The American Legion and VFW: A Comprehensive Guide
The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) are two highly respected organizations in the United States that work towards promoting the interests of war veterans in the country. These organizations have a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century and have been instrumental in promoting the welfare of veterans, military personnel and their families.
In this article, we will give a detailed account of both the American Legion and VFW, their history, structure, objectives, and their contributions towards the welfare of war veterans in America.
The American Legion
The American Legion is a nonprofit organization that was established on March 15, 1919, by a group of American veterans who had served in World War I. The purpose of the organization was to promote the welfare, rehabilitation, and employment of war veterans in the United States. Today, the American Legion has over 2.4 million members, making it the biggest veteran’s organization in the US.
The American Legion is organized at the post, county, state, and national level. A post is a local community group that serves as the basic unit of the American Legion. Each post is made up of veterans, servicemen, and women, from all branches of the US military, who live in the geographic area the post serves. The post works towards promoting the welfare of fellow veterans, by providing support services, such as employment, housing, and counseling.
The county-level delegates from the various posts in each county elects the county council. The state-level delegates then elect the state department, which oversees the various local county councils. The national organization is then headed by the national executive committee, which is elected by the state departments. The American Legion’s headquarters are located in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The American Legion’s objectives are centered on four core areas: Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, National Security, Americanism, and Children and Youth.
The Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation program works towards improving the lives of veterans through access to quality healthcare, education benefits, and job training, among other services. The program also advocates for the rights of veterans and their dependents.
Under the National Security program, the American Legion advocates for a strong national defense program and aims to promote patriotism among US citizens. They also work towards promoting and advocating for the wellbeing of active and retired military personnel.
The Americanism program promotes the love for the United States and encourages citizens to participate in civic activities which support their communities. Additionally, the Children and Youth program works on building character, leadership, and their involvement in community organizations.
Contributions towards Veterans Welfare
The American Legion has been instrumental in improving the welfare of US veterans since its inception in 1919. Here are some of its notable achievements.
The adoption of the GI Bill in 1944 helped provide for education, vocational training and unemployment benefits for veterans after World War II.
Through The Veteran Affairs and Rehabilitation program, the Legion has helped secure billions of dollars in social and medical support for veterans.
The American Legion has also pushed for numerous pieces of legislation and regulation aimed at improving the wellbeing of veterans, including The Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974, the Agent Orange Settlement of 1984, among other numerous programs.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is another nonprofit organization that was created on September 29, 1899. The organization is made up of people who have served overseas in different wars, including World War I, World War II, Korean War, and the Vietnam War. VFW has over 1.6 million members worldwide.
VFW is a hierarchical organization, consisting of three levels: The post, the department, and the national organization. VFW has over 6,000 posts around America, organized into 52 departments, where each department represents a state, the District of Columbia, or a foreign country.
The VFW has four main objectives, which are to provide support to war veterans and their families, to promote patriotism and national security, to aid community development, and to support youth development programs.
The programs VFW offers to war veterans and their families include medical treatment, financial support, job placement, and the provision of other necessary resources that ensure their wellbeing. The VFW also advocates for the rights of veterans and seeks to increase public awareness about the challenges veterans face and how the public can support them.
The VFW’s involvement in community development is focused on programs that offer services to underserved communities, such as homeless veterans and families of deployed service members. They also support youth development programs such as the VFW-sponsored Scouts of America and other initiatives that help inspire patriotism among young people.
Contributions towards Veterans Welfare
The VFW has made significant contributions towards the welfare of U.S. veterans, including:
The establishment of the Veterans Affairs organization, which provides federal benefits to veterans, was one of the many initiatives championed by VFW members.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill sponsors education and training benefits for service members and their dependents, one of VFW many legislative achievements.
In conclusion, The American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)are valuable organizations, whose contributions towards the welfare of U.S. veterans over the years cannot gainsay. They have been instrumental in helping improve the lives of war veterans and their families since their inception. These organizations, with their outreach programs and initiatives, continue to support the men and women who valiantly served the country, and provide critical support to ensure their welfare, long after they have retired from active service.