VFW marks a milestone with 100th state convention

The 2021 VFW State Convention at the Tundra Lodge in Green Bay marks the veteran...
The 2021 VFW State Convention at the Tundra Lodge in Green Bay marks the veteran organization's 100th year in Wisconsin.(WBAY)
Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 3:18 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Hundreds of VFW members from around Wisconsin are in Green Bay for their annual state convention.

This year marks a major milestone for the veterans organization. The VFW is celebrating 100 years in Wisconsin.

It’s been a long time since VFW commanders and members have been this excited to get together.

“It’s been great to get everybody back together. We weren’t able to hold a convention last summer due to the pandemic, and we’ve had our highest turnout for registration that we had in decades, and it’s just a glorious thing to see,” says Jason Johns, State Commander, VFW Wisconsin.

Johns says dating back to day one, back in 1921, the VFW’s mission has remained the same and never wavered.

“Our mission number one is to honor the dead by serving the living. That’s number one. We’ve got to make sure that we remember and that we honor, and by doing so, we do that by coming together, serving our community, serving each other. It’s another purpose. When we’re in the military, we have a purpose, we have a mission. You get out, what’s the purpose? VFW says your purpose is to continue serving and we’re still serving,” explains Johns.

Of the 350,000 veterans currently living in Wisconsin, more than 26,000 are VFW members, representing 251 posts around the state.

Not only do they serve their communities and each other, their compassion extends to all veterans.

“We have a quick relief fund, which is grants to help pay any veteran -- don’t even have to be a member -- any veteran in need, whether it’s cost of life, ‘I got to get a car payment made so I can get to work,’ mortgage is behind, we’ve got grants up to $1,500, we’ll turn it around in less than a week, so it’s real world impact, we’re going to help your daily life and then help us help everybody’s lives,” says Johns.

Johns says the VFW raises funds the old-fashioned, grassroots way by earning it through poppy sales and brat frys to name a few.

It’s also grateful to corporate partners, like Humana, which contribute major financial donations.

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