HOW THE VFW ADVOCATES FOR VETERANS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
Do you ever wonder what the VFW’s office on Capitol Hill does to help our veterans? In the last year alone, VFW’s advocacy efforts in Washington have improved consumer resources for college-bound veterans; preserved military quality-of-life programs like tuition assistance; repealed the back-door dealings to cut military retiree benefits; and reinstated a responsible Stolen Valor law. So why is the VFW’s voice so strong on Capitol Hill? It’s because the VFW enlists the help of a strong network of volunteer veterans’ advocates all across the country called the VFW Action Corps.
The VFW Action Corps is made up of VFW members just like you, who stand ready to call on Congress to do the right thing for our veterans. During the fight to reinstate military retirement benefits, the VFW Action Corps was responsible for more than 30,000 advocacy emails and countless phone calls to every Congressional office on Capitol Hill. One Congressman was so inundated with phone calls from the VFW alone that he called the Washington office personally, asking how he could make it stop. This kind of relentless grassroots advocacy is what gives the VFW the clout to testify before Congress on key veterans’ issues; to flood Capitol Hill twice a year to hand-deliver the VFW’s priorities to every member of Congress; and most importantly, to pass responsible legislation that improves the lives of veterans, like the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, or the VA Family Caregiver Act.
But we can do more. Did you know that today only 37,000 of the VFW’s 1.4 million members are signed up for the VFW Action Corps? Imagine what we could do to help our fellow veterans with the full force of the VFW membership!
If you are not yet signed up as a member of the VFW Action Corps, add your name to our rolls and help us hold Congress accountable. It’s free, and it’s just another way that you, as a VFW member, help to better serve our nation’s veterans. If you’re already a member of the VFW Action Corps, tell your friends to join. It’s open to anyone who cares about veterans or veterans’ issues.
As a member of the VFW Action Corps, you will receive our Washington Weekly electronic newsletter every Friday, highlighting our work on Capitol Hill. You will also receive regular VFW Action Alerts, informing you of key issues and key votes in Congress, and guiding you step-by-step in how you can make a difference.
Learn more about the VFW Action Corps at http://www.vfw.org/VFW-in-DC/Action-Corps/.
To join the VFW Action Corps today, click here: http://capwiz.com/vfw/mlm/signup.htm
VFW to flood newspaper with good news stories
WASHINGTON (April 17, 2014) – In response to an opinion editorial published this week in the New York Times, the national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is asking the 1.9 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliaries to e-mail the newspaper with their good news stories.
The editorial published Tuesday was written by a young university academic who used accused triple murderer Frazier Glenn Miller as the focus of her piece, entitled Veterans and White Supremacy. The author, Kathleen Belew, earned a bachelor’s degree in 2005 from the University of Washington, and then two masters and a Ph.D. from Yale. She is now a Postdoctoral Fellow in the History Department of Northwestern University, and is also writing a book about Vietnam veterans and the radical right.
“The First Amendment protects the free speech and expression rights of this young author, and the rights of the New York Times to publish it, but it also protects my right to disagree with the message,” said William A. Thien, the VFW’s national commander and a Vietnam veteran from Georgetown, Ind.
“The ‘crazy Vietnam veteran’ label isn’t talked about much these days, yet despite 40 years of moving on with our lives and successfully reintegrating into our communities, we all know the potential is just another headline away,” he said.
“The shooting on Sunday in Overland Park, Kan., was as senseless as it is tragic, but we cannot allow political pundits, the media or our academicians to use the failings of one to once again paint all of us as damaged goods,” he said. “That is why I am asking everyone to their personal comments directly to the New York Times, but in a positive manner, such as ‘I am a proud Vietnam veteran who came home from war, went to work, raised a family, and continues to help give back to my community and country. I am not damaged goods.’
“Let them hear our voices by writing today to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
In honor of our nation’s heroes, the VFW is working with Tractor Supply Company (TSC) to make this year’s “A Saturday Salute” a fun, nationwide, community event. TSC is offering up their locations for the VFW to host onsite events--from BBQ’s to memorial events--on May 24. Check with your Post to see if they’ve reached out to your local TSC to set up an event.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is a nonprofit veterans' service organization composed of combat veterans as well as active-duty, Guard and Reservists who continue to serve in harm's way. Founded in 1899 and chartered by Congress in 1936, the VFW is the nation's largest organization of war veterans and its oldest major veterans' organization. With 2 million members located in almost 7,600 VFW Posts worldwide, the VFW and its Auxiliaries are dedicated to "honor the dead by helping the living" through veterans service, community service, legislative advocacy and national military service programs. For more information or to join, visit our website at www.vfw.org.