NEWS

VFW & AUX Department Convention

State Convention heads to Flint, Michigan


VFW Launches New Mobile App

Download it today!


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.


Notable Changes to VFW-sponsored Liquor Liability

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:


CONGRESS PASSES EMERGENCY VA FUNDING BILL

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is relieved that Congress finally did what they were elected to do and passed an emergency funding bill at the last minute to help the Department of Veterans Affairs overcome a nationwide crisis in care and confidence


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


Buddy Poppy Orders


GOLD STAR MOTHERS

VFW District 5 Gold Star Mothers Banquet Sunday October 1, 2017


Michigan Female Service members' Salute

Great Lakes National Cemetery is holding an event honoring Michigan's Military Women July 29, 2017 at 10:00 A.M.


Fall Conference


Gold Star Mothers

The Gold Star Mothers 69th Annual Victory in Japan Day Service Sunday August 6, 2017 At White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery Located at 621 West Long Lake Rd. Troy, MI. 48098-4597 248-362-7670 Line up for all marching units is 11:00 AM


Notice from National Quartermaster General

The use of the VFW trademarked name, emblems, and logos.


Veterans of Foreign Wars updated Fact Sheet

As the nation’s oldest major veterans’ organization, the VFW has an impeccable and longstanding record of service and stewardship. More than 4 million patriotic Americans, both members and non-members, entrust the VFW with financial contributions and dedicate millions of volunteer hours.


Important Michigan VFW Project Underway

We are excited to announce the start of the Michigan VFW Then and Now Member Publication project. To make this a successful project, we have partnered with a nationally recognized publishing firm, Publishing Concepts (PCI). Starting soon, you will receive communication from Publishing Concepts letting you know how to participate in the Michigan VFW Then and Now Member Publication. This unique photo publication will be filled with military experiences and memorable photos from the past and the present. Don't miss out on this opportunity to be included!


VOD State Winners

Click on the link and listen to all the State winning VOD Students.


Dept. Polo Shirt

Incoming State Commander and President's shirt order form for 2017-2018


Karmanos' visit to Mid- Winter

The Department of Michigan Veterans of Foreign Wars Supports Karmanos’ Prostate Cancer Research Program


DEPARTMENT OF MICHIGAN V.F.W. AND AUXILIARIES 98th ANNUAL STATE CONVENTION

As we start to get the forms we will be updating this article. Thank you for your patience.


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...


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.

VFW Releases Survey Results on TRICARE Program Changes

WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is releasing the results of a TRICARE survey that focused on the changes to the military health care program as mandated by the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. The 33-question survey also focused on the awareness and perceptions around the controversial cost-sharing changes in the Defense Department's Interim Final Rule, which was publically released Sept. 28.

"The VFW survey confirmed suspicions that the Defense Department is failing to adequately communicate to perhaps millions of TRICARE beneficiaries that changes are about to occur in their health care program," said VFW National Commander Keith Harman. "I can only hope DOD ups their game to fill in the notification gaps before the Jan. 1 implementation date."

The survey was conducted between Oct. 26 and Nov. 8, with more than 11,800 responses tallied. Only 48 pe...


#MoreThan Caregiver Fatigue

As we reflect on National Family Caregivers Month, it's important to remember that elevating the veteran voice doesn't just include veterans, it also includes caregivers, the Hidden Heroes of the military community. PatientsLikeMe, a VFW Mental Wellness Campaign partner, recently kicked off a video series asking members to share the roles they play outside of being a patient or caregiver. One story we heard was from Emery, spouse of and caregiver to an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran.

After her husband collapsed and was hospitalized for almost eight weeks, Emery went from wife to military caregiver in an instant. "I had a...


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...


VFW Report: Veterans Prefer VA Care

WASHINGTON (September 25, 2015) - Oneof the greatest ongoing debates in the aftermath of last year's allegations of patients dying on secret waiting lists is where America's veterans should get their care. According to a new report released this week by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, America's veterans prefer that their care be provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Entitled "Our Care," the VFW report revealed that where veterans choose to receive their care depends on the number of options they have available. Still, the majority of the 1,847 veterans surveyed prefer to use the VA because they receive high quality care, they regard VA health care as an earned benefit, and they consider VA's ability to treat service-connected conditions to be unmatched anywhere in the private sector.

"While some may believe the actions taken so far to fix the VA may not be thorough enough or fast enough, our latest report validates that 82 percent, ...


VA Approved Prudential's Profiteering Plan

WASHINGTON -Unsealed documents received by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States reveal that the Department of Veterans Affairs agreed to how Prudential Insurance Company of America could disperse death payments, and that the insurance giant may have aggressively trained its staff to put the company's interests ahead of grieving families in the payout of those benefits.

The 3,600 pages were ordered released as the result of a motion filed by the VFW to force Prudential to unseal documents related to a class action lawsuit brought against the company for its administering of the Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program. The underlying case, which was resolved in December 2014 in a near $40 million settlement, alleged that Prudential failed to pay death benefits to military service members, veterans and their families in the manner required by the laws governing SGLI and the Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) programs.

In filing the motion two years ago, the VFW consistently to...


VFW, Hiring America Expand Partnership to Aid Veterans Nationwide

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) is proud to announce its expanding support of the highly successful, syndicated television show Hiring America will provide more veterans than ever before access to the valuable workplace resources they need as they transition to civilian life or simply look to build their current careers.

Hosted by award-winning anchor and ABC correspondent Gigi Stone Woods, Hiring America is the first employment TV program for transitioning veterans and their families. Each episode connects veterans with several carefully selected U.S. companies with strong veteran hiring initiatives, offering real jobs and uniquely tailored job seeking advice.

The VFW first announced its support of Hiring America in early 2014 in light of major cuts to defense spending and plans of military downsizing. Originally airing with 13 episodes in 80 markets, Hiring America will now expand to 26 weeks of programing with availability in 195 markets, including American Forces Network which is seen a...


You Can 'Help A Hero' During Sport Clips Haircuts Campaign

GEORGETOWN, Texas- You can "Help A Hero" take their next career step when you get a haircut at one of the more than 1,400 Sport Clips Haircuts locations across the U.S. now through Veterans Day, November 11. Sport Clips in local communities across the country will share the overall goal of raising $750,000 for the company's annual fundraising program, Help A Hero, that provides scholarships to active-duty military and veterans. Sport Clips has partnered with the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) since 2007, creating the VFW's"Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship"programin 2013 to help service members and veterans in the next chapter of their lives. Each scholarship provides up to $5,000 of assistance to qualified individuals who have served in the military, are in need of financial assistance, and are pursuing an education at post-secondary institutions, including trade schools.

Donations to Help A Hero will be collected by Sport Clips stylist...


VA Secretary Visits VFW Headquarters to Discuss Veterans' Concerns

KANSAS CITY, Mo.- Today, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald visited the VFW National Headquarters in Kansas City where he met with VFW officials to discuss a host of important veterans' issues to include the state of the VA health care system, the claims backlog and veterans employment.

The meeting with VFW officials comes just weeks after the VFW released its latest VA health care report entitled "Our Care," an analysis of veterans' options, preferences and expectations in health care. The report concluded that while veterans who are eligible for VA health care choose to use VA health care, even if they have other health care coverage options in the community, the VA continues to face problems in consistency of customer experience and delivering quality customer service. While progress has been made since the VA debacle of 2014, wait times and the backlog are still overarching concerns to veterans and the national...


VA, Walgreens Provide Veterans Flu Shot Options

With flu season right around the corner, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Walgreens are making it easier than ever for veterans to protect themselves against the influenza virus.

Veterans who are currently enrolled in the VA Health Care System can visit their local Walgreens or Duane Reade location to receive a free flu shot. To take advantage of this offer, simply click here to download the registration form. Then, present the completed form to your local Walgreens or Duane Reade pharmacist with your VA and photo ID cards.

With your free flu shot, Walgreens will also automatically update your VA health care records. To find a location near you, call 800-WALGREENS (800-925-4733) or visit VFW to America: SHOW and SHARE Your Thanks This Veterans Day


KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Today, with just three weeks remaining until Veterans Day, the VFW is launching Operation Appreciation.

All Americans are invited to join Operation Appreciation by thanking our nation's service members and veterans with an act demonstrating their appreciation - an act beyond words or text, then sharing a photo or video illustrating the act and posting it to social media using the hashtags #ithankedavet, #yourturn.

With the number of patriotic and veteran-focused events happening nationwide in the upcoming weeks, participation should come easy to those who wish to get involved. Capturing and sharing photos and videos from parades and other Veterans Day events is highly encouraged, but the VFW also hopes the campaign sparks individuals to find ways to creatively express their appreciation. From buying a service member or veteran's meal or gas, to helping with a project or household chore, to treating them to a fishing, hunting, skydiving or paintball outing, there is no "right" way to express ...


VFW to Host Virtual Career Fair for Veterans


KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) is pleased to announce it will host a virtual career fair open exclusively to service members and veterans on October 21, 2015.

The career fair will run from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. CDT and feature available opportunities within Black & Veatch, Cerner, Garmin and Overland Contracting Inc. (OCI), all companies with a demonstrated commitment to hiring America's service members and veterans.

Participants are strongly encouraged to preregister for the event at: www.vfwvirtual.com

"Helping service members and veterans succeed in their quest for quality employment is a VFW priority. This is a highly-employable demographic," said John A. Biedrzycki Jr., the national commander of the VFW. "They possess ideal characteristics and traits that, in addition to their skillsets, make them valued employees, teammates and leaders. We appreciate being joined by quality businesses that understand that, and we look forward to this being a very successfu...


VFW Donates $100,000 to New Desert Storm Memorial

KANSAS CITY, Mo.- The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) proudly donated $100,000 today toward the construction of the National Desert Storm War Memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C. The donation marks the first payment of the VFW's pledged $500,000 to help build the memorial. It also makes the VFW the first major veterans service organization to financially back the project.

"On behalf of our organization and more than 600,000 veterans of Operations Desert Shield and Storm, I want to thank the VFW for this generous donation. This funding comes at a crucial point in our mission. We appreciate the VFW's help and for taking the lead in this important endeavor," said Scott Stump, president and CEO of the National Desert Storm War Memorial.

With the 25th anniversary of Desert Shield already here and Desert Storm rapidly approaching, project organizers have an aggressive sense of urgency, and they refuse to consider the construction of the memorial as a l...


VFW Stands With France in Wake of Attack

WASHINGTON (November 15, 2015) - While extending his condolences and support to the people of France, the national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States also called Friday's terrorist attack a wakeup call to an America that is ill prepared to defend against a similar attack in America.

"The VFW stands with America's first ally as it mourns in the wake of this vicious and cowardly attack, but the attack on Paris should also serve as a wakeup call that our own homeland is vulnerable to attack from radical Muslim extremists who are hell-bent on destroying us and our entire way of life," said VFW National Commander John A. Biedrzycki Jr.

"America is vulnerable because we have porous borders, a broken immigration system, and elected and appointed officials who refuse to recognize this enemy as a threat to our national security, an enemy who enjoys the great tactical advantage of choosing when and where...


Yuengling: Announces Multiyear Commitment to the VFW in Support of our Nation's Heroes

POTTSVILLE,Pa.,-D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. will support the VFW with a multi-year commitment through their "Respect. It's Earned." campaign, kicking off in 2016.

This new initiative is a great way for Yuengling to demonstrate the brewery's respect for our nation's veterans and the sacrifices they've made to protect our great country. Yuengling's #LagersForHeroes program will be promoted at restaurants, retail locations and bars starting in May 2016. Consumers, retailers and wholesalers will be able to join Yuengling in its commitment to help support the many VFW programs and services that benefit our nation's heroes.

"We have tremendous respect for those that have served and their sacrifices," said Richard "Dick" Yuengling, President and Owner of Yuengling. "As a family with generations of service members, we know the toll it takes to leave your family to protect and serve our great country. This is our way to support those who give so much."

The VFW offers scholarships, f...


VFW Seeks Nominations for VA Volunteers of the Year

WASHINGTON- Thousands of members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States volunteer their time at local Department of Veterans Affairs health care facilities every year to make sure their fellow veterans receive the compassion and support they need and deserve. The VFW now wants to recognize their selfless contributions as VA Volunteers of the Year, nominations for which must be submitted in writing to the VFW's National Veterans Service directorate by Dec. 15, 2015.

"VFW volunteers have made a difference in the lives of countless veterans ever since the VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) program was founded in 1946," said VFW National Commander John A. Biedrzycki Jr. "From delivering cards and candy to leading prayer services, hosting movie nights, or just to lend an attentive ear or helping hand, these dedicated men and women deserve to know that the VFW deeply appreciates the personal attention they provide to every veteran."

The VAVS Volunteer of the Y...


The VFW Will Always Remember December 7, 1941

This National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, the VFW reflects on the event that changed the course of history and altered America's destiny.

The attack on Pearl Harbor 74 years ago left more than 3,500 men and women dead or wounded and tested America's resolve like never before. But when the dust settled on one of America's darkest days, a reinvigorated and tenacious nation awoke determined to defend our freedom and way of life no matter the cost.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke with prophetic words when he later remarked, "No matter how long it may take us to overcome the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory."

The incredible odds we faced in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor served to bolster the indomitable spirit of our nation - carrying us through to the ultimate victory against the Axis powers, just as President Roosevelt had predicted.

The attack on December 7, 1941, taught future generati...


VFW, SVA Now Accepting 2016 Legislative Fellowship Applications

WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and Student Veterans of America (SVA) are seeking student veteran candidates to participate in the 2016 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship program. The fellowship will once again offer 10 selected student veterans the unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with their legislators next spring as part of the VFW National Legislative Conference, as well as additional academic opportunities for fellows to substantively address veterans' issues in their communities.

Student veterans interested in applying for the 2016 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship must complete an application package that includes an essay proposal on one of four specific legislative issues. The proposal should include a discussion of why the issue is important to the veterans' community, and how the fellowship candidate plans to address the issue through community-based advocacy. Selected fellows will then be flown to Washington, D.C., to s...


VFW's Motion Granted: Unseal Prudential's SGLI Records

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor issued a ruling that grants a motion filed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) to unseal documents related to the class action lawsuit brought against the Prudential Insurance Company of America, subject to certain exceptions. The suit was filed in response to the company's administration of the Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The underlying case alleged that Prudential failed to pay death benefits to military service members, veterans and their families in the manner required by the laws governing SGLI and the Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) programs. That lawsuit was resolved in December 2014 in a nearly $40 million settlement.

"We're pleased with Judge Ponsor's ruling and now have a lot of work to do. We anxiously await the opportunity to review the documents involving this matter," said John A. Biedrzycki Jr., VFW national commander. "We want to...


VFW Selects 85 Student Veterans to Receive 'Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarships'

KANSAS CITY, Mo.- The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW) is proud to announce that 85 service members and veterans have been named 2015 fall semester scholarship recipients courtesy of VFW's "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" program. These student veterans will receive over $360,000 in combined aid.

Click here to see a complete list of the 2015 fall recipients.

Enacted in 2013 through the VFW's long-standing relationship with Sport Clips Haircuts, the Help A Hero Scholarship program provides service members and veterans with the financial assistance needed to complete their educational goals without incurring excessive student loan debt.

The successful Help A Hero Scholarship program has awarded over $1.2 million in financial aid and has provided scholarships to almost 300 service members and veterans t...


VFW Appoints First Female Assistant Quartermaster General

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) has appointed a 13-year Army and Desert Storm veteran as the first female Assistant Quartermaster General for the nation's largest combat veteran service organization.

Debra Anderson was sworn in on August 23, 2015, before the VFW's National Council of Administration. The announcement comes just days after a historical change to extend VFW Auxiliary membership eligibility to male spouses and male family members, solidifying the VFW's commitment to membership equality for all military families.

"Since coming to the VFW in 2006, Debra has been dedicated to furthering the VFW's mission at Post, District and National levels. I have no doubt that she will continue to ensure the VFW remains the top veterans' service organization FOR VETERANS," said John Biedrzycki, VFW national commander.

Prior to her appointment, Anderson served as director of Human Resources and Investment Coordinator where ...


VFW: Ending Sequestration the Best 2016 Budget Request

WASHINGTON - The national commander of the 1.9 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and its Auxiliaries said Monday's fiscal 2016 federal budget request for the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense were good starting points to continue an important conversation with Congress and the American people about what it means to properly take care of veterans, service members and their families. However, he said the best budget request would be for Congress to first end sequestration.

"The VA is tasked with caring for America's wounded, ill and injured veterans, and DOD is tasked with protecting every freedom we hold dear," said VFW National Commander John W. Stroud, "but as much as their budget submissions look toward the future, the two departments can't ignore a rearview mirror that shows a restart of mandatory sequestration on Oct. 1."

The president exempted the VA from sequestration in 2013, but it is unknown if that exemption still app...


VA Standardizes Veterans Claims Forms

WASHINGTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs last year proposed changes to regulations to eliminate informal claims that were not filed electronically. In addition, VA proposed requiring the use of a specific standardized form when veterans apply for VA benefits. The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and other major service organizations fought against the proposals, saying that the elimination of informal claims was draconian and did not keep with VA's mandate to be "veteran friendly."

Despite such protests, VA recently finalized its regulations, meaning that effective today, VA will eliminate "informal claims" and substitute its newly-established "Intent to File a Claim" form to act as a date-of-claim place holder. VA also mandates the use of certain other standardized forms for benefits, such as for compensation, pension and appeals. These new forms can be downloaded at: http://www.va.gov/vafo...


VA Establishes MyVA Advisory Committee

Washington - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced the establishment of the MyVA Advisory Committee (MVAC). The Committee brings together skilled experts from the private, non-profit and government sectors to assist in reorienting the Department to better meet the needs of Veterans. This Committee is charged with advising the Secretary of Veterans Affairs with a focus on improving customer service, Veteran outcomes and setting the course for long-term reform and excellence.

The Advisory Committee will meet multiple times per year and will engage in periodic reviews to ensure the Department achieves the goals of MyVA. The Committee will provide advice on competing short-term and long-range plans, priorities and strategies to improve the operational functions, services, processes and outputs of the Department, and will also advise on appropriate levels of support and funding necessary to achieve objectives. Further, the Committee will review implementation of recommended improvement...


Three Teachers Selected for National Awards by the VFW

Kansas City, Mo. - Each year for the past 16 years, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW) has recognized three exceptional teachers for their outstanding commitment to teach Americanism and patriotism to their students.

The Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award recipients are selected from entries submitted by local VFW Posts in the U.S. and overseas. The entries detail a local teacher's act of promoting civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism in the classroom.

There are three categories of competition: elementary school (K-5), middle school (6-8) and high school (9-12).

Ann Parker Komara, a fifth-grade teacher at Ottobine Elementary School in Dayton, Va., was named the winner at the elementary school level. At the middle school level, Melinda Hamilton, a seventh grade social studies teacher at River Bend Middle School in Claremont, N.C., was named the winner.


Winners of VFW Publications Contest Announced

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - VFW has announced the winners of the 2015 National Publications Contest. This year, the publications contest underwent significant changes to encourage continued participation. The contest's reorganization created two new categories: Magazine and Best Feature Article.

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

1st Texas VFW News
Roy Grona, Editor

Best Feature Article

1st "PA Commander Delivers VFW Support to PA Troops in Iraq/Kuwait"
by David Sandman - Department of Pennsylvania

2nd "Four New Vans for Nebraska Veteran's Home"
by Department of Nebraska

3rd "Honoring Vete...


VFW Announces Kick-Off of Youth Scholarship Competitions


The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW) is pleased to announce the kick-off of the 2015-16 VFW's Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen scholarship competitions. The announcement comes just weeks after students from across the globe took home their share of the more than $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 for our great country and fostering patriotism among our nation's youth. Students are asked to submit an 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.

This year's Voice of Democracy theme asks students to contemplate, "My Vision for America." The Voice of Democracy scholarship competition is an audio-essay competition open to students in grades 9-12. The national winner will receive the $30,000 T.C. Selman Memorial Sc...


Tractor Supply Company Invites VFW Posts to 'Salute Our Troops'

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In honor of our nation's heroes, the VFW is again teaming up with Tractor Supply Company (TSC) to make this year's Memorial Day weekend a community event across the nation! On May 23, TSC, the largest farm and ranch store chain in the United States, is offering local VFW Posts the unique opportunity to host onsite events at stores coast-to-coast to honor our fallen heroes and showcase their patriotism.

Encourage your Post to join in and register today for the "Salute Our Troops" event.

With over 1,400 TSC stores nationwide, this is a great opportunity for VFW Posts. In support of one of America's most sacred days, VFW members will have the chance to show communities all across the nation that NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS.

Facing diminishing opportunities for recruiting and Poppy distribution, and for strengthening community ties in high traffic, public locations, this is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss. TSC is kindly offering their locations for hosting onsite planned activities lik...


VFW Wants New Colorado Hospital Built

WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is calling on Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs to work through a funding impasse for a new VA medical center in Aurora, Colo. If an agreement is not reached by the end of this week, VA will hit a mandatory spending cap that will force the project to shut down for the second time in six months, and with the very real possibility of never restarting.

"There is a lot of justified anger about this construction project," said VFW National Commander John W. Stroud, "but the focus must be on completing it so that more wounded, ill and injured veterans in the Denver metropolitan area can be better served."

The new medical center was originally budgeted at $604 million under current design plans. The completion estimate now exceeds $1.7 billion due to a number of factors, such as the VA's failure to provide completed blueprints, which caused excessive change orders. In a memorandum sent Monday to House and Senate VA Committee le...


VFW Against Privatizing Commissaries

WASHINGTON - The Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday inserted language into its version of the fiscal year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act that could lead to the privatization of military commissaries. The provision would also establish a pilot program to test it on not fewer than five installations.

In a statement, John W. Stroud, the national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, said his organization is against any plan to privatize commissaries.

"Military commissaries are a key quality of life benefit to military service members, their families and to retirees," said Stroud, a retired Air Force first sergeant. "You can sometimes find better deals off base, but nowhere near the overall 30 percent savings that commissaries provide, plus any reduction in customer traffic at the commissary will have a corresponding reduction in customer traffic at the base exchange, which will directly impact morale, welfare and recreation contributions.

"The VFW is a...


VFW Releases New Veterans Choice Program Survey Report

WASHINGTON - Thelatest survey report by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.reveals that veteran participation and awareness of the Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Choice Program are improving, but that there are still fundamental areas of concern that must be addressed in order to ensure every veteran who is eligible for the new program is provided the opportunity to use it. The principally areas of concern are the lack of standardized customer service training, unsuitable patient wait time calculations, and a 40-mile rule that still forces disabled veterans to drive long distances instead of allowing them to seek non-VA care closer to home.

This is the second in a series of surveys that the VFW expects to continue throughout the short lifespan of the Veterans Choice Program, which was activated on Nov. 5, 2014, to help the VA overcome a nationwide crisis in care and confidence. To date, the VFW has analyzed input from more than 9...


VFW Urges House to Approve Defense Bill

WASHINGTON -The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is urging the U.S. House of Representatives to approve the National Defense Authorization Act when it comes up for a vote next week.

The $495.9 billion base budget provides additional funding for fighter aircraft, helicopters, ship building and missile defense. It also includes VFW-supported provisions to improve financial literacy training and create a new blended military retirement system, beginning Oct. 1, 2017, that VFW National Commander John W. Stroud says will benefit all who serve in uniform, not just the 17 percent who serve 20 years or longer.

"Aside from hostilities, one of the greatest threats to an All-Volunteer Force is a strong economy that offers other employment options," said Stroud, who wants the Senate Armed Services Committee to retain the new retirement feature when it begins discussing the fiscal year 2016 defense bill next week. "In order to meet future enlistment and retent...


VFW Members Have Saved $4 Million by Using the Healthcare Alliance Card

ScriptRelief
712 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10019

Press Contact: Shea Communications
Richard Shea (212) 627-5766

VFW MEMBERS HAVE SAVED $4 MILLION ON
MEDICATIONS BY USING THE HEALTHCARE ALLIANCE CARD

Pharmacy Discount Cards Used by VFW Members on
More Than 235,000 Prescription Purchases

New York, NY, June 17, 2015- ScriptRelief has announced that its Healthcare Alliance Card has helped members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization save more than $4,000,000 on prescription medications. The VFW first offered the pharmacy discount card to members in November of 2012. Since then, the discount card has been mailed to more than 1.3 million VFW and VFW family members and the savings tool is available on the VFW's website atVFW Salutes New Agent Orange Decision


WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United is saluting today's decision by the Department of Veterans Affairs to begin accepting disability claims from veterans potentially exposed to Agent Orange-contaminated aircraft in the post-Vietnam era. The decision by VA Secretary Bob McDonald could now benefit as many as 1,500 to 2,100 Air Force and Air Force Reserve personnel who might suffer from any of 14 presumptive medical conditions that have been determined to be related to Agent Orange exposure.

The VA secretary made the decision to expand benefits following a 2015 report by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine on Post-Vietnam Dioxin Exposure in Agent Orange-Contaminated C-123 Aircraft. The report found evidence that those who served aboard or worked on the C-123 aircraft were exposed to the herbicide, both during and after Vietnam, when many of the aircraft remained in service for aeromedical transportation or in a mosquito abatement role back in the U.S.

"The VFW has been pushi...


Toby Keith, VFW Team Up to Support Veterans

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) Singer, songwriter and entertainer Toby Keith has two deep and abiding interests aside from music: giving back to those who fight for our freedom and premium Mexican liquor. Therefore, in yet another meaningful display of support for America's veterans, Keith has announced that he will join with the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW) in several initiatives to include donating a portion of sales of his critically-acclaimed Wild Shot Mezcal to the organization.

Keith's handcrafted Wild Shot has arguably, single-handedly created a market for premium mezcals. It immediately began receiving high praise and awards soon after its 2011 release, and has been named the top premium mezcal in the United States according to industry publication Beverage Media.

Wild Shot stands out as a fan favorite. A variety of cocktails featuring the mezcal are served in Keith's restaurants, and it's ever-present at his shows served alone or in mixed drinks from an inflatable bar. The VFW w...


Watch the VFW National Convention Live from Pittsburgh

The VFW is set to stream coverage from its 116th National Convention on www.vfw.org, live from Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center starting July 18.

Approximately 10,000 VFW and Ladies Auxiliary VFW members and guests are expected to attend the weeklong convention in downtown Pittsburgh, Pa., July 18-22. Live streaming kicks off with the annual Memorial Service starting at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) on July 19. The live stream will pick back up the following morning with the call to order of the VFW/Ladies Auxiliary VFW Joint Opening Session.

Monday's lineup includes the presentation of the VFW Dwight D. Eisenhower Award to retired General James T. Mattis and the VFW Armed Forces Award to Army Medics 68 Whiskey. Be sure to watch as Secretary of Department of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald apprises the VFW on the current state of the VA, and for appearances by many other notable guests.

Liv...


VFW Elects New National Commander

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (July 22, 2015) - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) concluded its 116th National Convention by electing Pittsburgh-native John A. Biedrzycki Jr. as its new national commander.

Biedrzycki served in the U. S. Army from 1967-1970. He served in Korea with the 7th Infantry Division, and his decorations include the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and Korean Defense Medal. He is a VFW Legacy Life Member and served in elected and appointed positions at the Post, County, District and Department (state) levels prior to his elections to national office. He has been a member of the VFW for 46 years, having first joined the VFW at Post 418 in McKees Rocks, Pa., in 1969.

In his acceptance speech, the VFW's new leader called on the organization's nearly 1.4 million members to recommit themselves in service to others, which was one ...


VFW National Convention Returns to Pittsburgh


An estimated 12,000 delegates, dignitaries and notable guests will convene in Pittsburgh for the annual national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) from July 18-22 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Though the convention is held annually, the location of this year's convention is especially important to the VFW and its members. While the VFW traces its roots back to 1899, it convened to formally organize in the city of Pittsburgh in September 1914. It was then, at the Schenley Hotel - now the William Pitt Union - that the organization would adopt the name the Veterans of Foreign Wars and lay the groundwork for what is today, the nation's largest organization of combat veterans. It's the convention's first return to Pittsburgh since the VFW's inception. It's also where Pittsburgh native John A. Biedrzycki Jr. will be elected as the organization's new national commander.

"It is such an honor to have the Veterans of Foreign Wars return to Pittsburgh to host its annual c...


VFW Teams Up With Cerner to Host Virtual Career Fair

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Cerner Corp. (Nasdaq: CERN) have joined together to provide career-seeking veterans, service members and military spouses the opportunity to connect with current openings at Cerner at the Cerner - VFW Virtual Career Fair, February 18 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EST).

Kansas City-based Cerner is at the intersection of two fast-growing industries: technology and health care. It is seeking talent with the ability to drive change through the use of technology, offering a wide variety of positions to include system engineers, technical support analysts, implementation consultants, nurses and a variety of operational roles.

The Cerner - VFW Virtual Career Fair is open exclusively to current and former military, as well as their spouses. Participants are strongly encouraged to register at http://www.cernervfwvirtual.com/registration.

Individuals interested in career opportunities, but unable to attend the event should proce...


VFW and Sport Clips Haircuts Award Scholarships Totaling More Than $288,000


KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars is proud to announce 70 veterans and service members have been awarded VFW's "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarships" this spring, totaling more than $288,000.

Help A Hero Scholarships are awarded exclusively to service members and veterans to help cover the cost of tuition and fees. Scholarships are available for both spring and fall semesters. Recipients are encouraged to reapply as they continue their education.

Here is the complete list of spring recipients.

Launched in 2013, the Help A Hero Scholarship program has awarded over 200 scholarships totaling nearly three-quarters of a million dollars to service members and veterans.

"The VFW is here to support our veterans as they transition to civilian life, and we know education is a crucial element to ensuring they succeed. With the GI Bill's limitations, this scholarship helps fill the gaps for so many veterans," said VFW National Commander John Stroud.

For students like Micha Gashe...


VFW Announces Annual Publications Contest


KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The VFW Publications Department announced today that it is accepting submissions for the VFW's 2015 National Publications Contest.This year, the VFW National Publications Contest will be judged in different categories than in the past. Additionally, the categories will not be judged within sub-categories based on circulation, but rather on publication frequency(one to three times per year and four or more times per year).

This year, the categories will include:

Department:
Overall Design and Content of Newspaper
(defined as being printed on newsprint)
Best Feature Story
(all frequencies judged together in this category and submitted separately)
Magazine
(defined by physical size and paper stock)

Post/District (now combined):
Overall Design and Content

Each category will be awarded three places: a grand award (first overall), silver (second overall) and bronze (third overall). The silver and bronze awards w...


New Report Calls for VA Focus on Access, Infrastructure, and Caregivers

Washington, DC- Today, four of the nation's leading veterans service organizations-AMVETS (American Veterans), DAV (Disabled American Veterans), Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) and VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars)-released a report calling on renewed focus on access to timely, high quality care, particularly for women veterans; continued commitment to reducing the claims backlog; real investments in infrastructure; and support for all veterans in need of caregiver support. The policy recommendations are included in the 29th edition of The Independent Budget (IB), available online at www.independentbudget.org.

This year's IB marks a change from past editions. The new IB represents a policy guide to support the two-year term of the 114th Congress. The IB outlines many policy concerns that impact the millions of veterans who comprise the four organizations' membership. Additionally, the ...


VFW Announces Annual Publications Contest

The VFW Publications Department announced today that it is accepting submissions for VFW's 2014 National Publications Contest. All publications will be categorized by the membership size of the Department, District or Post they represent. For the contest,

Departments will be defined as:

  • large (21,500 or more members),
  • medium (10,000-21,499) and
  • small (9,999 or fewer).

Districts will be defined as:

  • large (2,600 or more),
  • medium (1,000-2,599) and
  • small (999 or fewer).

Posts will be defined as:

  • large (190 or more),
  • medium (80-189) and
  • small (79 or fewer).

All national entries must place first in Department-level contests. One copy of each winning Post and District publication-as well as one issue of the Department newspaper-must be mailed by...


VFW Announces Recipients of New Veteran Scholarship


KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars is pleased to announce the first-ever VFW "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" recipients. In all, 43 veterans were awarded this veterans-only scholarship, of up to $5,000 each, to help cover the cost of school tuition and fees for the 2014 spring semester.

Here is the complete list of recipients.

The VFW "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" program launched last fall with nearly 400 applicants. Both the VFW and Sport Clips Haircuts expect the program to grow as more veterans become aware of it.

Applications are now being accepted for the fall semester; the deadline to apply is April 30. For more information, including eligibility criteria, visit vfw.org/scholarship.

"The VFW is here to support our veterans as they transition to civilian life, and we know education is a crucial element to ensuring they succeed. The GI Bill is fantastic, but it has its limits, and this scholarship will help fill the gaps for so many veterans," said VFW Nation...


VFW Calls GI Bill Complaint System a 'Game Changer'

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is applauding today's roll out of a new consolidated complaint system to help the Department of Veterans Affairs and its partner agencies weed out fraud, waste and abuse among those organizations and educational institutions that serve student veterans. The new complaint system was a cornerstone of the VFW's education reform priorities over the past two years, and is a joint effort between VA and the departments of Defense, Education and Justice, as well as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission.

"For years the VFW was concerned that some in higher education were out to exploit our veterans and their lucrative benefits programs like the Post-9/11 GI Bill," said VFW National Commander William A. Thien. "This new complaint process will be a game-changer for student veterans, who in the past didn't have a standardized or secure system for reporting alleged abuses."

The centralized complaint system allows veterans, service members and ...


The Deadline for VFW's Youth Scholarship Competitions is Fast Approaching

KANSAS CITY, Mo.- The VFW is still accepting entries for the 2014-2015 VFW Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen scholarship competitions. The deadline for student entries in both contests isNov. 1.

The VFW's scholarship competitions are dedicated to promoting patriotism among America's youth. Students are asked to submit an essay in response to a question or statement on a subject that encourages them to consider how democratic ideals and principles apply to their lives. Each year the VFW awards more than $3 million in scholarships and awards to middle and high school students who participate in the two competitions.

This year's Voice of Democracy theme asks students, "Why Veterans are Important to our Nation's History and Future." The Voice of Democracy scholarship competition is an audio-essay competition open to students in grades 9-12. The national winner will receive a $30,000 scholarship.Click here to learn more.

The Patriot's Pen competition is op...


VFW Supports New Strategy to Destroy ISIL

WASHINGTON - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States supports President Obama's new strategy to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and is demanding that Congress support the troops by providing them the necessary funding to execute the new mission, and to put an end to sequestration, which is set to restart in fiscal year 2016.

In a nationwide speech last evening, the president said "ISIL is not Islamic.' No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL's victims have been Muslim. And ISIL is certainly not a state. It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates."

But ISIL is brutal, the president explained, and "in a region that has known so much bloodshed, these terrorists are unique in their brutality. They execute captured prisoners. They kill children. They enslave, rape, and force women into marriage. They threatened a religious minority with genocide. An...


VFW to Update Congressional Charter

WASHINGTON - With the support of two key members of Congress, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States may soon be updating its congressional charter to adhere to a national resolution approved by delegates attending the 115th VFW National Convention in St. Louis.

The VFW's congressional charter was signed in 1936 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt when the military was comprised almost entirely of men. The update consists of two wording changes - replacing men with veterans, and widows with surviving spouses - and is supported by two companion bills, S. 2782 and H.R. 5441, which were introduced by Senate VA Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and House VA Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), respectively.

"We are not changing our congressional charter because it's politically correct," said VFW National Commander John W. Stroud, "we're changing it because being an eligible veteran is what's important to our great organization, not one...


The VFW Continues to Burn the Candle of Hope this POW/MIA Recognition Day

On September 19, we pause to remember the sacrifices of the 83,193 Americans who are still missing or unaccounted for. We remember their families - those whose pain and suffering does not subside with the passage of time.

POW/MIA Recognition Day serves to remind us that the true cost of war extends far beyond the last shots being fired. WWII claimed more than 130,000 Americans taken as prisoners of war, and at the beginning of this month, continues to list 73,539 Americans as missing in action.

During the Korean War, more than 7,100 were taken captive, and 7,881 continue to be listed as missing in action. Vietnam brought nearly 800 American POWS, and today, 1,641 are still missing.

We must also remember the 126 Americans who are still missing from the Cold War, and the three military pilots and three Department of Defense contractors who remain missing from Operation El Dorado Canyon over Libya in 1986, Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.