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The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in a U.S. veterans’ organization that lobbies for legislation favorable to veterans and leads charitable efforts aimed at helping current and former members of the U.S. military while promoting patriotism and encouraging popular support for the military. The organization has posts throughout the country and is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. After briefly describing the development of the organization, this entry discusses the VFW’s political and cultural influence and concludes with a look at the organization today.

Development

The VFW dates to the Spanish-American War of 1898. Veterans returning from the United States’ first substantive overseas conflicts in Cuba and the Philippines reentered a nation with no state-sponsored apparatus for supporting wounded or disabled veterans. Furthermore, existing veterans’ organizations like the ...

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