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VFW Facts

The VFW logo, redesigned in November 2018

Established September 29, 1899; 120 years ago

Founder James C. Putnam

Founded at ColumbusOhioU.S. Merger of American Veterans of Foreign Service (organized on September 29, 1899, at Columbus, Ohio, U.S.) and the Army of the Philippines (organized on December 12, 1899, at DenverColorado, U.S., as the Colorado Society, Army of the Philippines)

Type501(c)(19)war veterans' organization

Tax ID no. 44-0474290

Purpose Fraternalpatriotichistoricalcharitable, and educational

Headquarters 406 West 34th Street, Kansas CityMissouri, U.S.Coordinates39.0668144°N 94.591009°W

Area served 

Worldwide Membership (2016)  1,234,985

Official language  English


B. J. Lawrence (NM)
Since July 25, 2018

Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief

William J. Schmitz (NY)
Since July 25, 2018

Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief

Hal J. Roesch II (VA)
Since July 25, 2018

National Council of Administration

63 voting members

  • 8 elected officers

  • 3 appointed officers

  • 52 elected members

Main organ

VFW National Convention Subsidiaries

Affiliations Student Veterans of America

Revenue (2015) US$98,724,340

Expenses (2015) US$89,099,521

Employees (2014) 224

Volunteers (2014) 3,000

VFW Service to Veterans

From lobbying Congress and monitoring the Department of Veterans Affairs to assisting veterans

filing claims, VFW remains a dedicated advocate for America’s veterans.

Located in Washington, D.C., VFW’s NVS office

assists veterans and their dependents in acquiring

their entitled VA services. Annually, NVS budgets

hundreds of thousands of dollars for VFW

Departments (states) to assist veterans in filing


• Department Service Officers (DSOs)

A VFW DSO is located in every VA Regional

Office. Each acts as a liaison between VA and

individual veterans to help them get government


• Tactical Assessment Center (TAC)

VFW’s TAC operates a 24-hour, toll-free hotline

for veterans with questions or concerns about VA

health care. Since its 1997 inception, TAC has

fielded more than 100,000 inquiries.

• Health Screenings

VFW hosts health screenings at its national

convention and other conferences. Eye exams,

hearing tests, cholesterol checks, hepatitis C tests,

prostate checks and breast exams are just some of

the screenings offered. Many lives have been

saved thanks to these screenings.

• Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD)

Introduced in 2001, VFW’s BDD provides claims

assistance to separating armed forces personnel at

designated military installations throughout the

country. Education and relocation services also are


National Legislative Service

This office represents VFW on various issues

before Congress, including testifying at committee

hearings and interacting with congressional


• Action Corps

This grassroots lobbying effort has 20,000

volunteers who write, call and visit lawmakers to

discuss issues related to veterans. Also, Action

Corps publishes Washington Weekly, an online

newsletter relating to current legislation.

National Security and Foreign Affairs

The welfare of active-duty personnel is of prime

concern to VFW, which is why troop deployments

are monitored.


VFW national officers visit Pacific, Asian and

European countries to meet with host-country

officials to stress the importance of conducting

MIA investigation and recovery operations, as

well as gaining access to documents and archival

research facilities.

Employment Services

VFW is a strong supporter of veterans’ preference

in government positions. The Washington Office

monitors veteran-specific employment legislation.


VFW is the major sponsor of this online service,

which allows veterans and their spouses to post

resumes and search available jobs.


VFW National Headquarters

406 W. 34th St., Kansas City, MO 64111

(816) 756-3390, fax: 816-968-1199

Web site:

VFW Legislative Victories

VFW played an instrumental role in virtually every significant piece of veterans legislation passed

in the 20th century, as well as bills developed in the 21st century.

Note: In each case, this is the year an act was passed or an institution established.

Media Contacts:

Jerry Newberry, VFW communications director, 816-968-1168,

Joe Davis, Washington Office public affairs director, 202-608-8357,

1917 War Risk Insurance Act Amendments

1918 Vocational Rehabilitation Act (P.L. 178)

1919 Census Act Rider on Veterans Preference Discharge


1920 Widows & Orphans Pension Act (Spanish-American War)

1921 Veterans Bureau Act

1923 Veterans Preference Point System

1924 House Veterans Affairs Committee

World War Veterans Act

World War Adjusted Compensation Act

1925 Senate Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs

1926 Spanish-American War benefits

New Johnson Act (WWI benefits)

1930 Veterans Administration (VA)

World War Service Disability Pension Act (P.L. 522)

1931 Bacharach Amendment (P.L. 743) allows borrowing on

WWI bonus certificates

1933 Wagner-Peyser Act: Veterans Employment Service

1934 Pension for widows of WWI vets

1936 Bonus bonds ($2.4 billion) to WWI vets redeemable

1938 Armistice Day (Nov. 11) legal holiday

1940 Philippine Travel Pay Bill

National Service Life Insurance

Selective Service & Training Act

1943 Benefits to WWII veterans (P.L. 10)

Disabled Veterans Rehabilitation Act

1944 GI Bill of Rights (P.L. 346)

Veterans Preference Act

Mustering-Out Pay Act

Extra pay for combat infantrymen

1946 Veteran Emergency Housing Act

1947 Bureau of Veterans Re-employment Rights (BVRR)

1948 Cash subsistence for GI Bill increased

1950 Vocational Rehabilitation Act

1951 Servicemen’s Indemnity & Insurance

1952 Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (Korean War GI Bill)

1954 Veterans Compensation Act

Nov. 11 as Veterans Day (P.L. 380)

1962 Veterans Benefits Act (Cold War GI Bill)

1966 Veterans Readjustment Benefits Act (P.L. 89-358)

(Vietnam War GI Bill)

1970 Senate Veterans Affairs Committee

1972 Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (raised

GI Bill stipend to $220 per month)

1973 Federal court agrees veterans preference applies to state jobs

1974 Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act

(vocational rehabilitation)

1976 Veterans Education & Employment Assistance Act

1977 Post-Vietnam Era Veterans Educational Assistance Act

1978 Veterans preference preserved

VA home loan increase

Veterans & Survivors Pension Improvement Act

Veterans Day returned to Nov. 11

1979 First joint meeting of House/Senate Veterans Affairs committees

Vietnam Veterans Outreach Program (P.L. 96-22) (creates

Vet Centers for PTSD counseling)

Vietnam Era Veterans Week

1980 VFW calls for Agent Orange study

VA home loan increase

Veterans Rehabilitation & Education Amendments

1981 Former POW Benefits Act

Veterans Health Care, Training & Small Business Loan Act

1982 Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS)

Vietnam Veterans Memorial dedicated

1983 Emergency Veterans Job-Training Act

1984 Montgomery GI Bill

Veterans Dioxin & Radiation Exposure Compensation

Standards Act (P.L. 98-542): Agent Orange & Atomic Exposure

1987 New GI Bill Continuation Act

1988 Radiation-Exposed Veterans Compensation Act

Department of Veterans Affairs Act

Veterans Judicial Review Act

Veterans Benefits & Improvement Act

1989 VA becomes a Cabinet department

Court of Veterans Appeals

1990 Agent Orange service-connection

1991 Agent Orange Act (P.L. 102-4)

Persian Gulf War Veterans Assistance Act (P.L. 102-25)

Veterans Benefits Improvement Act (P.L. 102-86)

1992 Veterans Health-Care Act

1996 Veterans Health-Care Eligibility Reform Act

1999 Veterans Millennium Health-Care and Benefits Act

2003 Concurrent receipt for military retirees rated 50% disabled or more

(P.L. 108-136)

2004 Full concurrent receipt for military retirees rated 100% disabled (P.L.


2005 Traumatic Injury Insurance supplemental created (S. 806)

2006 Protestors banned from military funerals (H.R. 5037)

VFW Passes Resolution to Support War in Iraq

2007 VFW calls for VA/military healthcare system review after Walter

Reed outpatient debacle

2008 Record VA discretionary budget approved

GI Bill for the 21st Century signed into law

2009 Advanced Appropriations for VA becomes law

2010 Family Caregiver Legislation signed into law

Ensured all VA and DOD health care programs were recognized as

meeting minimum coverage standards under national health care law

2011 VOW to Hire Heroes Act

VFW stopped TRICARE premiums from increasing

Notable members

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States

Harry Truman, 33rd President of the United States

Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States

John Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

Lyndon Johnson, 36th President of the United States

Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States

Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States

George Bush, 41st President of the United States

Albert Gore, Jr., 45th Vice President of the United States

Robert Kennedy, United States Senator from New York

Chuck Hagel, 24th United States Secretary of Defense​

General John Pershing, 10th Chief of Staff of the United States Army​

General Martin Dempsey, 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff​

Major General Smedley Butler, Two-time Medal of Honor recipient​

Sergeant Alvin York, Medal of Honor recipient World War I​

First Lieutenant Audie Murphy, Medal of Honor recipient World War II

Carl Sandburg, Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner

Roger Staubach, Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee

Eligibility Guide

Campaign Medal / Start Date / End Date

 Navy Expeditionary February 12, 1874Open

 Marine Corps Expeditionary February 12, 1874Open

 Spanish Campaign April 20, 1898December 10, 1898

 Army of Cuban Occupation July 18, 1898May 20, 1902

 Army of Puerto Rican Occupation August 14, 1898December 10, 1898

 Philippine Campaign February 4, 1899December 31, 1913

 China Relief Expedition April 5, 1900May 27, 1901

 Cuban Pacification September 12, 1906April 1, 1909

 Mexican Service April 12, 1911June 16, 1919

 First Nicaraguan Campaign July 29, 1912November 14, 1912

 Haitian Campaign April 9, 1915June 15, 1920

 Dominican Campaign May 4, 1916December 5, 1916

 World War I Victory (with battle or service clasp – including Siberia and European Russia)April 6, 1917April 1, 1920

 Army of Occupation of Germany November 12, 1918July 11, 1923

 Second Nicaraguan Campaign August 27, 1926January 2, 1933

 Yangtze Service September 3, 1926December 31, 1932

 China Service July 7, 1937April 1, 1957

 American Defense Service (with foreign service clasp)September 8, 1939December 7, 1941

 Combat Infantryman Badge December 6, 1941Open

 Combat Medical Badge December 6, 1941Open

 Navy Combat ActionDecember 6, 1941Open

 European–African–Middle Eastern CampaignDecember 7, 1941November 8, 1945

 American Campaign (30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days of duty outside continental limits of the U.S.)December 7, 1941March 2, 1946

 Asiatic–Pacific Campaign December 7, 1941March 2, 1946

 Navy Occupation Service May 8, 1945October 25, 1955

 Army of Occupation (30 consecutive days of duty)May 9, 1945October 2, 1990

 Korean Service June 27, 1950July 27, 1954

 Korea Defense Service July 28, 1954Open

 Vietnam Service July 1, 1958April 30, 1975

 Armed Forces Expeditionary July 1, 1958Open

 SSBN Deterrent Patrol Insignia January 21, 1961Open

 Coast Guard Combat Action May 1, 1975Open

 Southwest Asia Service August 2, 1990November 30, 1995

 Air Force Expeditionary Service (with gold border)October 1, 1999Open

 Kosovo Campaign March 24, 1999December 31, 2013

 Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary September 11, 2001Open

 Afghanistan Campaign September 11, 2001Open

 Air Force Combat Action September 11, 2001Open

 Combat Action Badge September 18, 2001Open

 Iraq Campaign March 19, 2003December 31, 2011

 Inherent Resolve Campaign June 15, 2014Open

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