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The Mission Of The Veterans of Foreign Wars

The mission of the Veterans of Foreign Wars is to foster patriotism, to cultivate comradeship, to perpetuate the memory and history of our dead, to assist comrades, to help their widows and orphans, to maintain true allegiance to the government of the United States of America, to its Constitution and laws, to advocate true patriotism, and to preserve and defend the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

The membership of the VFW is comprised of men and women who have served their country honorably in overseas engagements for which a campaign badge or medal has been authorized by the U.S. Government.

The American Veterans of Foreign Service was formed in Columbus Ohio on September 29, 1899. Also in 1899, an organization which called itself "the Colorado Society, Army of the Philippines" was founded. During 1901-1902, three other veterans' groups were founded. in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Altoona, Pa.

These three merged in 1903 and also took the name of the American Veterans of Foreign Service although there was no formal connection between them and the Ohio organization. In 1905, a connection was made when the Ohio and Pennsylvania organizations met in Altoona and drew up an agreement of merger. In time these organizations realized that in order to be more effective, it would be in their best interest to merge into one organization.

The year was 1913 and the three organizations agreed to hold their National Convention together in Denver, Colorado. The merger took place and the organization was named Army of the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. This name was formally changed to Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States at the 1914 National Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In today's VFW, approximately 10,000 Posts comprise 55 Departments in 50 States plus Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Panama, the Pacific Areas, Europe, and Washington D.C.

National Conventions are held each year in the month of August in one of the major U.S. cities. The location is rotated geographically so members in all parts of the country may participate. the National officers are elected and policy for the entire organization is written by the adoption of resolutions.