Q:

What are the requirements to join the VFW?

A:

Quick Answer

To be eligible to join the VFW, or Veterans of Foreign Wars, a person must be a U.S. citizen who has served in the military honorably in an overseas conflict, received a campaign medal for overseas service, served 60 nonconsecutive or 30 consecutive days in Korea, or received imminent danger or hostile-fire pay. There are no age requirements for joining the organization.

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Full Answer

Founded in 1899 by Spanish-American war veterans, the VFW is committed to bettering the lives of veterans. Its basic mission is to ensure the security of America through military strength, speed up the rehabilitation of the country's needy and disabled veterans, assist veterans' widows and orphans, help disabled veterans' dependents and promote patriotism and Americanism through constructive community service.

As of 2014, the VFW has more than 1.4 million members and over 10,000 local units, which are referred to as "posts." The organization's legislative service and the central office of its rehabilitative service are both located in Washington, D.C.

Benefits of joining the VFW include camaraderie with fellow foreign-conflict veterans; access to a vast network of resources; assistance securing veteran benefits and compensation; and discounts on health care plans, insurance plans and travel services.

A number of presidents have been members of the VFW, including George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, John Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman and Theodore Roosevelt.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    When was Veterans of Foreign Wars founded?

    A:

    Veterans of Foreign Wars was founded in 1899 as a local organization, made up of veterans of the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection. The organization was founded to secure benefits and rights in return for the veterans' service during the war, as many had been wounded or fallen ill.

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  • Q:

    What does each Veterans of Foreign Wars "Legacy Life Membership" level entail?

    A:

    Although many of the rewards are the same regardless of whether one purchases a Bronze, Silver or Gold "Legacy Life Membership" in the Veterans of Foreign Wars, only Gold level members are rewarded with a hat patch and personalized brick at Centennial Plaza. Gold level members are also rewarded with 15 percent discounts on purchases from the Veterans of Foreign Wars store and $5000 accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance. Silver level members receive 10 percent discounts and $3500 AD&D insurance, while Bronze level members receive 5 percent discounts and $2000 AD&D insurance.

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  • Q:

    What are some organizations that provide cash assistance to veterans?

    A:

    Three organizations that provide cash assistance to veterans and their families are USA Cares, the American Red Cross and Veterans of Foreign Wars, or VFW. All three organizations provide eligible veterans and their immediate family members with assistance to meet basic life needs, such as food, shelter, utilities payments and emergency travel. USA Cares claims that it responds to all requests for assistance within 48 hours, and the American Red Cross notes that it is available to provide emergency assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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  • Q:

    What is the difference between the VFW and the American Legion?

    A:

    The Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion are both support organizations for war veterans that were established after the United States Military got involved in foreign wars abroad. These groups are much more alike than different, but they do differ in their eligibility requirements.

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