History of the VFW

Post Commander Steve McLemore

The VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service: Many arrived home wounded or sick. There was no medical care or veterans' pension for them,and they were left to care for themselves.

In their misery, some of these veterans banded together and formed organizations with what would become known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. After chapters were formed in Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania, the movement quickly gained momentum. By 1915, membership grew to 5,000; by 1936, membership was almost 200,000.

Since then, the VFW's voice had been instrumental in establishing the Veterans Administration, creating a GI bill for the 20th century, the development of the national cemetery system and the fight for compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange and for veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. In 2008, VFW won a long-fought victory with the passing of a GI Bill for the 21st Century, giving expanded educational benefits to America's active-duty service members, and members of the Guard and Reserves, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The VFW also has fought for improving VA medical centers services for women veterans.

Besides helping fund the creation of the Vietnam, Korean War, World War II and Women in Military Service memorials, the VFW in 2005 became the first veterans' organization to contribute to building the new Disabled Veterans for Life Memorial, which opened in November 2010.

Annually, the nearly 2 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliaries contribute more than 8.6 million hours of volunteerism in the community, including participation in Make A Difference Day and National Volunteer Week.

From providing over $3 million in college scholarships and savings bonds to students every year, to encouraging elevation of the Department of Veterans Affairs to the president's cabinet, the VFW is there.

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“I joined the navy in April 1972, completed recruit training July 1972 at RTC San Diego. After boot camp I completed Hull Maintenance Technician "A" school at Treasure island, Ca. and NTC San Diego and Class "C" Welding school at NTC San Diego . My first assignment was to the USS Simon Lake AS-33 in Rota Spain. In 1976 I transferred to the USS Canopus AS-34 in Rota Spain. In 1978 I was assigned to NRD Houston, NRS Port Arthur. After a tour in recruiting, I transferred to The USS Schenectady LST-1185 in 1980, where I deployed twice to the Western Pacific. In 1983 I was transferred to the USS Elliot DD-967, where I deployed to the Western Pacific for a third time. Upon a successful tour on the Elliot, I was transferred to FTC, San Diego, Damage Control School where I qualified as Master Training Specialist. In 1989, I completed the Senior Enlisted Academy in Newport R.I. and was then assigned to the USS Nimitz CVN-68 as LCPO of repair division and then after advancing to Master Chief Petty Officer I was assigned as LCPO of Engineering Department deploying again to the Western pacific spending time in the Persian Gulf. In 1992, I was accepted into the Command Master Chief Program and transferred to the USS Tripoli LPH-10 where I deployed twice to the Western Pacific/Persian Gulf region. In 1995, I decided it was time to retire and moved my family to Round Rock.”

Steve Mclemore

Commander

“Joined the US Navy on my 18th birthday, I went to boot camp at NTC San Diego Oct. 1967. reported to NATTC Millington TN. for A School, then on to the fleet. I was assigned to VP-2 NAS Whidbey Is. Wash. Deployed Westpac, Feb.69-Nov.-69. Transferred to VFP-63, NAS Mirimar Dec. 69, Deployed onboard USS Oriskany for Westpac cruise May 70-Dec. 70.Transferred to Shore duty, VF-124 NAS Mirimar, trans back to VFP-63 shore duty side of Squadron. discharged May, 1976. Attained the rate of AD-2 Enlisted USAF Reserves, Nov. 1982, Reported to Altus AFB. OK. for C-5 Flight-engineer training. Released from active duty training tour, July 1984 as a qualified Flight Eng. Served until retirement Oct. 2005.recalled for Desert Shield/ Desert Storm. Aug. 1990 -Jul. 1991. Voluntary activated Sept. 12, 2001 and remained until May, 2005, the back to reserve status until retirement in Oct. 2005. Attained the rank of Master Sargent. ”

walt abbey

Sr. Vice commander

“Dr. Walt Foultz (Jr. Vice Commander) did the first nine years of his military career as an enlisted person in the United States Army, where he rose to the rank of Sergeant First Class. He served in the 5th, 7th and 12th Special Forces Groups, and is a combat veteran of Vietnam. After returning from Vietnam, Dr Foultz graduated from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia and accepted a commission as an Infantry Officer. He held several command and staff positions while serving in both the Army Reserve and National Guard. His final assignment was that of Assistant G2 and All Source Intelligence Chief for the 40th Infantry Division before retiring as a Major. .”

"Doc"foultz

Jr. vice commander

"Joined the US Navy on Dec 27, 1973 and went to boot camp in Orlando, Fl. Assigned to DK "A" School in San Diego, Ca. (Feb - Mar 74). Transferred to FLEACTS Yokosuka, JA. (Jul 77 - Apr 79), transferred to Commander 7th Fleet USS Oklahoma City CG-5 (Jul 77- Apr 79). USS Nitro AE-23(May 79- Feb 81). Got out of the service for 5 years rentered active Duty in NTC Orlando Fl. (May - Jun 85). Transferred to VS-33 out of San Diego Ca. (Jul 85- Dec 88) I was selected for Data Systems rate conversion) and transferred to CSTSC Mare Island Ca. (Jan 89 - May 90) After Completing DS "A" School was assigned to USS William H. Standley CG-32 (Jun 90-Jun 92), FTCPAC San Diego CA. (Jul 92 - Nov 94) USS Boxer LHD-4 ( Dec 94 - Mar 98) DS1 USN We commissioned the USS Boxer February 95. I retired March 1998 after 20 years of active duty service.” I moved from San Diego, Ca. to Round Rock, Tx. with my family.

Wayne Cooley

quartermaster