VFW provides numerous programs to military service member and their families.
The three main efforts of the VFW National Military Services department are:
Military Assistance Program (MAP)
MAP provides support for Post, District, and Department interaction with the local military community. MAP is the bridge between the VFW and Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve military units.
MAP offers grants to VFW Posts who participate in military unit functions such as sponsoring Farewell and Welcome Home activities and family readiness group events. MAP provided over $634,488 during fiscal year 2006-07 in sponsorship of 234 projects.
Adopt-A-Unit is intended to forge a connection between VFW members and their local military community. By adopting a unit the Post can establish and sustain a long-term friendship with those serving stateside and abroad.
Memorial Commendations are available through the MAP office for a service member killed in action. The Memorial Commendation comes framed and matted in the colors of the service member’s branch of service and is intended to be presented to the service member’s family by a VFW representative.
Operation Uplink has connected over 8,500,000 active duty military and hospitalized veterans with their family and friends since 1996. 1,056,512 connections were made through VFW communication efforts in fiscal year 2006-07. These include the distribution of phone cards and the Free Call days at 200 + Internet cafes in Iraq. Free Call days provide 24 hours of free calling at the cafes during holidays.
Both international and domestic cards are available and will provide 15 minutes of talk time and are valued at $6.50 and $1.50. All card requests should be made through the Department Chairman and must include the unit designation, head count and a POC. Since the program is funded solely by donations the cards are limited to 1 per deployed every 60 days.
Through Unmet Needs the VFW can provide grants up to $2,500 to eligible service members and their families. Since the program began Unmet Needs has assisted 1146 families facing a hardship due to deployment or military service with $1,640,308 in grant funds. For fiscal year 2006–07 Unmet Needs assisted 385 families in grants totaling over $562,000. A new application is now available which when completed and returned to the office can speed up the process time.
Active duty within 36 months of applying
Can receive funds only once every 18 months