Friday, August 12, 2011

Veterans Of Foreign Wars

The first Veterans of Foreign Wars' post was set up in 1899 in Denver, Colorado and named after John S. Stewart by veterans of the Spanish-American War who had served in the Philippines. The fledgling organization of veterans originally went under the name American Veterans of Foreign Service. In 1914 this post merged with several other veterans' organizations that had formed after the war with Spain and the subsequent war in the Philippines. Together they took the name Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The primary purpose of the organization is to look after veterans by lobbying Congress about veterans' concerns, such as health care and disability claims. Individual members assist veterans by filling out paperwork for the Department of Veterans' Affairs. They also help veterans secure loans for education and home purchases. The member veterans also perform community service and collect donations to assist soldiers in need. One of their programs, Operation Uplink, permits soldiers living overseas to make free phone calls to the United States.

Since its humble beginning, the Veterans of Foreign Wars has expanded and now has 1.5 million members in more than 7,000 posts around the country. This government-chartered, non-profit organization restricts membership to those who have served in combat. It is the largest such organization in America. Its headquarters is located in Kansas City, Missouri.

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