Thank You

From 40 Voice of Democracy 2016 winners to the Veterans of Foreign Wars- it's impossible to put all our gratitude into words, but here's just a fraction of what we have to say. Thank you. For this and for so much more.

No help?

VA suicide counselors’ work ethic questioned, report says

DOD suicide report

Today, the Department of Defense released the quarterly suicide report (QSR) for the second quarter of calendar year 2014.

Wearing unearned medal can be a crime; free-speech

Lying about receiving a military medal is constitutionally protected, but there’s no right to carry the lie a step further by wearing a combat decoration that hasn’t been earned, a federal appeals court said Wednesday.

Maryland is shinning!

Patriot's Pen and Voice of Democracy Contestants win National Awards.

2017 Legislative Victories

The VFW Priority Goals rang out in legislators' offices and the halls of Congress in 2017.

Motor Vehicle Theft & Safety Prevention

You can prevent being a victim of motor vehicle theft

VFW National Home

Help the children of the VFW National Home by becoming a life member.

How to obtain Military Discharges

Looking for a veterans discharge can be a challenge.

I Fought For YOU! -

A moving, patriotic tribute to our military, past and present.

Veterans Day Video

Military ID Policy Changes

All – Military installations are starting to enforce the requirement that military ID

DOD suicide report

Today, the Department of Defense released the quarterly suicide report (QSR) for the second quarter of calendar year 2014.

3 Notable Changes to VFW-sponsored Liquor Liabilit

The VFW Post Insurance Program has announced some changes to its Liquor Liability Insurance coverage that mean more robust coverage for VFW Posts. Enhancements to the coverage include:

Court of Appeal for Veterans Claims

Many veterans don’t know that they can get a free attorney to help them appeal a veterans benefits claim denial at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

Two Former VFW Staff Members Named to New VA Administration

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is proud to congratulate two former staff members on their recent appointments to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administration.

Terrence L. Hayes served as VFW Communications Director of the Washington Office acting as national spokesperson for the organization on issues ranging from national security and foreign affairs, to the proper care and treatment of veterans, service members and their families. He also piloted and served as the host of the VFW Podcast.

Prior to his selection as director, Terrence served as a public affairs specialist and emergency response coordinator for the Department of Veterans Affairs, where he was responsible for answering all national, regional and local media queries on behalf of Secretary Robert Wilkie. He also served as public affairs advisor to the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from November 2011 to January 2016, serving as the principal public affairs advisor...

Even Through a Pandemic, Sport Clips Haircuts Raised More Than $1M to Support VFW Help A Hero Scholarships

GEORGETOWN, Texas (Jan. 25, 2021) - Today, Sport Clips Haircuts presented a $1,026,105 donation check to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation (VFW) to provide scholarships for service members and veterans. Even in a pandemic, veterans are returning from active military duty to prepare for civilian careers that often require additional college, graduate, and technical degrees and training. To ease the financial burden of going back to school, Sport Clips and the VFW have teamed up for the past seven years to provide assistance through the Help A Hero Scholarship program.

"Supporting our nation's military remains a priority for our veteran-founded business. We are honored to make this donation to the Help A Hero program for those who have given so much through their service," said Go...

VFW to Host #SportClipsSalute Week

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is encouraging its more than 1.5 million VFW and Auxiliary members to show their support and appreciation for Sport Clips Haircuts and all their team members as part of its #SportClipsSalute appreciation event, Jan. 25-29, 2021.

VFW members, and their families and friends are encouraged to safely visit their local Sport Clips store, purchase a haircut service or product and say "thank you" to the franchise owners, managers and Sport Clips team members for their continued support of the veteran community.

The VFW is also encouraging VFW and VFW Auxiliary members to post about their visit to social media using #SportClipsSalute. As an added incentive, members who participate will be entered into a drawing to win a $1,000 Community Support Grant from the VFW Foundation for their Post. See the VFW's Post of the Month Launches to Showcase How Posts Are #StillServing

The VFW is proud to honor all veterans who are #StillServing, and it's especially meaningful to see the ways Posts have provided much needed assistance throughout this year. To highlight the incredible work being done, a new Post of the Month feature is launching to focus attention on VFW Posts answering the call of duty.

The first Post of the Month is VFW Post 2913 in Patchogue, New York. As the COVID-19 crisis hit New York City, the Post mobilized and distributed 3,000 masks to veterans across Long Island. They also partnered with local organizations to collect and distribute food to those in need, visited 15 schools virtually to connect veterans with students and live-streamed events to honor veterans to maintain both valued programs and safety.

One important way the Post continued to serve was by taking their daily Coffee with a Veteran from in-person meetings to Zoom. For two years, the event gave veterans a way to tell their stories and connect with citizens in the community. The Post knew it needed to keep the ...

VFW Announces Annual Publications Contest

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is now accepting submissions for its 2021 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. Feature articles published in online/electronic newsletters, newspapers or magazines also are eligible, but must be printed in color and submitted via USPS, not email.
  • Magazine
    • Defined by physical size and paper stock, or designe...

VFW Demands SECVA Wilkie Resign Immediately in Light of Damning VA OIG Report in Response to a Veteran's Sexual Assault Allegation

In light of reviewing yesterday's damning Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (OIG) report, the Veterans of Foreign Wars has lost all confidence in the performance of Secretary Robert Wilkie and demand his immediate resignation.

The accountability, professionalism and respect that our veterans have earned, and quite frankly deserve, is completely lost in this current VA leadership team.

Secretary Wilkie and several members of his executive staff violated the trust of a fellow veteran who came forth with serious allegations of sexual assault. Instead of taking this veteran's allegations seriously, the Secretary and his key staff sought to discredit and vilify the veteran. We will not tolerate this behavior at our VA.

Sexual assault is a criminal act. We expected the Secretary to properly investigate this serious matter, yet he and close members of his team focused on questioning the cre...

VFW Recouped More Than $9.7B in Benefits for Veterans Nationwide

WASHINGTON - Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) accredited service officers recovered more than $9.7 billion in Veterans Affairs disability compensation benefits for nearly 550,000 veterans this fiscal year exceeding last year's recovery of $9 billion.

VFW Service Officers were responsible for the recovery of a total of $9,712,328,079 for veterans, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"Our VFW Service Officers remain the backbone of our organization dedicating their time and effort to helping America's veterans," said VFW National Commander Harold "Hal" Roesch II. "These selfless and hardworking men and women believe that every veteran deserves top-notch customer service and attention-to-detail and prove it daily with their impeccable record of...

Pandemic Won't Stop BK Support of Veteran Families

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is pleased to announce participating BURGER KING franchise restaurants will again raise funds throughout the month of November in support of the VFW's Unmet Needs program. The annual campaign is in its 14th year, and BURGER KING customers are encouraged to donate $1 or more to the program with their purchase.

Soldier hugs his wife Burger King raises money for VFW

"The pandemic's negative impact has been felt far and wide, and our service members, veterans and their families are struggling now more than ever," said VFW National...

Calling All Middle and High School Students

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For students looking for scholarships to help lessen the financial burden college brings, it's not too late to participate in the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen essay competitions.

Open to eligible high school students, the Voice of Democracy program is one of the top patriotic audio essay competitions in the nation, with more than $2.1 million in educational scholarships and incentives up for grabs, and a first place prize of $30,000. More than 64,400 students participate in the competition each year. This year's theme challenges students to answer the question, "Is This the Country the Founders Envisioned?"

Open to eligible sixth through eighth grade students, more than 165,400 students compete in the Patriot's Pen essay competition each year to win their slice of more than $1.4 million in state and national awards. The top individual VFW Department (state...

Veterans Need Support Especially in a Pandemic

GEORGETOWN, Texas - Even in a pandemic, veterans are returning from active military duty to prepare for civilian careers that require them to return to school for additional education and training...often beyond what is covered financially by the GI Bill. To make educational expenses less of a burden on service members, anyone can "Help A Hero" by getting a haircut at participating Sport Clips Haircuts now through December 5.

New for this seventh year of the Help A Hero scholarship program is a "text to donate" option. By texting "HERO" to 71777, donors can donate directly to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Foundation that administers the VFW's "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" program. Also new, t...

The VFW Podcast Debuts Today

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars began its next journey of communicating with veterans, service members and military families through The VFW Podcast, its newest communication platform today.

The VFW Podcast is the official podcast of the VFW, the oldest combat veterans service organization advocating for and serving our veterans, service members and military families worldwide.

You may download episode one of The VFW Podcast here.

"The VFW Podcast will feature one-of-a-kind perspectives and insightful conversations concerning veteran legislation, educational and financial assistance programs, national veterans' services, and critical initiatives from my lens," said VFW National Commander Harold "Hal" Roesch II.

The VFW Podcast will be...

VFW Sport Clips to Host Virtual Walk for Veterans

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Sport Clips Haircuts are teaming up to host the first-ever virtual VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero Walk, offering supporters a new way to engage with Sport Clips' annual Help A Hero campaign.

The annual Help A Hero campaign, which kicks off in-store on Oct. 12, helps raise awareness and bolster funds to the VFW's "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" program. The program provides student veterans with post-secondary scholarships so they are able to complete their educational goals without incurring excessive student loan debt. To date, $8 million in scholarships have been awarded.

Participants in the virtual walk may register and fundraise individually or as a team, and the walk offers the flexibility to participate where and when it is convenient. All participants are invited to join the VFW and Sport Clips for the Celebration Finale on the VFW's Facebook page on Dec. 5, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. CST.

The pandemic has presented many challenges, a...

Celebrate VFW Day

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Every Sept. 29, Veterans of Foreign Wars Day is celebrated at Posts and in communities around the world.

VFW Day is a day devoted to recognizing our amazing organization and its selfless and committed members worldwide who continue to serve.

The VFW has been unwavering in its devotion to veterans, service members and their families for 121 years. Whether it's fighting for health care, education or disability compensation, "No One Does More For Veterans!"

Show your support by honoring all members, Auxiliary and veterans in your community. Everyone is invited to celebrate the tradition of continuous service and steadfast devotion that defines the VFW on social media using the hashtag #VFWDay.


VFW National Commander Honors Two Louisiana Sheriff's Deputies for Heroic Actions

NEW ORLEANS - Veterans of Foreign Wars National Commander Harold "Hal" Roesch II presented the VFW Life Saving Award to two St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office deputies today at St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Department.

St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office deputies Alexis Agnelly and Paul Quick received the esteemed award for heroic life-saving actions in the line of duty.

During a routine dispatch to St. Rose, Agnelly and Quick encountered a man who had been acting erratically while walking on the levee. The deputies quickly accessed the situation noticing mental health concerns. The man tried to evade them entering the Mississippi River unclothed, however, Agnelly and Quick chased and restrained him in the shallow waters before he could have seriously injured or killed himself.

"Deputies Agnelly and Quick are living examples of who our nation's first responders truly must be in our communities today," said Roesch. "Their selflessness, heroism and valor displayed at a moment's notice to help sav...

2021 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship Application Period Now Open

WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars and Student Veterans of America are now accepting applications from student veterans who are interested in participating in the upcoming 2021 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship Program.

The fellowship, now in its seventh year, will bring up to 10 student veterans - who must be VFW members - to Washington, D.C. early next March to meet face-to-face with their members of Congress and senior policy makers.

Student veterans interested in applying for the 2021 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship must complete an application package that includes a 400- to 600-word essay that proposes legislative improvements to one of the following four specific veterans' issues:

  • Student veteran success on campus and beyond;
  • Improving veteran's health care and benefits;
  • Transition from military to civilian life; or
  • Challenges for service members and military families.

The essay proposal should include a discussion of why the issue i...

VFW, Sport Clips Award Nearly $700,000 in Scholarships to Veterans

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is proud to announce 158 student veterans from around the country have been named recipients of the VFW's "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" for the fall 2020 semester, totaling nearly $700,000 in assistance. See the full list of 2020 fall semester recipients.

"Transitioning veterans are often faced with stressful challenges when they return to civilian life, and attending school to finish a degree during a global pandemic has certainly amplified that stress ten-fold," said VFW National Commander Hal Roesch II. "With so much uncertainty surrounding the upcoming school year, the VFW, together with our great friends at Sport Clips Haircuts, is thrilled to be able to make fall semester a little less stressful for these military and veteran families."

"With the current envi...

Hal Roesch II Elected VFW's New National Commander

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Hal Roesch II, of Hampton, Virginia, was installed as the Veterans of Foreign Wars' 112th national commander today during a change of command ceremony at the VFW National Headquarters.

Roesch assumes command of the oldest combat veterans service organization boasting approximately 1.5 million members, including its Auxiliary.

"I stand before you, humbled, elated and ready to selflessly serve the 1.5 million members and its Auxiliary as we continue the tradition of serving America's veterans, service members and families worldwide," said Roesch.

Roesch is a 20-year U.S. Air Force retiree serving from 1982 to 2002. He earned his VFW eligibility during his combat service in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and overseas service as part of Southern Watch. Roesch is a recipient of three Meritorious Service Medals, two Air Force Commendation Medals, two Air Force Achievement Medals, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with valor, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the S...

More Than 1 Million Meals Raised for Food Pantries in Need

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars is proud to announce its 2020 "Uniting to Combat Hunger" campaign has raised more than 1 million meals for veterans and military families in need, transcending its original goal of 500,000.

VFW Quartermaster General Debra Anderson and Ed Sandrick, director of Humana's Strategic Alliances and Veteran Channel, made the special announcement live Monday during the VFW's #StillServing Celebration, a virtual, weeklong event to bring awareness, respect and gratitude to veterans who remain committed to a life of service after their time in the military ends.

Originally established in March of 2018, "Uniting to Combat Hunger" is a collaborative campaign from the VFW and Humana designed to help to raise awareness and fight food insecurity in the veteran and military communities. Defined as the lack of access to enough nutritionally adequate foods to live an active, healthy life, food insecurity contributes to poor health, lower productivity and higher medical cost...

VFW to Host #StillServing Celebration July 20-24

KANSAS CITY, Mo.- The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will present its first-ever #StillServing Celebration the week July 20-24. The virtual event, which culminates in the installation of incoming VFW National Commander Hal Roesch, will shine a spotlight on personal veteran stories that emerged as result of the #StillServing campaign which began in February of this year.

"When we launched the #StillServing campaign it was to bring attention to the unexpected ways veterans continue to serve their country after they leave active military," said William "Doc" Schmitz, VFW national commander. "The onset of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 multiplied the inspiring stories of veterans' continued dedication to giving of themselves, now to their local communities. It represents the heart of VFW."

The #StillServing Celebration will kick off Monday, July 20, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. and will include

Virginia VFW Post Receives National Community Service Award

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars is proud to announce SSG Jonathan Dozier Memorial Post 2894 in Chesapeake, Virginia, was selected to receive the prestigious VFW Fred C. Hall Memorial Outstanding Post Special Project Award, which recognizes VFW Posts for unique and outstanding community service projects.

VFW Post 2894 was selected for its home renovation project for Brandi Jones, a U.S. Navy veteran and single mother of two. After a traumatic home invasion forced her to move in 2011, Jones relocated only to discover her home would need more work than initially expected, but she didn't have the funds to address the growing list of concerns.

After a chance encounter during a VFW "Buddy" Poppy drive, members of Post 2894 immediately set to work planning the renovation project. With support from several local businesses and associations, more than 150 volunteers rallied together to help ensure Jones and her sons had a safe place to call home. Valued at nearly $25,000, the renova...

2020 VFW Scout of the Year Winners Named

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is proud to announce the selection of the top three winners of its 2019 - 2020 Scout of the Year scholarship competition.

This year's first place winner, Jacqueline Abnos, was sponsored by VFW Post 1829 in Kansas City, Missouri. As a Venturing Summit Award and Gold Award recipient currently working toward her Eagle Scout, Abnos was selected for her leadership, dedication to scouting and her activism. As the first place 2020 Scout of the Year, Abnos will receive a $5,000 college scholarship.

Marius Schnell, sponsored by VFW Post 10557 in Hohenfels, Germany, was named second place winner for his notable work protecting endangered wildlife, his leadership skills and his patriotism toward our nation's veterans. Schnell will receive a $3,000 college scholarship.

Sponsored by VFW Post 4146 in Victoria, Texas, Justin Swize was selected as the third place winner for his personal drive, environmentally focused projects, and his positive leadership sk...

VFW Stands for Equality, Condemns Vandalism of WWII Memorial

WASHINGTON - In the wake of the nationwide protests centered around the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) stands in solidarity for equality, however, condemns the vandalism of the World War II Memorial and other memorials near the National Mall.

"Equality is the cornerstone of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and must be in our great nation," said VFW National Commander William "Doc" Schmitz. "Bigotry and unequal treatment has zero place in this world."

Unfortunately, the "sacred" World War II Memorial was vandalized May 31 during protests in Washington.

"The VFW believes in peaceful, organized demonstrations. That is the right of every American," said Schmitz. "However, we are extremely saddened and angered to find that our sacred World War II Memorial was defaced. The veterans who fought for the very freedom to demonstrate deserve better and we condemn those who determined the memorial was worth vandalizing."


VFW Pays Its Respects to the Fallen During Memorial Day

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In recognition of Memorial Day, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) honors the legacy of the men and women who served in our nation's military and made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of freedom.

While many Americans signal Memorial Day as the start of the summer, the less than one percent who have donned the uniform and military families worldwide understand the true meaning and significance of this sacred day.

"Comrades, many of you have walked the hallowed grounds of our national veterans' cemeteries solemnly laying eyes on the headstones of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who honorably served and placed the freedom of their nation before their very own safety," said VFW National Commander William "Doc" Schmitz. "We have lost hundreds of thousands of men and women since the founding of our nation in 1775, and unfortunately, as the global fight on terror continues today, we will lose more protectors of freedom."

This Memorial Day will be differe...

2020 National Publications Contest Winners Named

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (May 20, 2020) - The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) has announced the winners of the 2020 National Publications Contest.

Covering the 2019 calendar year, this year's publications contest garnered 39 entries, which fell 36 short of the 2019 contest

Entries for the contest derived from 24 Posts/Districts and six Departments. There were two submissions for the "Best Magazine" category and 12 submissions for "Best Feature Article." Of the 39 entries, 16 placed.

Two non-VFW-affiliated journalism professionals served as judges for the competition. This is designed to guarantee impartiality and objectivity in the judging.

The VFW congratulates all entrants for their hard work and service to their respective members. The pool of entries this year proved to be very competitive. Awards will be mailed in June to each Department for distribution.

If you have suggestions for how we can improve the National Publications Contest for 2021, write to us at...

Ace Hardware, VFW Honor Fallen Heroes with 1 Million American Flags

OAK BROOK, Ill. - In the true spirit of Memorial Day, Ace Hardware is again collaborating with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Ace Hardware is pledging to give out 1 million American flags nationwide on Saturday, May 23.

As an essential business, Ace Hardware stores remain open to safely serve their neighbors and local communities. Consumers who visit a participating Ace store on May 23 will receive a free 8" x 12" American flag* while a second flag will be donated to a local VFW Post to be used for marking and honoring veteran graves this Memorial Day.

"Ace is grateful for the opportunity to once again support VFW Posts across the country to honor our fallen heroes," said John Surane, Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer for Ace Hardware. "This Memorial Day, Ace is proud to work with the VFW and our loyal customers to remember and pay tribute to the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their co...

VFW Thanks White House Defense Department and VA for Weekly Briefs

"These are unprecedented times in our nation's history and I want to thank the White House and the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs for continually keeping the Veterans of Foreign Wars informed of the measures they are taking to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our veterans, service members and military families during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Secretaries Esper and Wilkie have been very instrumental in helping to lower the curve of this challenging virus while maintaining normal operations and assisting fellow Americans in mobile hospitals and VA facilities nationwide who are suffering from COVID-19.

"We truly applaud the all-hands on deck philosophy that our leadership, from top to bottom, has adopted and hope we can continue to work together to get our nation back healthy and stronger than before." - VFW Washington Officer Executive Director B.J. Lawrence


VFW Kicks Off Annual Youth Scholarship Competitions

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is now accepting entries for its 2020-21 Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen youth scholarship competitions. The announcement comes just weeks after the VFW's 2020 Legislative Conference concluded in Washington, D.C., where the top national winners of both contests were recognized.

Dedicated to encouraging a better understanding and appreciation of America, the VFW's Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen essay competitions help foster patriotism among today's youth. The programs also promote friendly competition and reward success with more than $3 million in scholarships.

The Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition, with the theme "Is This the Country the Founders Envisioned?" is open to all students in grades 9-12. Each state...

VFW Cancels Reno National Convention

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars announced today its 121st VFW National Convention scheduled to be held in Reno, Nevada, this July has been officially cancelled.

Thousands of VFW and Auxiliary delegates were expected to gather to represent the organization's total membership of more than 1.6 million at the weeklong event.

The decision comes as public-health concerns and social-distancing mandates are expected to span into the summer months ahead. This year will mark the first in the organization's storied 121-year history where a national convention will not be held. The VFW Auxiliary has also cancelled its convention.

"We explored every effort to move forward with the convention in its current form, and the decision was not made lightly," explained William "Doc" Schmitz, national commander of the VFW. "But, the fact is the health and well-being of our members, partners and supporters remains our priority, and we will not put them at risk."


VSOs Call on President to Uphold 48-Hour Review

VSO Logos

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

On behalf of the millions of veterans, service members, families and survivors that our organizations represent, we call on you to instruct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to maintain the policy of permitting accredited service officers from Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) to review claims decisions for accuracy during the 48-hour period preceding final promulgation. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has recently informed our organizations of its intent to rescind the 48-hour review policy. This decision will unjustly prejudice veterans by causing avoidable delay in the ...

VFW Urges Congress to Pass the Major Richard Star Act to Ease the Financial Burden of Medically-Retired Veterans During COVID-19 Pandemic

WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars is urging Congress to pass the Major Richard Star Act during this challenging COVID-19 pandemic to help put money back in the pockets of veterans who were forced to retire early from military service because of battlefield injury or illness.

"Retirement pay and VA disability compensation are fundamentally different benefits, granted for different reasons," said VFW National Commander William "Doc" Schmitz. "To deny earned retirement pay from veterans who were unfortunately medically retired early because of wounds or illnesses sustained on the battlefield is an absolute injustice that must end now."

The Major Richard Star Act would provide total offset relief to veterans who suffered combat injuries or illnesses who were medically retired with less than 20 years of service. The passage of the Major Richard Star Act would reduce the number of people still awaiting total concurrent receipt of their earned military retirement pay and VA disability compensation.

VFW Announces Top Teachers in National Contest

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is proud to announce it has selected the national top three teachers in its annual Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award contest.

Established in 1999 and named after former VFW National Commander John Smart and retired VFW Quartermaster General Larry Maher, the award recognizes our nation's top teachers for their exceptional commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students by promoting civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism in the classroom.

Awarded annually, the VFW selects one teacher from the elementary (K-5), middle (6-8) and high school (9-12) levels to receive a $1,000 award for professional development, and $1,000 for their school.

Megan Joy Rodgers, a fourth-grade teacher at Brookfield Elementary School in Brookfield, Ohio, was named the elementary school winner for her creative qualities, character and frequent efforts to organize field trips, activities and services to help her...

#StillServing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the lives of every citizen in the world.

In America, we know our veterans are #StillServing and rising to meet the challenges of this uncertain time.

If you - or a veteran you know - has stepped up to help others and your community in this unfolding situation, please take a moment to let us know what you're doing.

We want to share your stories and maybe even inspire others across the country to do the same.

Thank you for your service - and thank you for #StillServing!


Call Out for Post and Department Stories

COVID-19 is affecting the lives of every citizen in the world. In America, we know our veterans are #StillServing ... rising to meet the challenges of this uncertain time.

How is your Post, District or Department stepping up to help others and your community in this unfolding situation? Are you hosting a blood drive, doing buddy checks, acting as a drop-off location for food donations or something else to meet the needs of your membership and community?

We want to share your stories and inspire others across the country to take action.

Email VFW Communications ( with what your Post, District or Department is doing to help. Please attach any photos you have of your efforts.


VFW Opposes VA Decision to Eliminate Accredited Veterans Service Officers 48-Hour Review Period for Claims; Demands Answers from Leadership

WASHINGTON - Veterans of Foreign Wars National Commander William "Doc" Schmitz called it "despicable" and "inconceivable" that Department of Veterans Affairs Undersecretary for Benefits Dr. Paul Lawrence intends to eliminate the accredited veterans service officer (VSO) 48-hour review period for claims effective April 30.

"The VFW strongly opposes the repeal of the 48-hour review period in reviewing VA decisions for accuracy, as this is a final quality control check that we perform on behalf of our veterans to ensure that their rating decisions are correct the first time," said Schmitz.

VSOs have the opportunity and the responsibility to review proposed VA rating decisions to ensure that all claimed conditions have been addressed and properly adjudicated prior to VA finalizing its rating decision and sending notification to the veteran.

For decades, VA has allotted VSOs 48 hours to review the applicable laws and regulations that were applied to the claim. During this time, VSO ...

VFW Pays Tribute to the Service of Our Vietnam War Veterans

March 29 was officially designated National Vietnam War Veterans Day in 2017 as a way for Americans to honor and celebrate our Vietnam War veterans.

More than 58,000 U.S. service members died during the Vietnam War and approximately 1,587 remain missing, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

"As a Vietnam War veteran, I understand the impact and human toll this conflict had on my fellow comrades," said Veterans of Foreign Wars National Commander William "Doc" Schmitz. "We can, and will never forget those who died in defense of freedom and remain missing today."

VFW senior leaders have traveled back to Vietnam every year since 1991 to help U.S. government efforts to account for missing and unaccounted-for servicemen and civilians.

"As long as the VFW exists, we will continue our efforts to help account for every American missing from the Vietnam War," said Schmitz.

National Vietnam War Veterans Day was made official through the "Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017," and encou...

Scam Reminder

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - As a new wave of scams surface in an attempt to exploit coronavirus fears, the VFW would like to remind all of its members to exercise extreme caution in providing personal information during any unsolicited call. Most recently, a VFW member reported receiving a call from an individual identifying himself as a VFW representative and was asked to provide credit card information in exchange for a $100 gift card. This is a scam.

If you do receive a call from an individual claiming to be a VFW representative who is requesting personally identifiable information, ask that they confirm your VFW membership number. If they're unable to do so, hang up.

If you have worked with the VFW on a VA benefits claim, and you receive a suspicious call regarding your claim, ask the caller to verify your VA claim number before sharing any critical information.

VFW Mobilizing, Combating Effects of Invisible Enemy

KANSAS CITY, Mo.- The Veterans of Foreign Wars, America's largest organization of combat veterans, knows all too well the experience of fighting a sometimes invisible enemy. This unique understanding, and the situational readiness and dedication to country forged through military service is perpetuating the VFW and its members' commitment to service through the COVID-19 pandemic that is sweeping the country. The VFW remains an organization of veterans #StillServing.

VFW members across the nation have mobilized to provide much-needed support to coronavirus-stricken communities. Among them:

VFW Remains Committed to Service and Country Amidst COVID-19

Kansas City, Mo.- As America's largest organization of combat veterans, the health and well-being of our members, partners, associates and communities is our top priority. For this reason and as our civic responsibility, we have implemented a number of measures to help combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

We have drastically expanded our flexibility of telework to employees of the VFW National Headquarters and Washington D.C. Office. Through this time, we will remain committed to providing our members and all those we assist with top-quality service as the current situation evolves.

VFW members can manage their Online Membership System (OMS) account any time by logging in at VFW Demands Congress Hold VA Accountable for Failure to Grant Benefits to Vietnam, Post 9/11 Veterans Suffering from Toxic Exposures

WASHINGTON - Veterans of Foreign Wars National Commander William "Doc" Schmitz called for "accountability for failure to grant benefits to Vietnam and Post-9/11 veterans suffering from toxic exposures" during a special joint hearing of the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs Committees today.

The VFW expressed its frustration with the Department of Veterans Affairs' lack of urgency in providing benefits to individuals who suffer from conditions associated with toxic exposures, especially when there is science to back up veterans' claims.

"The VFW proposes a permanent, comprehensive, and evidence-based framework of granting presumptive benefits for toxic exposure," said Schmitz. "Veterans who were exposed to burn pits and now suffer from pulmonary conditions and rare cancers should not have to wait decades for benefits - like Vietnam veterans did."

The VFW proposed process of granting benefits would require VA to acknowledge the existing research linking these conditions...

VFW Awards National Youth Scholarship Winners

WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) tonight proudly presented more than $200,000 in scholarships and awards as it named the national winners of its 2020 Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen youth scholarship competitions. The awards were presented during the Parade of Winners ceremony, sponsored by Twisted X, at the VFW's annual Legislative Conference held in Washington, D.C.

VFW 2020 Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen Youth Scholarship winners
(Top) VFW National Commander William "Doc" Schmitz and VFW Auxiliary
President Peggy Haake present Voice of Democracy first place winner Shruthi Kumar (center)
with her $30,000 award; (right) VFW National Commander William "D...

VFW to Deliver 2020 Priority Goals to Congress

WASHINGTON - More than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and its Auxiliary will descend on the nation's capital March 1-4 to meet with their respective members of Congress to discuss ways to best serve our veterans, service members and military families.

VFW National Commander William "Doc" Schmitz will testify March 4 at 10 a.m. (EST) before a special joint hearing of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans' Affairs.

"It's vital that the VFW is provided this platform to discuss our key priorities and explain how we can best achieve them with Congress' full support," Schmitz said. "My hope is that Congress hears me, but most-importantly, hears our members who will circle the halls of the Capitol this week fighting for critical veterans' issues in their states and communities."

Schmitz is prepared to discuss the VFW's top priorities for 2020. These key legislative priorities include:

  • Toxic Exposures and Other Environmental Hazards
  • VA Appeals Modernizat...

VFW Launches Campaign to Showcase Veterans #StillServing

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is proud to launch #StillServing, a campaign to bring attention to and honor the continued commitment and sacrifice of America's veterans.

The men and women who bravely defend our nation often continue to selflessly serve their communities and country in ways beyond their military service. This awareness campaign showcases how veterans continue a life of service and how their ongoing contributions are positively impacting our society.

"Veterans truly exemplify the best of America," said William "Doc" Schmitz, VFW national commander. "They are dedicated to giving of themselves, and the skills and values they develop in the military only deepen their desire to better themselves, their communities and their country through service. We are grateful for the millions of members who have made service a hallmark of the VFW and we're excited for the veterans who are joining now to carry this forward in new ways."

Building on a legacy of service that ...

Twisted X Signs on as Title Sponsor of VFW Youth Programs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is proud to announce Twisted X has signed on to become the title sponsor of its annual Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen winners' trip. Twisted X, a longtime supporter of the VFW, initially announced its $130,000 multi-year commitment while presenting a $100,000 donation at the VFW's 120th National Convention in July 2019.

"Every year, the VFW Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen winners' trip honors the top tier of our nation's civically minded youth, and we're excited to bring Twisted X on board to help ensure this treasured tradition continues," said VFW National Commander William "Doc" Schmitz.

Together, the VFW's Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen scholarship competitions have helped foster patriotism by challenging students to examine the role our military and veterans play, our nation's history, its democratic processes, and their own role in Americ...

CDW Presents 10000 Donation to the VFW

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Representatives from CDW presented a $10,000 donation on behalf of its CDW Gives program to VFW Quartermaster Debra Anderson today in support of the vital programs and services the VFW offers to our nation's service members, veterans and their families, free of charge.

"The VFW was thrilled to receive this donation, which will help us continue to serve countless military and veteran families during their times of need," said VFW National Commander William "Doc" Schmitz. "It's encouraging to work with great companies like CDW, whose dedication to honoring and giving back to our nation's military and veteran families aligns so well with our own."

CDW is a leading multi-brand technology solutions provider to business, government, education and health care customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. A Fortune 500 company and member of the S&P 500 Index, CDW was founded in 1984 and employs more than 9,800 workers. Its broad array of offerings range from hardware and so...

VFW Expects Apology From POTUS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - "In light of today's announcement from the defense department that 34 U.S. service members suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of Iran's retaliatory strike and President Trump's remarks which minimized these troops' injuries, the Veterans of Foreign Wars cannot stand idle on this matter.

TBI is a serious injury and one that cannot be taken lightly. TBI is known to cause depression, memory loss, severe headaches, dizziness and fatigue - all injuries that come with both short- and long-term effects.

The VFW expects an apology from the president to our service men and women for his misguided remarks. And, we ask that he and the White House join with us in our efforts to educate Americans of the dangers TBI has on these heroes as they protect our great nation in these trying times. Our warriors require our full support more than ever in this challenging environment." - William "Doc" Schmitz, VFW National Commander


Lawrence, Gallucci, Eshenbaugh Named to HillVets 100 Class of 2019

WASHINGTON - Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Washington Office Executive Director B.J. Lawrence, National Veterans Service Director Ryan Gallucci and VFW Department of Texas Service Officer Terry Eshenbaugh were named to the HillVets 100 Class of 2019.

"I wouldn't expect anything less from B.J. Ryan and Terry, three dedicated and committed leaders who fight and advocate for our nation's veterans," said VFW National Commander William "Doc" Schmitz. "These gentlemen are the epitome of what the VFW represents."

Lawrence and Gallucci were named to the HillVets 100 list in the Traditional Non-Profits category due to their dedication and commitment efforts to bring veterans and service members' interests to the forefront of the national dialogue.

"This is a great honor, not only for me but for the VFW and the exceptional work our employees and members do on a daily basis on Capitol Hill and in our local communities on behalf of our veterans, service members and military families," said Lawrence.


VFW Awards 154 Student Veterans with Scholarships

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars is proud to announce more than 150 student veterans from around the country have been selected as 2020 spring semester recipients of the VFW's "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship."

"Too often I meet veterans whose GI Bill education benefits have been depleted. For more than five years, we've worked together with our long-time friends at Sport Clips Haircuts to ensure our veterans are set up for success," said VFW National Commander William "Doc" Schmitz. "The VFW is proud to offer a scholarship program that keeps them from facing crippling student loan debt as their post-military life begins to take off."

Since the program's inception, the VFW and Sport Clips have awarded more than $7 million in scholarships to more than 1,600 student vete...

VFW, Stars and Stripes Work to Bring More News to More Veterans

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is proud to announce it has teamed up with the renowned source for military and veteran news, Stars and Stripes, to offer VFW members a 50% discount on unlimited digital access to news and information on web and mobile.

"Stars and Stripes is certainly a trusted news source that VFW members know well," said VFW National Commander William "Doc" Schmitz. "Our members are extremely busy. So we're pleased to be able to offer them quick and affordable access to news while on the go."

Stars and Stripes is the number one source of independent news and information for the U.S. military community, serving active-duty service members, veterans, DOD civilians, contractors and their families.

"From news coverage of veteran issues to informative online tools and publications, Stars and Stripes has always made our nation's veterans a top priority," said Max Lederer, Stars and Stripes publisher. "We recognize and respect the many contributions the VFW has ...

VFW, SVA Announce 2020 Student Veteran Fellowship Class

WASHINGTON - Ten Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) members and Student Veterans of America (SVA) leaders were selected for the 2020 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship Program Sunday at the SVA National Conference in Los Angeles, California.

The 10 fellows will now join more than 500 VFW members on Capitol Hill in early March to advocate on behalf of all veterans, service members and their families.

"The VFW prides itself on working with our student veterans nationwide to help build tomorrow's leaders," said VFW National Commander William "Doc" Schmitz.

The VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship is a semester-long academic experience that involves researching, coordinating, reporting and advocating on behalf of one of four veterans' policy areas: student veteran success on campus and beyond, improving veteran's health care and benefits, transitioning from military to civilian life, and challenges for service members and military families.

Each selected fellow submitted a policy proposal to address one o...

VFW Bids Congressman Roe Well Wishes on His Retirement

WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) bids Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) well wishes on his retirement at the conclusion of the 116th Congress.

"Congressman Roe has been a staunch supporter of our veterans, service members, military families, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars throughout his career as both a veteran and public servant," said VFW National Commander William "Doc" Schmitz. "Today, we thank Congressman Roe and his wife, Clarinda, for their outstanding service to the state of Tennessee and our great nation. Without him, the MISSION Act, Forever GI Bill and other significant legislation may not have been achieved for our nation's heroes."...

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