About Us

Who We Are

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 1.9 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.

Because our strength comes from you.

Simply put, the VFW strives to do good things for deserving people – our  veterans, their families and their communities. From local grassroots  ideas to national influence, we work every day to make a difference.  It’s our strength as an organization. And, with each individual  membership, we only grow stronger.