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American Legion vs. VFW

This is a discussion on American Legion vs. VFW within the U.S. Military Services & Veterans forums, part of the Protect & Serve category; I'm new to this whole veteran thing, I just joined the American Legion and will be headed to the Post in the next week to ...


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Old 03-01-2012, 12:16 PM   #1
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American Legion vs. VFW

I'm new to this whole veteran thing, I just joined the American Legion and will be headed to the Post in the next week to see what it is all about.

So for those of you who have been around for a while, what does the American legion do and how does it compare to the VFW (which I also don't understand)?

My only exposure to those groups was when I volunteered to serve food on the Friday night fish fries or steak night at the VFW when I was younger and seeing a bunch of old men with a crap ton of pins in their funny hats at parades. (No offense to anyone here, I'm looking forward to being one of those guys I'm just trying to make light of how it has looked to me from the outside!)
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:59 PM   #2
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The two vary from place to place ... Some are better that others. I've been a member of both, and also Vietnam Veterans of America. I got miffed at the VFW last election because their VFW Foundation was supporting lefty democrats, and so I let my membership lapse.

The VFW used to have a rep for being a bunch of drunks brow beating younger Veterans, but have tried cleaning up their act recently, because all the old guys are dieing off, and they need younger members.

The VFW only accepts people with a campaign medal (or at least that's the way it used to be). The American Legion accepts just about any former military. Not just war veterans. I think that is the only real difference. Both also do a lot more community involvement stuff.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:13 PM   #3
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The VFW used to have a rep for being a bunch of drunks brow beating younger Veterans, but have tried cleaning up their act recently, because all the old guys are dieing off, and they need younger members.
Seems like a noble reason to start treating the current generation of veterans who have in many cases spent more time in combat due to multiple deployments and are comprised of zero draftees better...no wonder we are looking for other organizations to be a part of!

I have to say this hasnít been my experience to date. I feel like Vietnam vets in particular have gone out of their way to ensure we arenít treated the way they were when they returned home.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:54 PM   #4
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Seems like a noble reason to start treating the current generation of veterans who have in many cases spent more time in combat due to multiple deployments and are comprised of zero draftees better...no wonder we are looking for other organizations to be a part of!

I have to say this hasnít been my experience to date. I feel like Vietnam vets in particular have gone out of their way to ensure we arenít treated the way they were when they returned home.
It's nice to hear that you're having good experiences with Vietnam Vets. Indeed, we don't want anyone to be disrespected for serving their country.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:05 PM   #5
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They are both good organizations. I joined the American Legion and the service officer helped me with my VA claim. I'm just a member at large. They both do a lot of good for the troops and veterans.

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Old 03-03-2012, 09:21 PM   #6
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I was disappointed to find that the local American Legion hall prohibits concealed carry.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:35 AM   #7
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I went to the American Legion's General member's meeting last night and I was shocked by the staggering lack of participation. Of the supposed 260 paid members of that Post only about 6 were there not counting the officers that had to be there.

This location (and potentially the whole organization) needs a major boost of enthusiasm. Also looking at the events I can see why 20 and 30 somethings aren't joining. Instead of a sock-hop we need a night where we meet at the local rockclimbing gym.

Hopefully I can help draw in some of the country's newest veterans and revamp some of what is done there.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Zombie Hunter View Post
I went to the American Legion's General member's meeting last night and I was shocked by the staggering lack of participation. Of the supposed 260 paid members of that Post only about 6 were there not counting the officers that had to be there.

This location (and potentially the whole organization) needs a major boost of enthusiasm. Also looking at the events I can see why 20 and 30 somethings aren't joining. Instead of a sock-hop we need a night where we meet at the local rockclimbing gym.

Hopefully I can help draw in some of the country's newest veterans and revamp some of what is done there.
Great idea with that rock climbing and I'd suggest a "range night" for those thinking about shooting or are gun owners... that gets the ole cooters and young folks too.
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