After learning that 1 out of 8 Americans doesn't have enough to eat and that 27 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan vets face hunger daily, VFW is working to put an end to food insecurity.
Along with After the Harvest, Harvesters-The Community Food Network and Humana, the VFW launched the campaign "Uniting to Combat Hunger" on June 6 in Kansas City, Mo.
"Some 25 percent of military households and 27 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan vets are affected by food insecurity," VFW Commander-in-Chief Keith Harman said. "This is something VFW won't tolerate. That's why we are teaming with others to do something tangible in our Kansas City community."
Food insecurity doesn't necessarily mean just being hungry. It also means not knowing when or where the next meal will come from or how a person will feed his or her family.
In Kansas City alone, 15 percent of the community faces the issue of food insecurity. The goal of "Uniting to Combat Hunger" is to provide 50,000 meals in Kansas City and the surrounding areas. ...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Have your electronic devices ready as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. begins livestreaming its 119th VFW National Convention in Kansas City this month.
More than 10,000 VFW and VFW Auxiliary members are expected to attend the weeklong convention at the Bartle Hall Convention Center in downtown Kansas City, July 21-25. Livestreaming officially kicks off with the annual memorial service on July 22 at 8:30 a.m. CDT. The livestream will continue throughout the convention, picking back up the next morning during the Joint Opening Session at 8 a.m., July 23, and culminate with the election of a new national commander on July 25.
Among this year's presentations are the VFW Armed Forces Award to Command Sgt. Maj. William Thetford, the VFW Eisenhower Award to Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, the VFW Americanism Award to David Goggins, and VFW Citizenship Awards to Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen and Andrew Lumish.
The convention will also host appearances by many notable ...
Those of you attending VFW's 119th National Convention in Kansas City, Mo., July 21-25, will be glad you did. Located in the heart of America, Kansas City continues to evolve, making it a superb travel destination. Most importantly, it's home to VFW National Headquarters. While the business of convention is of the utmost importance, the "Paris of the Plains" has a lot to offer convention-goers.
Unlike the last time VFW held its convention in Kansas City, in 2007, a new streetcar is in place to make getting around town much easier. Before your visit, check out kcstreetcar.org to see the restaurants and hotels along the route. If you still are undecided about whether to attend the convention, perhaps the sites featured in this article, some of which feature your fellow VFW members who work at VFW National Headquarters in Kansas City, will convince you.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is pleased to announce it has teamed up with Identity Guard to offer VFW members and their families a special 20 percent discount on identity theft protection with IBM® Watson™ technology.
Identity theft affects one in seven Americans with potentially devastating consequences such as loss of savings, being charged with a crime one didn't commit or even being held responsible for fraudulent medical claims.
The threat of identity theft is real, and the consequences could be serious. Simply put, without adequate protection you and your family are vulnerable.
With Identity Guard protection, you'll receive a mon...
VFW Post 8220 in Belton, Mo., donated $10,000 last October to assist its city parks and recreation department with the completion of a POW/MIA memorial.
Post Commander Richard Moon, who served from December 1967 to December 1968 in Vietnam as an infantryman with the 4th Infantry Division, said a groundbreaking is expected this spring.
"We wanted to donate [funds] because we felt it was a fitting tribute to [former] prisoners of war and all of the service members [still listed as] missing in action, and it was definitely something that will enhance the park itself," Moon said.
The city's parks and recreation department initially approached the Post about sponsoring a picnic shelter in September, according to Moon.
"While it would have been a good community relations project, and it would have given us publicity, it really didn't have anything to do with veterans," Moon said.
About a week later, city officials suggested a POW/MIA memorial, which Moon said was more in line with VFW's goals and honori...
More than 800,000 veterans in New York find it difficult to get quality health care outside the VA, according to a study released in March by the RAND Corp.
The nonprofit research organization published a study called "Ready or Not: Assessing the Capacity of New York State Health Care Providers to Meet the Needs of Veterans," and found that only 5 percent of the 746 health care providers surveyed in New York are members of the VA Community Care network. VA manages and funds a number of non-VA programs through its Office of Community Care that provides veterans with care in the community.
In New York, VA operates 12 medical centers and 48 outpatient clinics, but only about half of the state's vets are enrolled in the VA system. And only 58 percent of those enrolled used the VA in 2015, according to the RAND report.
The authors conclude that these results mean "many" New York veterans are receiving health care in the community sector.
The study was conducted at the behest of the New York State Health Foun...
"An article in yesterday's Connecticut Record-Journal depicted an individual, who last night resigned from a leadership position at a VFW Post in Wallingford, as a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan who continues to make disparaging comments via social media. The article also suggests that the VFW condones this type of behavior, which is entirely false. The VFW does not condone or tolerate any action that disrespects someone else. We have no tolerance for racism. Our nation is great because of the diversity of its people, and there is no place within this organization for a differing opinion. The VFW is continuing to investigate this matter and will explore every possible option as it pertains to this member's actions." - VFW National Commander Keith Harman
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to announce the launch of a new VFW Veteran Employment Tools (VET) pilot program to provide transitioning veterans with the necessary hardware to help start careers in the automotive maintenance industry, which often requires its employees to provide their own tools.
"Our new veterans already have the skill sets to succeed in this industry, but what many might lack are the required tool sets, which can cost thousands of dollars," said VFW National Commander Keith Harman. "This is a tough financial barrier to employment, and that's why we teamed with Snap-on to initially provide 20 transitioning veterans with the tools they need to succeed.
"The VFW is dedicated to helping veterans, service members and their families," said Harman, "and we are very hopefully that the pilot program exceeds to the point that we can help even more service members successfully transition back into their communities."
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - With its 2017 Legislative Conference only weeks away, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. has designed a new mobile event app to give attendees the tools needed to make the most of their visit to the nation's capital. As the official guide to the 2017 VFW Legislative Conference, the VFW DC 2017 mobile app is available for download now at both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.VFW to Deliver Veterans' Voice to Congress
WASHINGTON - More than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. are arriving in the nation's capital this weekend to urge their members of Congress to continue transforming the Department of Veterans Affairs so that it can more efficiently and effectively serve America's veterans.
"The VFW is fully committed to working with Congress and the VA to change the way the department delivers health care, to include finding the best way to leverage what the VA provides with what public or private practitioners out in the community can offer, with the end goal being the delivery of the highest quality integrated care so that no veterans are ever stranded in line again," said VFW National Commander Brian Duffy.
The VFW national commander is scheduled to present his organization's legislative positions at 2 p.m., Wednesday, in testimony before a joint hearing of the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees in room G-50 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Next weekend, more than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., the nation's largest and oldest war veterans' organization begin rallying in Washington, D.C., to voice the concerns of veterans directly with the nation's lawmakers during the 2017 VFW Legislative Conference, Feb. 26 - March 2.
WASHINGTON - This afternoon, before a joint hearing of the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs Committees, Brian Duffy, national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. delivered testimony focused on fixing the VA and ending sequestration.
"Let me be perfectly clear: Congress must end sequestration!" he told the committee members in attendance." He explained that despite ongoing conflicts and the rise in new threats since the 112th Congress created sequestration in 2011, America's service members continue to operate under a budget ax which has adverse effects on how successfully they're able to defend our nation, as well as quality of life programs. VFW Announces Top Youth Scholarship Winners
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliary proudly announced the national winners of its annual Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen youth scholarship competitions, live during last night's 2017 VFW Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.
Photo Caption: (Left) VFW National Commander Brian Duffy and VFW Auxiliary President Colette Bishop present Savannah Wittman with her $30,000 award; (right) VFW National Commander Brian Duffy and VFW Auxiliary President Colette Bishop present Lindi Compton with her $5,000 award.
WASHINGTON - Ten Student Veterans of America (SVA) leaders have been selected to join more than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. when they converge on Capitol Hill, Feb. 26 to March 2, to advocate on behalf of all veterans, service members and their families. The fellowship selections were announced this afternoon at SVA's 9th National Conference in Anaheim, Calif.
"Through our fellowship program, the VFW and SVA seek to work with exemplary student veterans to hone their unique skills as advocates on campus, in the community, and on the national stage," said VFW National Commander Brian Duffy. "The VFW sees this fellowship as yet another way of supporting our shared mission with SVA to transform today's scholars into tomorrow's leaders."
The VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship is a semester-long academic experience that involves research, action, reporting and advocating on behalf of one of four veterans...
WASHINGTON - This morning, before a joint hearing of the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs Committees, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. delivered testimony focused on ending sequestration and improving the care, services and programs provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
"The VFW is pleased Congress recently passed a bipartisan budget agreement to alleviate the sequester's impact on our military and veterans, but you only delayed its return by two years," VFW National Commander Keith Harman told members of the committees. "Our service members, veterans and their families are counting on you to repeal sequestration once and for all!"
Harman commended the committee members in attendance for making some VFW-proposed changes to the Choice Program that have improved access to care, but reminded them the Choice Program is merely a stopgap, and must be replaced with a permanent and improved program that would:
WASHINGTON - More than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliary are arriving in the nation's capital this weekend to urge their respective members of Congress to end sequestration and to continue improving the programs and services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
"The VFW is appreciative of the two-year budget agreement because it will bring temporary funding stability to the Defense Department," said VFW National Keith Harman, "but a two-year agreement doesn't end the continued threat of sequestration on a military that is still at war with an all-volunteer force that is fighting with less training and overused equipment," he said. "Sequestration has been the law of the land for seven years, so service members, veterans, their families and the VFW are counting on the newly-established super committee on budget and appropr...
WASHINGTON - More than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. will take to the nation's capital the first week of March to advocate on behalf of America's nearly 25 million veterans and military service members, as well as their families and survivors.
VFW members meet regularly with their elected officials in their home offices and on Capitol Hill to enlist their support in bringing the VFW's legislative Priority Goals to fruition. Highlighting this year's conference will be VFW National Commander Keith Harman's testimony before a special joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees, the presentation of the VFW Congressional Award to Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), and the Voice of Democ...
WASHINGTON - Ten Student Veterans of America (SVA) leaders have been selected to join more than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW) when they converge on Capitol Hill, March 4 to 7, to advocate on behalf of all veterans, service members and their families. The fellowship selections were announced during SVA's 10th National Conference in San Antonio.
"Through our fellowship program, the VFW and SVA seek to work with exemplary student veterans to hone their unique skills as advocates on campus, in the community, and on the national stage," said VFW National Commander Keith Harman. "The VFW sees this fellowship as yet another way of supporting our shared mission with SVA to empower future leaders."
The VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship is a semester-long academic experience that involves research, action, reporting and advocating on behalf of one of four veterans' policy areas: Success in higher education; transitioning from military to civilian life; succeeding in th...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW) is pleased to announce participating BURGER KING® franchisees are set to kick off their summer fundraiser to benefit the VFW's Unmet Needs program.
Starting on July 1, patrons are encouraged to visit any of the nearly 450 participating BURGER KING® restaurants located throughout 15 states and donate $1 or more to the VFW's Unmet Needs program upon checkout. Donations will be accepted until the end of the month.
Established in 2004, the Unmet Needs program assists service members and military families experiencing financial hardship by providing financial assistance grants toward basic life necessities like rent, mortgage and utility payments. Since 2007, BURGER KING® franchisees and their customers have contributed more than $5 million to Unmet Needs, which...
WASHINGTON - Eleven major veterans' organizations have announced the development and adoption of a Veteran's Creed. The participating organizations presented the creed at an event on Flag Day, June 14, at 1 p.m. at the Reserve Officers Association headquarters at 1 Constitution Avenue, NE, Washington, D.C.
The Creed is the result of extensive discussions and consultations among the group that began last fall at Georgetown University. It is meant to inspire veterans to continue to serve and lead in their communities and our country, and to continue to make a difference in our world.
Eleven major veterans' organizations, including the VFW, sign the newly created Veteran's Creed during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on June 14. The creed is meant to inspire veterans to continue to serve and lead in their communities and our country, and to...
Nick Guerrero was behind on utility bills - the electric company shut off power - and car payments until the VFW stepped in to help.
Guerrero, who deployed four times during the Iraq War, said support through VFW's Unmet Needs program helped him get current on bills and purchase groceries.
"The grant saved us from falling further down the rabbit hole,"
Guerrero said. "I was in a point of my life where everything was collapsing around me, and if it wasn't for the existence of this program, I don't know where my family and I would be in this very moment. I cannot fully express my gratitude in words for this nonprofit to be there when we needed the help desperately."
Guerrero served with the 1st Bn., 17th Inf. Regt., 172 Stryker Bde. (2005-06 and 2006-07) as an infantryman and with the 1st Bn., 18th Inf., 2nd Armd. Bde. Combat Team, 1st Inf. Div., (2008-09 and
2010-11) as a combat medic. He was medically discharged March 27, 2015, for PTSD, anxiety, depression, psychosis, anger disorder, paranoia and ...
VFW Foundation Manager Richard Freiburghouse said 80 percent of the vehicle's value, after expenses, goes toward the VFW Foundation, VFW's official 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization.
"These vehicles can be used as a tax-deductible contribution to support VFW programs and services," Freiburghouse said.
It's simple - call 1-844-839-4438 (1-844-VFW-GIFT) or visit vfw.careasy.org to schedule a free and convenient pick up. Every vehicle, running or not, is considered. Donors also will receive a tax receipt for the donation.
As of November, Freiburghouse said, some 40 VFW members have donated vehicles to the program. One of those members is Kenneth Aponte, a member of the VFW Department of Texas. He said it was a "straight-forward" process.
"It was very smooth from start to finish," said Aponte, an Army veteran who served as a satellite systems technician from 1986 to 1991.
Aponte, who served in Panama from 1990 to 1991 with the 1109th Sign...
Food insecurity is a societal issue that affects 1 in 8 people in the United States. In the Kansas City area alone, nearly 14 percent of the community face food insecurity. Defined as the lack of access to enough nutritionally adequate foods to live an active, healthy life, food insecurity contributes to poor health, lower productivity and higher medical costs. <...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to announce it is the official sponsor of the 2018 Military Appreciation Day at the 78th Annual Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™.
Held annually in the Black Hills of Sturgis, S.D., the rally draws more than 400,000 motorcycle enthusiasts to the area for 10 days of open roads and entertainment. This year's rally will be held Aug. 3 - 12.
The VFW invites all attendees to join in celebrating and thanking active-duty service members, veterans and their families by gathering for the "noon crowd photograph" on historic Sturgis Main Street, flyover and more on Tuesday, Aug. 7 for Military Appreciation Day.
The VFW also encourages attendees to stop by the VFW kiosk located in the Armory each day until 8 p.m. to learn more about the VFW's wide array of programs and services as well as information on how to join America's largest organization of combat veterans. For event-related news and schedule of events visit <...
WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to announce the selection of retired Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Cynthia Archuleta as its VFW Accredited Service Representative of the Year.
Archuleta, who resides in Albuquerque, N.M., is an integral part of the VFW's nationwide network of nearly 2,000 accredited service officers who last year alone helped more than a half-million veterans recoup $7.7 billion in earned benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Accredited means VA accreditation, which means they can assist and file VA claims on behalf of veterans, as well as represent them before the Board of Veterans Appeals if needed. The support is free to all honorably discharged veterans, and is a continuation of the VFW's "service to others" mission that the organization began nearly a century ago after returning World War I veterans faced the same government neglect as the VFW's forefathers did two decades earlier when they
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW) today announced an agreement with Inside Rx to offer easy access to its 1.3 million members and their families who can benefit from the free Inside Rx savings card that provides deep discounts to the uninsured and underinsured who pay cash for their prescription medications. The Inside Rx card can be used in any of the more than 40,000 participating pharmacies in the U.S. and offers more than 125 brand-name medications at a savings average of 40 percent, and a robust list of generics with an average of nearly 80 percent off retail*.
"We are honored to work with the VFW to provide an important stop-gap measure that may lower the cost of the prescription medications for our veterans," said Leslie Achter, CEO of Inside Rx, a partially owned subsidiary of Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX). "In working with manufacturers and retail pharmacies, we are able to provide deep discounts to eligible patients who are currently paying full-list price on the pr...
WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. thanks President Donald Trump for signing the VA MISSION Act.
The VA MISSION Act was the result of a bipartisan and bicameral effort led by Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Sen. Johnny Isakson, Ranking Member Sen. Jon Tester and House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Rep. Phil Roe. The legislation passed in the House on May 16 with a vote of 347-70. The Senate passed the bill on May 23 with a vote of 92-5.
"President Trump signaled his support for this bill early on in the process which shows that he puts veterans before politics," said Keith Harman, national commander of the 1.7-million member VFW and its Auxiliary. "This historic legislation will help our veterans get the care they earned when they joined the military."
"The VFW and other veteran service organizations worked closely with Congress and the White House to help create a carefully negotiated bipartisan deal with the fingerprints of veterans who rely on th...
The winners of the VFW and Ladies Auxiliary sponsored Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition and the Patriot's Pen essay competition were announced yesterday during the 2014 VFW Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.
The Voice of Democracy program celebrated its 67th year with this year's theme, "Why I'm Optimistic About Our Nation's Future." The first-place winner, Madison Haley, sponsored by VFW Post 777 and Ladies Auxiliary in Mount Pulaski, Ill., received an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where she was presented with the T.C. Selman Memorial Scholarship Award in the amount of $30,000. The second-place winner, Grace Speas, sponsored by VFW Post 10097 and Ladies Auxiliary in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., received the $16,000 Charles Kuralt Memorial Scholarship Award. The third-place winner, Luke Ball, sponsored by VFW Post 2573 and Ladies Auxiliary in Wilmington, N.C., received the $10,000 VFW Scholarship Award. All other state winners received at least a $1,000 college scholarship. More than 40,000 students ...
LOUISVILLE, Ky. and KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), one of the nation's leading health and well-being companies, through the Humana MarketPoint organization, has enhanced its exclusive agreement with the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW), the nation's largest organization of war veterans and the oldest major veterans' organization in the U.S. As part of this expanded relationship, Humana is the national Medicare Advantage (MA), Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) and Medicare Supplement plans carrier for the VFW with exclusive marketing and promotional rights to the VFW.
The 750,000+ members of the VFW, and their spouses, who are eligible, or approaching eligibility, for Medicare, will get seamless education, guidance and access to these plans.
The Home Depot has started accepting applications for their 2018 Community Impact Grant. VFW members can receive up to $5,000 to fund repairs or construction projects at their Post building.
While there are no guarantees to being funded, several VFW Posts have been awarded this grant in the past.
Applications are only accepted through Home Depot's online form. Telephone calls, emails or written submissions sent to Home Depot will NOT be accepted, nor will you be able to turn this application in at your local Home Depot store.
Applicants should expect a decision by email within six weeks of submission. Grants are awar...
Hunting, much like war, forms a bond between people of different backgrounds. This holds true for the disabled veterans who participated in this year's 35th annual VFW magazine - and Doonan Gulch Outfitters - sponsored antelope hunt. Four Vietnam War veterans participated in hunting antelope, sightseeing and conversations.
Located 25 miles west of Broadus, Mont., Doonan Gulch Outfitters is owned and operated by Russ and Carol Greenwood. Russ Greenwood said Carol and he started hosting the annual hunt in 1982 because they didn't like the way Vietnam War veterans were treated when they came home.
Russ Greenwood also has a personal connection to Vietnam War veterans. His twin brother - Roger, a member of VFW Post 987 in Black River Falls, Wisc. - flew helicopters during the war. The Greenwoods started hosting disabled veterans 20 years ago. Since then, Doonan Gulch Outfitters has hosted veterans of every generation since the Vietnam War.
Torrey Wingate of Rochester, N.Y., joined the United States armed forces after she met an Army recruiter who inspired her to become more. Wingate was first stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash., and went on to serve at Fort Myer, Va. During her time at Fort Myer, Wingate injured her back and knees.
She thrived in the structured routine of her military life, and missed this steadiness and stability when it came time to transition to civilian life. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder made the transition even more challenging. The fear and anxiety she felt took a great toll on her mental health.
Securing a job and leaning on her support system of husband, Todd, and their five children (ranging from 5 to 28 years old) helped smooth her transition.
Her progress came to a sudden halt when her family moved from upstate New York to North Carolina. With the increased cost-of-living and Wingate unable to find a job, they went from a "two-income household to a fraction of one."
She was devastated to see her dreams crumble as ...
WASHINGTON - The nation's top three veterans service organizations have released their latest edition of The Independent Budget to coincide with the Administration's fiscal year 2019 budget recommendation for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
For more than 30 years, the three Independent Budget co-authors - DAV (Disabled American Veterans), Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans), and the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States) - have presented budget and policy recommendations to Congress and the Administration. These recommendations - which are supported by 27 other health, family, military, and veteran service organizations - are meant to inform lawmakers of the needs of all veterans, and to offer substantive solutions to address the many health care and benefits challenges they face. This independently-developed budget serves as the veterans groups' benchmark for properly fu...
Marine veteran Jordan Soderman wears many hats. Everyday he is a full-time firefighter for the city of Minneapolis, Minn., father to 7-year-old Hunter and 5-year-old Caleb, husband to wife Jessica, Staff Sergeant in the Air Force Reserves and master's student in Emergency Management. It's a lot of responsibility and he takes great pride and care in each role.
Soderman was extremely grateful to be a recipient of the VFW's "Sport Clips Help a Hero Scholarship," especially because his family depends on his salary for a living.
Soderman grew up in the rural Midwest on his family's farm. He joined the Marines in 2006, right out of high school. He felt called to enlist because his parents taught him how much respect service members deserve, even though they were civilians themselves.
"The military was on a pedestal to me, and I wanted to give back to my country and travel outside my small town."
Soderman was deployed three times between 2007-2010. During the first two deployments, he was assigned to a Fleet An...
WASHINGTON - Early this morning Congress voted to keep the government open for six more weeks as it works out a two-year budget deal that increases sequestration-levied spending caps for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. The good news is the two-year budget deal should provide the Department of Defense the predictable funding it needs to improve readiness, and build a larger, more capable and lethal force. But the deal does not eliminate sequestration.
"Reducing the impact of sequestration by raising spending caps is a step in the right direction," said Keith Harman, national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, "but the deal doesn't eliminate the sequester, which will still be the law after the two-year deal expires."
This morning's action raises spending caps by nearly $300 billion for both defense and non-defense spending for FYs 2018 and 2019. The VFW believes that the funding increase will protect military quality of life programs, the promised 2.4 percent pay raise, and oth...
Today, we'd like to introduce Lynn, an Iraq war veteran living with PTSD and depression. Lynn shared about how he went from struggling daily to crossing the finish line of the Bataan Death March, a 26-mile trek through high desert terrain.
WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is saluting the House Veterans Affairs Committee for passing H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2017. The VFW-supported bill, which must still be approved by the full House and Senate before going to the president, would restore benefits to thousands of Vietnam veterans, expand inclusive dates to those who served along the Korean DMZ, and benefit children born with spina bifida due to a parent's exposure to Agent Orange-related herbicides in Thailand.
"The VFW salutes the bipartisan leadership of House VA Committee Chairman Phil Roe and Ranking Member Tim Walz for getting this bill through committee," said VFW National Commander Keith Harman, who served in Vietnam as an Army helicopter crew chief and door gunner with the 101st Airborne Division
Once passed into law, H.R. 299 will restore VA benefits to some 100,000 Blue Water Navy veterans who had their disability eligibility taken away in 2002 after regulatory changes....
Parents who have had to leave their children for an extended period of time can attest to the difficulties the absence can cause. Those serving in the military know this all too well. And those with no spouse with whom their children can stay during deployments find themselves in an even worse situation.
This Mother's Day, the VFW pays tribute to moms who have sacrificed by leaving their children behind for overseas deployments.
Here's a look at some of those mothers, and in their own words, how deploying overseas affected them and their children.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In the true spirit of Memorial Day, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW) is collaborating with Ace Hardware to honor veterans by pledging to give out 1 million American-made flags nationwide. On Saturday, May 26, consumers are encouraged to visit participating Ace stores to receive a free 8" x 12" American flag*, while a second flag is donated to a local VFW Post to be used for marking and honoring veteran graves this Memorial Day.
"We are thrilled to continue our long-standing history of honoring veterans by supporting VFW Posts and local communities this Memorial Day," said John Surane, Executive Vice President for Ace Hardware. "The sacrifices that these men and women have made for their country is something that should be recognized every day, and we at Ace want to make this Memorial Day even more meaningful. We applaud the VFW for the incredible support the...
WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. applauds the House of Representatives for passing the VA MISSION Act of 2018.
The bipartisan, bicameral legislation is the result of hard work by members of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans' Affairs to improve VA's ability to hire high-quality health care professionals, consolidate and improve VA community care programs, expand caregiver benefits to pre-9/11 veterans, and establish a process to evaluate and reform VA's capital infrastructure to better serve veterans.
"This bill honors the nation's commitment to our veterans to provide them with the care they have earned," said Keith Harman, national commander of the 1.7 million-member VFW and its Auxiliary. "It will help improve services throughout the VA health system while utilizing private sector resources when needed, striking the right balance to make sure we provide veterans with the best care possible.
"Americans expect Congress to work together when it comes to veterans' i...
WASHINGTON - The Senate passed the VA MISSION Act of 2018 on Wednesday with a vote of 92-5. The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. thanks the senators who put veterans and their caregivers first and voted in favor of the bill. It will now head to the desk of President Donald Trump, who has indicated he will sign it.
The VA MISSION Act is a bipartisan bill that improves VA's ability to hire high-quality health care professionals, consolidate and improve VA community care programs, expand caregiver benefits to pre-9/11 veterans, and establish a process to evaluate and reform VA's capital infrastructure to better serve veterans.
"This historic legislation is the result of years of negotiating what role the private sector should play in providing care to America's veterans," said Keith Harman, national commander of the 1.7-million member VFW and its Auxiliary. "The VA MISSION Act helps provide veterans with the care they earned and deserve. It helps improve the VA health care system while relying on th...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliary will be out in force on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 19, 2018, to show their support and appreciation for BURGER KING® franchisees as part of the VFW's second annual #ThankBK Appreciation Day.
Since 2007, BURGER KING® franchisees and their customers have contributed over $5 million to the VFW Unmet Needs program. This program provides financial assistance to military families who have fallen on hard times as a result of deployment, injury, or other military-related activities. Since the program's inception in 2004, Unmet Needs has provided nearly 9,000 veterans and military families with more than $10 million in financial grants.
The VFW is encouraging its members, their families and friends to stop in, purchase a meal and say "thank you" to the franchise owners, managers and BURGER KING® team members for their continued support of the veteran community. It's also asking all members to post to social media abou...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to name the top three teachers in its 2018 Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award contest.
Each year, the VFW selects one teacher from the elementary (K-5), middle (6-8) and high school (9-12) levels to receive the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award. Established in 1999, the award recognizes our nation's top teachers for their exceptional commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students by promoting civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism in the classroom. The award is named after former VFW National Commander John Smart and retired VFW Quartermaster General Larry Maher.
Emily Cowan Ezell, a third-grade teacher at Cowan Elementary School in Cowan, Tenn., was named the elementary school winner for fostering students' patriotism through an annual production of her self-written and designed patriotic play, This Is Our Country. Ezell is known for planning ann...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is now accepting entries for its 2018-19 Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen youth scholarship competitions. The announcement comes just a week after the VFW's 2018 Legislative Conference concluded in Washington, D.C., where the top students from across the globe were recognized.
Dedicated to encouraging a better understanding and appreciation of America, the VFW's Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen essay competitions help foster patriotism among today's youth. The programs also foster friendly competition as well as rewards success in the form of some $3 million in scholarship monies being distributed.
The Voice of Democracy theme for 2018-19 asks high school students to reflect on "Why My Vote Matters." The audio-essay ...
Female veterans continue to make great strides within the ranks of VFW. More than ever, seasoned leaders within the organization welcome women with the realization that they, too, are a part of VFW's future.
This is exactly what happened at Post 7511 in Monroe, Wash., where the members met Global War on Terrorism veteran Jaymie Weber in January.
Weber, who served nine years in the Air Force, saw a Facebook notice about a pancake breakfast at the Post - about 35 miles northeast of Seattle - and decided to check it out.
"I stepped out of my introverted shell a little bit," said Weber, a mom of two daughters, ages 3 and 5. "I showed up and about half of the people were Vietnam vets and the other half younger."
Weber signed up to be a member, and it wasn't long before she was viewed as a "doer." She got the home-improvement retailer Lowe's to donate 43 flags to the Post just by asking. Post leaders were so impressed, they asked her to become quartermaster. She was elected in mid-2017, becoming the Post's ...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to announce that for the eighth-consecutive year, it will be a presenting sponsor for the 29th annual Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
The memorial march is a challenging, full-marathon expedition through 26.2 miles of high desert terrain, conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health, and in many cases, their very lives.
Held annually since 1989, the March 25 event is anticipated to be the biggest event to date, with nearly 8,400 military and civilians participating individually or as teams.
"The VFW is honored to help ensure the sacrifices and stories of U.S. and Filipino soldiers who endured and perished during the Bataan Death March are never forgotten," said VFW National Commander Keith Harman. "For nearly 119 years, the VFW has been dedicated to honoring and pr...
Sergeant Spencer Dwight Hardesty, 26, of Canyon Lake, Calif., joined the United States Air Force at the age of 19.
"I thought it would be an awesome experience to serve in the same branch as my brother," he said. "As time drew on, I gained a love and deep appreciation for the United States Air Force."
Hardesty recently graduated from Trident University with a degree in business administration. He's now working toward a credential at Villanova University with the hope of commissioning as an officer in the Air Force. The VFW's "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" is helping pay Hardesty's tuition expenses.
"Although I had finished my undergraduate program, the VFW is still opening doors in pursuing my education and helping me become a stronger candidate for commissioning as an officer," Hardesty expressed.
"This scholarship affirmed my belief that applying one's self as much as possible will allow you to succeed. It's just a stepping-stone to achieving my ultimate goal. I know I need to apply myself in w...
Last year, two VFW Posts ushered in a new era. One elected its first female commander and the other elected its first black female commander. Both women hope to increase their Post's involvement in their communities.
VFW Post 9931 Commander Kimberly Napoleon said she initially didn't understand "what the impact would be" or how she would be received by her fellow Post members. However, she added that she was honored to be elected commander of the Bridgeport, Mich., Post last July.
"Our Post is predominantly all men, and to have them have enough confidence in me to take us to another level, that meant a lot," said Napoleon, who served in the Persian Gulf in 1990 as a local purchase agent with the 364th Supply and Service Company.
A "community servant by nature," Napoleon said her goal as commander is to bring more awareness of the VFW to the community.
"I believe in patriotism," Napoleon said. "I also believe in giving recognition to those to whom it's due, such as our veterans."
WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is saluting former Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin for his faithful and dedicated service to veterans of all generations. He came aboard in 2015 as Undersecretary for Health as the VA was still reeling from a nationwide crisis in care and access that had rocked veterans' confidence a year before. He was retained by President Trump and confirmed as VA Secretary by the Senate 100-0. Under his tenure, the VA has achieved a host of successes ranging from increased accountability and transparency to a beefed-up education package and increases in overall funding and patient satisfaction. "The VFW wishes him and his family all the best in their futures," said VFW National Commander Keith Harman.
The nominee to become the next VA Secretary, Navy Rear Adm. (Dr.) Ronny Jackson, served in Iraq as an emergency physician in charge of resuscitative medicine for a forward deployed surgical shock trauma platoon, and since 2006, has been the ...
This article is featured in the March 2018 issue of VFW magazine and was written by Kari Williams, associate editor, VFW magazine. USCG photo by PA1 Tom Sperduto.
Fifteen years ago this month, U.S. troops launched Operation Iraqi Freedom.
VFW magazine spoke with the organization's members who served during the war's opening phases. Older and 15 years wiser, they provide some perspective on their service, their shared sacrifices and their feelings about how the war ended.