VFW News from Washington D.C.

I am writing to wish each of you a Happy Veterans Day and also ask that you use this time of heightened pride in one’s veteran status to redouble your efforts in the area of membership. Let’s recommit and make this “Service Not Self” year the year we turn our membership challenges around.
Leadership, accountability and reliability are just a few of the qualities VFW Department Commanders possess. Regrettably, in year’s past, these qualities have not been harnessed to the fullest. But we, as leaders, now have the opportunity to right the wrongs of the past.
This morning the VFW stands at 84.4%, we need 188,243 members to reach 100%, and we are 33,563 members behind where we were at this time last year.
Working together as ONE VFW TEAM we can, and will make this happen. However, I need your help. The VFW needs your help. The very future of our organization relies on you. Fellow leaders, our membership numbers are already tracking below last year’s figures. We MUST work together to finally turn this ever-steady decline in membership around! We’re almost half-way through the new membership year. The time to act is now!
Please follow up with your Posts and Districts as soon as possible to do all you can to ensure they:
·  Are aware of your Department’s, as well as National’s membership program, to include incentives. (If your Department does not yet have one, develop one immediately.) 
·  Develop their own membership programs, detailing clearly defined goals and objectives, and executable strategies.
·  Are utilizing all recruiting and retention tools available to them, to include those accessed through the Training and Support section of vfw.org.
·  Understand they will be held accountable for planning and executing their membership programs.
The simple fact is, the VFW must increase the strength of our membership to maintain the level of support and advocacy those we serve deserve from our storied organization. As leaders, I’m relying on you to make this happen.
If there is anything I or our staff can do to assist you and your Department, please do not hesitate to call. You have my full support in holding your Posts and Districts—and those tasked with executing your Department’s membership programs—fully accountable. And you have the full support of the National VFW membership department in helping to provide insight and resources needed to help meet our membership goals. VFW Membership Director Rick Butler, can be easily reached at 816-968-2752; rbutler@vfw.org.
Thanks for your full support of our important VFW mission.
Brian Duffy
Adjutant General
Veterans of Foreign Wars
VFW Kicks Off Fundraiser with Participating BURGER KING® Franchisees
Annual fundraiser supports America’s military families through the VFW’s Unmet Needs program
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (October 30, 2017) — For the 11th consecutive year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is pleased to announce that throughout the month of November, participating BURGER KING® franchisees will be raising funds for theVFW’s Unmet Needs program. Customers are encouraged to donate $1 or more to the program upon checkout. The fundraising campaign officially begins November 1 and runs for the entire month of November.
Assisting service members and military families during times of financial hardship, the Unmet Needs program provides grants of up to $5,000 toward basic life necessities like rent, mortgage and utility payments, vehicle repair, medical expenses and food. Since its inception in 2004, Unmet Needs has provided more than $7.9 million in aid to struggling service members, veterans and their families.
“For more than a decade, the VFW has been providing a lifeline for so many military families during an already trying time in their lives,” said VFW National Commander Keith Harman. “The generosity and support shown by BURGER KING® franchisees and their loyal guests ensures America’s heroes can continue to count on the VFW for much-needed assistance. I sincerely encourage every American to visit their local participating restaurant to show their support.”
Since 2007, participating BURGER KING® franchisees have raised nearly $4.5 million in support of the program. More than 1,000 restaurants nationwide participated in last year’s fundraising campaign with even higher participation expected this year.


With our Oct. 28 “A Day to Change Direction” event and Veterans Day right around the corner, the holidays quickly approaching and many new VFW initiatives on the horizon for service members, veterans and their families, fall is already proving to be an extremely busy and productive time for the VFW and its members.

With more information available within the email below, here’s a snapshot of a few important initiatives already upon us:

• If you know of a youth interested in their share of more than $3 million in scholarships and awards, the Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay entries are due to VFW Posts on Oct. 31.

• If you’re a student veteran interested in advocating for veterans on Capitol Hill, the clock is ticking. The application deadline for the VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship is Oct. 20.

• If you’re a student veteran, or know someone who is and could use some help paying for school, the VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” application is due on November 15.

The easiest way to stay up-to-date with all of the VFW happenings is by following the VFW on social media. If you don’t already, follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and more!


Your VFW Membership Team