The VFW was founded shortly after the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection. In 1899, the organization secured the rights and veterans of both battles for their service. Back then, there was no medical care or pension for them. Veterans were basically on their own to fend for themselves.
Some of the veterans formed together to create what is known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. The chapters started in Ohio, Colorado, and Pennsylvania but quickly grew in number in just a few decades. By 1936, membership included nearly 200,000 veterans. Membership stands at nearly two million members today.
The VFW and its Auxiliaries Gives Back to Its Communities
The VFW has been a pillar in communities. It is best known for its help in establishing the Veterans Administration, creating the GI Bill, developing a national cemetery system, and fighting for compensation for Vietnam vets. These were men exposed to Agent Orange. Gulf War Syndrome victims’ rights are also fought for by the VFW.
Committed to its communities, the VFW and its Auxiliaries contribute millions of hours of volunteerism each year and over $3 million in college scholarships and savings bonds to students annually.
Famous Presidents That Were Members of the VFW
Some of the most famous Presidents were members of the VFW. The list includes:
- Theodore Roosevelt
- Harry S. Truman
- Dwight D. Eisenhower
- John F. Kennedy
- Lyndon B. Johnson
- Richard M. Nixon
- Gerald R. Ford
- George H.W. Bush
Vice Presidents Spiro T. Agnew and Albert Gore were also members. The oldest VFW Post is VFW Post 1 in Denver, Colorado.
When is VFW Day?
September 29th is VFW Day. The annual observance centers on the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the service they provided by defending our country. Established in 1899 as well, VFW Day furthers the VFW’s desire “to honor the dead by helping the living”. VFW Posts and Auxiliaries promote good will, patriotism, and youth scholarship.
Creating a Special Gift for Veterans of Foreign Wars
One of the noblest ways you can honor the veterans that served in foreign wars is to create a special gift that commends their service. As a leading custom lapel pin company, we offer your choice of size, shape, style, and colors of pins as a way of serving our customers’ needs and giving them options on ways to personalize their unique gifts. Choose from soft enamel, cloisonne, offset printed, and die struck pins. We make each style available to you.