Benefits of Membership
1. Fellowship: We gather to share good times with fellow veterans who have been in a foreign conflict, war, expeditionary campaign or part of occupation force. We gather not just to tell war stories and see who can tell the biggest and bestest, but to simply be in the presence of others who understand what was an important part of our life. Who can do that better than another vet.
We don’t ever want to forget who we are and where we came from. Our military backgrounds were an influence that helped shape our lives. The best way for us to be a “positive force for good” in the community is to take our collective experience and wisdom and share it with others. Getting together with other vets allows us to reaffirm who we are and what our core values are. Participation states what is important to us.
2. Opportunity: Opportunity abounds at the individual as well as group level. There are opportunities for service to the post, other veterans, the community at large, business community, faith communities, families, schools, government groups, youth, etc. There are opportunities for everyone to direct their energies into service projects, leadership, communications, and other contributions while making new friends and learning from the experience of others in the post.
The questions that always comes mind are ” What opportunities are available at the present and am I really aware of ALL of them?” How can I contribute? Where are my energies best invested? What is the ultimate impact of my investment of time and energy? Will it help? Can I make a difference?
3. Representation: The VFW supports our causes as concerns as veterans. The best way to stay abreast of the issues that affect us is to participate in a unique organization that gives us the “representation” we need at the local, state and federal levels. The word means to serve as an example; to serve as a delegate or agent. I could go on for quite a bit about this one, and I’m sure you could too.
Without some organization, veterans would be tossed about and discarded on the scrap heap of life as “has beens.” The all too common attitude is “been there, done that, got the t-shirt.” The truth is that most people have not been there and done that and worn the t-shirt (uniform). So they need to get an accurate picture of what a war veteran is and what he is not.
Let us not leave this job up to the news media or Hollywood. They can present a distorted image of the veteran, as was done during the Vietnam era. So, the best way to make sure that the public has the truth is to be proactive and do our own communicating, public relations and service projects. by Greg Stadler