STRABAN TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Governor Tom Wolf joined hundreds of our nation's heroes for the 2015 VFW Convention at the Wyndham Gettysburg. Five hundred combat veterans were in attendance. Governor Wolf joined several officials including PA Deputy Adjutant for Veterans Affairs, Jerry Beck, and Helen Sajer, president and founder of the East Berlin-based Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors organization.
Speakers outlined services and programs available for veterans as well as issues they face. The convention will focus on several topics including supporting troops and military families, recommendations for reducing backlogs of VA claims, and maintaining quality, timeliness and accountability in the VA health care system.
The Governor says it's important to support those who have given the greatest example of citizenship.
"I think it's really important that we acknowledge and draw that connection between what veterans do for us, defending us, and what that means for our democracy. It's really important," Wolf said.
Veterans of Foreign Wars History
The VFW is the oldest major U.S. veterans organization; its roots date back to 1899. According to the organization's website, the organization was founded "when veterans of the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service." Wounded or sick and without medical care, vets came together to form the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
Today, there are 450 posts in Pennsylvania with 90,000 members and 1.5 million nationally. The organization participates in several programs that include troop support initiatives, youth activities, scholarships, and homeless as well as charity. The VFW also helps connect veterans with government benefits.