Muster Call For Veterans of Foreign Wars on Veterans Day 11/11/2020

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Raymond T Goldbach Post 9460, located at 100 Veterans Blvd, was formed over 73 years ago. The VFW post is named after Raymond T. Goldbach, the first veteran from Stratford killed in the Pacific during World War II.

Commander Steve Evangelista has issued a muster call this Veterans Day to veterans having served in the Vietnam War, Operation Just Cause in Panama, Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan to step forward and join Goldbach Post 9460.

According to Commander Evangelista, “Presently we have 365 members on our roster, down from 1,300. We are losing World War II and Korean veterans, and those who served in Desert Shield, Desert Freedom, and Vietnam are not becoming very active, thinking it’s for “old people. We need youth to carry on the legend of the post.”

In order to join the VFW you have to be a combat veteran who served on foreign soil for 30 consecutive days or more. Though you are not eligible to join if you never had boots on the ground, those who served in the military but never got deployed overseas is eligible to join the VFW Auxiliary. To join you would need a copy of your DD214 and $35.

Mary Bango, President of the VFW Auxiliary stated that the VFW Auxiliary is open to anyone, male or female, who has, or had, family that served in the military or have served in the military that never got deployed overseas. The

Auxiliary presently has 175 active members. They meet on the 2 nd Wednesday of the month.

All money raised by the Auxiliary is used to identify financial needs of veterans, Homes for the Brave, Sterling House, as well as other civic organizations. Due to Covid 19 they are presently only open 3 days a week: Friday and Saturday from 3-9 and Sunday 1-7. Post 9460 has a reputation of having VERY reasonably priced home cooked meals (they serve lunch and dinner), low priced cocktails, and camaraderie.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, with its Auxiliaries, includes 2.2 million members in approximately 8,100 Posts worldwide. Its mission is to “honor the dead by helping the living” through veterans’ service, community service, national security and a strong national defense.

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.

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, in 2005 they became the first veterans’ organization to contribute to building the new Disabled Veterans for Life Memorial.

VFWs also provide $2.5 million in college scholarships to high school students every year; Stratford Voice of Democracy essays award money to high school students, and Patriots Pen is for middle school students. Stratford students participating are judged and given scholarships at post, district, and state levels. The top scholarship available to graduating seniors is $33,000.

The VFW is there honoring the dead by helping the living.

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