Thursday, April 25, 2024

#AtoZChallenge - VFW, why did I join?

 #AtoZChallenge 2024 letter V

Welcome to Day 22 of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. 

My theme this year is things that inspire and/or entertain me. 

I'm going to revisit a past V post since I can add to it now.  

I have been a member of the VFW, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Old Settlers Post 4659 in Disco, Michigan since February 2018.
When I was thinking of joining some sort of veteran's organization, my brother who retired from the Air Force suggested AmVets, which is open to all veterans.  I looked into it, but saw they stick their female vets in the auxiliary with the family members.  Um no.  I don't feel that's a good combination.  I deserve to be recognized as a member and not stuck in a group with the civilian wives.. 

I looked into the American Legion, and while I see a lot of females on their website, it was hard to find info for us specifically.  And while I spoke to a lady (a former Marine) from the local Legion at a blood drive who invited me to come visit / to join - I wasn't feeling it. 

For some reason, it just felt right when I looked into the VFW.   Back many moons ago, when Spawn was in Brownies in elementary school and I was one of her leaders, we took the troop to this very same post for Veteran's Day.  I had a nice chat with the commander at the time and he suggested then that I should join.  But all I knew about any of these places was based on my grandparents who only went to "the Legion" to drink & play bingo.   I don't drink enough to feel the need to go someplace other than my back patio to do it and I sure don't play Bingo!

I was made to feel welcome as soon I walked in to meet the guy in charge of membership.  I could tell he was very proud of the post as he showed me around.  So yeah.  I started out with a one year membership, but eventually upgraded to a life membership.  We're currently up to 5 females who attend meetings with any regularity.  
Ya know, hearing about things that happened in Vietnam, Korea or even WWII on TV or newspapers is NOT the same as hearing it directly from someone who was there.   Every time I go to a meeting, I'm in awe of being in the company of these gentlemen who have experienced things that I cannot imagine.   I may qualify to be a member under a couple different bullets on the VFW eligibility list but my time in was cake compared to these guys who saw real close-up combat.
August 2018, our newly installed M60 tank.
I just think it's cool!  Not F14 fighter jet cool, but cool enough.

Last summer, our commander called a meeting of the "younger" folks at the post to get ideas for signing up people who qualify under the Global War on Terror.  The VFW was running a campaign to sign up younger people, so I attended with 5 or 6 guys, and the discussion turned to WHY we joined.  Commander Art asked me specifically and I froze, with all these sets of eyes staring at me!  That's a tough question.  Maybe because I don't like being like other females?  Being a veteran itself sets me apart from most.  Belonging to, and doing at lot with, the VFW also sets me apart.  I don't know.  

But at least being the chairpeep for the VFW Youth Scholarships and our own post's scholarship makes a difference in some lives.  And I really can't wait to dive into the history of our post as post historian, too.  That really interests me, but I'm not quite sure where to start!

1 comment:

Leave a note - they make me feel loved!