Comments from Middlefield Mayor Ben Garlich

I want to thank VFW Post 9678, Commander Jeff Gardner and all who attended our annual Memorial Day ceremonies. It is such an important day to acknowledge those who sacrificed all for our freedom. Prior to the parade, I was notified that some of the veterans would be meeting us at the cemetery as the walk for them was challenging. I mentioned to Commander Gardner after the ceremony, I wonder who is going to back fill these responsibilities as we all continue to get older? He said he wondered about that as well, people with young families find it difficult to provide time outside their current daily responsibilities. I see this issue in numerous civic groups and wonder who will continue the important traditions. I think we all need to think of how we can contribute and give back to maintain traditions and support causes that provide value to society.

From Middlefield Post Newspaper June 6, 2017

Who’s on first?

Gulf War-era veterans now account for the largest share of all U.S. veterans

Home Delivered Meals Donation

VFW 9678 donates to Geauga Home Delivered Meals

Become a Middlefield VFW Post Member

Middlefield VFW Post 9678 Commander Jeff Gardner encourages any veteran, veterans’ families, or those who want to support our veterans to join a Veterans of Foreign Wars Club.

All Veterans eat free…

VFW Post 9678 is paying for veterans to eat free No proof of service required… just say that you are a you are a veteran at check in.

Legion + VFW = Buckeye Boys State

This year the VFW and American Legion joined together to send Jake Chilson from Cardinal High School to Buckeye Boys State.

Congratulations ladies!

Congratulations to CHS junior Hanna T., and 2017 graduates, Shelby Miller, Erin Ross, and Julia McIntosh on receiving scholarships from Middlefield VFW Post 9678 for their participation in the Voice of Democracy essay contest.

Middlefield VFW Wants You

Calling all service members in the NE Ohio communities of Middlefield, Parkman, and Huntsburg who want to enjoy the privileges of the VFW, a non-profit service organization for USA military veterans. The mission of the VFW is “to foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts; To serve our veterans, the military and our communities; To advocate on behalf of all veterans”.

Iraq War Veterans: Recalling Their Roles

This article is featured in the March 2018 issue ofVFW magazineand was written byKari Williams, associate editor, VFW magazine. USCG photo by PA1 Tom Sperduto.

Fifteen years ago this month, U.S. troops launched Operation Iraqi Freedom.

VFW magazine spoke with the organization's members who served during the war's opening phases. Older and 15 years wiser, they provide some perspective on their service, their shared sacrifices and their feelings about how the war ended.


Taking Posts to the Next Level

Last year, two VFW Posts ushered in a new era. One elected its first female commander and the other elected its first black female commander. Both women hope to increase their Post's involvement in their communities.

VFW Post 9931 Commander Kimberly Napoleon said she initially didn't understand "what the impact would be" or how she would be received by her fellow Post members. However, she added that she was honored to be elected commander of the Bridgeport, Mich., Post last July.

"Our Post is predominantly all men, and to have them have enough confidence in me to take us to another level, that meant a lot," said Napoleon, who served in the Persian Gulf in 1990 as a local purchase agent with the 364th Supply and Service Company.

A "community servant by nature," Napoleon said her goal as commander is to bring more awareness of VFW to the community.

"I believe in patriotism," Napoleon said. "I also believe in giving recognition to those to whom it's due, such as our veterans."

Specifically, her ...

VFW and SVA Announce 2017 Student Veteran Fellowship Class

WASHINGTON - Ten Student Veterans of America (SVA) leaders have been selected to join more than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. when they converge on Capitol Hill, Feb. 26 to March 2, to advocate on behalf of all veterans, service members and their families. The fellowship selections were announced this afternoon at SVA's 9th National Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

"Through our fellowship program, the VFW and SVA seek to work with exemplary student veterans to hone their unique skills as advocates on campus, in the community, and on the national stage," said VFW National Commander Brian Duffy. "The VFW sees this fellowship as yet another way of supporting our shared mission with SVA to transform today's scholars into tomorrow's leaders."

The VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship is a semester-long academic experience that involves research, action, reporting and advocating on behalf of one of four veterans...

VFW to Deliver Veterans' Voice to Congress

WASHINGTON - More than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. are arriving in the nation's capital this weekend to urge their members of Congress to continue transforming the Department of Veterans Affairs so that it can more efficiently and effectively serve America's veterans.

"The VFW is fully committed to working with Congress and the VA to change the way the department delivers health care, to include finding the best way to leverage what the VA provides with what public or private practitioners out in the community can offer, with the end goal being the delivery of the highest quality integrated care so that no veterans are ever stranded in line again," said VFW National Commander Brian Duffy.

The VFW national commander is scheduled to present his organization's legislative positions at 2 p.m., Wednesday, in testimony before a joint hearing of the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees in room G-50 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Along with f...

VFW Launches Mobile App for 2017 Legislative Conference

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - With its 2017 Legislative Conference only weeks away, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. has designed a new mobile event app to give attendees the tools needed to make the most of their visit to the nation's capital. As the official guide to the 2017 VFW Legislative Conference, the VFW DC 2017 mobile app is available for download now at both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.Legislative Conference Mobile Event AppVFW to Take Veterans Voice to Capitol Hill

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Next weekend, more than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., the nation's largest and oldest war veterans' organization begin rallying in Washington, D.C., to voice the concerns of veterans directly with the nation's lawmakers during the 2017 VFW Legislative Conference, Feb. 26 - March 2.

The annual conference strengthens the VFW's advocacy efforts on behalf of America's veterans, service members and their families, as VFW members meet with elected representatives in the House and Senate to discuss the VFW's stance on a number of high priority veterans' issues.

The 2017 VFW Legislative Conference culminates on March 1, as VFW National Commander Brian Duffy testifies before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans Aff...

Application Period for The Home Depot 2018 Community Impact Grant is Now Open

The Home Depot has started accepting applications for their 2018 Community Impact Grant.VFW members can receive up to $5,000 to fund repairs or construction projects at their Post building.

While there are no guarantees to being funded, several VFW Posts have been awarded this grant in the past.

Applications are only accepted through Home Depot'sonline form. Telephone calls, emails or written submissions sent to Home Depot will NOT be accepted, nor will you be able to turn this application in at your local Home Depot store.

Applicants should expect a decision by email within six weeks of submission. Grants are awar...

VFW Announces Top Youth Scholarship Winners

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliary proudly announced the national winners of its annual Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen youth scholarship competitions, live during last night's 2017 VFW Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

Photo Caption: (Left) VFW National Commander Brian Duffy and VFW Auxiliary President Colette Bishop present Savannah Wittman with her $30,000 award; (right) VFW National Commander Brian Duffy and VFW Auxiliary President Colette Bishop present Lindi Compton with her $5,000 award.
2017 VOD PP WinnersVFW Testifies: Congress Must End Sequestration!

WASHINGTON- This afternoon, before a joint hearing of the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs Committees, Brian Duffy, national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. delivered testimony focused on fixing the VA and ending sequestration.

"Let me be perfectly clear: Congress must end sequestration!" he told the committee members in attendance." He explained that despite ongoing conflicts and the rise in new threats since the 112th Congress created sequestration in 2011, America's service members continue to operate under a budget ax which has adverse effects on how successfully they're able to defend our nation, as well as quality of life programs.2017 Duffy Congressional TestimonyVFW to Congress: 'Repeal Sequestration Once and for All'

WASHINGTON - This morning, before a joint hearing of the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs Committees, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. delivered testimony focused on ending sequestration and improving the care, services and programs provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"The VFW is pleased Congress recently passed a bipartisan budget agreement to alleviate the sequester's impact on our military and veterans, but you only delayed its return by two years," VFW National Commander Keith Harman told members of the committees. "Our service members, veterans and their families are counting on you to repeal sequestration once and for all!"

Harman commended the committee members in attendance for making some VFW-proposed changes to the Choice Program that have improved access to care, but reminded them the Choice Program is merely a stopgap, and must be replaced with a permanent and improved program that would:

  • Ensure timely access to high quality care;
  • Consol...

VFW to Deliver Veterans Voice to Congress

WASHINGTON - More than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliary are arriving in the nation's capital this weekend to urge their respective members of Congress to end sequestration and to continue improving the programs and services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"The VFW is appreciative of the two-year budget agreement because it will bring temporary funding stability to the Defense Department," said VFW National Keith Harman, "but a two-year agreement doesn't end the continued threat of sequestration on a military that is still at war with an all-volunteer force that is fighting with less training and overused equipment," he said. "Sequestration has been the law of the land for seven years, so service members, veterans, their families and the VFW are counting on the newly-established super committee on budget and appropr...

VFW to Discuss Veterans' Issues With Congress

WASHINGTON - More than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. will take to the nation's capital the first week of March to advocate on behalf of America's nearly 25 million veterans and military service members, as well as their families and survivors.

VFW members meet regularly with their elected officials in their home offices and on Capitol Hill to enlist their support in bringing the VFW's legislative Priority Goals to fruition. Highlighting this year's conference will be VFW National Commander Keith Harman's testimony before a special joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees, the presentation of the VFW Congressional Award to Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), and the Voice of Democ...

VFW and SVA Announce 2018 Student Veteran Fellowship Class

WASHINGTON - Ten Student Veterans of America (SVA) leaders have been selected to join more than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW) when they converge on Capitol Hill, March 4 to 7, to advocate on behalf of all veterans, service members and their families. The fellowship selections were announced during SVA's 10th National Conference in San Antonio.

"Through our fellowship program, the VFW and SVA seek to work with exemplary student veterans to hone their unique skills as advocates on campus, in the community, and on the national stage," said VFW National Commander Keith Harman. "The VFW sees this fellowship as yet another way of supporting our shared mission with SVA to empower future leaders."

The VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship is a semester-long academic experience that involves research, action, reporting and advocating on behalf of one of four veterans' policy areas: Success in higher education; transitioning from military to civilian life; succeeding in th...

VFW Announces 2013-2014 National Youth Scholarship Contest Winners

The winners of the VFW and Ladies Auxiliary sponsored Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition and the Patriot's Pen essay competition were announced yesterday during the 2014 VFW Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

The Voice of Democracy program celebrated its 67th year with this year's theme, "Why I'm Optimistic About Our Nation's Future." The first-place winner, Madison Haley, sponsored by VFW Post 777 and Ladies Auxiliary in Mount Pulaski, Ill., received an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where she was presented with the T.C. Selman Memorial Scholarship Award in the amount of $30,000. The second-place winner, Grace Speas, sponsored by VFW Post 10097 and Ladies Auxiliary in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., received the $16,000 Charles Kuralt Memorial Scholarship Award. The third-place winner, Luke Ball, sponsored by VFW Post 2573 and Ladies Auxiliary in Wilmington, N.C., received the $10,000 VFW Scholarship Award. All other state winners received at least a $1,000 college scholarship. More than 40,000 students ...

VFW Continues Support of Bataan Memorial Death March

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to announce that for the eighth-consecutive year, it will be a presenting sponsor for the 29th annual Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.

The memorial march is a challenging, full-marathon expedition through 26.2 miles of high desert terrain, conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health, and in many cases, their very lives.

Held annually since 1989, the March 25 event is anticipated to be the biggest event to date, with nearly 8,400 military and civilians participating individually or as teams.

"The VFW is honored to help ensure the sacrifices and stories of U.S. and Filipino soldiers who endured and perished during the Bataan Death March are never forgotten," said VFW National Commander Keith Harman. "For nearly 119 years, the VFW has been dedicated to honoring and pr...

VFW Unmet Needs Grant Is Not a Hand Out, It Is a Hand Up

Michael R. Aaron of Lebanon, Ore., joined the United States Marine Corps during his senior year of high school after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Aaron served as a Machine Gunner in the Marines for over five years.

During his years of service, Aaron faced many physical and mental health challenges. While stationed in Iraq, he broke his wrist and suffered a burst fracture in his spine.

The horrific experiences of war followed Aaron home from Iraq and Afghanistan in the form of a Traumatic Brain Injury, Tinnitus and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS). He jumped from job to job, searching for a greater purpose, but nothing seemed to help.

Aaron felt like he was drowning under the weight of the PTS, and with the devastating news of the suicides of several of his brothers he served with, he could no longer stay afloat.

His mental health continued to decline. The strain on his wife, Whitney, and his two children, Henry and Laura, was immense and finally prompted Aaron to seek help.

Aaron sought treatment at...

VFW Names Youth Scholarship Winners

WASHINGTON- The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to announce the national winners of its 2017-18 Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen youth scholarship competitions. The winners were announced live during last night's Parade of Winners at the 2018 VFW Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

The Voice of Democracy audio-essay program celebrated its 71st year with nearly 40,000 students weighing in on this year's theme, "American History: Our Hope for the Future." Robyn Anzulis, sponsored by VFW Post 10076 and its Auxiliary in Mt. Airy, Md., received an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where she was presented with the $30,000 T.C. Selman Memorial Scholarship award and delivered her first-place essay.

The second-place winner, Philip Dunagan, sponsored by VFW Post 2471 and its Auxiliary in The Dalles, Ore., was awarded the $16,000 Charles Kuralt Memorial Scholarship. Th...

From Struggling to Finding Strength

At PatientsLikeMe, a member of the VFW's Mental Wellness Campaign, we've been shining a spotlight on voices in the veteran community. We've heard from a military caregiverbattling caregiver fatigue, a lung cancer survivorcelebrating a year cancer free, and a veterans advocatewho shared how he stays calm with embroidery.

Today, we'd like to introduce Lynn, an Iraq war veteran living with PTSD and depression. Lynn shared about how he went from struggling daily to crossing the finish line of the Bataan Death March, a 26-mile trek through high desert terrain.


Unmet Needs Grant 'Cleared the Fog' for Veteran on the Brink of Eviction

Torrey Wingate of Rochester, N.Y., joined the United States armed forces after she met an Army recruiter who inspired her to become more. Wingate was first stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash., and went on to serve at Fort Myer, Va. During her time at Fort Myer, Wingate injured her back and knees.

She thrived in the structured routine of her military life, and missed this steadiness and stability when it came time to transition to civilian life. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder made the transition even more challenging. The fear and anxiety she felt took a great toll on her mental health.

Securing a job and leaning on her support system of husband, Todd, and their five children (ranging from 5 to 28 years old) helped smooth her transition.

Her progress came to a sudden halt when her family moved from upstate New York to North Carolina. With the increased cost-of-living and Wingate unable to find a job, they went from a "two-income household to a fraction of one."

She was devastated to see her dreams crumble as ...

Leading Veterans Groups Commend President's VA Budget Submission

WASHINGTON - The nation's top three veterans service organizations have released their latest edition of The Independent Budgetto coincide with the Administration's fiscal year 2019 budget recommendation for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

For more than 30 years, the three Independent Budget co-authors - DAV (Disabled American Veterans), Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans), and the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States) - have presented budget and policy recommendations to Congress and the Administration. These recommendations - which are supported by 27 other health, family, military, and veteran service organizations - are meant to inform lawmakers of the needs of all veterans, and to offer substantive solutions to address the many health care and benefits challenges they face. This independently-developed budget serves as the veterans groups' benchmark for properly fu...

VFW Applauds Two-Year Budget Deal

WASHINGTON - Early this morning Congress voted to keep the government open for six more weeks as it works out a two-year budget deal that increases sequestration-levied spending caps for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. The good news is the two-year budget deal should provide the Department of Defense the predictable funding it needs to improve readiness, and build a larger, more capable and lethal force. But the deal does not eliminate sequestration.

"Reducing the impact of sequestration by raising spending caps is a step in the right direction," said Keith Harman, national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, "but the deal doesn't eliminate the sequester, which will still be the law after the two-year deal expires."

This morning's action raises spending caps by nearly $300 billion for both defense and non-defense spending for FYs 2018 and 2019. The VFW believes that the funding increase will protect military quality of life programs, the promised 2.4 percent pay raise, and oth...

Humana and VFW Enhance Efforts to Drive Optimal Health for Veterans

LOUISVILLE, Ky. and KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), one of the nation's leading health and well-being companies, through the Humana MarketPoint organization, has enhanced its exclusive agreement with the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW), the nation's largest organization of war veterans and the oldest major veterans' organization in the U.S[1]. As part of this expanded relationship, Humana is the national Medicare Advantage (MA), Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) and Medicare Supplement plans carrier for the VFW with exclusive marketing and promotional rights to the VFW.

The 750,000+ members of the VFW, and their spouses, who are eligible, or approaching eligibility, for Medicare, will get seamless education, guidance and access to these plans.


Four Purple Heart Vets Hunt on the Great Plains

Hunting, much like war, forms a bond between people of different backgrounds. This holds true for the disabled veterans who participated in this year's 35th annual VFW magazine - and Doonan Gulch Outfitters - sponsored antelope hunt. Four Vietnam War veterans participated in hunting antelope, sightseeing and conversations.

Located 25 miles west of Broadus, Mont., Doonan Gulch Outfitters is owned and operated by Russ and Carol Greenwood. Russ Greenwood said Carol and he started hosting the annual hunt in 1982 because they didn't like the way Vietnam War veterans were treated when they came home.

Russ Greenwood also has a personal connection to Vietnam War veterans. His twin brother - Roger, a member of VFW Post 987 in Black River Falls, Wisc. - flew helicopters during the war. The Greenwoods started hosting disabled veterans 20 years ago. Since then, Doonan Gulch Outfitters has hosted veterans of every generation since the Vietnam War.

We didn't dwell on the war'
George Stavropoul...

Airman Pursues Passion for IT

Nathaniel Juarez, 27, of Greensboro, N.C., was recently awarded the VFW's "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship." The funds will help pay his tuition as Juarez works toward his Doctorate in Information Technology.

After enlisting and completing basic training at the age of 17, Juarez served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Kuwait and Qatar. He worked in both Special Forces Communications and Base Communications. Soldier Pursues IT

His passion for technology and communication led him to the Information Technology field, and inspired his decision to pursue a degree in Intelligence Studies.

"Information Tec...

VFW Awards Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship to Big-Hearted Veteran

Marine veteran Jordan Soderman wears many hats. Everyday he is a full-time firefighter for the city of Minneapolis, Minn., father to 7-year-old Hunter and 5-year-old Caleb, husband to wife Jessica, Staff Sergeant in the Air Force Reserves and master's student in Emergency Management. It's a lot of responsibility and he takes great pride and care in each role.

Soderman was extremely grateful to be a recipient of the VFW's "Sport Clips Help a Hero Scholarship," especially because his family depends on his salary for a living.

Soderman grew up in the rural Midwest on his family's farm. He joined the Marines in 2006, right out of high school. He felt called to enlist because his parents taught him how much respect service members deserve, even though they were civilians themselves.

"The military was on a pedestal to me, and I wanted to give back to my country and travel outside my small town."

Soderman was deployed three times between 2007-2010. During the first two deployments, he was assigned to a Fleet An...

Afghanistan Veteran Sets Stage for Comedy Shows

Comedy is not a cure for the mental wounds service members receive overseas. But for Patrick Donohue, it plays an important role.

The Afghanistan War veteran said there are "no words to describe the internal happiness" he feels because of his nonprofit Project9Line, which hosts a comedy workshop for veterans.

Donohue said though it's not the only activity that has helped him personally,
comedy has made a difference with approaching others and speaking publicly.

"[I'm able to] share my experiences just so much better now," Donohue said. "It's like night and day."

Donohue, a member of VFW Post 433 in Sayville, N.Y., started Project9Line in late 2013-early 2014 to help veterans. Donohue served in Kandahar, Afghanistan, with the 2nd Bde., 101st Abn. Div., as a water-treatment specialist from 2010 to 2011, and said he was diagnosed with PTSD while on active duty.

"When I returned home from overseas, I had a r...

VFW Disaster Assistance Tops $680,000

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to announce that its VFW Unmet Needs program provided a total of $684,000 in disaster assistance grants to help more than 2,050 military and veteran families recover from last year's string of natural disasters.

The relief funds aided more than 1,063 families after Hurricane Harvey, 925 families after Hurricanes Maria and Irma, and more than 40 families after the California wildfires.

In addition to the monetary support provided by the VFW national organization, many local VFW members quickly joined relief efforts in their own devastated communities. When members of VFW Post 4709 in Conroe, Texas, discovered their Red Cross couldn't reach several emergency shelters, they prepared and shipped out three meals a day for nearly 2,000 people.

Shortly after Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico, VFW Post 754 Commander Gamalier Rosa departed his hometown of Shutesbury, Mass., for the storm-stricken island armed with Unmet Needs...

'Defiance and Unity'

Hurricane Harvey caused the windows of VFW Post 3904 in Rockport, Texas, to blow in. Air pressure forced the roof off the building, and it landed in three neighboring yards. Part of the front wall also fell in.

But days later, Post members held a meeting in the parking lot, amid the destruction.

"It was a complete act of defiance and unity," said Post Commander Jimmy McCombs. "It was our way of saying Harvey can kiss our - you know."

Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall Aug. 25, was the first major hurricane to hit the Texas coast since Celia in 1970, according to the National Weather Service.

McCombs, who served three tours (1983, 1992 and 1996) in the Persian Gulf and during Operation Desert Storm with the Navy, said as soon as word spread about the damage to Post 3904, he started receiving calls. Messages arrived from as far as Boston, Mass., and Tacoma, Wash., along with various Texas Posts. As of September, the Post had received about $4,500, according to McCombs.

As the Post awaits word fro...

UPDATE: Federal Government Shutdown

The website has been updated to include the latest information about beneficiaries' access to health care services. The page has the following text, as well as additional details about impacts of government shutdown on MHS beneficiary services. Individuals can sign up to receive email alerts regarding any impacts to their TRICARE benefit during the shutdown. Please up-to-date information.

The Military Health System will continue to provide health care to its beneficiaries during a government shutdown. While we can't predict the exact consequences of a shutdown on every part of our MHS, we may see some impacts on the delivery of health care services within our military hospitals and clinics.

Inpatient, acute and emergency outpatient care in our medical and dental facilities will continue, as will private sector c...

Marine Veteran Continues Recovery with Help from Unmet Needs

Terry Snelling, age 34, of Gravette, Ark., was awarded a VFW Unmet Needs grant for his mortgage payment after a devastating medical condition threatened his ability to work.

Snelling served for 16 years in the Marines as an aircraft mechanic, deploying to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait. After retiring early and returning home to wife, Jennie and their three children, Cody, Dustin and Alexa, the unthinkable happened.

Snelling suffered a stroke last November, and as a result lost the use of his left arm and leg. Though currently in rehab, he is still struggling with regaining fine motor skills.

The retirement money Snelling had from the Marine Corps wasn't enough, and he and his family began to worry about the future. "I had been looking for work but have been having a hard time finding anything, since I couldn't draw on my experience as an aircraft mechanic without full use of my left hand," he said.

Snelling is currently in school for mechanical engineering through the VA's Vocational Rehabilitation and E...

VFW Joins with Veteran-Founded to Simplify Members Online Experience

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is pleased to announce it has teamed up with to provide its members with a more streamlined and secure online experience. The VFW is the first major veterans service organization to use as a single-sign on for its digital platforms.

VFW members can now sign up for an online account with, creating a single username and password to log in to the VFW Online Membership System, access VA benefits on, and gain immediate access to military discounts from 200+ retailers.

VFW-Sport Clips Scholarship Program Tops $4 Million!

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to announce that its VFW's "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" program has now awarded more than $4.1 million in scholarships to 943 military and student veterans. The latest award of more than $550,000 will now enable 118 student veterans to continue their higher education classes this spring semester.

"The VFW was instrumental in the passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the new Forever GI Bill, but those beefed-up educational assistance programs still can't cover the full cost for certain curriculums," said VFW National Commander Keith Harman. "Through the generosity of Sport Clips and its founder, VFW Life member Gordon Logan, we were able to c...

VFW Claims Director Shows Passion for Mental Health Awareness

Jon Gohn, 39, of Lakeville, Minn., serves as a Staff Sergeant with the South Dakota Army National Guard. Since enlisting in February of 2000, Gohn has deployed to Iraq and Kuwait. His work now focuses on training soldiers in the Army Basic Instructor Course, the Army Small Group Instructor Training Course and certification and non-commissioned officer training for 13M Multiple Launch Rocket Systems.

Gohn said, "I first wanted to join the military because I wasn't living a lifestyle that was conducive to self-improvement.

"I walked into the National Guard Office in Aberdeen, S.D. and told the recruiting officer, I need to give back and stop taking advantage of my freedoms.'"

Since then he has strived to model the core values he learned in the military.

"The National Guard has given back to me everything and more than I have put into it," Gohn expressed. "If I wasn't a veteran, I wouldn't have the career I have today.

"And I personally believe there's no better job out there."

Gohn also work...

VFW Advocacy Helps Lower New TRICARE Program Costs

WASHINGTON - The Defense Health Agency (DHA) this week lowered co-payments on its new TRICARE Select health benefit plan thanks entirely to the advocacy efforts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and other veteran, military and family service organizations.

The fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) directed an extensive overhaul of the military's health benefit program, effective Jan. 1, 2018, that principally merged TRICARE Standard and Extra into a new TRICARE Select category, and created two new beneficiary groups: Group A, individuals who served prior to Jan. 1, 2018; and Group B, individuals who began their military service after that date.

Group B co-payments were outlined in the NDAA, but DHA calculated new Group A co-pays based on past costs, instead of adopting the percent-of-services-used model employed by the former TRICARE Standard and Extra plans. This caused great concern in the military and veteran communities, because the flat-rate syst...

Why Social Media Matters

Regardless of where you are in your transition from a military to civilian career, you've likely heard the advice to build a presence on social media. Maybe, as you heard this advice, you thought:

Social media is for young people to chat and "meetup."
I've missed the boat on building an online presence. It's too late for me.
I'm afraid to give out my personal information to just anyone!
I don't know where to start

Social Media Today

When social media first came on the scene, it was mostly filled with young people sharing pictures, thoughts and opinions of their lives and surroundings. Job seekers also used social media to learn about companies who were hiring and how to apply.

For student veterans, social media can produce thoughtful content, intere...

VFW Announces Annual Publications Contest

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is now accepting submissions for its 2018 National Publications Contest. VFW publications published up to four times annually, or five or more times annually, will be judged in four categories.

The categories are:

Department-level publications:

  • Newspaper/Newsletter
    • Defined as being printed on newspaper stock.
  • Best Feature Story
    • All publications judged together in this category and submitted separately. The story must be a published article of at least 300 words. It can be originally written by your newspaper/magazine staff or by a freelance writer, or be reprinted from a newspaper within your state.
  • Magazine

Annual VFW Youth Scholarship Competitions Now Open

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is now accepting entries into its 2017-18 Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen youth scholarship competitions. The announcement comes after students from across the globe recently took home their share of more than $3.3 million in scholarships and awards from last year's competitions.

The VFW's Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen essay competitions are dedicated to encouraging a better understanding and appreciation of America, and to help foster patriotism among today's youth. Students are required to submit an oral or written essay in response to a question or statement on a subject which prompts them to consider how American history and democratic ideals and principles apply to their lives.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

One in five Americans experience some form of mental illness each year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. This includes the nation's veterans.

To this end, the Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes May as Mental Health Awareness Month.Mental Health Awareness

According to Dr. Wendy Tenhula, VA Deputy Chief Consultant for Specialty Mental Health, the theme of the month is Use Your Voice (#useyourvoice).

Tenhula said the goal is to encourage everyone to start a conversation abo...

VFW Posts Again Support 'Salute Our Troops'

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and Tractor Supply Company (TSC) are teaming up for the fifth consecutive year to make this year's Memorial Day weekend a community event across the nation!2017 Salute our Troops

On May 27, TSC, the largest farm and ranch store chain in the United States, is offering local VFW Posts the opportunity to distribute "Buddy" Poppies and program information ranging from service officer claims assistance to scholarships and financial assistance grants. Many Posts will also have cookouts.

Encourage your Post to join in and Yuengling's Lagers for Heroes Campaign to Support VFW

Pottsville, Pa. - D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. is pleased to announce it will enter its second year of support of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. through its "Lagers For Heroes" campaign.

D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. will recognize the sacrifices that America's veterans have made with a significant donation to the Veterans of Foreign Wars' assistance programs in the amount of $100,000. Yuengling, America's Oldest Brewery began supporting the VFW through their "Lagers For Heroes" program in 2016. This year's program runs May 29 to July 4, 2017 and promotes Yuengling Traditional Lager and Light Lager with the line "Grab A Lager & Toast A Hero."Yuengling Lagers for HeroesFormer Marine Linguist Pursues Educational Goals

"As a Marine, I learned how to adapt to uncertainty and persevere in difficult circumstances. I conducted regional threat analysis and worked closely with diplomatic and military leaders across the world."Former Marine Pursues Goals

Robert Dahlhausen, 27, of Cincinnati, Ohio, served five years as a Corporal in the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. After studying Arabic at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., Dahlhausen deployed as a Linguist. He worked in countries across the Mediterranean, including Morocco, Jordan, Bahrain, and Kuwait.

"I worked with almost every unit we had, including our infantry, intel, combat journalists, and logisti...

VA, VFW and Walgreens Collaborate to Enhance Veterans Access to Mental Health Resources

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Veterans of Foreign Wars and drugstore chain Walgreens announced a collaborative agreement May 6, which will help improve mental health care for veterans through enhanced education, access to resources and outreach.

Celebrating a collaborative agreement of their three organizations to help improve mental health care for veterans are, from left, VFW National Commander Brian Duffy, Walgreens Medical Director for Clinical Programs and Quality Dr. Chet Robson, and VA Executive Director for the Office of Suicide Prevention Dr. Caitlin Thompson.
VA VFW WalgreensVFW Auxiliary Announces 2017 Continuing Education Scholarship Winners

Kansas City, Mo. -The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) Auxiliary is pleased to announce the winners of its annual Continuing Education Scholarship contest. Four $1,000 scholarships were awarded, one in each of the four Auxiliary Conferences.VFW Auxiliary Scholarship Winners

Candy Applegate was named the winner of the Big 10 Conference. Applegate, a member of Auxiliary 5178 in Gravois Mills, Mo., is enrolled to study accounting and business management at Ozark Technical Community College. Applegate said the scholarship will help her be able to afford the cost of continuing her education while she works part-time...

VFW Names National Teacher Award Winners

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is proud to announce its selection of three teachers in its 2017 Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award contest.

Each year, one teacher is selected from the elementary (K-5), middle (6-8) and high school (9-12) levels. 2017 VFW Teacher Award

Theresa Early, a fourth-grade special education teacher at Laurel Ridge Elementary School in Fairfax, Va., was named the elementary school winner for her involvement in her school's Military Kids Club, establishing a student color guard, and encouraging students to draft classroom rules during Constitution Day festivities....

VFW Honors Pearl Harbor Survivor with Award

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. honored a Pearl Harbor survivor and author on May 2, 2017, at VFW National Headquarters.

Retired U.S. Navy officer Jim Downing, 103, was presented a certificate of recognition by VFW Quartermaster General Debra Anderson in appreciation for his 24 years of Navy service. Downing is a VFW Life member.Jim Downing

"I feel I don't deserve it, but I will accept the honor on behalf of all veterans," Downing said of the honor.

Downing is the second-oldest known Pearl Harbor survivor. He fought in and survived the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7, 1941, while stationed on the battl...

VFW Members Mobilize to Give Back

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliary will be out in force on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 2017, to show their support and appreciation for BURGER KING franchisees as part of #ThankBK Appreciation Day.ThankBK Appreciation Day

Since 2007, BURGER KING franchisees and their customers have contributed over $4.3 million to the VFW Unmet Needs program. This program provides grants of up to $5,000 to qualified applicants who've fallen on hard times as a result of deployment, injury, or other military-related activities. To date, BURGER KING's generosity has directly assisted more than 4,100 veterans and military families.

VFW Statement on Comedian Kathy Griffin

WASHINGTON - "The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. strongly condemns comedian Kathy Griffin's incredibly revolting attack on the President of the United States. Her apology is not accepted. What she did was not humorous nor should it be protected speech or expression. Playing to an audience with a severed head is what our enemies do. The USO should immediately end its relationship with her." - VFW National Commander Brian Duffy...

Winners of Publications Contest Announced

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - VFW has announced the winners of the 2017 National Publications Contest. Two years ago, the publications contest underwent significant changes to encourage continued participation. The contest's reorganization created two new categories: Magazine and Best Feature Article. This year's competition retained those changes.

Two non-VFW-affiliated journalism professionals served as judges for the competition. This is designed to guarantee impartiality and objectivity in the judging. To reiterate, VFW staffers play no part in judging the entries.

The winning publications in each category are:


Grand Award:
Texas VFW News
Roy Grona, Editor

Silver Award:
The Leader Magazine
Greg Stafford, Editor


Army Veteran Has the Grit to Pursue Her Goals

Samantha Bedore, 26, from Phoenix, Ariz., knew the opportunity to attend graduate school would help her pursue a better life for her and her family. But she worried that she'd be forced to take out huge student loans.

U.S. Army veteran Samantha Bedore.
Army Vet Scholarship

Fortunately, Bedore found the VFW's "Sport Clips Help a Hero Scholarship" online. The funds are helping her complete her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Midwestern University.

"This scho...

President Approves New Memorial

WASHINGTON - The national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is saluting President Trump for signing the VFW-supported Global War on Terrorism Memorial Act into law late Friday. The signing now clears the way for the GWOT Memorial Foundation to work with the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission to secure federal approval for acreage on the National Mall, as well as coordinate a national competition for the memorial's design. It also exempts the GWOT Memorial from a provision in the Commemorative Works Act of 1986 that requires Congress to wait 10 years after the official end of a military conflict before considering a war memorial in the nation's capital.GWOT Memorial

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