Dear Veteran, if the first part of this could have been a conversation between you and I, please read on.
Me to Fred/Joe/Mary, Aren’t you a combat veteran and have you considered joining the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 6073 here in Scottsboro?
Fred/Joe/Mary reply: Yes I am a combat veteran, I served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but I don’t want to join the VFW because they are just a munch of old guys who sit around in a smoky hall, smoking, drinking beer and telling war stories.
My reply: Your reply is very interesting but I am afraid you have been very much mis-informed. Let me explain. To qualify to join the VFW, you have to have served overseas in a combat environment, going all the way back to WWII, so you will qualify – and oh by the way, thank you for your service. But everything else you believe is completely wrong. Our VFW Post does not have a bar (canteen), we do not allow smoking or drinking of alcohol, and we are much too busy working various programs to sit around telling war stories. As you well know, most combat veterans do not want to talk about their service and the rest of us usually aren’t interested in listening to much more than “when did you serve, in what branch and what oversea theater were you in”.
So why join the VFW? Here are just a few of the reasons you should join. When you serve in the military, you establish a brotherhood with your fellow combatants unlike anything on the outside. Once you separate, the VFW offers you a new brotherhood and support team that continues even after your death. We can help you navigate through the wickets to ensure you are getting all of your VA benefits. The VFW has lengthy list of benefits you would qualify for like transition to civilian life assistance, life insurance, discounts on a lot of things, travel services, entertainment, financial and medical services, student veteran assistance, metal wellness services, youth and education programs, troop support, and end of life service and support for your family. Our VFW Post has been the driving force behind the development of the Veterans Memorial Park of Jackson Count, we have a rifle/pistol range for members, we build wheel chair and decks for disabled veterans in need, we provide funeral/grave side flag folding and play taps, we follow up with widows and finally your membership will add to the half a million members that get serious attention when we go the Hill. But more meaningful, through your help with our support programs, community service projects and support to other veterans in need, you will get the self-satisfaction you are making a real difference in our community. The VFW prides itself in its motto, No- one takes care of Veterans better than the VFW.
So how do you join? On Saturday, 7 March, from 0730 to 1200 hours, members of Post 6073 will host a membership forum at the Jackson County Fairgrounds (across the street from Collins School), and we would like to invite every veteran who has serviced overseas to stop by and see if you qualify, get answers to any questions you might have, and help you sign up. If you are unable to make that date/time, call me and I will be happy to meet with you at your convenience. If you can bring your DD214, we will only need a few minutes. Jim Blackburn, 256-244-4476, Senior Vice Commander