For a lot of people, they think Beer and Bingo. Well they do have those things, however that is not what the VFW is about.
Your local VFW provides resources for Veterans who are having a rough time. They provide gas for their vehicle. Assistance with their payment for housing, assistance for food and utilities, rides to medical treatment and more. In fact, your local VFW has provided more than 10,000 dollars in assistance to veterans since July 1, 2018. So, when the local VFW has a fund raiser do what you can to assist them in their cause.
Their bingo games pay for the existence of the Post by paying the utilities, some of the maintenance, trash pickup, and more. The canteen is for the members and their guests. It has a liquor license but you don’t have to drink alcohol to enjoy the camaraderie of the evening. The canteen contains a pool table, a juke box, a dart board and pull-tab machines from the Missouri lottery as well as Keno, power ball and associated lottery draw games.
The VFW is involved with the Missouri and Kansas Epilepsy Foundation who sponsor the 5K for Epilepsy every year and they are also involved with the Hero’s Marathon every November. The Auxiliary hosts a Halloween Party every year for the kids of the area. They are also involved with the Boy and Girl Scouts. The Scouts have the free use of a building and a campground the year round. They hold a Spirit Wind competition each year where the Scouts Build and race sail boats at Lions Club Park.
The VFW is also involved in the schools with their Patriots Pen and Voice of Democracy programs where students can win scholarships of up to $30,000. They also have a Teacher of the Year program open to Teachers from K-12. There is a ROTC Student award for the best student in the Army and Air Force ROTC Program selected by the Commanding Officer of the respective ROTC Program.
The local VFW provides Military Honors at Veterans funerals on request. They are involved in Veterans Day activities at the schools as requested. The VFW also has their hall for rent any day of the week except Saturday which is their bingo night.
Each year for the memory of 911 they put on a fund raiser such as a ride or a 5K for freedom. This is done in September.
Several times a year they will be in front of a store with their poppies taking donations and giving you a poppy.
A little background of the Poppy and its meaning.
Madame Anna Guérin was keen to raise funds in the USA for the French people who had suffered the destruction of their communities. She asked the American organization called Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) to help her with the distribution of her French-made poppies throughout the United States.
That year the VFW assisted with the sale of the poppies in America to help keep up the much-needed funds for the battle-scarred areas of France. The poppies were sold before Memorial Day which was observed at that time on May 30. This was the first time that a United States war veterans' organization took on the task of selling the red poppy throughout the USA as a symbol of Remembrance and as a means of fund raising. The VFW decided to adopt the poppy as its own official memorial flower.
Following the distribution of the red French-made poppies for Madame Guérin in 1922, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) formally agreed in 1923 that American veterans of the Great War could also benefit from making and selling the red Memorial Poppy.
From 1924 disabled ex-servicemen started making poppies at the “Buddy Poppy” factory in Pittsburgh. The name “Buddy Poppy” was registered as a U.S. Patent in February 1924. In the following May a certificate was issued to grant trademark rights to the VFW for the manufacture of the genuine “Buddy Poppy”.
Since the 1920s the “Buddy Poppy” program has continued to raise money for the welfare and support of veterans and their dependents. There are now 11 locations where the “Buddy Poppy” is made by disabled and needy veterans. Some 14 million “Buddy Poppies” are distributed each year in the United States.
In May 1915 the sight of these delicate, vibrant red flowers growing on the shattered ground caught the attention of a Canadian soldier by the name of Major John McCrae. He noticed how they had sprung up in the disturbed ground of the burials around the artillery position he was in. It is believed that he composed the poem “In Flanders Fields” at that time. The first verse of the poem has become four of the most famous lines written in relation to the First World War:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
“In Flanders Fields” poem by John McCrae
Since this time, it has become the norm to give you a poppy for a donation that will be used for assisting Veterans, not to sell you a poppy. We give poppies for no other reason than to remember the fallen of all Wars.
So, when someone mentions the VFW remember that they are not just Beer and Bingo. If you or someone you know would like to join in the assistance of Veterans, stop by some evening and talk to one of the members. You may not qualify to join the Post but you may qualify to join the Auxiliary.
We are located on 63 south next to the Tank. Come on out and visit.