About Veterans of Foreign Wars

The VFW traces its 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 with what would become known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. After chapters were formed in Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania, the movement quickly gained momentum. By 1915, membership grew to 5,000; by 1936, membership was almost 200,000. 

Since then, the VFW's voice had been instrumental in establishing the Veterans Administration, creating a GI bill for the 20th century, the development of the national cemetery system and the fight for compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange and for veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. In 2008, VFW 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. 

The VFW also has fought for improving VA medical centers services for women veterans.

Besides helping fund the creation of the Vietnam, Korean War, World War II and Women in Military Service memorials, the VFW in 2005 became the first veterans' organization to contribute to building the new Disabled Veterans for Life Memorial, which opened in November 2010.

Annually, the nearly 2 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliaries contribute more than 8.6 million hours of volunteerism in the community, including participation in Make A Difference Day and National Volunteer Week.

From providing over $3 million in college scholarships and savings bonds to students every year, to encouraging elevation of the Department of Veterans Affairs to the president's cabinet, the VFW is there. 

Our Core Mission And Vision

To foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts. To serve our veterans, the military, and our communities. To advocate on behalf of all veterans. Ensure that veterans are respected for their service, always receive their earned entitlements, and are recognized for the sacrifices they and their loved ones have made on behalf of this great country.

Our Core Values

  • Always put the interests of our members first
  • Treat donors as partners in our cause
  • Promote patriotism
  • Honor military service
  • Ensure the care of veterans and their families 
  • Serve our communities
  • Promote a positive image of the VFW
  • Respect the diversity of veteran opinions 

Information

For more information regarding the VFW, please visit vfw.org

VFW Auxiliary

Established 1914, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Auxiliary set out to serve the veterans of this country and our communities in honor of the sacrifices and commitment of every man and woman who has served in uniform. The VFW Auxiliary is one of the nation’s oldest veterans’ service organizations and our members are the relatives of those who have served in overseas combat. We have nearly 470,000 members in more than 4,000 Auxiliaries nationwide who volunteer millions of hours and fundraise millions of dollars for charitable projects that benefit veterans, military service personnel and their families.

Through our National Programs, we assist the VFW pass or block legislation that impacts veterans and their families, provide nearly a million volunteer hours in the VA medical system, conduct patriotic programs with thousands of students and offer hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships for our nation’s youth.

Information

For more information regarding the VFW Auxiliary, please visit vfwauxiliary.org