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The VFW's New Wars: Veterans Struggle to Keep Posts Alive ( Video )
newsmax.com ^ | 5/25/2009 | staff

Posted on 05/25/2009 5:51:02 AM PDT by kellynla

As the nation once again honors those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country, the Veterans of Foreign Wars is struggling to recruit a new generation of warriors returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. Newsmax.TV's Kathleen Walter takes a look at what VFW members are doing to ensure the organization survives for decades to come.

(Excerpt) Read more at video.newsmax.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: military; oefveterans; oifveterans; veterans; vfw

1 posted on 05/25/2009 5:51:02 AM PDT by kellynla
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The Official Site of the VETERANS of FOREIGN WARS of the UNITED STATES
Link:http://www.vfw.org/


2 posted on 05/25/2009 5:53:43 AM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: kellynla

Ohio’s non-smoking laws which also apply to private clubs are killing the VFW’s in the state.


3 posted on 05/25/2009 5:57:10 AM PDT by myuhaul
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To: kellynla

I suspect Veterans gathering places originated as places to help them cope with the demons who came home from war with them. Then Vietnam stigma forced a lot of vets ‘underground’ in much of the country. And now we trust VA psychologists with the job of convincing our soldiers that they aren’t crazy, that only crazy people would not be bothered (at least somewhat) by what they’d gone through. (I can’t say for sure, but based on the WWII generation, for most I would guess the VFW is a more effective, more pleasant, and cheaper way to address the problem.)


4 posted on 05/25/2009 6:28:23 AM PDT by Glenmore
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To: myuhaul

We have the same problem here in Iowa with the American Legion. Also, we have trouble attrating young vets for some reason. They passed that non-smoking law here in the past year. You can smoke in the casino’s though.


5 posted on 05/25/2009 6:32:10 AM PDT by Piquaboy (Military veteran of 22 years in Navy, Air Force, and Army.)
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To: myuhaul

Florida’s anti-smoking law has an exception for private organizations like the VFW and American Legion so it has actually helped attract members and increased club attendance in many places.

But the exceptions are constantly under attack by the do-gooders.


6 posted on 05/25/2009 6:53:03 AM PDT by Iron Munro (Will Rogers: Every law Congress makes is a joke and every joke they tell becomes a law.)
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To: myuhaul
Ohio’s non-smoking laws which also apply to private clubs are killing the VFW’s in the state.

Smoking was the number one reason I did not continue my membership. I had far better places to be than siting inside an ashtray.

But there are other, just as important reason the clubs aren't attracting new members. When I was young we head about the 'Generation Gap' and it's back.

What veteran of the Gulf War, Iraq or Afghanistan wishes to got to a bar where the band is playing 'All your favorites from the 50's 60's and 70's!!'

There are more, but the these illustrate that the problem isn't simple. The smoking issue alone (Even as moot as it is now in Ohio) is a blade cutting both ways. Don't and you chase away smokers, do and the non-smokers don't show up.

Today the only ones able to make the changes aren't so willing to include HipHop, Modern R&B and Metal bands, or a DJ mixing top 40 hits into 'High energy thumping music never stops' versions inside the door because it may alienate the current (however small & shrinking) membership.

7 posted on 05/25/2009 7:14:34 AM PDT by kAcknor ("A pistol! Are you expecting trouble sir?" "No ma'am, were I expecting trouble I'd have a rifle.")
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To: kellynla

To me the VFW was always grubby little alcoholic bars, the American Legion on the other hand was much more normal and better run with better clientele.


8 posted on 05/25/2009 7:22:50 AM PDT by ansel12 (Romney (guns)"instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people")
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To: kAcknor

My son goes to a couple of VFW’s in the Orlando area- he loves talking with the older vets (he likes the music from the 60,’s and 70’s anyway). He says he has more in common with a vet in his 50’s or 80’s than he does with a lot of the guys he went to school with.

He doesn’t go often- but when he’s having a bad day- that’s where he heads to..


9 posted on 05/25/2009 7:40:06 AM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: kellynla

Just my own experience, but... when I came back from VN way back when, the veterans’ clubs were simply — not welcoming. Their attitude was: “we won OUR war.” Well, screw you, too.


10 posted on 05/25/2009 7:45:38 AM PDT by Snickersnee (Where are we going? And what's with this handbasket?)
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To: Snickersnee
If you recall, the VFW wouldn't allow Vietnam vets to join. Just the American Legion.

Nam Vet

11 posted on 05/25/2009 7:50:01 AM PDT by Nam Vet ("Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it." .... Henry David Thoreau)
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To: SE Mom
He doesn’t go often- but when he’s having a bad day- that’s where he heads to..

I'm sure glad he has that option. It's the very reason these clubs exist in the first place, although it's rarely mentioned. A place to be where everyone 'gets it', whatever the 'it' happens to be depending on personal experience. Everyone there understands, without having to know the exact reasons for a 'bad day' because most have had their own bad days.

It's why figuring out how to get more members is so important. Most think these are simply social clubs for vets, but it's far deeper than that. OTOH, there is a social club component and it's the first reason people first walk in.

12 posted on 05/25/2009 7:52:24 AM PDT by kAcknor ("A pistol! Are you expecting trouble sir?" "No ma'am, were I expecting trouble I'd have a rifle.")
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To: Snickersnee

“Just my own experience, but... when I came back from VN way back when, the veterans’ clubs were simply — not welcoming.”

Which was my personal experience too. And my father was a POST COMMANDER for both the VFW and the American Legion and he NEVER invited me to either post and/or to join either organization!

Semper Fi,
Kelly


13 posted on 05/25/2009 7:52:52 AM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: Nam Vet
“If you recall, the VFW wouldn't allow Vietnam vets to join?”

I don't “recall” any such thing.

And my father was a V.F.W. post commander.

Semper Fi,
Kelly

14 posted on 05/25/2009 7:56:18 AM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: kAcknor

I agree- it is important for vets to know about and join the VFW. I never even thought of it as a “social club”.

When he was medically retired the VFW was one of the first places he went. He said it was like a breath of fresh, smoke-filled air;) ...received a very warm welcome and mostly- the relief of being with guys- no matter their age-who got it.


15 posted on 05/25/2009 8:16:42 AM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: kellynla
I have several friends in the VFW, but I was not eligible to become a member until they changed the rules a couple of years ago. Most Cold-War submariners are still not allowed to join the VFW, so I joined the USSVI, instead. Nevertheless, all of us have an obligation to tell the stories to ensure that the heroics of those that went before us, are never forgotten.
16 posted on 05/25/2009 9:12:28 AM PDT by SmithL (The Golden State demands all of your gold)
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To: Nam Vet

“If you recall, the VFW wouldn’t allow Vietnam vets to join.”

Interesting. I am a nam vet and was heavily recruited to join the VFW. I went once and didn’t find much there I enjoyed and never went back, but I still get mailers every month.


17 posted on 05/25/2009 11:09:19 AM PDT by yazoo (Conservatives believe what they see. Liberals see what they believe.)
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To: kellynla
Hey Kelly, in so. California, Covina/West Covina none of the vets I knew when I returned were able to join VFW.

Nam Vet

18 posted on 05/26/2009 10:15:36 AM PDT by Nam Vet ("Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it." .... Henry David Thoreau)
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To: Nam Vet

“Hey Kelly, in so. California, Covina/West Covina none of the vets I knew when I returned were able to join VFW.
Nam Vet”

Well, like I said earlier, that’s news to me.

Was there any “reason” given?


19 posted on 05/26/2009 10:18:22 AM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: ansel12

That’s the way my father described them too.
He said the VFW was where blue collar vets, without their wives, went to drink beer and listen to the juke box, while the American Legion was more white collar, a place where you could take your wife and family and alcohol was less prominent.


20 posted on 05/26/2009 10:29:40 AM PDT by kalee (01/20/13 The end of an error.... Obama even worse than Carter.)
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To: kellynla; Nam Vet

Here is a link to a military forum that mentions many of the problems of the VFW including being anti Vietnam vets and now anti Gulf and Iraq vets.

http://forums.military.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/409192893/m/1250026671001


21 posted on 05/26/2009 10:56:07 AM PDT by ansel12 (Romney (guns)"instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people")
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