|Ladies' Auxiliary to The Veterans of Foreign Wars
National Patriotic and Philanthropic Service Organization
Founded: 1914 inKansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.
Chartered by Act of Congress: 1936
1953 The American Trail
Dixie Hild takes her Oath of Office for the 2008-2009 National Presidency of the Ladies' Auxiliary to The Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Then Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama addresses The VFW and Ladies' Auxiliary.
Dixie Hild (center right) and her 2008-2009 National Staff.
VFW Centennial Plaza (dedicated on October 5, 2001).
The plaza,which commemorates 100 years of "veterans helping veterans," features a life-size, two-figured bronze sculpture depicting a soldier transitioning into civilian life. The statue, titled Citizen Soldier, was created by Jim Brothers, a Lawrence, Kansas, sculptor. The bronze statue, sculpted on a one-and-a-quarter life-size scale, is two figures attached at the hip. The two figures are of the same individual: one is a soldier fighting for his country; the other figure depicts the soldier today as a veteran and as a member of the VFW.
Rounding out the Plaza are five bronze tablets, which represent the VFW's founding fathers:
- Recognition and remembrance of military duty
- Assistance to disabled veterans
- Community service
- Their alliance with the Ladies Auxiliary
- Their partnership with today's youth.
|The Ladies Auxiliary to The Veterans of Foreign Wars, which was founded in 1914 to help veterans and their families, is the backbone of VFW volunteer efforts. Promoting patriotism and helping veterans in need are just two of the many ways that the Auxiliary serves America's communities. The Ladies Auxiliary also has its own volunteer programs directed at VA, state and community hospitals.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States--with its Auxiliaries--includes 2.2 million members in approximately 8,100 Posts worldwide.
Its mission is to "honor the dead by helping the living" through veterans' service, community service, national security and a strong national defense.
The VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service: many arrived home wounded or sick. There was no medical care or veterans' pension for them, and they were left to care for themselves.
In their misery, some of these veterans banded together and formed organizations with what would become known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. After chapters were formed in Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania, the movement quickly gained momentum. By 1915, membership grew to 5,000; by 1936, membership was almost 200,000.
The VFW was officially chartered by Act of the United States Congress in 1936. Since then, the VFW's voice has been instrumental in establishing the Veterans Administration, creating a GI Bill for the 20th century, the development of the national cemetery system and the fight for compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange and for veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. In 2008, VFW won a long-fought victory with the passing of a GI Bill for the 21st Century, giving expanded educational benefits to America's active-duty servicemembers, and members of the Guard and Reserves, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The VFW also has fought for improving VA medical centers services for women veterans.
Besides helping fund the creation of the Vietnam, Korean War, World War II and Women in Military Service memorials, the VFW in 2005 became the first veterans' organization to contribute to building the new Disabled Veterans for Life Memorial, which is being constructed in Washington, D.C., and is expected to open in 2010.
In 2001, VFW unveiled its tribute to service and country with its dedication of Centennial Plaza.
Annually, VFW members and its Auxiliary contribute more than 13 million hours of volunteerism in the community, including participation in Make A Difference Day and National Volunteer Week.
From providing $2.5 million in college scholarships to high school students every year to encouraging elevation of the Veterans Administration to the president's cabinet, the VFW is there--honoring the dead by helping the living.
And the Ladies' Auxiliary is right along side the VFW, selflessly serving with the Men's Auxiliary in the 21st Century.