Veterans helping veterans

We are reaching out to the younger generation of veterans: When was the last time you went to a meeting of the Veterans of Foreign Wars? Perhaps you never thought of it or maybe you went once.

Yeah, I know … a lot of the posts are mostly older guys, and you think you don’t have anything in common.

Admittedly, there are some of the differences between you and the older veterans:

• Many of them were in combat back when mail took months to arrive. There was no email or video chat. Some of them went months or years without a phone call from home. They were isolated.

• Many of them came home with PTSD, back when it was not acknowledged as being a problem. There were no support groups.

• Some of them were exposed to Agent Orange and are suffering the effects of that.

So yes, there are differences in their military life from yours, but here are a few reasons to join the VFW:

• They advocate for YOU. They are all over Congress, asking for decent budgets and benefits. We are ensuring that our representatives don’t forget our veterans.

• We offer a variety of services, such as Operation Uplink, Unmet Need, Military Assistance Program, patriotic and youth activities, etc.

• Local posts with their Honor Guard and Color Guard participate in parades, community ceremonies and most important, honoring deceased veterans. We have an active Honor Guard, in partnership with our local American Legion Post 46.

• VFW provides scholarships, raises money for children, provides help with benefit claims and appeals, helps the homeless, volunteers at medical facilities and more. Several members built a ramp on the home of a disabled World War II vet. One of our members drives a veteran to his VA appointments, another makes popcorn at the Iowa Veterans Home every week. We are group of veterans helping fellow veterans and the community where we live.

They’ve been helping you behind the scenes for years. If you are not there for the VFW now, it won’t be long before they’re not there for you. They’ll be gone. You are the future of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

VFW members feel like we live in a blessed nation, standing for freedom and justice for all. America is about soldiers coming home, commemorating those who didn’t. That is what we are all about. Whether young or old, we are here to help.

So invite a buddy, and go see what our local Harry C. Harter Post 839 is up to. You’ll be supported and appreciated — and understood — and you’ll know the minute you walk in the door. We are Veterans Helping Veterans.