Q:

What is the difference between the VFW and the American Legion?

A:

Quick Answer

The Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion are both support organizations for war veterans that were established after the United States Military got involved in foreign wars abroad. These groups are much more alike than different, but they do differ in their eligibility requirements.

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What is the difference between the VFW and the American Legion?
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Full Answer

The VFW accepts memberships from all current and former military veterans who have received a campaign medal for their service overseas. They must have served at least 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days in Korea, or they must be veterans who have received imminent danger or hostile fire pay at any time.

The American Legion extends eligibility to active duty or honorably discharged soldiers who have served in any of seven eligible war eras, beginning with World War I. Reservists and National Guard members are eligible as well.

Both of these groups are active on the local and national levels, and they actively lobby to influence legislation for the betterment of veterans. The VFW was instrumental in the establishment of the Veterans Administration and advocated strongly for compensation for military members who suffered war-related disabilities and illnesses. The American Legion is also a vocal lobbyist, championing the rights and benefits of veterans in the legislature. Veterans are welcome to join both organizations.

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Related Questions

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    How has the VFW emblem evolved over time?

    A:

    The VFW emblem or logo still displays the seal of the United States that is encircled by the name of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, but the meaning behind the image has evolved over time. The background image of the cross, the seal and the sun's rays symbolizes the character and oaths of military service members, but the cross originally was used by the Knights Hospitaller, known for traveling far distances in the Middle Ages to fight for their faith.

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    Members can pay annual membership dues to the American Legion every year either to the local post where one is a member or online at Legion.org. When paying online, members can make this annual fee an automatic payment from a verified checking account.

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    What are the requirements to become a member of the American Legion?

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    The requirement for membership in the American Legion are service in a branch of the U.S. military during one of seven wartime eras, including current active duty. The war eras that American Legion designates for membership eligibility are World Wars I and II; Vietnam; Korea; conflicts in Lebanon, Grenada, Panama and the Persian Gulf; and the War on Terror.

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    How do you become a member of the American Legion?

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    Becoming a member of the American Legion requires filling out an application and meeting a specific set of criteria. American Legion members all served federal active duty and were honorably discharged or are still serving.

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