The VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service: Many arrived home wounded or sick. There was no medical care or veterans' pension for them,and they were left to care for themselves. 
    In their misery, some of these veterans banded together and formed organizations with what would become known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. After chapters were formed in Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania, the movement quickly gained momentum. By 1915, membership grew to 5,000; by 1936, membership was almost 200,000. 

    Since then the VFW's voice has been instrumental in establishing the Veterans Administration, the development of the national cemetery system, and the fight for compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange, and for veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. In 2008, the VFW won a long-fought victory with the passing of a GI Bill for the 21st Century. This gave expanded educational benefits to America's active-duty service members. The VFW has also fought for improving VA medical centers services for women veterans.

    In 2005 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to contribute the new Disabled Veterans for Life Memorial which opened in November 2010. The VFW has a legacy of giving going back to the creation of the Women in Military Service Memorial, The World War II Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and the Vietnam War Memorial.

    Annually, the nearly 2 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliaries contribute more than 8.6 million hours of volunteerism in the community, including participation in Make A Difference Day and National Volunteer Week. 

    From providing over $3 million in college scholarships and savings bonds to students every year, to encouraging elevation of the Department of Veterans Affairs to the president's cabinet, the VFW is there for America's veterans.
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Join us as brothers and sisters of America to preserve the rights of veterans and support each other as only those who share in the camaraderie forged by conflict can.