Honoring a special group of vets: VFW [classic article]

As first seen in GI Money magazine

Imagine fighting enemy combatants on foreign soil, putting your life on the line – to mostly help another country. Unfamiliar territory, strange languages, food and customs . . . these are all part of the package for our soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines serving in wars overseas. When they return home, there’s an important organization waiting to lobby for them, provide assistance and camaraderie: the VFW.

The VFW prides itself in all of its members being considered “elite”. Their service to our country under difficult circumstances is all the qualification a vet needs to join. If you have received a campaign medal for overseas service; have served 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days in Korea; or have ever received hostile fire or imminent danger pay, then you’re eligible. They consider themselves an organization of “veterans helping veterans”. Their service priorities include unemployed and homeless vets.

Relatives of VFW eligible vets can join the men’s and ladies’ auxiliaries.

The many benefits of joining the VFW include:

  • As a vet, there are many federal benefits that you may be eligible for, including many you may not be aware of. The VFW has service officers to counsel you and help you cut bureaucratic red tape.
  • The VFW Unmet Needs program provides a lifeline for service members who run into unexpected financial difficulties as a result of deployments or other military related hardships. Those who’ve been active duty within the past 36 months could qualify. By providing urgent grants to military families, VFW Unmet Needs is able to see that military families are able to cope during an already emotionally strenuous time.
  • A terrific array of discounts, such as:

 

SAT/ACT COLLEGE TEST PREPARATION

TRAVEL SERVICES

FINANCIAL SERVICES

COMPUTERS

REAL ESTATE AND MORTGAGE SERVICES

VFW SPONSORED INSURANCE PROGRAMS

HEALTH, VISION AND HEARING

FUNERAL PROGRAM

CREMATION SOCIETY

IDENTITY THEFT PROTECTION

HAIRCUTS

VETERAN EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE

VFW HONOR ROLL AND LIFELONG MEMORIES

PRESCRIPTION DISCOUNT CARD

VFW posts across the nation serve as an important gathering and social point for vets and in some cases, the rest of the community for events. A member of the GI Money family is a lifetime member of the VFW, following two tours as a Marine in Vietnam. So, we were recently honored to be invited as his guests to visit the Wells McComas VFW post in Edgemere, Maryland. The spacious social hall has rooms that vets can rent for their important occasions, such as weddings, reunions, post-funeral gatherings, etc. The post’s drinks and food are cheap, too: vets and their guests can get snacks for as low as a dollar, with a whole pizza costing less than $6. It’s not fancy – rail brands and hot dogs predominate – but the price is right.

They have all kinds of game room type toys for grownups at the McComas post: pool tables, video games of chance, darts, “feather” bowling, raffles and more. Friday night karaoke really brings out the crowds! Other special events include bingo nights, shrimp feasts, bull and oyster roasts and even a young handicapped adults Spring Dance.

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