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Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)

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  • Kenneth Merl Golden, WW II Veteran (1925 - 2004)
    U.S. Navy World War II - Photo of military grave marker added to Find a Grave by BurnRollins OBITUARY- "Kenneth M. Golden, 78, of French Creek, died Monday, Aug. 2, 2004, at the Louis A. Johnson ...
  • Loren Newton Cleveland (1924 - 2014)
    Loren Newton Cleveland of Buffalo, Oklahoma passed from this life on October 21, 2014. He was born on December 1, 1924 at the family farm north of Selman, Oklahoma to Luther Nulton and Bertha May Stebb...
  • Source: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/36004202/howell-bluford-trousdale
    Howell Bluford Trousdale (1924 - 1997)
    Daily News Record Death Notice reads: Howell Bluford Trousdale, 72, 121 E. Riverside Dr., Timberville, died Sunday, Feb. 2, 1997, at Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Harrisonburg, where he had been apat...
  • Steve A. Nosser (1919 - 2022)
    Reference: Find A Grave Memorial - SmartCopy : Jan 21 2022, 5:24:26 UTC Stuckman "Steve" Nosser, age 102, of Quincy, died Thursday, January 20, 2022, at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy. Steve ...
  • Bennie Winter Brooks (1922 - 2011)
    Bennie W. Brooks Bennie Winter Brooks Sr., 89, of Fredericksburg passed away Monday, May 2, 2011, at McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond. Mr. Brooks served with the 4th Mechanized Cavalry, U.S. Arm...

The Veterans of Foreign Wars, also known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Inc., is an American veterans' organization established on September 29, 1899, whose membership consists of armed-forces veterans who, as United States Army soldiers, United States Navy sailors, United States Marines, United States Coast Guard sailors, and/or United States Air Force airmen, served the U.S. in wars, campaigns, and expeditions on foreign soil or hostile waters

The purpose of the VFW is to speed rehabilitation of the nation’s disabled and needy veterans, assist veterans’ widows and orphans and the dependents of needy or disabled veterans, and promote Americanism by means of education in patriotism and by constructive service to local communities. The organization maintains both its legislative service and central office of its national rehabilitation service in Washington. The latter nationwide program serves disabled veterans of all wars, members and nonmembers alike, in matters of U.S. government compensation and pension claims, hospitalization, civil-service employment preference, and etc.

Membership in the VFW is restricted to any active or honorably discharged officer or enlisted person who is a citizen of the United States and who has served in its armed forces "in any foreign war, insurrection or expedition, which service shall be recognized by the authorization or the issuance of a military campaign medal."

The following is a partial list of United States campaign medals, ribbons, and badges the VFW uses to determine membership eligibility:

Navy and Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon Air Force Combat Action Medal Combat Infantryman Badge Combat Medical Badge Combat Action Badge Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon (with Gold Border) SSBN Deterrent Patrol insignia Navy Expeditionary Medal Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal Spanish Campaign Medal Philippine Campaign Medal World War I Victory Medal Nicaraguan Campaign Medal Yangtze Service Medal China Service Medal American Defense Service Medal American Campaign Medal (overseas service required) European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal Army of Occupation Medal Navy Occupation Service Medal Korean Service Medal Korea Defense Service Medal Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Service Medal Southwest Asia Service Medal Kosovo Campaign Medal Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Afghanistan Campaign Medal Iraq Campaign Medal

Cross of Malta

The Cross of Malta is the VFW's official emblem. The cross, radiating rays, and Great Seal of the United States together symbolize the character, vows and purposes distinguishing VFW as an order of warriors who have traveled far from home to defend sacred principles. Its eight points represent the beatitudes prescribed in the Sermon on the Mount: Blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, the pure, the merciful, the peacemakers; blessed are they who mourn, seek righteousness and are persecuted for righteousness' sake. The eight-pointed Cross of Malta harks back to the Crusades, launched during the 12th century.

The VFW emblem was inspired by the insignia of Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS). The MOLLUS insignia was designed in 1865 by jewelers Bailey, Banks and Biddle and features a Maltese cross with radiating rays and an eagle emblem at the center. The ribbons of the two organizations are also similar, except that the VFW ribbon has a narrow yellow stripe in the center of the ribbon.

Prior to the Second World War, officers of the VFW wore a miniature shoulder strap showing the rank insignia of their office at the top of the ribbon of their emblem. This practice originated with the Grand Army of the Republic and continued with the Army and Navy Union and the United Spanish War Veterans.

The VFW was reorganized in 1913 as the result of a series of mergers of previous veterans organizations which consisted of veterans of the Spanish–American War and the Philippine Insurrection. The VFW modeled its organization, terminology and ritual on the Grand Army of the Republic—an organization for veterans of all ranks who had served the North during the American Civil War, but kept the "foreign" aspect of the organization, thus excluding the Civil War veterans. The VFW grew rapidly after the First World War with hundreds of thousands eligible veterans returning from the war. As the American Legion was originally composed exclusively of First World War veterans, this led to a friendly rivalry between the VFW and the American Legion as they competed for members and recognition as the premier veterans organization in the United States.

Between the two world wars, the VFW focused on advocating for benefits for veterans as well as combating communism. After the Second World War, millions more veterans were eligible to join the VFW. Membership steadily grew after the war peaking at about 2.5 million in 1993 with over 10,000 posts (local chapters) being established nationwide. During the turbulent 1960s era, the VFW supported the American involvement in the Vietnam War and condemned the counterculture trends of the era. Many VFW posts were unwilling to accept Vietnam veterans afterwards, but became more open to them as older veterans died off or their health did not permit them to attend meetings.

By the 2000s, the VFW faced a membership loss due to the aging of World War II and Korean War veterans and the lack of enrollment from veterans of more recent conflicts. Vietnam veterans began joining the organization in larger numbers in the 1980s and 1990s. Leadership of the organization has long been held by Vietnam veterans, but the most recent National Commander (Brian Duffy, 2017-2018) is a Desert Storm veteran.

The VFW was reorganized in 1913 as the result of a series of mergers of previous veterans organizations which consisted of veterans of the Spanish–American War and the Philippine Insurrection. The VFW modeled its organization, terminology and ritual on the Grand Army of the Republic—an organization for veterans of all ranks who had served the North during the American Civil War, but kept the "foreign" aspect of the organization, thus excluding the Civil War veterans. The VFW grew rapidly after the First World War with hundreds of thousands eligible veterans returning from the war. As the American Legion was originally composed exclusively of First World War veterans, this led to a friendly rivalry between the VFW and the American Legion as they competed for members and recognition as the premier veterans organization in the United States.

Between the two world wars, the VFW focused on advocating for benefits for veterans as well as combating communism. After the Second World War, millions more veterans were eligible to join the VFW. Membership steadily grew after the war peaking at about 2.5 million in 1993 with over 10,000 posts (local chapters) being established nationwide. During the turbulent 1960s era, the VFW supported the American involvement in the Vietnam War and condemned the counterculture trends of the era. Many VFW posts were unwilling to accept Vietnam veterans afterwards, but became more open to them as older veterans died off or their health did not permit them to attend meetings.

By the 2000s, the VFW faced a membership loss due to the aging of World War II and Korean War veterans and the lack of enrollment from veterans of more recent conflicts. Vietnam veterans began joining the organization in larger numbers in the 1980s and 1990s. Leadership of the organization has long been held by Vietnam veterans, but the most recent National Commander (Brian Duffy, 2017-2018) is a Desert Storm veteran.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veterans_of_Foreign_Wars