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VFW Membership Eligibility

The fundamental difference between the VFW and other veteran organizations, and one in which we take great pride, is our eligibility qualifications.

There are three requisites for membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States:

  1. Citizenship

  2. Honorable military service

  3. Service entitling the applicant to the award of a recognized campaign medal or as set forth in the Congressional Charter and/or VFW bylaws

Checking Eligibility

A potential applicant must have served overseas and earned a campaign or service medal recognized by the VFW as meeting the campaign medal requisite for VFW membership. (The only exceptions are a combat action ribbon, imminent danger or hostile fire pay, or for service in Korea after June 30, 1949, until present.)

Discharges issued during and immediately after the close of World War II have a section on the back listing the medals and decorations which have been earned. Persons discharged later received a DD-214, “Report of Separation” form, which has a space showing medals and decorations.

Lost separation documents can be replaced by completing and submitting Standard Form 180 “Request Pertaining to Military Records.” There is always a possibility of an omission on the separation documents. If an applicant claims entitlement to a medal which is not shown on the individual’s separation papers, that person may request verification and correction of records by submitting a Standard Form 180.

The Standard Form 180 is available from any office of the Veterans Administration or by contacting our Veterans Service Officer. The form must be completed and signed by the veteran in order to receive the information requested or authorize the release of the information to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Proof of Eligibility

You must produce documentation of earned requirements – such as a copy of DD 214 (Member 4 copy), DD 215, or 201 file.

If you have misplaced or lost your DD-214 you can request a copy by using the instructions below. If you have entitlement to a medal, not shown on your separation papers, you may request verification and correction of records by submitting a DD-149 or you may submit a Standard Form 180 for both Military Records and Corrections.

Please remember the burden of proof for eligibility is yours. Our Quartermaster or Service Officer can assist you.

Military records also can be requested online at National Archives eVetRecs.

Requesting Military Records

To request your military service, medical or awards record, complete a Standard Form 180, (Request Pertaining to Military Records). All forms are in PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free online. Mail the form to the address listed. More information on requesting service record information is available at National Archives and Records Administration.

Join Today!

If you meet the membership requirements, please visit VFW Post 8790 during our regular business hours to speak with an officer about joining the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8790.  We welcome all qualified applicants and look forward to having you at our post!  


If you have any questions, please email

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