Vfw Vs American Legion

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and American Legion are two organizations that represent the voice of veterans in the United States. Both organizations were founded on similar principles and values, with the aim of supporting and advocating for veterans. However, there are unique differences between the two groups which are important to note.

In order to fully understand the difference between the VFW and American Legion, we must first dive into their history and founding principles. The VFW was established in 1899 after veterans who fought in the Spanish-American War came together to create an organization that would advocate for their rights and provide support to their fellow service members. The VFW was founded with the primary goal of lobbying for veteran’s benefits, developing support programs, and fighting for veteran’s rights.

The American Legion, on the other hand, was founded in 1919 after World War I as a patriotic organization that would focus on service to the community, state, and nation. The American Legion, represents veterans across the United States, and it focuses on education and community service. The American Legion focuses on the American flag, Americanism, national causes, children and youth education and support of veterans.

Comparing the two organizations, it is clear that both VFW and American Legion have made significant contributions toward supporting veterans. Both organizations have a history of successful advocacy for veterans’ rights and benefits. Both organizations are known for their strong community involvement, patriotism as well as their desire to make the United States a better place for everyone. While there is much overlap between the two groups, there are also notable differences that set them apart.

One of the most noticeable difference is membership requirements. In order to become a member of the VFW, a veteran must have served in an overseas conflict or combat. On the other hand, American Legion membership is open to veterans who have served in the military during times of conflict, as well as current and former members of the National Guard and Reserves. This means that the American Legion has a broader membership base than the VFW, which allows it to cover more veterans who were not deployed to overseas conflicts, but served during times of conflict, including the Cold War.

Another notable difference between the VFW and the American Legion lies in their focus. The VFW is widely known for its focus on lobbying for benefits and support for veterans. The organization also provides critical assistance to veterans who are struggling with homelessness, unemployment, and other difficulties. The American Legion, on the other hand, focuses more on community service and education. This includes assisting young people in their development, extending a hand to families who have lost loved ones in service and their support in society.

Another key difference is the leadership structure of the organizations. The VFW is led by its Commander-in-Chief and other elected officials, while the American Legion has a more structured hierarchy, with department officers, post commanders, and national leaders who are elected by their respective groups.

Both VFW and American Legion are highly respected organizations and have dedicated members who make significant contributions to American society. By focusing on veterans’ benefits and advocating for their rights, the VFW has been able to make a significant impact in the lives of veterans. In 2018 alone, the VFW provided $5.6 million in financial assistance to veterans, with another $7 million going to veterans’ service programs. With such donations, veterans have a place where they can turn to for financial, emotional, and health support. The American Legion, on the other hand, focuses on community service, education, and patriotism. For example, the American Legion has provided over 3.7 million dollars in scholarships for students since the program started.

In conclusion, both Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion have made significant contributions to the veterans in the United States over the years. While the two organizations share similar principles and values, each group has its own unique way of supporting service men and women in the country. Both organizations emphasize the importance of community service and patriotism, education and veteran’s support, as well as fighting for veteran’s rights and benefits. We cannot say which organization is better than the other, but we can say both organizations play a vital role in creating a difference in the veterans’ lives in the nation.


1. What is the difference between VFW and American Legion?

While both organizations share similar principles and values advocating for veterans in the United States, there are differences. Firstly, VFW membership requirements require the member to have served in an overseas conflict or combat, while American Legion membership is open to all veterans, including those who served during times of war or conflict. Secondly, VFW focuses on veterans’ needs and lobbying for veteran’s benefits, while the American Legion is more focused on community service, education and patriotism.

2. How does VFW help veterans?

VFW plays a significant role in veterans’ life by lobbying for benefits and advocating for veterans’ rights. The organization also provides assistance to veterans with homelessness, unemployment, and other difficulties.

3. What is the primary focus of the American Legion?

The American Legion is focused on promoting patriotism, educating youths, and providing support for veterans and their families. The organization also provides extensive scholarship programs for students.

4. Can I join both organizations?

Yes, you can join both organizations at the same time, provided you meet their membership requirements.