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Who We Are

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The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is a nonprofit veterans service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, guard and reserve forces.

We trace our roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service: Many arrived home wounded or sick. There was no medical care or veterans' pension for them, and they were left to care for themselves. 

In their misery, some of these veterans banded together and formed organizations that would eventually band together and become known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Today, membership stands at nearly 1.7 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliary.

Our voice was instrumental in establishing the Veterans Administration, development of the national cemetery system, in the fight for compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange and for veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. In 2008, we won a long-fought victory with the passing of a GI Bill for the 21st Century, giving expanded educational benefits to America's active duty service members, and members of the guard and reserves, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. We were the driving force behind the Veterans Access and Accountability Act of 2014, and continually fight for improved VA medical centers services for women veterans.

We have many programs and services that work to support veterans, service members and their families, as well as communities worldwide. Visit our site to learn why No One Does More For Veterans.


WWI Legislative Victories

1914    WWI begins and the VFW is officially born.
1917    The VFW plays instrumental role in the passing of the War Risk Insurance Act Amendments.
1918    The VFW successfully fights for Vocational Rehabilitation Act (P.L. 178).
1919    The VFW helps pass the Census Act Rider on Veterans Preference Discharge Allowance.
1921    Women WWI vets qualify for membership.
1921    The VFW  helps fight for the Veterans Bureau Act.
1923    The VFW helps create and pass the Veterans Preference Point System.
1924    The VFW helps establish the House Veterans Affairs Committee.
1924    The VFW successfully fights for the World War Veterans Act and the World War Adjusted Compensation Act.
1925    The VFW helps establish the Senate Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs.
1930    The VFW helps establish the Veterans Administration.
1930    The VFW plays vital role in creating and passing the World War Service Disability Pension Act (P.L. 522).
1931    The Bacharach Amendment, with support of the VFW, is passed and allows borrowing on WWI bonus certificates.
1933    The Wagner-Peyser Act: Veterans Employment Service is established with support from the VFW.
1934    The VFW successfully fights for the pension for widows of WWI veterans.
1938    The VFW fights for P.L. 510 -- making Armistice Day a legal holiday.


Three Letters Can Say So Much

Date: Published 2017