NEWS

Marine Veteran Continues Recovery with Help from Unmet Needs

Terry Snelling, age 34, of Gravette, Ark., was awarded a VFW Unmet Needs grant for his mortgage payment after a devastating medical condition threatened his ability to work.

Snelling served for 16 years in the Marines as an aircraft mechanic, deploying to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait. After retiring early and returning home to wife, Jennie and their three children, Cody, Dustin and Alexa, the unthinkable happened.

Snelling suffered a stroke last November, and as a result lost the use of his left arm and leg. Though currently in rehab, he is still struggling with regaining fine motor skills.

The retirement money Snelling had from the Marine Corps wasn't enough, and he and his family began to worry about the future. "I had been looking for work but have been having a hard time finding anything, since I couldn't draw on my experience as an aircraft mechanic without full use of my left hand," he said. 

Snelling is currently in school for mechanical engineering through the VA's Vocational Rehabilitation and E...


VFW Launches Mobile App for 2017 Legislative Conference

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - With its 2017 Legislative Conference only weeks away, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. has designed a new mobile event app to give attendees the tools needed to make the most of their visit to the nation's capital. As the official guide to the 2017 VFW Legislative Conference, the VFW DC 2017 mobile app is available for download now at both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.Legislative Conference Mobile Event AppVFW to Take Veterans’ Voice to Capitol Hill

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Next weekend, more than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., the nation's largest and oldest war veterans' organization begin rallying in Washington, D.C., to voice the concerns of veterans directly with the nation's lawmakers during the 2017 VFW Legislative Conference, Feb. 26 - March 2.

The annual conference strengthens the VFW's advocacy efforts on behalf of America's veterans, service members and their families, as VFW members meet with elected representatives in the House and Senate to discuss the VFW's stance on a number of high priority veterans' issues.

The 2017 VFW Legislative Conference culminates on March 1, as VFW National Commander Brian Duffy testifies before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees, where he ...


VFW to Deliver Veterans' Voice to Congress

WASHINGTON - More than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. are arriving in the nation's capital this weekend to urge their members of Congress to continue transforming the Department of Veterans Affairs so that it can more efficiently and effectively serve America's veterans.

"The VFW is fully committed to working with Congress and the VA to change the way the department delivers health care, to include finding the best way to leverage what the VA provides with what public or private practitioners out in the community can offer, with the end goal being the delivery of the highest quality integrated care so that no veterans are ever stranded in line again," said VFW National Commander Brian Duffy.

The VFW national commander is scheduled to present his organization's legislative positions at 2 p.m., Wednesday, in testimony before a joint hearing of the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees in room G-50 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Along with f...


VFW and SVA Announce 2017 Student Veteran Fellowship Class

WASHINGTON - Ten Student Veterans of America (SVA) leaders have been selected to join more than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. when they converge on Capitol Hill, Feb. 26 to March 2, to advocate on behalf of all veterans, service members and their families. The fellowship selections were announced this afternoon at SVA's 9th National Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

"Through our fellowship program, the VFW and SVA seek to work with exemplary student veterans to hone their unique skills as advocates on campus, in the community, and on the national stage," said VFW National Commander Brian Duffy. "The VFW sees this fellowship as yet another way of supporting our shared mission with SVA to transform today's scholars into tomorrow's leaders."  

The VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship is a semester-long academic experience that involves research, action, reporting and advocating on behalf of one of four veterans...


VFW Testifies: ‘Congress Must End Sequestration!’

WASHINGTON - This afternoon, before a joint hearing of the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs Committees, Brian Duffy, national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. delivered testimony focused on fixing the VA and ending sequestration.

"Let me be perfectly clear: Congress must end sequestration!" he told the committee members in attendance." He explained that despite ongoing conflicts and the rise in new threats since the 112th Congress created sequestration in 2011, America's service members continue to operate under a budget ax which has adverse effects on how successfully they're able to defend our nation, as well as quality of life programs. 2017 Duffy Congressional TestimonyVFW Announces Top Youth Scholarship Winners

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliary proudly announced the national winners of its annual Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen youth scholarship competitions, live during last night's 2017 VFW Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

Photo Caption: (Left) VFW National Commander Brian Duffy and VFW Auxiliary President Colette Bishop present Savannah Wittman with her $30,000 award; (right) VFW National Commander Brian Duffy and VFW Auxiliary President Colette Bishop present Lindi Compton with her $5,000 award.
2017 VOD PP WinnersVFW and SVA Announce 2018 Student Veteran Fellowship Class

WASHINGTON - Ten Student Veterans of America (SVA) leaders have been selected to join more than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW) when they converge on Capitol Hill, March 4 to 7, to advocate on behalf of all veterans, service members and their families. The fellowship selections were announced during SVA's 10th National Conference in San Antonio.

"Through our fellowship program, the VFW and SVA seek to work with exemplary student veterans to hone their unique skills as advocates on campus, in the community, and on the national stage," said VFW National Commander Keith Harman. "The VFW sees this fellowship as yet another way of supporting our shared mission with SVA to empower future leaders."

The VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship is a semester-long academic experience that involves research, action, reporting and advocating on behalf of one of four veterans' policy areas: Success in higher education; transitioning from military to civilian life; succeeding in th...


VFW Joins with Veteran-Founded ID.me to Simplify Members’ Online Experience

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is pleased to announce it has teamed up with ID.me to provide its members with a more streamlined and secure online experience. The VFW is the first major veterans service organization to use ID.me as a single-sign on for its digital platforms.

VFW members can now sign up for an online account with ID.me, creating a single username and password to log in to the VFW Online Membership System, access VA benefits on Vets.gov, and gain immediate access to military discounts from 200+ retailers.

VFW-Sport Clips Scholarship Program Tops $4 Million!

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to announce that its VFW's "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" program has now awarded more than $4.1 million in scholarships to 943 military and student veterans. The latest award of more than $550,000 will now enable 118 student veterans to continue their higher education classes this spring semester.

 

"The VFW was instrumental in the passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the new Forever GI Bill, but those beefed-up educational assistance programs still can't cover the full cost for certain curriculums," said VFW National Commander Keith Harman. "Through the generosity of Sport Clips and its founder, VFW Life member Gordon Logan, we were able to c...


VFW Claims Director Shows Passion for Mental Health Awareness

Jon Gohn, 39, of Lakeville, Minn., serves as a Staff Sergeant with the South Dakota Army National Guard. Since enlisting in February of 2000, Gohn has deployed to Iraq and Kuwait. His work now focuses on training soldiers in the Army Basic Instructor Course, the Army Small Group Instructor Training Course and certification and non-commissioned officer training for 13M Multiple Launch Rocket Systems.

Gohn said, "I first wanted to join the military because I wasn't living a lifestyle that was conducive to self-improvement.

"I walked into the National Guard Office in Aberdeen, S.D. and told the recruiting officer, ‘I need to give back and stop taking advantage of my freedoms.'"

Since then he has strived to model the core values he learned in the military.

"The National Guard has given back to me everything and more than I have put into it," Gohn expressed. "If I wasn't a veteran, I wouldn't have the career I have today.

"And I personally believe there's no better job out there."

Gohn also work...


VFW Advocacy Helps Lower New TRICARE Program Costs

WASHINGTON - The Defense Health Agency (DHA) this week lowered co-payments on its new TRICARE Select health benefit plan thanks entirely to the advocacy efforts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and other veteran, military and family service organizations.
 
The fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) directed an extensive overhaul of the military's health benefit program, effective Jan. 1, 2018, that principally merged TRICARE Standard and Extra into a new TRICARE Select category, and created two new beneficiary groups: Group A, individuals who served prior to Jan. 1, 2018; and Group B, individuals who began their military service after that date.
 
Group B co-payments were outlined in the NDAA, but DHA calculated new Group A co-pays based on past costs, instead of adopting the percent-of-services-used model employed by the former TRICARE Standard and Extra plans. This caused great concern in the military and veteran communities, because the flat-rate syst...


Why Social Media Matters

Regardless of where you are in your transition from a military to civilian career, you've likely heard the advice to build a presence on social media. Maybe, as you heard this advice, you thought:

Social media is for young people to chat and "meetup."
I've missed the boat on building an online presence. It's too late for me.
I'm afraid to give out my personal information to just anyone!
I don't know where to start …

Social Media Today

When social media first came on the scene, it was mostly filled with young people sharing pictures, thoughts and opinions of their lives and surroundings. Job seekers also used social media to learn about companies who were hiring and how to apply.

For student veterans, social media can produce thoughtful content, intere...


VFW Announces Annual Publications Contest

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is now accepting submissions for its 2018 National Publications Contest. VFW publications published up to four times annually, or five or more times annually, will be judged in four categories.

The categories are:

Department-level publications:

  • Newspaper/Newsletter
    • Defined as being printed on newspaper stock.
  • Best Feature Story
    • All publications judged together in this category and submitted separately. The story must be a published article of at least 300 words. It can be originally written by your newspaper/magazine staff or by a freelance writer, or be reprinted from a newspaper within your state.
  • Magazine

Annual VFW Youth Scholarship Competitions Now Open

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is now accepting entries into its 2017-18 Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen youth scholarship competitions. The announcement comes after students from across the globe recently took home their share of more than $3.3 million in scholarships and awards from last year's competitions.

The VFW's Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen essay competitions are dedicated to encouraging a better understanding and appreciation of America, and to help foster patriotism among today's youth. Students are required to submit an oral or written essay in response to a question or statement on a subject which prompts them to consider how American history and democratic ideals and principles apply to their lives.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

One in five Americans experience some form of mental illness each year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. This includes the nation's veterans.

To this end, the Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes May as Mental Health Awareness Month.Mental Health Awareness

According to Dr. Wendy Tenhula, VA Deputy Chief Consultant for Specialty Mental Health, the theme of the month is Use Your Voice (#useyourvoice).

Tenhula said the goal is to encourage everyone to start a conversation about mental health and how p...


VFW Posts Again Support 'Salute Our Troops'

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and Tractor Supply Company (TSC) are teaming up for the fifth consecutive year to make this year's Memorial Day weekend a community event across the nation!2017 Salute our Troops

On May 27, TSC, the largest farm and ranch store chain in the United States, is offering local VFW Posts the opportunity to distribute "Buddy"® Poppies and program information ranging from service officer claims assistance to scholarships and financial assistance grants. Many Posts will also have cookouts. 

Encourage your Post to join in and ...


Yuengling's Lagers for Heroes Campaign to Support VFW

Pottsville, Pa. - D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. is pleased to announce it will enter its second year of support of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. through its "Lagers For Heroes" campaign.

D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. will recognize the sacrifices that America's veterans have made with a significant donation to the Veterans of Foreign Wars' assistance programs in the amount of $100,000. Yuengling, America's Oldest Brewery began supporting the VFW through their "Lagers For Heroes" program in 2016. This year's program runs May 29 to July 4, 2017 and promotes Yuengling Traditional Lager and Light Lager with the line "Grab A Lager & Toast A Hero."Yuengling Lagers for Heroes

Former Marine Linguist Pursues Educational Goals

"As a Marine, I learned how to adapt to uncertainty and persevere in difficult circumstances. I conducted regional threat analysis and worked closely with diplomatic and military leaders across the world."Former Marine Pursues Goals

Robert Dahlhausen, 27, of Cincinnati, Ohio, served five years as a Corporal in the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. After studying Arabic at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., Dahlhausen deployed as a Linguist. He worked in countries across the Mediterranean, including Morocco, Jordan, Bahrain, and Kuwait.

"I worked with almost every unit we had, including our infantry, intel, combat journalists, and logistics units," he said. "I als...


VA, VFW and Walgreens Collaborate to Enhance Veterans Access to Mental Health Resources

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Veterans of Foreign Wars and drugstore chain Walgreens announced a collaborative agreement May 6, which will help improve mental health care for veterans through enhanced education, access to resources and outreach.

Celebrating a collaborative agreement of their three organizations to help improve mental health care for veterans are, from left, VFW National Commander Brian Duffy, Walgreens Medical Director for Clinical Programs and Quality Dr. Chet Robson, and VA Executive Director for the Office of Suicide Prevention Dr. Caitlin Thompson.
VA VFW Walgreens

VFW Auxiliary Announces 2017 Continuing Education Scholarship Winners

Kansas City, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) Auxiliary is pleased to announce the winners of its annual Continuing Education Scholarship contest. Four $1,000 scholarships were awarded, one in each of the four Auxiliary Conferences.VFW Auxiliary Scholarship Winners

Candy Applegate was named the winner of the Big 10 Conference. Applegate, a member of Auxiliary 5178 in Gravois Mills, Mo., is enrolled to study accounting and business management at Ozark Technical Community College. Applegate said the scholarship will help her be able to afford the cost of continuing her education while she works part-time at a local retirement com...


VFW Names National Teacher Award Winners

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to announce its selection of three teachers in its 2017 Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award contest. 

Each year, one teacher is selected from the elementary (K-5), middle (6-8) and high school (9-12) levels.  2017 VFW Teacher Award

Theresa Early, a fourth-grade special education teacher at Laurel Ridge Elementary School in Fairfax, Va., was named the elementary school winner for her involvement in her school's Military Kids Club, establishing a student color guard, and encouraging students to draft classroom rules during Constitution Day festivities. 

VFW Honors Pearl Harbor Survivor with Award

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. honored a Pearl Harbor survivor and author on May 2, 2017, at VFW National Headquarters.

Retired U.S. Navy officer Jim Downing, 103, was presented a certificate of recognition by VFW Quartermaster General Debra Anderson in appreciation for his 24 years of Navy service. Downing is a VFW Life member.Jim Downing

"I feel I don't deserve it, but I will accept the honor on behalf of all veterans," Downing said of the honor.

Downing is the second-oldest known Pearl Harbor survivor. He fought in and survived the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7, 1941, while stationed on the battleship USS West Virgini...


VFW Members Mobilize to Give Back

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliary will be out in force on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 2017, to show their support and appreciation for BURGER KING® franchisees as part of #ThankBK Appreciation Day.ThankBK Appreciation Day

Since 2007, BURGER KING® franchisees and their customers have contributed over $4.3 million to the VFW Unmet Needs program. This program provides grants of up to $5,000 to qualified applicants who've fallen on hard times as a result of deployment, injury, or other military-related activities. To date, BURGER KING®'s generosity has directly assisted more than 4,100 veterans and military families.

...


VFW Statement on Comedian Kathy Griffin

WASHINGTON - "The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. strongly condemns comedian Kathy Griffin's incredibly revolting attack on the President of the United States. Her apology is not accepted. What she did was not humorous nor should it be protected speech or expression. Playing to an audience with a severed head is what our enemies do. The USO should immediately end its relationship with her." - VFW National Commander Brian Duffy...


Winners of Publications Contest Announced

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - VFW has announced the winners of the 2017 National Publications Contest. Two years ago, the publications contest underwent significant changes to encourage continued participation. The contest's reorganization created two new categories: Magazine and Best Feature Article. This year's competition retained those changes.

Two non-VFW-affiliated journalism professionals served as judges for the competition. This is designed to guarantee impartiality and objectivity in the judging. To reiterate, VFW staffers play no part in judging the entries.

The winning publications in each category are:

Magazine

Grand Award:
Texas VFW News
Roy Grona, Editor

Silver Award:
The Leader Magazine 
Greg Stafford, Editor

...


Army Veteran Has the Grit to Pursue Her Goals

Samantha Bedore, 26, from Phoenix, Ariz., knew the opportunity to attend graduate school would help her pursue a better life for her and her family. But she worried that she'd be forced to take out huge student loans.

U.S. Army veteran Samantha Bedore.
Army Vet Scholarship

Fortunately, Bedore found the VFW's "Sport Clips Help a Hero Scholarship" online. The funds are helping her complete her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Midwestern University.

"This scholarship is so meaningful f...


President Approves New Memorial

WASHINGTON - The national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is saluting President Trump for signing the VFW-supported Global War on Terrorism Memorial Act into law late Friday. The signing now clears the way for the GWOT Memorial Foundation to work with the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission to secure federal approval for acreage on the National Mall, as well as coordinate a national competition for the memorial's design. It also exempts the GWOT Memorial from a provision in the Commemorative Works Act of 1986 that requires Congress to wait 10 years after the official end of a military conflict before considering a war memorial in the nation's capital.GWOT Memorial


VA Appeals Reform Now Law

WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is saluting President Trump for signing into law today the VFW-supported Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017.

"Today's signing is the culmination of more than a year's work by the VFW and other partner organizations with Congress and the VA to build consensus on how to better help veterans access their benefits," said VFW National Commander Keith Harman. "Under the old system, appeals could take up to five years or longer to adjudicate, and veterans had no way out. Maintaining the status quo was unacceptable, so the VFW and our partners acted with a unified voice," he said.

"As a former veterans' service officer myself, I know first-hand that many of the veterans the VFW helps every day to access their earned benefits will be better served under this new framework," said Harman. "We look forward to working with the Department of Veterans Af...


VFW Applauds Unanimous Senate Passage of Forever GI Bill

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Today, in a true display of patriotic bipartisanship, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to pass S. 1589, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, informally known as the Forever GI Bill.

"The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is extremely pleased with the swift passage of this bill. The GI Bill is one of our nation's best tools for setting our veterans up for future success," said VFW National Commander Keith Harman. "This new legislation improves upon that tool. And its unanimous passage by the House and now the Senate, shows our nation's commitment to those who served our country."

The legislation, geared to address eligibility and coverage gaps in the current Post-9/11 GI Bill has been strongly supported by the VFW. Joining it in its advocacy efforts regarding the bill were several other veterans organizations to include Student Veterans of America, The American Leg...


VFW Offers Hurricane Harvey Support

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - As the devastation in the wake of Hurricane Harvey continues in Texas and Louisiana, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. stands ready to help affected service members, veterans and their families.

While the full extent of Hurricane Harvey's level of destruction is still being evaluated, the VFW knows from its past support of Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina victims that the need for financial assistance will be great. The VFW is calling on you to help ensure America's brave warriors and their families have the immediate help they need to start rebuilding their lives.

Join with the VFW and show your support by making a donation to the VFW's relief efforts by texting the keyword "NEEDS" to 91999, or mail in your donation of any amount to: VFW Quartermaster General,  406 W 34th Street, Kansas City, MO 64111. All funds raised will be distributed to veterans, military personnel and their families.


VFW Releases ‘Brutal Battles of Vietnam’ to Commemorate 50th Anniversary

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In conjunction with 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War commemoration efforts, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is announcing the release of its latest publication, "Brutal Battles of Vietnam: America's Deadliest Days, 1965 - 1972."VFW Vietnam Book

The one-of-a-kind, 480-page book, is the most comprehensive battle history of the war yet published in a single volume. Its easy-to-read chapters convey the essence of combat through swift-moving vignettes and 700 rarely seen photos covering some 100 battles. Its stirring first-person accounts reveal the raw emotions of those at the tip of the...


VFW Awards Nearly $500,000 in Veteran Scholarships

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., America's largest and oldest major combat veterans organization, is proud to announce 107 student veterans have been named recipients of a VFW "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" for the 2017 fall semester.

During its eighth-straight award period, the scholarship program will distribute nearly half a million dollars in financial assistance in the upcoming fall semester to service members and veterans working toward their education goals in colleges or trade schools worldwide. 

To date, more than 800 service members and veterans have received post-secondary scholarships totaling more than $3 million. 

View the entire list of 2017 fall semester recipients


Burger King Franchisees Kick Off Fundraiser for Vets

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is pleased to announce that participating BURGER KING® franchisees are set to kick off their summer fundraiser to benefit the VFW's Unmet Needs program.

Members of VFW Post 56 in Leavenworth, Kan., visit their local Burger King to say 'thank you' for their support of the VFW Unmet Needs program.
BK July 2017

During the month of July, patrons are encouraged to VA Accountability, Whistleblower Protection Act Becomes Law

WASHINGTON - The national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is saluting President Trump for signing into law today the VFW-championed Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017.

VA Accountability Law

"Accountability must be a two-way street, and today's signing now provides VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin the authority to manage his people in a...


VFW Continues Opposition to Individual Unemployability Cuts

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Yesterday, during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. testified in strong opposition to a provision of President Trump's budget proposal, which would cut up to $22,000 from the annual compensation of severely disabled veterans who receive Individual Unemployability (IU) benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Veterans who are on the IU program have service-connected disabilities that prevent them from working, rendering them unable to pay into Social Security. The provision would have moved veterans from IU to Social Security at age 62, resulting in a significant decrease in compensation. Other benefits, such as dental care and medical coverage for their dependents, would have also been impacted. Many veterans have recently contacted the VFW to voice their concerns over how the proposal would have impacted the property and automobile tax breaks granted to them by some ...


VFW Presents U.S. Coast Guard Band

NEW LONDON, Conn. - Friday, July 28 at 7 p.m., the U.S. Coast Guard Band performs at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts as part of its 2017 concert tour. Director, Lieutenant Commander Adam Williamson and Assistant Director Richard Wyman lead an engaging program with works by Shostakovich, Maslanka, Brubeck, Oquin, Sousa, and others. Dazzling soloists include the Band's native Texans and soprano Megan Weikleenget. This concert is presented with the generous support of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.Kauffman Center

The United States Coast Guard Band is the premier band representing the United States Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security. The 55-member ensemble is based at the US Coast Guard Academy in...


VSOs Deliver Petition Urging Expanded Caregiver Benefits

WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW), DAV (Disabled American Veterans), the American Legion and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) today delivered a petition with more than 182,000 signatures calling upon Congress to expand the Department of Veteran Affairs' (VA) comprehensive caregiver assistance benefits to disabled veterans of all eras. They were joined by Senate and House members also calling on their colleagues to pass caregiver extension legislation.

The bipartisan "Caring for our Veterans Act of 2017," passed by the Senate VA Committee last week, includes a critical provision modeled after a bill authored by Senator Patty Murray that would extend comprehensive VA caregiver benefits to veterans severely injured during and prior to the Vietnam War. Following a two-year period, the program would expand to include veterans of all eras.

The bill now awaits passage in the fu...


NRAEF, VFW Team Up for Second Hospitality Career Connection

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) are teaming up to help service members, veterans and their spouses explore career opportunities and apply for openings at some of the restaurant and hospitality industry's top companies.

The Hospitality Career Connection virtual career fair takes place June 21 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT, and includes businesses such as Applebee'sBJ's RestaurantsEcolabSodexo and VFW Champions Added Benefits for Disabled Vet

Retired Master Sergeant Jim Carver, 53, of Powhatan, Va., describes the initial process of separating from the military as "hectic."

A disabled veteran who served over 21 years on active duty, Carver "had the basics taken care of" with his initial VA claim. However, when he heard about the VFW's National Veterans Service program, he reached out to his VFW Department Service Officer, Ms. Bobbiejo Lazo.VFW Service Officer Lazo

"Once I was on the phone with her, I knew I was talking to the right person," Carver related. "She was extremely thorough in explaining the progress of my claim, what every le...


VFW Statement on Comedian Kathy Griffin

The USO has informed the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. that although comedian Kathy Griffin had performed several USO tours in the past, they have not had any relationship with her for a number of years. The VFW appreciates this information and apologizes for mentioning them in our May 31 press release.

...


Defense Authorization Act Signed Into Law

WASHINGTON - Following several weeks of negotiations between the U.S. House and Senate, President Trump signed the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (FY18 NDAA) into law yesterday. The final bill authorizes just over $692 billon for ongoing and planned defense programs, including $65.7 billion for overseas operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, and for the Global War on Terror. Additionally, the FY18 NDAA authorizes $241.2 billion for operations and maintenance; $146.2 billion for military personnel; $33.9 billion for defense health care programs, including $396 million from the overseas operations account; $15 billion for ballistic-missile defense and $10.7 billion for military construction and family housing.

Despite the authorization bill's passage, funding it will be an appropriation's challenge since the total amount is well above the $551 billion spending cap enacted by the Budget Control Act of 2011.<...


Goal-shattering $1.25 Million Donated by Sport Clips Haircuts to VFW for Help A Hero Scholarships

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Today Sport Clips Haircuts donated $1.25 million to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. Foundation to support active-duty U.S. service members' and veterans' scholarships through the Help A Hero program. This year's fundraising target was shattered when Sport Clips' clients and product partner donations exceeded the original $1 million goal, and Sport Clips made its own Veterans Day contributions of $1 per haircut service. Help A Hero began as an initiative between Sport Clips and the VFW to provide phone calls home for deployed and hospitalized service members and veterans. The initiative then transitioned in 2013 to the VFW's "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" pro...


Military Times Becomes Newest VFW Member Benefit

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Known as one of the most trusted and independent sources for quality, unbiased reporting, Military Times has teamed up with the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. to offer VFW members the opportunity to save 45% off its annual subscription rate. 

Established in 1940, Military Times has earned its role as part of the fabric of the U.S. military community, playing an important role as the premier, dedicated, independent news source for active-duty military, their families, veterans and retirees. 

Each week, Military Times reports on the important issues facing today's service members and veterans, covering everything from health care, pay and benefit updates, to providing education and training, product reviews and advice on transitioning to civilian life.

The Military Times group is comprised of Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times. Each of the Military Times brands are specifically focused on the needs, interests...


#MoreThan Lung Cancer

November was Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and as part of an ongoing video series from PatientsLikeMe - a key supporter of the VFW Mental Wellness Campaign - we heard from veteran Joe on his battle with lung cancer.

"Yesterday was my first birthday," Joe says. "One year, cancer free."

PatientsLikeMe launched the #MoreThan series to highlight the roles members play beyond patient or caregiver. In the series, we hear from a veteran caregiver, a veteran living with PTSD, and now Joe. When he was first diagnosed, Joe said it woke him up to his own mortality.

"What's going to happen to my family? My kids, my grandkids?"

Watch as Joe shares why he's #MoreThan lung cancer in the video below.

 

 

PatientsLikeMe cont...


VFW Helps Keep Family Afloat

Veteran Mark Villegas gave 15 years to the United States Armed Forces, serving in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, California, Bosnia and Iraq. He joined the military with a desire to be part of a team dedicated to serving the greater good, but also to better support his family.

Several years after his service ended, Villegas fell on hard times financially, and found supporting his family - the "Triple H's," as he affectionately calls daughters Hailey, Hope and Haven - near impossible.

Like many servicemen and women, the road is tough after making the heroic choice to enlist. For Villegas, the toughest day was September 12, 2004. He was working at Camp Cropper in Iraq when a modified rocket landed and detonated in front of him. Villegas sustained shrapnel injuries to his chest, head and left ankle. He was partially protected by his gear - however, there are still pieces of shrapnel embedded in his ankle. 

Four surgeries and many hours of physical therapy later, Villegas once again committed himself to his Military P...


Army Infantryman Pursues Teaching Career

Stephen Gerard, of Sherwood, Ore., looks forward to pursuing his passion for science and education after graduating from Portland State University. He was recently awarded the VFW's "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship," and will soon graduate with his bachelor's in general science and geology.

Gerard plans to apply for his Master's in Education, while also earning an endorsement in Integrated Science Teaching.

"The thought of being actively involved in science education really excites me," he said. "It's this excitement that makes me believe I made the right choice. Also, I'm equally thrilled to have a career that will allow me to see my children as much as possible. That's really the most important thing." 

Gerard and his wife, Amy, have two daughters: Lauren, 6, and Madelinn, 5. Gerard served 14 years as a light infantryman in the U.S. Army, and deployed once to Afghanistan.

Missouri VFW Post Wins $20,000 USAA Giveaway

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Yesterday evening, USAA representatives and local VFW leaders gathered with members of the St. Francois County community to announce VFW Post 2426 in Desloge, Mo., as the recipient of a $20,000 cash prize, courtesy of the Post's former commander, Dennis Sweet, and USAA's Salute Your Post Giveaway.

"I entered the drawing to win $20,000 with my Post in mind, never expecting to win of course. So it was a big surprise when I got the call," said Sweet. 

USAA - a longtime supporter of the VFW - launched its Salute Your Post Giveaway in July as a way to give back to VFW Posts that are making a positive impact in their community. Participants simply entered their name into a drawing for the chance to win $20,000 for the Post of their choosing.

"I thought Dennis was joking when he told me he'd won $20,000 for the Post. He really had to work to convince me it was true," laughed Mel Brinkley, commander of VFW Post 2426. 

Like many of the VFW's nearly 6,400 Posts around the world,...


Pedaling with a Purpose Across America

From the marshy coastal plains of the Deep South to the deserts and mountains of the Southwest, Tom Wiseman traveled across the southern U.S. on a fundraising mission for VFW Post 4419 in Clay, W. Va.

In June 2016, that part of the Mountain State was devastated by floods that left 24 people dead and hundreds of homes and businesses damaged or destroyed. The losses also included Post 4419's 15-passenger van that was used to take the county's veterans to receive health care and for other Post activities.Pedaling Purpose

After learning about Post 4419's problem, Wiseman, a Marine Corps veteran who served during the Vietnam War, decided to take action by helping to raise funds for a replacement van.

VFW Unmet Needs Program Tops $2 Million

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to announce its Unmet Needs program set a new record by awarding more than $2 million in financial assistance grants to nearly 900 military and veteran families during its 2016-2017 program year. The new record shatters last year's program record of $550,000 being distributed to 184 families.

"The VFW Unmet Needs program continues to touch many lives every day," said VFW National Commander Keith Harman, who explained that the program provides up to $5,000 to veterans, service members and their families during times of financial hardship. The one-time assistance is awarded in the form of a grant, not a loan, so there is no repayment requirement. Since its inception in 2004, the VFW Unmet Needs program has provided nearly $8 million in financial assistance to more than 4,850 military and veteran families. The program is supported entirely by generous donations from VFW members and supporters...


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