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American Legion vs VFW, and why should I join?

This is a discussion on American Legion vs VFW, and why should I join? within the Veterans Affairs forums, part of the Armed Services category; I've belonged to both at one time, now just a life member at the VFW. Both are excellent. Though I will admit the WW2 guys ...


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Old July 9th, 2016, 08:45 AM   #16
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I've belonged to both at one time, now just a life member at the VFW. Both are excellent. Though I will admit the WW2 guys and Korean guys were none to keen on young guys. Not to mention the VFW really soured some, maybe even lots, Vietnam guys. To the point they will have absolutely nothing to do with them. Funny think is it was those very same Vietnam guys that made me feel a welcome home. I will say this about the Legion, if you are battling the VA for benefits, they are extremely well versed in the political bs and red tape. Outstanding allies to have on your side.
Now I ride with the CVMA and we have the ability to keep it more local with a little more autonomy. I like that. Both the Legion and VFW have large nation events that if you don't participate, you get shunned...

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Old July 9th, 2016, 10:26 AM   #17
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IIRC, the legion qualifies you for CMP membership but the VfW does not.

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Old July 10th, 2016, 01:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by innocent bystander View Post
IIRC, the legion qualifies you for CMP membership but the VfW does not.
OK, just What are you talking about???

I am a Life Member of the VFW & DAV, joined in 1970. Used to belong to the Legion, but dropped it after a couple of years because they did not have a Life Membership program!

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Old July 10th, 2016, 02:14 PM   #19
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Old July 10th, 2016, 05:20 PM   #20
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I did not serve but my father did and from tomdokulil's post here I do concur.
When my dad retired and moved to Oregon I got his VFW mailings here at his old house and talked him into joining and getting his 'purple heart' help from the VA in Oregon; sent my mom his info and she became a VFW member in Anza, CA and does some cooking for all the guys up there and LOVES IT!
Dad was a '49 Army draftee from East LA and served infrantry in Korea '50/'51... To this day HATES snow and white rice!
Sounds like my dad (Korean War combat vet Marine). He hated snow, rice and "Chink chow", but he refused to join either organization. My paternal grandfather was an American Legion member (WW1). Most of Dad's Marine buddies were either VFW or Legion members. He and my mom had a rather heated discussion about it when she suggested that he might want to join."What in the hell do I have in common with a bunch of rear eschelon chair warmers?" was his response. Dad was odd about that. He verbally eviserated a friend of mine's dad who made the mistake of saying how "hard" it was being a radio operator in Japan during the Korean War.

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Old July 10th, 2016, 06:58 PM   #21
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IIRC, the legion qualifies you for CMP membership but the VfW does not.
I guess I did not remember correctly:

Q? I BELONG TO A VETERANíS ORGANIZATION, DOES THAT COUNT AS AN AFFILIATED CLUB?

A.
Yes, starting in 2005 Congressionally chartered veteransí organizations (VFW, American Legion, etc.) are recognized as CMP special affiliates. Any member of these organizations, who wishes to purchase military surplus items from the CMP and fulfills all other requirements, may purchase those items by submitting proof of membership.

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Old September 12th, 2016, 10:15 AM   #22
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As Innocent said, this means you fulfill your need for a club in order to purchase CMP M1's and ammo from CMP. Been there and done that.

Nsquid, try the VA again. They may reevaluate your classification and you can then get some benies. Was a boomer submariner from '68 thru'76 and they let me in-still have to pay a copay but it's cheap pills and Dr. appointments.

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Old September 12th, 2016, 10:52 AM   #23
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OK, just What are you talking about???

I am a Life Member of the VFW & DAV, joined in 1970. Used to belong to the Legion, but dropped it after a couple of years because they did not have a Life Membership program!
The American Legion does have a Paid Up For Life "PUFL" program. Tom from MN

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Old September 12th, 2016, 01:26 PM   #24
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I was out for awhile , but got back in the Am Legion. For years , they didn't accept Beirut/Grenada era vets. Many posts are poorly run. But some are great and are a good gathering and support place for vets. Unfortunately some have more social members and sons of legionnaires than actual military vets. I've stopped in a few where they won't allow members of other posts unless they're sponsored in by a member of that post , or buy a social membership. Granted social memberships help keep the places open , but many are total a-holes.

My current post is getting better. There's no real riff-raff , no druggies , no dealers. Some of the social members are jerks , but the percentage of jerks is far less than any public bar. Gulf War vets have swelled our ranks. New post commander is taking charge and asks the vets how things are going. We do help out our own , and have had a few benefits for vet/members who have had medical problems.

I also belong to the Legion Riders , a group of us who like to ride motorcycles. Officially we are not a motorcycle club , but , , . Again , we have a new president , an Iraq-vet marine GySgt who's really gung-ho to make it interesting. We've got older guys and younger guys. Most of us do have a true camaraderie going that only vets can have even though we served at different times , different branches , different experiences. Some guys just like to wear their patch and play barstool biker. I rarely see them ride.I like it because all of my old riding buddies except 1 are dead or quit riding.

We've done a few welcome home rides and memorial/funeral rides. A dozen of us met yesterday (Sun-9-11-16) had breakfast and took a ride to the National Veterans Cemetery.

Next Sunday , we're meeting up with a neighboring posts Riders and are doing a benefit poker run. Beats sitting in a bar all day!

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Old September 12th, 2016, 08:16 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by boomerpusher View Post
As Innocent said, this means you fulfill your need for a club in order to purchase CMP M1's and ammo from CMP. Been there and done that.

Nsquid, try the VA again. They may reevaluate your classification and you can then get some benies. Was a boomer submariner from '68 thru'76 and they let me in-still have to pay a copay but it's cheap pills and Dr. appointments.
Boomerpusher:
When did you get in? The letter I got in 2014 from the VA was pretty blunt. Okay, maybe I should have signed up right after I got out of the Nav in 1983 but I was really sick and tired of the Canoe Club and just about everything associated with it.

When I did finally apply I was just looking for something that covered Obamacare because we were on a clock at work and knew we were all getting let go August 2015.

Now the only reason I would join the VA would be for the wife to have a way to get me killed fast and keep everything. You know, suicide by VA, sort of like suicide by cop. The VA over in Iowa Cities, Iowa (closest to me) is the one that recently (last spring I think) had a soldier walk in - Afghan Vet - tell them he feared he was going to do something rash to himself. They kicked him out into the street. The next day he had killed himself. Now they are up to their f_ing armpits in investigations.

Back 10 years ago or so the VA out of Johnson City, TN, took good care of my brother-in-law and extended his life at least 3 years in his fight with lung cancer. That was then and there, I'm here and now.

Overall I think the VA falls under "Hi, we're from the government and we're here to help you".

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Old September 13th, 2016, 08:33 AM   #26
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Vietnam vet here and had claim filed through VFW, and got my M1 from CMP because of that, too.

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Old September 13th, 2016, 09:07 AM   #27
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why you should join.
1. it's way cheaper than hanging out at a strip cub,but not as much fun
2. wife will not bitch at you if your going there as she would a strip club.
3. cheaper priced hooch
4. you can prob watch sports with out the nagging wife.
5.wife will know your safer there when she wants to kick you out of the house for the after noon.
6. have her drop you off so you can get a good buzz and not get a dui,pick you up later.
7.you can bond with the guys and do things,even if it's wrong.
8.you get to help your brothers/sisters,whom you served with,and pay it forward,because you survived hell.a bond that cannot be explained,but had to be experienced.
9. by banding together in vfw, legion,and aarp,you have a voice in washington,to make future health treatment benefits for you and the people who carry on the service to the usa,in the future.
10.you make new friends and networking connections,golf buddies,etc.
11.for some,who have no family,or are detached from them,you know you will have somebody to say goodbye,when the big dirt nap arrives.

to all who served,thank you for your service. enjoy your life, family and friends,you earned it.

now the best reason to join vfw/legion. to honor the folks who gave their lives in the service of their country and freedom,whether civilian or military.

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Old September 13th, 2016, 09:30 AM   #28
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I would check out who has the best bar and bartender and if they have a happy hour.

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Old September 13th, 2016, 01:06 PM   #29
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So I've been out for about 17 years now I'm guessing. When I did get out, I was probably a bit screwed up in the head, but nothing I couldn't get over with time. Never, from when I got out of contract, to the present, did the thought of the American Legion or the VFW, ever occur to me. In fact, my only dealings with any Veteran organization, was at a local VA office in a community college to fill out the paper work for my GI Bill. So vet organizations in general, are completely foreign to me. I got out, I pressed on, did my own thing, life goes on.

So over this last year, I've been getting stuff in my mail from both the VFW, and the American Legion. After all this time, I wonder how they even got my name. Never got anything from them before. I'm looking it over, but can't really tell the difference between the two. The Pro's and cons, why one or the other, or why bother at all. The only thing I can make heads of is the VFW is for war vets.

When I think VFW, i think WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, GWOT. Interestingly, I apparently meet the requirements to join, because I was stationed in Korea for a year in 94/95. I can't wrap my head around that at all. Yeah Korea wasn't exactly what I would call fun walk in the park, but its not what I personally find as a valid qualification by way of comparison. I don't think I deserve to sit at the same table as vets who served in the above conflicts I mentioned. They must be really hurting for members if they'd let me in based on a remote short tour in the land of the not quite right. Nonetheless, I am curious.

Can anyone in the know fill me in? Thank you.
I would personally have a sit-down talk with the membership guy/gal in each organization. Be sure to bring your DD 214 paper with you and decide for yourself. Maybe you don't need any help with cutting through government red-tape now but what about in the future? Tom from MN

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