National VFW Day – Happy 124th! Thank you for all you do!
Sept. 29 is National Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Day, celebrating one of the largest and most established organization of war veterans in the United States. It is a day celebrated not only by its members at Posts throughout the country and around the world, but also by the generations of veterans, service members, their families and communities that have benefited from the continued service of our great organization.
Established on this date in 1899, a group of 13 veterans from Spanish-America war and Philippine Insurrection joined together to form what would become the nation’s largest and most dedicated group of combat veterans. Originally called the American Veterans of Foreign Service, the new organization differed from previous veteran fraternal societies as it not only opened membership to all ranks from all branches of service, but also to veterans of all foreign wars. In doing so, the young organization ensured its relevancy to every generation of veteran from that moment on into the future.
Since its inception, the VFW has been unwavering in its devotion “to honor the dead by helping the living” and has been on the front lines of veteran advocacy in Washington, D.C., for more than a century. From leading the charge in demanding compensation for WWI veterans, to the establishments of the Veterans Administration, the national cemetery system, the GI Bill of Rights, and most recently, the passage of the SFC Heath Robinson Honoring our PACT Act of 2022, the VFW has proved itself as one of the most powerful and influential voices on Capitol Hill.
The VFW’s selfless service goes far beyond legislation advancing veterans’ benefits. Through its network of service officers and claims representatives, the VFW helped veterans recoup $10 billion annually in VA disability compensation and pension benefits, ensuring veterans and their families get the care they earned and deserve. The VFW has also provided financial assistance to military families valued at more than $12.6 million since 2004; awarded $10.65 million in scholarships to more than 2,370 veterans and service members since 2014; and donated $52.2 million annually to local community service projects thanks to the hard work, charity and commitment of the more than 1.5 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliary. Our years of military service may be behind us, but we are still serving our fellow veterans, our communities and our country.