Americans owe a great deal of gratitude to veterans who have served in foreign wars to defend the United States and its interests. Thanks to the sacrifices of these brave men and women who show their allegiance to the American flag, we get to enjoy the freedoms that we have in the United States. To show our gratitude, our society thanks veterans through organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which has many independent posts across the country.
Veterans of Foreign Wars
Throughout history, war veterans have formed organizations in which they can unite to help each other with finding jobs and accessing medical care for those veterans who have been injured or wounded. The organization of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) was initially founded in 1899 to assist the veterans coming home after the Spanish American War of 1898. Many of these veterans were wounded or handicapped and were struggling to financially support themselves. Others simply had trouble finding work and needed help identifying and marketing the skills they gained through their time serving in the military and on the battlefield. The Veterans of Foreign Wars organization has a mission to help care for disabled and needy veterans, as well as to help provide care to the widows and orphaned children left behind by fallen soldiers. Since its founding, the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization has helped millions of veterans with rehabilitation, finding work, and caring for their families.Many veterans participate in the VFW through meetings, fundraisers, and community service. The organization’s posts work to help their local community, not just veterans. Many VFW posts have contests for academic scholarships to high school students in need of financial support and engage in other similar humanitarian endeavors. This is part of the VFW’s educational efforts to promote American values and instill them into the next generation of Americans.Since the VFW has such a large membership base and many posts across the country, many individual posts choose to distinguish themselves in some way. Some of these posts are worth a special visit:
1. VFW Post 1
VFW Post 1 in Denver, Colorado holds the special distinction as being the oldest VFW post in the nation. It was founded in 1899, the same year that the VFW itself was started. VFW Post 1 remains vibrant today by hosting events. This post is also working to renovate its Veteran’s Cultural Center to even better serve its members and the VFW community. Despite its status as the oldest post in the country, VFW Post 1 features the youngest members in the country. This post has young veterans from wars within the last 20 years, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The young members of VFW Post 1 bring innovative ideas to support veterans, such as yoga, peer-to-peer work, and Art of War programs. These innovative programs help veterans adjust to civilian life and help them deal with the issues that veterans often face in their post-war lives.VFW Post 1 is also very involved on university campuses and offers student loans to help fund education. To support organization engagement, VFW Post 1 allows a flexible schedule to accommodate young members who need to balance work and school commitments, so they can also engage in leadership positions.
2. VFW Post 8073
VFW Post 8073, also known as the Tommie Callahan Memorial Post, is in Whiteville, North Carolina. This post boasts a large percentage of young members, with approximately one-fifth of its members currently on active duty in various locations around the world. A good portion of this post’s members are veterans of the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Leaders of VFW Post 8073 work to harness the energy of their young membership. The members of this post are very community-minded and want to give back to the community they spent time risking their lives to preserve.
3. VFW Post 76
VFW Post 76 proudly identifies itself as “The Oldest Post in Texas,” and it was founded in 1917. This San Antonio based post has a couple of other special distinctions. Notably, this post did initially host survivors of the Spanish American War. This post also continues to use its original location, which on the outside appears as a beautiful, antique, Victorian mansion with Corinthian columns. However, this mansion has a legend attached to it. It is said to haunted by ghosts, including a young girl and a man in uniform. The mysterious, alleged hauntings definitely make this a unique VFW location.
4. VFW Post 12097
VFW Post 12097 in Tonawanda, New York is special because it has a more feminine touch. This is because a majority of the members are women. This post, established in 2004, is unique because it was specifically founded to attract women. This is part of the changing face of the VFW, as more women serve in the armed forces.At their meetings, these VFW members recite the pledge of allegiance and say a prayer for other posts. These members, however gentle, are no less tough than their male peers. Many have served in Afghanistan and Iraq, among other war zones.
5. VFW Post 4709
VFW Post 4709 in Conroe, Texas, boasts one of the largest memberships in the country, with 908 active members. This post is known for its many community service projects, educational programs, and donations to various charities. Due to its size and work, it is considered the #1 post in the nation and has held that distinction for three years in a row.
6. VFW Post 9951
Not all VFW posts are in the continental United States, and VFW Post 9951 is comprised of veterans who choose to live overseas or active members who are currently located overseas in Bangkok, Thailand. This post was originally founded in 1968 during the Vietnam War when Thailand was an important U.S. ally and outpost in support of that conflict.In 2015, this post had a membership of approximately 263 members. Its membership has been sustained by veterans who have chosen to live as ex-patriots in Thailand. Another interesting fact about Post 9951 is that its number “9951” has been re-issued to it three times over its 52-year history!
7. VFW Post 27
Another post outside of the continental-U.S., VFW Post 27 was originally based in the Philippines before it was disbanded in the 1970s. It was re-founded in 1977 in Wiesbaden, Germany. Since its re-founding in Germany, this post has made significant lobbying efforts in addressing the needs and concerns of veterans. It also gives the VFW a German flavor.
8. VFW Post 2503
The VFW Post 2503 in Omaha, Nebraska is in the heartland of the United States. Something special about VFW Post 2503 is the work they did in partnering with American Legion Post 112. These two organizations worked together in 1966 to erect a memorial obelisk similar in shape to the Washington Monument in our nation’s capital. This memorial is intended to honor fallen soldiers from the World Wars, and each Memorial Day VFW Post 2503 holds a memorial service at this location.
9. VFW Post 8108
VFW Post 8109 in Riverview, Florida is remarkable for its interesting start. This post began in 1995 when a group of veterans first met by gathering in their pickup trucks. Since that humble beginning, this post has grown to include a meeting hall, restaurant, and full-service bar. This post is set apart by describing itself as the friendliest post in Florida.
10. VFW Post 5716
Shortly after the end of World War II, veterans Elroy Wilm and John Egofske—who had already been a part of the founding of the VFW Waukesha Post 721—set to work developing VFW Post 5716 in Berlin, WI. These men decided there should be a VFW post located in New Berlin, WI to serve the veterans who had come from there. In January 1946, Wilm and Egofske chartered this new post and named it in honor of three servicemen who had originated from New Berlin. This was the start of the Hoeppner-Horn Bros Post 5716.The post is now an active place where many charities, high school groups, and other groups meet and have events and meetings.
11. VFW Post 12024
The young, but active VFW Post 12024 in The Woodlands, TX was newly started in 2004. Although it is a newer post, this post has quickly become well established. This post has received many awards, such as the All-State Post, awarded six years in a row. They have also achieved All-American status several times. Another distinguishing characteristic that sets VFW Post 12024 apart is that it was the first to host a VFW motorcycle group.
12. VFW Post 10804
The VFW Post 10804 post in Little River, South Carolina, was founded in 1989 when a group of veterans began meeting at a nearby library and restaurant. Now it has its own building and over 500 members. Consistent with the VFW mission, this post is dedicated to helping veterans get access to adequate medical care.To stay engaged with its members, this post hosts events and recently started putting out a monthly newsletter, which is accessible online. This is a great resource for any VFW member.
13. VFW Post 1248
Active and friendly VFW Post 1248 in Two Rivers, Wisconsin identifies as an Eleven Gold Star post. They invite you to “party with the Vets” with dinners where they cook steak and roast pork as fundraisers, and they also host events such as car shows.
14. VFW Post 9785
Not all VFW posts are in places with mild weather and a sleepy atmosphere. VFW Post 9785 is located in the northern-most region of the United States, in Eagle River, Alaska. It is famous for being a checkpoint along the route of the annual Iditarod dogsled race that starts in Settler’s Bay and ends in Nome.
15. VFW Post 9399
Arizona is home to many desert warriors. This VFW Post 9399, led by Post Commander Chuck Williams, has historically done much to help military members and veterans. This post has worked to campaign for the 21st Century GI Bill, as well as helped raise funds for the Korean War, Vietnam War, Women in Service, and World War II memorials. This post has also helped to improve several VA hospitals for veterans. It is also known locally for their popular and fun bingo nights.
16. VFW Post 3917
The Cheyenne Mountain VFW Post 3917 near Colorado Springs, CO wants to assist veterans in the Colorado Springs and Fountain Valley area. They also hope to make their website a go-to resource for all veterans seeking assistance and information. In addition to working with veterans, this post has active Boy Scouts and youth assistance programs.
17. VFW Post 3830
The Hawaii-based VFW Post 3830 was founded in 1945 by veterans of World War II. They met in the Kamehameha Fortress for several years. In 1959, it moved to Hickam Air Force Base and, eventually, Pahoa. Today, VFW Post 3830 continues to help the local community. The community service projects include organizing a neighborhood watch, assisting distressed neighbors, and visiting the homes of disabled veterans.
18. VFW Post 12057
In addition to having locations in the continental U.S., overseas, and in the frigid frontier, VFW posts can also be found in the U.S. territories. One key example is VFW Post 12057, located in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico may be a U.S. territory, but many Puerto Ricans have bravely served with distinction in the U.S. Armed Forces. This post keeps its members updated on social media.
19. VFW Post 3150
As the closest post to the Arlington National Cemetery and other national monuments, the John Lyon VFW Post 3150, also known as “America’s Post,” is very active in veterans’ affairs in our nation’s capital. This post was founded in 1934 and, today, it is one of the most active and innovative posts. They host many weekly and monthly events for VFW members.
20. VFW Post 2460
One thing that is distinctive about the Chevy Chase VFW Post 2460 is its proximity to Washington D.C, in one of the posher suburbs. Nevertheless, this post is open to all Veterans of Foreign Wars, just like all the VFW posts.
21. VFW Post 247
The St. Mihiel VFW Post 247 is the oldest continuous VFW post in Nebraska, as well as one of the oldest in the entire nation. This post is prominent in the area. It also has a distinction of hosting many Mexican-American veterans. Because of this, the post does its best to honor the descendants of Mexican immigrants who have fought for the American people.
22. VFW Post 1943
Known as the Bear Flag Post, VFW Post 1943 is known for hosting some big events. Chief among these is the Annual All-American Badass Car Show. This event features hot cars, a Girl Scout Pancake breakfast, and more fun festivities. This post is also active with the Buddy Poppy program, which commemorates fallen soldiers with a wearable poppy, reflective of the famous poem, In Flanders Fields. This program also helps to provide on-call services for veterans in need of emotional and psychological support.
23. VFW Post 4761
VFW Post 4761 is also known as the Daniel “Chappie” James Post, named after the first African-American to attain the rank of 4-star general in the U.S. Army. This post makes special efforts to recognize their fallen comrades.
24. VFW Post 10147
Located in Florida, VFW Post 10147 does work overseas in Europe. This post is working to preserve U.S cemeteries located overseas. It represents a prime example of how American veterans have not only impacted the lives of Americans but Europeans as well.
25. VFW Post 67
VFW Post 67 is in Sacramento, CA. It is known as the Lt. Lansdale post, named after a 19th-century naval officer. It has just celebrated its 100th anniversary. This post enjoys not only supporting veterans but, also, celebrating its history and the history of the VFW.
You now know a lot more about the Veterans of Foreign Wars posts located in this country and abroad. You may want to visit or support this organization and its many special posts. For those who cannot visit, you can always honor veterans in your own way through donations to the VFW or simply by displaying a Support Our Troops flag outside your home.