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VFW Programs

Programs are often the first impression that the public has of the VFW. Therefore it’s extremely important to be prepared and more importantly have the right persons appointed as the program chairman. VFW programs are defined under two categories; Community Service, Youth Scholarships and Activities and Veterans & Military Support.

Within the Community Service, Youth Scholarships and Activities category we often refer to several program elements as our core programs. These are programs that are executed by the largest number of Posts and have the greatest impact on our organization, our communities and our veterans. Typically, these core programs are mandated for every Post as part of your Department All State Program and are heavily encouraged and supported by the VFW National organization. These core programs within the Community Service, Youth Scholarships and Activities include our scholarship programs; Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen, the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year program, Scouting, and “Buddy”® Poppy.

The second group of programs under the Community Service, Youth Scholarships and Activities umbrella, is called Special Projects and Activities, which cover Americanism, volunteer recognition, community service, awards and recognition and other miscellaneous youth activities. These programs are highly encouraged for all Posts and Departments and will be supported by the national organization upon request. As a VFW member, you should be able to speak intelligently and authoritatively about all aspects of our great organization.

View / Download the "VFW Programs Leadership Reference Guide"

Community Service, Youth Scholarships and Activities


VFW Recognition Programs

The purpose of the VFW Recognition Program is twofold. First and foremost, as an organization of wartime veterans and their spouses, the VFW and its Auxiliary understand the need to recognize and honor those individuals who have performed above and beyond their peers. Of particular significance are those who, like our members and veterans, have placed the safety and welfare of others above and beyond their own. Secondly, the VFW and its Auxiliary realize the value of these awards to the Post, District, Department and National organization. It’s important that VFW and its Auxiliary leaders, at every level, take advantage of every opportunity to honor worthy individuals and sometimes organizations. With that in mind, the VFW has established a number of suggested awards. The following are suggested awards:


(Law Enforcement, Firefighter, Emergency Services)

VFW Special Projects & Youth Activities

Our next level of programs is our special projects. These include Americanism, volunteer recognition, community service, awards and recognition and other youth activities. Equally important among our special projects is community service. Any activity done by a Post or Auxiliary that benefits the community falls under this broad banner and is supported by the VFW National Organization and encouraged for all Posts, Districts and Departments. Recognizing these exceptional efforts is provided in three ways - our volunteer recognition programs, Outstanding Community Service Posts Awards, and the Outstanding Post Special Project Award.

Posts are encouraged to seek out ways in which they can benefit their community. The VFW encourages any activity that benefits the community, brings recognition to the Post and honors America’s veterans and those in uniform. Every program, done by your Post, results in relationships that produce good will. This good will increases public interest in your events, often enhances your fundraising efforts and can produce new members. A Post that has been identified as a community asset through its programs will seldom have a shortage of members or lack of community support. Use your VFW Programs to establish your Post as a respected community asset. The VFW will then become the organization of choice for all veterans and will reap the rewards of public favor that cannot be purchased.


Veterans & Military Support Programs

To continue to detail the core programs, as mentioned earlier, Veterans & Military Support is part of the VFW’s never-ending obligation to assist members of the active-duty military, National Guard and Reserves, as well as their families. These programs were established to keep the Veterans of Foreign Wars in the forefront of patriotism as the organization and its members find innovative way to show support for America and her armed forces.

The programs under the Veterans & Military Support umbrella consist of: Operation Uplink, Unmet Needs, Military Assistance Program (MAP) and the VFW "Sport Clips Help a Hero Scholarship" program. Through these programs, the Veterans of Foreign Wars provided assistance and guidance to our subordinate units in their efforts to support our military and their families. From hosting morale boosting events, sponsoring free phone time, providing financial assistance, to providing scholarships to veterans returning to school.