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VFW's inception dates back to 1899

by Libby Vfw Auxiliary & Stella Sharp
| September 30, 2010 5:54 PM

I read on the Internet some interesting facts about the origin of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Since VFW’s anniversary was only a few days ago, I hope you will find it interesting.

The VFW traces its roots back to Sept. 29, 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure their rights and benefits for services rendered.

Many of them arrived home sick and wounded and there was no medical care or pensions. They were left to fend for themselves.

In their misery, some of these veterans got together to form the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Its mission is to “honor the dead by helping the living” through veterans services.

The VFW’s voice has established the Veterans Administration (now called, Veterans Affairs), created a GI bill for the 21st century, developing national cemeteries and fighting for compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange, as well as veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome.

From providing $2.5 million in college scholarships to high school students every year to encouraging elevation of the VA to the President’s cabinet, the VFW is there.

Honoring the dead by helping the living.

The Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars was founded Sept. 17, 1914 and serves as the backbone of VFW volunteer efforts helping veterans and their families while promoting patriotism.

Annually, VFW members and its auxiliary contribute more than 13 million volunteer hours in the community. The auxiliary has its own programs to help the VA, state and community hospitals.

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(Stella Sharp is the Libby VFW’s Ladies Auxiliary chairperson).