Joining The VFW

There are three major requisites for membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States: United States Citizenship; honorable service in the armed forces of the United States; and military service entitling the applicant to the award of a recognized campaign or service medal, or a period of military service as set forth in the Congressional Charter and/or in the VFW by-laws. NOTE: Service on the Korean Peninsula, or in its territorial waters, after June 30, 1949, until present, for 30 consecutive days, or 60 total nonconsecutive days, will qualify the applicant for membership.

Taken one step at a time, checking eligibility is a relatively simple process. Discharges issued during and immediately after the close of World War II have a section on the back listing the awards and decorations earned by the recipient. Persons discharged later received a Department of Defense Form 214 (DD214), “Report of Separation.” The DD214 has a section that indicates the awards and decorations earned by the recipient. Service times and assignments are also shown on the DD214 (see the Korean service exception noted above).

Should an applicant’s documents be lost, or otherwise unavailable, the applicant may request certified copies by completing GSA Form 180, and submitting the request to the Military Records Center. Help in obtaining and completing GSA Form 180 is available from any office of the United States Veterans Administration, or from a respective state Veterans Department.

Contact the VFW National Headquarters or Contact Post 9545 at 815.485.8369 to obtain more information if you qualify to be a member. Our Membership Chairman will get back to you right away.