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.
FOOD PANTRY NOW OPEN
The Department has recently begun hosting the Mid-Mo Military Family Pantry at our Department Headquarters, 3401 Knipp Drive, Jefferson City, MO. The Pantry is open on Thursdays from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. However, if a veteran or his family is in immediate need, they can call the Department office at 573-636-8761 for assistance. Recently a freezer was donated and we will be accepting cold food donations. Below is a link to a recent article published by the News Tribune.
The POW/MIA Chairman, Joe Cerchi, would like those posts whose Auxiliary goes "above and beyond" in their support of VFW POW/MIA Programs to send an email to him outlining what makes them special so that their efforts may be recognized.
Department Chairperson Quincy Myrick must have the entries from the Districts NO LATER THAN December 28, 2020! Please mail to Quincy Myrick at 4414 Arlow Drive, House Springs, MO 63051.
Legislative/VOD - 2021
Regrettably, as a result of restrictions directly associated with access to the Dirksen Building and those same restrictions also applying to the Commander-in-Chief’s testimony, we are cancelling the February/March 2021 Legislative Conference and are exploring other opportunities for the execution of the Voice of Democracy Parade of Winners.
Adjutant General Kevin Jones