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Veterans Of Foreign Wars (VFW)


Veterans of Foreign Wars logoThe Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States 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. In 1914, the Veterans of Foreign Wars formed from a merger of three of these groups.

The VFW Foundation is a 501c(3) not-for-profit veterans service organization that relies on public donations to support programs that promote citizenship education and volunteerism and facilitate aid for veterans and their families in need of medical, rehabilitative, educational and employment services.

VFW membership is available to all U.S. service members who have earned an overseas campaign or expeditionary medal and are currently on active-duty, in the Reserves or who have been honorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces. In addition, the service member must be an U.S. citizen. The Eligibility Listing, which lists campaign periods and authorized service medals, may be seen in PDF format (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) online at:

Veteran Services

The VFW has more than 100 trained service officers to assist any veteran, or their dependents, obtain federal or state entitlements.

Annually, VFW field representatives process tens of thousands of veteran's claims, which have resulted in the recovery of hundreds of millions dollars in disability claims for veterans. Not only do VFW service officers assist veterans and their dependents seeking disability compensation, but they also assist veterans in discharge upgrades, record corrections, education benefits and pension eligibility. In addition, service officers regularly inspect VA health care facilities and national cemeteries, and employment specialists monitor laws concerning veterans' preference in federal employment. The VFW Veterans Service Directory is available at:

The VFW also monitors medical and health issues affecting veterans as well as providing veterans with up-to-date information on diabetes, post-traumatic stress, Agent Orange exposure and Persian Gulf Syndrome. A recent addition to the Washington D.C., office is the Tactical Assessment Center, a 24-hour help line for veterans with questions or concerns about VA entitlements (1-800-VFW-1899). Additional information is available at:

Community Service

The VFW has a rich tradition associated with community service, working closely with other national organizations such as March of Dimes, the Points of Light Foundation and America's Promise-The Alliance for Youth. Constructive community service is a founding VFW tenet with volunteerism benefiting education, the environment, health sciences and civic projects. The VFW's citizenship education program is designed to stimulate an interest in America's history, its traditions and institutions, as well as promote patriotism. The VFW also partners with the Boy Scouts of America, National Rifle Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, International Association of Firefighters and the Salvation Army.

Legislative Service

The VFW's presence on Capitol Hill allows VFW officials to monitor and lobby Congress for legislative action targeted toward maintaining a strong national defense and improving military benefits and quality of life for all veterans, including those currently serving in the active-duty military, the National Guard and the Reserves. Detailed information is available from the VFW Washington Office website at:

State Headquarters and Local Posts

You can find a local Post or State Headquarters online at:

Contact Information

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
National Headquarters
406 West 34th Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64111

Phone: (816) 756-3390
Fax: (816) 968-1149



Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
Washington D.C. Office
VFW Memorial Building
200 Maryland Avenue N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002

Phone: (202) 543-2239
Fax: (202) 543-6719


See also:

Veterans Service Organizations - Overview

Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits - Overview


Information for this topic was drawn from the VFW website at:

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