Veteran organizations like the VFW, the American Legion, AMVETs, among many, have been recognized as stalwarts in local communities across our great country since the early 1900's. Matter of fact, the VFW has its roots after the Spanish/American War and the American Legion is the oldest and largest chartered veteran group in the world and American Legion Post 1 started in France immediately following the end of WWI.
Certainly these "clubs" have existed primarily for veterans, yet evolved into so much more. For more than one hundred years, the members of these veterans posts have funded college scholarship programs, supported local school activities, sponsored community youth sports leagues, became chartered partners to many cub scout and boy scout units, assisted local churches, supported the varied State owned veteran homes and fund national homes for orphaned children of deceased veterans. I can continue to list many attributes of all veteran organizations, but I believe you know what I mean. After all, the veteran members of each and every vet group is probably someone you know; a parent, relative, neighbor, teacher, pastor, doctor, soldier.
Why the above paragraph? Well, I have been watching and listening to recent commercials from newer veteran organizations stating that we, the viewer or listener, should send a donation to that group so that they can provide for continuous medical care, therapy and even needed prosthetics for the wounds our new veterans have as a result of service in Iraq and or Afghanistan. Allow me to share some info with you. Each of our military services—the Army, Navy and Air Force—have the most modern facilities and medical equipment to care for our wounded military personnel. Additionally, the medical staff are competent and highly trained. Hence, our wounded military are incredibly well cared for. The soldiers you may notice on T.V. receiving therapy and learning to use prosthetics probably received the same from a military hospital. Further, once those wounded personnel leave the service, they continue to receive exceptional medical attention from any number of Veteran Administration Hospitals, or facilities in America.
The modern day VA is far different than that of yesteryear. The modern VA is usually linked to a hospital which is a teaching and or a research institution, much as is the partnership of Hines VA and Loyola. Additionally, the VA has incredible programs that match a vet with an amputation to a vehicle enabling that veteran eventually drive, enroll disabled vets into scuba courses, outdoor activities and other related therapeutic endeavors. Before you donate, a brief comparison. Local veterans groups: these folks transfer your donations to medical facilities like Hines, or a Fisher House, which is like a Ronald McDonald, but for families visiting a recovering veteran, State Homes for veterans, a homeless veteran shelter, college scholarships, supporting local youth activities, shelters for abused women/children among many different local causes. Remember this when you see vets selling those little red poppies.
Veteran groups advertising on television and radio: I am just not sure. I know what I hear, usually by a well known celebrity. Yet, I also know what I mentioned in the above paragraphs. Here is my suggestion: if you donate, thank you for your generosity and support. Just understand, as best as possible, where your donation goes and how much of it goes where you want it to go. That is all I am concerned about. I welcome your comments.