The Veterans of Foreign War is one of the largest veterans organizations in the U.S. Three organizations combined in 1913 to form the VFW, headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.
The VFW has about 2,100,000 members at present time with 9,900 VFW posts throughout the United States.
Any honorably discharged veteran who fought in any foreign military campaign, any veteran of World War 1 or 2, Korea, Vietnam, and later are eligible to become a member, if they have a medal or a service ribbon issued to them by the government for their service.
In 1978, the VFW started admitting women who have served during a conflict.
The Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, is devoted to community service and patriots, assists with yearly Buddy Poppy sales and helps support the VFW National Home.
Any woman who has a close relative who is eligible to join the VFW may join through him/her (even though that relative has not joined the VFW) subject to the By Laws of the Ladies Auxiliary.
The Ladies Auxiliary has about 750,000 members in 6,800 posts.
The VFW came into being shortly after the close of the Spanish American War. In 1899, when three overseas veterans organization merged into one as Veterans of Foreign Wars. They received a congressional charter in 1936.
Here in Jackson, the VFW provide for youth programs, bicycle safety (Light a Bike Week), and sports. The Auxiliary supports the national home in Eaton Rapids, Michigan by buying school supplies for fifty children at the home. Buddy Poppy Days mark our annual fund raising event. Benefits go to the post, the auxiliary, and the disabled veterans who are employed in making the poppies. There is a waiting list for the poppies.
The Auxiliary and Post members have a stand in "October Days" at Pioneer Orchard. They also conduct numerous raffles. The men hold a Veterans Day Breakfast on Veterans Day and put out flags (112 at last count) at the Brookside Memorial to Veterans of All Wars ten times during the year, taking care to remove and store the flags.
The Post helps the Auxiliary decorate the three wings of the Missouri Veterans Home on major holidays (four times a year). Donations, such as the book "The VFW The First Century" and a flag pole, were made to Riverside Regional Library.
The VFW conducts a "Voice of Democracy" essay contest for local high school students. (In 1999, our district's contestant won second in the nation, and in 2000, our contestant won a full four year scholarship to Harvard. Both contestants are from Oran, Missouri.)
Four times a year, the VFW scours the Fruitland I-55 exchange for trash and debris.
Members have been asked to speak to students in the Junior High History classes about experience in service.
The Post and Auxiliary work together to maintain the Brookside Park Sunken Garden.
And in many other untold ways, the VFW Post 10495 and its Ladies Auxiliary touch many aspects of the Jackson community and citizens.