The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

Benefit from Spreading Kindness to Veterans!

Veteran of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW)

The Spanish-American War was a Cuban conflict which lasted from April 12, 1898 – December 10th, 1898. It was a smaller war, to what had been the catalyst of the creation of the Veteran of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW). The VFW was designed when veterans of the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection founded local organizations in order to secure rights and benefits for their service.

The Concept of the VFW was to support veterans coming home who lacked self sustaining benefits for their services.

“Many arrived home wounded or sick. There was no medical care or veterans’ pension for them, and they were left to care for themselves” is stated on the VFW’s website.

Their slogan, “No one does more for veterans,” further represents that nobody in your Post should feel neglected. It is meant for people to take a look around, and identify those who may have been forgotten.

The mission of the VFW is to foster comradeship among the United States veterans of overseas conflicts. The VFW also enforces core values to their members, those being: Always put the interests of our members first, treat donors as partners in our cause, promote patriotism, honor military service, ensure the care of veterans and their families, serve our communities, promote a positive image of the VFW, and respect the diversity of veteran opinions.

While the main headquarters of the VFW is in Kansas City, VFW Post are located all over the world. There are about 82 VFW Post in the VFW’s Department of New Jersey, and are all located on VFWNJ’s website in the directory section for more information.

In addition to supporting local veterans, people who have yet to serve in an area of foreign conflict are more than welcome to join a VFW as long as they meet the eligibility requirement. The requirement for such people is to be the parent, grandparent, spouse, sibling, child or grandchild of a qualifying veteran.

There are 3 times of memberships in the VFW, those being: an Annual Membership, a Life Membership, and a Legacy Life Membership.

An annual membership is paid yearly, and grants you a membership per year as a member of the VFW. Typically, the fee for this annual membership is $45 for a full year.

A life membership in the VFW is a lifetime commitment and provides multiple benefits such as, avoid annual dues and renewals, maintain your membership in any Post you choose worldwide, never pay an increase in dues guaranteed, receive a 10% discount on exclusive VFW Store merchandise for the first year. The life membership plan can either be paid off with a one-time payment, or an installment plan with an initial payment of $45, and the life membership amount billed over a 11-month period.

The VFW Parade in Wildwood, June 15th – 18th 2023

Typically, the VFW encourages young people to join the VFW to:

“Honor the service of a family member, promote patriotism within your community to all citizens young and old, participate in programs that bring family and community members together for worthwhile projects, stress that veterans and their entitlements be a number one priority for legislators.”

In addition to this, the efforts that volunteers indulge into this, allow for possible youth scholarships and awards. An example of such scholarships available would be the Voice of Democracy audio-essay program, which was previously advertised in Gateway Regional High School through VFW Post 5579.

Other recent opportunities include a VFW Auxiliary 3-Dimensional Patriotic Art Contest, VFW Auxiliary National Anthem Singing Contest, and a K-8 VFW Auxiliary National Illustrating American Art Contest. More chances like these are always actively being distributed, in an attempt to raise success in students, and raise fundraisers for local Veterans.

The VFW meetings are held monthly, and are used to discuss financial standings, fundraising opportunities, upcoming events, and any other suggestions and ideas of members. These meetings are the foundation of the VFW, and allow for members to discuss and plan events to better the lives of veterans and others.

When the President of VFW Post 5579 Kim Mullison was asked about what the VFW does and how the motive for positive change is always a priority, she said:

“Members of the VFW and VFW Auxiliary volunteer to better the lives of veterans and their families at the community, state and national level.  Organizing fundraisers, spreading hospital cheer, serving meals and advocating for veteran legislation are just a few of the things our volunteers do.  I am exceedingly proud to share my passion for veterans with my family, students and extended VFW family!”

Mullison demonstrates leadership in her ability to communicate and formulate meetings, and traverses to great extent to represent her passion for the VFW.

Gateway Regional High School Assistant Principal Dana DeGeorge has recently joined VFW Post 5579 to support her husband and all of the others in the VFW to understand, value, and respect their stories, as well as their presence in the modern day. When Mrs.DeGeorge was asked about what the VFW did for her husband and family, and how she feels to be apart of it, she stated:

“My husband is an Army Veteran, who spent time in Afghanistan and Iraq and has experienced many things in his life that I will never understand.  A few years ago he joined VFW Post 5579 and being a part of the VFW has been a great support to him because he has the opportunity to speak with others who have been in similar situations.  The VFW also plans activities that our whole family has participated in such as Easter Egg Hunts, Chicken BBQ’s, and parades.”

The VFW strives endlessly to support families such as Mrs. DeGeorge’s, and to be able to honor and support her husband, as well as the other veterans for their services, is the primary reason the DeGeorge’s joined the VFW.

A Gateway Regional High School Student Andrew Archer who is in VFW Post 5579 had been willing to share his beliefs, and respect for veterans when asked about it. He said:

“I understand veterans’ values and their importance and place in our wonderful world. It has allowed me to deepen my respect for their services, and makes me feel honored to make positive contributions to their lives.”

Archer has continued to mention the positive impacts the VFW has had on him, being able to contribute to meetings and see change as a High School Student was inspirational and has “changed him for the better,” he said.

With pure drive for change, the VFW endlessly works to support veterans at the local, state and national levels, preventing them from being forgotten and giving them the recognition and support deserved.

“Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.” – May 2011 VFW Magazine.



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About the Contributor
Benjamin Bittner
Benjamin Bittner, Staff Writer
Hi, my name is Benjamin Bittner, I am a senior at Gateway, and I enjoy writing mainly poetry and short stories. I am open to any sort of writing and wish to pursue my dream as a writer providing relaxing, calming poems and stories to ease the minds of those who struggle. My outside hobbies are fishing and volunteering with the VFW. I also like watching sports, typically football.
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    Ms. PowellApr 15, 2024 at 8:01 am

    What a great article! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and for bringing the organization to our attention!