National V.F.W. Day is held every year on September 29. This is a day for us to commemorate the hard work and sacrifice of veteran men and women who have selflessly served the United States of America. ‘V.F.W.’ stands for ‘Veterans of Foreign Wars,’ an organization established to support past and present American service members who have served in foreign wars, expeditions, or campaigns.
History of VFW DAY
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (V.F.W.) organization was created in 1913. During a historic convention in Pittsburgh. The organization was formed through a merger of three war-veteran associations, which had been founded in 1899 after the Spanish-American War. The American Veterans of Foreign Service, which had two chapters, was based in Ohio and Pennsylvania while The Colorado Society of the Army of the Philippines was located in Colorado and Pennsylvania.
Though the merger took place in 1913, the V.F.W. recognizes 1899 as its founding date. Headquartered in Kansas, Missouri, the organization’s mission, according to its website, is to “foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts. To serve our veterans, the military, and our communities. To advocate on behalf of all veterans.”
The history of V.F.W. Day can be traced to the genesis of the organization itself. The day was created to commemorate the historic establishment of the V.F.W. on September 29, 1899, when a group of Spanish-American war veterans banded together in a bid to share their experiences and support one another. 120 years later, the V.F.W. is still going strong with a membership of over 1.5 million people, with 6,000 Posts spread across all 50 states of the country, as well as in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.
In order to obtain membership of the organization, candidates must be U.S. citizens or nationals, former or current members of the armed forces, and must have served in a war, campaign, or expedition on foreign soil, airspace, or hostile waters.
VFW DAY timeline
The V.F.W. is established.
The V.F.W. Legislative Conference is inaugurated, providing the opportunity to lobby lawmakers.
The V.F.W. Congressional Award is held for the first time to recognize members of the House or Senate for outstanding legislative contributions in promoting the cause of military veterans.
The GI Bill is passed into law, expanding educational opportunities for active service members.
VFW DAY FAQs
Can a veteran re-enlist?
Usually, soldiers are not allowed to re-enlist as a result of factors such as age, years of service, etc. However, there are volunteer forces that allow veterans to serve in other roles.
What is the difference between the National Guard and Reserve?
The National Guard is controlled by the state and can be deployed in times of emergency and war or to provide assistance during fires, floods, and other disasters. On the other hand, the Reserve may be deployed to fill gaps when the active-duty force is deployed overseas. They may also be deployed overseas in times of war.
Can a non-U.S. citizen join the U.S. military?
Only U.S. citizens or foreign nationals that are legally permitted to reside in the U.S. can join the army.
How to Observe VFW DAY
Honor our heroes
If you have a personal relationship with a veteran or service member, honor them for their sacrifice in whatever way you can. Throw a party in their honor or share their story to inspire others.
Use the hashtag
Use the hashtag #StillServing and #VFWDay on social media to create awareness and encourage others to find out more about V.F.W. Day.
If you’re unable to provide hands-on support to a veteran yourself, consider donating or volunteering at organizations established to provide help to veterans, either financially or in other ways.
5 Prerequisites For Joining The U.S. Army
A U.S. citizen or national
Candidates must be a citizen of the United States or a foreign national with a residential permit.
Fall within the age bracket
Aspirants must be between the ages of 17 to 34 to enlist in the army.
The minimum educational requirement
The minimum educational requirement is a high school diploma.
Ace the ASVAB
It is compulsory to pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test (ASVAB).
Meet the MEPS
Candidates must meet the requirements for the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) medical exam.
Why V.F.W. Day is Important
Not all heroes wear capes
This holiday gives us a chance to honor and celebrate the selfless men and women who put their lives on the line for their country.
The ultimate sacrifice
As we celebrate the living veterans, it’s even more important to look back in appreciation of the heroes who lost their lives while fighting for their nation’s freedom. V.F.W. Day reminds us of their sacrifice.
The unsung heroes
We also appreciate the unsung heroes — the families, and friends of service members — who make huge sacrifices by allowing their loved ones to serve.
VFW DAY dates