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With VFW Members Dwindling, Posts Shutting Their Doors
Newhouse News ^ | 1/29/2008 | Jeff Barr

Posted on 01/29/2008 2:39:37 PM PST by Incorrigible

With VFW Members Dwindling, Posts Shutting Their Doors

By JEFF BARR

 

Image

Members of the Mendon VFW Post 4898 from left, Merlin Huff, Morris Ballman, L.D. Ballman, Vernon Yeomans, Sharon Buchner and Ted Talbot are upset their post is closing. (Photo by Jonathon Gruenke)

   

MENDON, Mich. — Powder-blue paint peels from the surface of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4898. The brick-and-wood building sits next to a farmer's field gone barren for the winter and, like the adjacent acreage, it sits empty.

The Mendon post, located south of Kalamazoo, was ordered closed Nov. 24 — 62 years to the day after being founded by 60 World War II veterans. Dwindling membership, combined with confusion and spotty adherence to state VFW bylaws, resulted in its shutdown.

VFW officials at the state and national levels, along with former Post 4898 members, say the post is symbolic of a more widespread issue.

Since 1997, the number of VFW posts nationwide have decreased from 10,500 to 8,400. National membership stands at about 1.7 million — less than 10 percent of the approximately 20 million U.S. veterans eligible to join the VFW.

Mendon is one of three Michigan posts to close since November. Post 5003 in Bronson shut down in December and Post 393 in Detroit surrendered its charter earlier this month.

"It's not just Mendon," said Robert Weiss, Michigan's VFW Adjutant Quartermaster and a Vietnam veteran. "It's happening all over."

When Weiss was appointed state adjutant in 1997, there were 404 VFW posts in Michigan. Today, there are 340. In the past year, VFW membership in Michigan declined by almost 5,000.

The Mendon building was an old schoolhouse when it was built in 1871, and then sat vacant for years. It then was transformed into a medical-implement manufacturing facility, sat vacant again, then was given to the VFW in 1971.

"We felt bad about closing down the Mendon post, but there were so few members and they weren't turning in officer-election reports or attending district meetings to keep up on VFW affairs," Weiss said.

VFW membership is aging, and as we members pass on, they aren't being replaced by younger veterans, Weiss said.

"At a lot of places, it's just a few guys in their 80s," he said.

Thirty-nine members were on the books when Mendon's Post 4898 was padlocked, but only six or seven in their late 70s or early 80s took an active role. The vets helped organize community blood drives and they marched annually in local Memorial Day parades.

"The VFW represents tradition, sacrifice and patriotism," said Ted Talbot, 80, a U.S. Army veteran who joined Post 4898 in 1948 after returning home from World War II duty in Honshu, Japan. "I think the reason posts are closing, the reason there are fewer members, is because there is less of all three of those qualities in society today than there used to be.

"Everyone is so busy ...  Being a veteran doesn't seem to be as important as it once was."

Former Post 4898 member Merlin Huff, 77, a Korean War veteran who lives in Mendon, was more blunt.

"People don't even want to stand up for the national anthem anymore," he said. "It's as if they don't even understand what the flag represents. It makes me sick."

The most public displays of VFW activity might be the parades and honor guards, but the organization's primary focus is to help veterans receive Veterans Administration disability benefits.

The VFW fights for compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange and for veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. The group also has worked to improve VA medical centers, including better screening procedures for breast and lung cancer.

According to VFW statistics, the organization annually recoups more than $1 billion in VA benefits and compensation claims for veterans or their dependents.

VFW officials say the claims process can be exhausting and frustrating, and often takes years to complete. The VFW guides veterans through the process.

"Without advocacy from the VFW, a lot of veterans apply for benefits, are refused and then just drop it," Weiss said. "But with our help, we let them know what to expect and we stay with them for the long haul."

The most serious ramification of declining VFW membership, according to Weiss, is the danger of the group's bargaining power diminishing.

"If we are to remain a legitimate agency when it comes to fighting for veterans' benefits, we have to be viewed as an organization that represents a good number of veterans," he said. "There are Vietnam vets, there are Persian Gulf vets, but not in the numbers we need.

"We will exist in the future, but in order to remain viable, we're going to have to be leaner and meaner."

(Jeff Barr is a reporter for the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette. He can be contacted at jbarr(at)kalamazoogazette.com.)

Not for commercial use.  For educational and discussion purposes only.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: elderly; seniors; veterams; veterans; vfw; wwii
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This represents a general change in society.  When my father returned from WWII, he and my uncles and their friends would meet at the VFW or some bar and drink after work.  Their wives spent time with the kids and I didn't see my father that much unless he was watching TV.  That's just the way it was.

Now, recent vets are more likely to do the things men and fathers in society are doing.  Sharing household chores with their wives.  Being more involved with their children's lives.  And doing more volunteer work.

Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and hang out at the bar after work like my father did but I've got too many non-work respsonsibilities!

 

1 posted on 01/29/2008 2:39:39 PM PST by Incorrigible
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To: Incorrigible

VFW life member but rarely go to the post ....


2 posted on 01/29/2008 2:43:51 PM PST by clamper1797 (I fear for our republic)
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To: Incorrigible

My father served during peace time, but he was very active in his local veterans association up to his death. He had a lot of good ideas that brought many new members in. But, when he was looking for ways to bring in younger members, the older veterans were not interested in doing so. So, I think there are ways to appeal to younger veterans, but maybe in many cases the older veterans are reluctant to do so.


3 posted on 01/29/2008 2:55:55 PM PST by Tired of Taxes (Dad, I will always think of you.)
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To: Incorrigible

I always knew where to look first and second for my brothers after work.. ;-)

The Eagles club or the VFW not far down the road,, both are still open but a lot of the old-timers are gone or getting up there..

Food, bingo, cards, camaraderie,, and drinks too and dancing some nights.. a regular gathering place of the backbone of America, well, a big piece anyway.


4 posted on 01/29/2008 2:56:20 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... ICE’s toll-free tip hotline —1-866-DHS-2-ICE ... 9/11 .. Never FoRGeT)
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To: Incorrigible

Many guys just don’t want to relive the ‘good ol’ days’ because they weren’t that good. A lot of guys have a hard time getting back to normal. If they do get back to normal, they don’t necessarily want to be reminded of what they had to get over.

Further, I think with Afghanistan and the Iraq war going on now, there probably will be a small upswing in VFW membership. I think the bigger the campaigns, and the more purpose these guys and gals felt about being there and what they were doing, has an impact on whether they join the VFW.


5 posted on 01/29/2008 3:06:49 PM PST by Secret Agent Man
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To: Incorrigible

“Everyone is so busy .”
thats the problem along with absurd DWI laws. How many members have been pulled over and despite never having an accident in their life, they lose their license.


6 posted on 01/29/2008 3:07:16 PM PST by spanalot (*)
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To: Incorrigible

There’s a big VFW hall that I pass by sometimes. The other day I noticed they were advertising a bingo game.


7 posted on 01/29/2008 3:07:27 PM PST by wideminded
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To: Incorrigible
Image hosted by Photobucket.com ours had to open to the general public to stay open...
8 posted on 01/29/2008 3:09:01 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist ©®)
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To: Tired of Taxes

“The VFW represents tradition, sacrifice and patriotism,” said Ted Talbot, 80, a U.S. Army veteran who joined Post 4898 in 1948 after returning home from World War II duty in Honshu, Japan. “I think the reason posts are closing, the reason there are fewer members, is because there is less of all three of those qualities in society today than there used to be.

When I returned from Viet Nam we were not exactly welcomed with open arms at the VFW. I was actually mocked that I really didn’t serve in a “real war” as the stalwarts of the post claimed. Needless to say there has been a huge disconnect between me and the VFW. I still smart from that remark


9 posted on 01/29/2008 3:13:07 PM PST by blaveda (blaveda)
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To: Incorrigible; Doohickey

The VFW changed their membership rules last year, so I am now eligible to be a member. However, they only allow submariners that rode the Fleet Ballistic Missile boats, but not Fast Attack or Diesel boat sailors. The USSVI is a much better fit for me.


10 posted on 01/29/2008 3:14:23 PM PST by SmithL (My tagline dropped out)
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To: clamper1797

Same here and I wonder if many vets that served in Korea during peace time know that they’re even eligible?

For that matter the ones that mobilized for desert storm?


11 posted on 01/29/2008 3:17:51 PM PST by tpanther
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I’ve been a member since I returned from the gulf in 94. The only problem is I get heckled for my service (USAF) and in the case of my local on it’s a bunch of older gentlemen that complain about life smoke like chimneys. I’d rather hang out with my friends at a local bar where I can meet people out side the military. Don’t get me wrong I respect my fellow veterans but I’m not going to meet my wife at a VFW. In addition I have other things going on in my life studying for promotion etc.


12 posted on 01/29/2008 3:17:55 PM PST by FISH1974
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To: spanalot

You’re not condoning drunk driving are you?


13 posted on 01/29/2008 3:20:01 PM PST by tpanther
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To: blaveda
When I returned from Viet Nam we were not exactly welcomed with open arms at the VFW. I was actually mocked that I really didn’t serve in a “real war” as the stalwarts of the post claimed. Needless to say there has been a huge disconnect between me and the VFW. I still smart from that remark

Remember that was only a small minority...and the guy that said it probably was cleaning latrines as a REMF... Probably the real reason is that young guys find little attraction at a VFW.....let's face it when you are below the age of 40....the VFW...probably is not a good place to go "hunting". That being said the post that I belong to in a small Texas town....has plenty of "action" for the "hunters"...but of course we live in a dry town...that only the baptist's and bootlegger's can keep that way.

14 posted on 01/29/2008 3:23:47 PM PST by RVN Airplane Driver ("To be born into freedom is an accident; to die in freedom is an obligation..)
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To: tpanther

I think it is outrageous to arrest anyone who has not done anything wrong.

You on the other hand apparently countenence the new Puritanism where things are evil and our rights are squashed.

We had a member who got caught driving over .08 4 times = never had an accident and lost his life for 25 years.

How is that justice.


15 posted on 01/29/2008 3:26:53 PM PST by spanalot (*)
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To: Secret Agent Man

My Daddy (WWII combat veteran) was a member of the VFW and got the VFW magazine. He would go to the listing of veterans who had passed away in the month and say how sad it made him. He didn’t go in for the parties and socializing that went on at the VFW meeting hall; but did keep up his membership for the sake of those who did want to socialize.


16 posted on 01/29/2008 3:27:50 PM PST by Twinkie (Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God . . .)
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To: Incorrigible

These kind of fraternal order type clubs are disintegrating. There was an article on FR a couple years about the Shriners having the same troubles. I don’t know if it’s guys sharing in household chores, I think newer generations aren’t as into formalized relationships as they used to be. Now if you want to go hang out in a bar you go hang out in a bar, if you want to hang out with friends you create a social group by introducing your friends to each other and do that. We’re just not big joiners, we don’t need chapters and posts.


17 posted on 01/29/2008 3:29:44 PM PST by discostu (a mountain is something you don't want to %^&* with)
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To: spanalot

Are you kidding? He may not have had an accident yet, but his conduct was still reckless and put other people’s lives at risk.


18 posted on 01/29/2008 3:29:48 PM PST by Young Scholar
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To: Twinkie

My grandpa was a WWII navy guy. He pretty much didn’t talk much about the war, didn’t really want to think about it that much. He was on an aircraft carrier in the pacific as an electrical engineer. The one thing I remember was that he was below the flight deck and he saw a kamikaze (or perhaps a pilot out of control) coming in at his level towards the ship. He said he could see the guy’s face before he hit the ship, about 20-30 feet away from where he was.

But he was an Eagles club guy, did more with his church groups and golf guys than vfw stuff. Maybe because he was a younger guy (19-20) and was coming back to a wife and daughter, he just wanted to get his life back on track and it was kind of waiting for him.


19 posted on 01/29/2008 3:33:18 PM PST by Secret Agent Man
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To: discostu

My parents are Elks, and they are having the same problems. They get great pleasure out of the club, but there is no doubt the membership is quite old.

There used to be a Doe club for the women, but now the women are becoming Elks too.


20 posted on 01/29/2008 3:36:06 PM PST by I still care ("Remember... for it is the doom of men that they forget" - Merlin, from Excalibur)
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To: Cailleach

Ping

Doesn’t your dh belong?
Poppy was lifetime member of the American Legion.
I don’t know if No-No belongs to either organization.


21 posted on 01/29/2008 3:36:45 PM PST by kalee (The offenses we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we write in marble. JHuett)
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To: kalee

I got this article in my email this morning. So sad.

Yes, hubby joined as a lifetime member in 2003. Post 27. The VFW here is where the Princess won her saddle in the drawing.

I think he finally joined the DAV here too. Next month the local post is having lasagne dinner. It was Chili this month.

The local AL post doesn’t seem to do much...just Bingo night.

PS I should tattle on you...calling him the No...naughty naughty!


22 posted on 01/29/2008 3:45:54 PM PST by Cailleach
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To: blaveda
When I returned from Viet Nam we were not exactly welcomed with open arms at the VFW. I was actually mocked that I really didn’t serve in a “real war” as the stalwarts of the post claimed. Needless to say there has been a huge disconnect between me and the VFW. I still smart from that remark

I remember that and I remember the intemperate and snotty comments made by some of their national leaders regarding Viet Nam vets. I also remember after I served before the Viet Nam era (2.5 years US Naval Reserve, 3 years US Army, RA, 2 honorable discharges) being told when I attempted to join both the VFW and the American Legion, that my service didn't count because it took place at the "wrong time"

Now look at what they have. They did it to themselves.

TS

23 posted on 01/29/2008 3:50:42 PM PST by Octar
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To: Incorrigible

I tried to join VFW 15 years ago. Over the course of almost a year and a half and many restarts the organization could not get my name or service number right and could not get military verification for my eligibility because they would not spell my name right or even use the right name. I would go over it letter by letter and digit by digit but when the paper came back it would always be wrong, sometimes in highly creative ways, usually with name order reversed. I gave it up. That level of incompetence was astounding to me and I no longer desired to be part of such an organization.


24 posted on 01/29/2008 3:53:04 PM PST by arthurus (Better to fight them OVER THERE than to have to fight them OVER HERE!)
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To: Young Scholar

“but his conduct was still reckless and put other people’s lives at risk.”

How is that? You never saw him drive. He drove better with a dozen beers than most people I see everyday driving sober.

Are you always this prejudiced!


25 posted on 01/29/2008 3:55:31 PM PST by spanalot (*)
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To: blaveda

The post here seemed very eager to get me on board 15 years ago because the membership had been declining and they needed “fresh blood” but their incompetence with paperwork kept me out.


26 posted on 01/29/2008 3:55:46 PM PST by arthurus (Better to fight them OVER THERE than to have to fight them OVER HERE!)
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To: spanalot

I think it is outrageous to arrest anyone who has not done anything wrong.

>>>>DWI is wrong. Legally, morally...there’s simply no justification for driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Period. I liken it to driving while talking on cell phones and running over someone. If you’re impaired in any way and kill someone, you’re at fault. Would you also condone airline pilots for flying while under the influence? How about brain surgeons?


You on the other hand apparently countenence the new Puritanism where things are evil and our rights are squashed.

>>>>No, not at all. I just use my common sense and know that it’s highly dangerous and when you drink and drive you take other people’s lives into your hands. Just because there’s been no accidents while DWI, that only means you’ve been lucky! And it’s not like there’s not sheer mountains of evidence!


We had a member who got caught driving over .08 4 times = never had an accident and lost his life for 25 years.

How is that justice.

>>>>Did he go through rehab? Or did he just decide laws don’t apply to him all the way to the point his freedom was less imporatant than drinking and driving?

BY FAR the stories I’ve heard is the man who’s been arrested over and over and finally kills someone and people are asking why wasn’t he locked up before he killed someone or a whole family!?

I’m a member of the VFW and have had a DWI btw...


27 posted on 01/29/2008 3:55:57 PM PST by tpanther
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To: Incorrigible
“VFW membership is aging, and as we members pass on, they aren’t being replaced by younger veterans, Weiss said.”

I’m certain it is, but shouldn’t. The VFW and American Legion need to find growth oriented leadership and find out why the younger vets aren’t interested. I do believe there is a way to make them organizations in which the younger ones would want to take part.

I have always felt the veteran’s organizations should be taking the lead in every patriotic holiday and celebration. They should be a political force as well.

I let my VFW and American Legion membership expire ten years ago. I’m going to reinstate them.

28 posted on 01/29/2008 3:57:00 PM PST by elpadre
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To: blaveda

I understand where you are coming from.

I joined when I got back from Gulf I in ‘91. One of my first nights in there, several guys started giving me grief about Desert Shield/Storm being a “cakewalk”.

Later, I noticed that it was NOT an exclusive club... they were letting the general public in.

Yep, you guessed it. Some of those giving me crap about the Gulf had never gotten closer to it (or any other military service) than watching it on CNN.

I let my membership drop, and I have never been back.


29 posted on 01/29/2008 3:57:19 PM PST by PalmettoMason (Ted Kennedy is "one of the most principled men I've ever met." Lindsay Graham)
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To: blaveda

And they were hustling to find Grenada vets and Panama vets to get them in.


30 posted on 01/29/2008 3:57:19 PM PST by arthurus (Better to fight them OVER THERE than to have to fight them OVER HERE!)
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To: Incorrigible

The VFW has a concept flaw. Their membership is based not on being a veteran, but being a war veteran. This guarantees that their membership will be cyclical. They are dependent on war.

They should have long ago embraced the idea that while war veterans are special, veterans who did not fight in wars are far closer to them than civilians. Veterans who did not fight in wars still have many of the same beliefs, honor, and the same respect for the uniform.

Had they included veterans who did not fight in wars, they could have maintained steady support for an organization that would still recognize their special status. Their posts would not be closing, and there would be young blood and new money supporting it.

Veterans who did not fight in wars are highly respectful of those who did. And since most civilians can barely tell the difference between a military and police uniform, the VFW should have long ago opened its doors to veterans who not only know very well what that uniform and its decorations mean, but appreciate them as well.


31 posted on 01/29/2008 4:00:19 PM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: Chode
ours had to open to the general public to stay open...
You had to be an officer?
32 posted on 01/29/2008 4:03:57 PM PST by Krankor (kROGER)
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To: spanalot

If he got pulled over 4 times his driving couldn’t have been that great.


33 posted on 01/29/2008 4:13:03 PM PST by discostu (a mountain is something you don't want to %^&* with)
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To: Octar
I remember that and I remember the intemperate and snotty comments made by some of their national leaders regarding Viet Nam vets. I also remember after I served before the Viet Nam era (2.5 years US Naval Reserve, 3 years US Army, RA, 2 honorable discharges) being told when I attempted to join both the VFW and the American Legion, that my service didn't count because it took place at the "wrong time"

Have you heard of a DD 214....either you are elgibile or not....don't try to BS the folks my friend...

34 posted on 01/29/2008 4:16:37 PM PST by RVN Airplane Driver ("To be born into freedom is an accident; to die in freedom is an obligation..)
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To: Incorrigible
The Mendon post, located south of Kalamazoo, was ordered closed Nov. 24 — 62 years to the day after being founded by 60 World War II veterans.

Didn't exist before 1947. Twelve million in uniform in WWII. Far fewer in uniform in succeeding wars. Not hard to figure their problem.

35 posted on 01/29/2008 4:18:05 PM PST by decimon
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To: arthurus
I tried to join VFW 15 years ago. Over the course of almost a year and a half and many restarts the organization could not get my name or service number right and could not get military verification for my eligibility because they would not spell my name right or even use the right name. I would go over it letter by letter and digit by digit but when the paper came back it would always be wrong, sometimes in highly creative ways, usually with name order reversed. I gave it up. That level of incompetence was astounding to me and I no longer desired to be part of such an organization.

I call bovine secretions....I guess you and John Kerry must have the same problem....inability to produce a DD 214...

36 posted on 01/29/2008 4:18:24 PM PST by RVN Airplane Driver ("To be born into freedom is an accident; to die in freedom is an obligation..)
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To: RVN Airplane Driver

A few years after I returned from Vietnam, I went to the local VFW with my Dad, who was both a Vietnam and WWII Vet. Some of the members made it clear that I was not welcome. My Dad was pretty embarrased about it. While I kept my VFW membership for a number of years after that, I never again set foot inside a VFW post.

I can’t imagine that my nephew who is serving his second tour in Iraq would even bother to go in the first time.


37 posted on 01/29/2008 4:21:52 PM PST by centurion316 (Democrats - Supporting Al Qaida Worldwide)
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To: Young Scholar
...He may not have had an accident yet, but his conduct was still reckless and put other people’s lives at risk.

And I'll bet he didn't have his seat belt on either, that nasty old guy. Let's fine him for that too. And see if you can't get him for mis-matched socks, too, while you are at it, which you are. You should understand that using a broad brush mostly causes more problems than it fixes. Look at the guys record, he was not some drunk. What I want to say to you is to use your own mind and not mindlessly parrot the crap that has been poured into you head by our government schools.

38 posted on 01/29/2008 4:22:29 PM PST by SandwicheGuy (*The butter acts as a lubricant and speeds up the CPU*)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
The VFW has a concept flaw. Their membership is based not on being a veteran, but being a war veteran. This guarantees that their membership will be cyclical. They are dependent on war. They should have long ago embraced the idea that while war veterans are special, veterans who did not fight in wars are far closer to them than civilians. Veterans who did not fight in wars still have many of the same beliefs, honor, and the same respect for the uniform. Had they included veterans who did not fight in wars, they could have maintained steady support for an organization that would still recognize their special status. Their posts would not be closing, and there would be young blood and new money supporting it. Veterans who did not fight in wars are highly respectful of those who did. And since most civilians can barely tell the difference between a military and police uniform, the VFW should have long ago opened its doors to veterans who not only know very well what that uniform and its decorations mean, but appreciate them as well.

Have you heard of the American Legion???

39 posted on 01/29/2008 4:23:32 PM PST by RVN Airplane Driver ("To be born into freedom is an accident; to die in freedom is an obligation..)
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To: SmithL
...they only allow submariners that rode the Fleet Ballistic Missile boats...

No offense to my hotel pin-wearing bretheren, but that gave me a sad chuckle.

40 posted on 01/29/2008 4:24:21 PM PST by Doohickey (Giuliani: Brokeback Republican)
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To: centurion316
A few years after I returned from Vietnam, I went to the local VFW with my Dad, who was both a Vietnam and WWII Vet. Some of the members made it clear that I was not welcome. My Dad was pretty embarrased about it. While I kept my VFW membership for a number of years after that, I never again set foot inside a VFW post.

Your comment is on target..but remember that those who made those comments were probably REMF's who had not left that bar stool in years. Think of them as John Kerry's....phoney heroes....

41 posted on 01/29/2008 4:28:32 PM PST by RVN Airplane Driver ("To be born into freedom is an accident; to die in freedom is an obligation..)
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To: Doohickey
I thought about sending my VFW buddies a copy of Blind Man's Bluff.
42 posted on 01/29/2008 4:28:36 PM PST by SmithL (My tagline dropped out)
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To: RVN Airplane Driver

Let’s not be hasty and cast aspersions here at Freerepublic, let’s preserve the dignity of those who post; judge not please. I’ve seen too many freepers go by the way side. Without posters, we lose the glue that holds us together.


43 posted on 01/29/2008 4:29:30 PM PST by blaveda (blaveda)
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To: All

I am a lIfe member of the VFW at my hometown post.. Past Commander of the local post when I was assigned to Hill AFB in Utah.

I am also a member of the American Legion.. and even rose to the position of 1st Vice Commander.. and then I just became a member who would help.. All because I had a Legionare who told me he was a better veteran than me because I was a “gulf war/Iraq War” vet and we did not count compared to him being a Vietnam veteran..

I am a member of the legion.. but that experience left a bad taste in my mouth


44 posted on 01/29/2008 4:30:19 PM PST by Kitanis
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To: Incorrigible

The Grand Army of the Republic, the GAR, was a group of Union Civil War veterans. It was one of the most influential groups in the late 19th century. But as its members — lets face facts and call it what it is — got old and died, its influence faded. Eventually, it ceased to exist.

It’s the way of things. There are no Civil War veterans left. fewer than a handful of WWI vets. I don’t have any children, but if I manage to, they will probably never meet or remember a WWII vet. Even the very youngest Vietnam vet is pushing 60.


45 posted on 01/29/2008 4:30:53 PM PST by ReignOfError (`)
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To: Incorrigible
We buried my father yesterday in the National Cemetery in Riverside, CA. In the hour and a half we were there, I counted 8 burials staged or underway. We waited 15 minutes or so for the honor guard which was backed up coming from other sites.

I guess this will go on for another 10 years or so.

46 posted on 01/29/2008 4:31:09 PM PST by purpleraine
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To: RVN Airplane Driver
Have you heard of a DD 214....either you are elgibile or not....don't try to BS the folks my friend...

No BS, my friend. My DD 214s clearly reveal my dates of service, as do my honorable discharge certificates.

The AL and the VFW clearly spell out which periods count and which periods don't count.

Look into it if you don't know that they don't accept all veterans who served their country.

47 posted on 01/29/2008 4:32:00 PM PST by Octar
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To: ReignOfError

I estimate the youngest VN vets to be in their early to mid 50s. If you were 18 in the early 70s, you’d be 54 now.


48 posted on 01/29/2008 4:33:28 PM PST by purpleraine
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To: RVN Airplane Driver

DD214 didn’t seem to accomplish anything. They could not seem to transcribe anything off of it correctly. The DD214 does not directly place me in VN because it was a Security AFSC and VFW had to get the info from the USAF. They got that right at least once but could not connect that with the name and number they could not get right. I have since joined American Legion but the local VFW has revived quite a bit while the Legion is moribund hereabouts.


49 posted on 01/29/2008 4:35:18 PM PST by arthurus (Better to fight them OVER THERE than to have to fight them OVER HERE!)
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To: Krankor
Image hosted by Photobucket.com yup... 8^) my bad
50 posted on 01/29/2008 4:36:05 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist ©®)
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