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VFW Interest Group

Veterans of Foreign Wars Interest Group for AP Government
by

Scarlett Miles

on 14 December 2012

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Transcript of VFW Interest Group

Scarlett Miles & Elizabeth Fowler Veterans of Foreign Wars
Interest Group How the VFW Began The VFW's Political Ideology Our Assessment *The VFW traces it's root all the way back to 1899. Veterans of the Spanish-American War, as well as the Philippine Insurrection, began to found local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service.
*By 1915, the membership of the VFW was 5,000 and by 1936 it had hit 200,000. What are the VFW's Concerns? *The VFW has voiced opinions on many issues concerning veterans.
-Including, but not limited to, establishing the Veterans Administration, creating a GI bill for the 20th century, & developing the national cemetery system.
*In 2008 the VFW helped to pass the 21st century GI bill. *Although the VFW does not specify with a particular political party, and they have to compromise with both Democratic and Republican parties, the VFW has strongly conservative opinions.
The VFW has a lot of plans, and seems to be fairly effective in making their voices heard. The countless fund raising draws attention to their cause, as well as their persistent goals to require congress to continue to support their funding for important programs for veterans, active duty soldiers, and Reserve members. The GI Bill that the VFW has supported for nearly two centuries has helped millions of reserve members go to college, and their job programs have helped many veterans find jobs after they serve. The GI bill gives expanded educational benefits
to America's active-duty service members,
and members of Guards and Reserves, fighting
in Iraq and Afghanistan. Other Examples Actions! Targets Some more recent concerns of the VFW- How does the VFW make their voices heard? What part of the government does
the VFW focus on? Well, the VFW continuously advocate on behalf of millions of veterans. They testify at committee hearings, and interact with members of congress. The VFW also holds many fundraisers to benefit causes that they are currently concerned with. The VFW's 2013 goals are
1. VA Health Care
2. Suicides & Homelessness
3. VA Compensation & Benefits
4. Seamless Transition
5. Education & Employment
6. Defense & Homeland Security
7. Military Quality of Life
8. POW/MIA *The VFW's main focus in the US Government is the legislative branch.
*Their location in the Washington D.C. office allows them to monitor all legislation affecting veterans, and to actively lobby congress and the administration on veterans issues. But, what side are they on? The VFW insists for congress to fund the Department of Veterans Affairs so that it can continue to provide the highest quality care to all eligible wounded, ill, and injured veterans. *Strengthen efforts to prevent suicide and homelessness by making mental health services and substance abuse treatments a priority, as well as funds to end veteran homelessness. The VFW wants congress to use funding and oversight to require Veterans Benefits Administration to reduce claims backlog while improving overall quality of ratings decision. Creation of an integrated electronic medical and service record that will follow service members. Ensure that programs to prevent veteran unemployment succeed, and work with congress to prevent shortcomings. The VFW plans to support US troops and missions to prosecute the war on terrorism, secure America's borders from all threats, and deport illegal aliens that commit crome. The VFW wants to keep military retirement programs the same, and make sure congress remains fully committed to improving Quality of Life programs for Active Duty and Reserve component members and their families. The VFW wants to achieve the fullest accounting of US personnel missing from all wars, and that this is kept at a national priority. The VFW's compromise with both parties, and variety of members, with varying opinions makes them a fairly neutral party, however most of their concerns are based on conservative issues. For example: Many goals in their 2013 Priorities require congress to allow funding of certain benefit programs for veterans and Active duty soldiers. In November President Obama signed the VFW's COLA Increase bill. This increases compensation for disabled veterans and their families. Just recently the VFW supported the signing of the COLA Increase Bill. This will raise compensation for veterans and their families. The VFW also receives donations from both parties, which shows that both parties support the VFW. However, a few years ago their was controversy over donations, creating a riff between the VFW and the democratic party.
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