One of the many organizations I belong to is the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). I qualify because of the two tours of duty I spent in the Republic of Korea (ROK) - South Korea. Most of my VFW experience is with my local post and it’s been an exhilarating experience being around and associated with the many veterans in this group. BUT there are some unfortunate aspects of being a member of this group in that there has to be a war - or occupation - outside the US in order to qualify to join. Ironically many of the members in the group are WWII veterans followed by Korea and of course Viet Nam. Another sad irony is that as these veterans age and pass away we need the newer veterans from wars such as Iraq and Afghanistan to join and help keep the organization viable. The VFW exists to help veterans and their families and while we’d like nothing more than to see the need for this type of effort to fade away, we know that wars will continue to occur and veterans and their families will continue to be in need.
I’m also a member of the American Legion. So what’s the difference? Well, as stated earlier, the VFW represents veterans of foreign wars but the American Legion is open to all members of the military and of course there are the auxiliaries for the spouses of these veterans.
All these organizations provide much needed services and friendship for the military, our veterans and their families. So, as Memorial Day approaches please take a moment and visit the following links and see what opportunities exist to help and support our military and our veterans. The opportunities range from attending events open to the public that are fund raisers to donating blood at drives designated to helping the VA Hospitals and active duty military personnel.
I can’t think of a better memorial to these folks than to support these organizations not only on Memorial Day but each and every day. So, thank a veteran and their family for their sacrifices that have given us all the freedom we live with each day.
Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) - www.vfw.org
American Legion - www.legion.org
Operation Support Our Troops (OSOT) - www.operation-support-our-troops.org
United Service Organizations (USO) - www.uso.org
See you there.