas City. Like its chief rival organization, the American Legion, the VFW established local posts throughout the United States and wielded political influence in Washington as a voice for veterans and a strong foreign and military policy.

The VFW saw its lobbying efforts in the context of peacetime patriotism that called the nation not to forget the soldiers who defended American freedom and to be vigilant against internal as well as external threats. Contradictions between the celebration of soldier solidarity and individual heroism, between collective responsibility for veteran welfare and extremist individualism, and between pervasive antistatist rhetoric and arguments for expanded state benefits for veterans permeate the history of veteran groups in general and of the VFW in particular.

In one of its most successful political efforts, the VFW achieved in 1924 what was called “the Soldier's Bonus”: the World War Veterans Adjusted Compensation Act. This act granted veterans a cash payment for the sacrifice of wages due to wartime service. The VFW also was instrumental in the passage in 1946 of the Servicemen's Adjustment Act, or G.I. Bill, under which World War II veterans received unprecedented employment preference, education, and loan guarantees.

Bibliography

Rodney G. Minott , Peerless Patriots: Organized Veterans and the Spirit of Americanism, 1962.
Bill Bottoms , The V.F.W.: An Illustrated History of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, 1991.

Elizabeth Faue

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"The Veterans of Foreign Wars." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"The Veterans of Foreign Wars." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/veterans-foreign-wars

"The Veterans of Foreign Wars." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved June 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/veterans-foreign-wars

Veterans of Foreign Wars

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), organization created (1899) at Columbus, Ohio, by veterans of the Spanish-American War. It received a charter from Congress in 1936. The organization later admitted veterans who saw action in subsequent wars and U.S. military expeditions. At the close of World War II, the VFW vastly increased its membership; it now rivals the American Legion in size and influence. The organization's program is devoted to the rehabilitation of disabled veterans, protection of national security through maximum military strength, and promotion of patriotism and community service activity. It has a membership of nearly 2 million (1999).

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"Veterans of Foreign Wars." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Veterans of Foreign Wars." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/veterans-foreign-wars

"Veterans of Foreign Wars." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved June 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/veterans-foreign-wars