From the Congressional charter granted to the Veterans of Foreign Wars:

"The purpose of this corporation shall be fraternal, patriotic, historical and educational; to preserve and strengthen comradeship among its members; to assist worthy comrades; to perpetuate the memory and history of our dead and to assist their widows and orphans; to maintain true allegiance to the Government of the United States of America and fidelity to its Constitution and laws; to foster true patriotism; to maintain and extend the institutions of American Freedom and to preserve and defend the United States from all her enemies, whomsoever"

The membership of the VFW is made up of men and women who have served their country honorably in overseas engagements for which a campaign badge or medal has been authorized by the U.S. Government or who have served within the territorial limits of Korea for 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days. No others may join. There are no honorary memberships. The VFW believes veterans are something special - that the fact they were selected by their country and committed to fight to death if necessary has put them in a special class. It is only natural that members of this elite group with a common bond of experience forged in sacrifice and danger should band together in an organization that provides them comradeship, a voice for their aspirations and a tool for their chosen undertakings. With membership standing at over two million, most of its more than 10,000 Posts are located in the United States, but others are in such places as Germany, Thailand, Okinawa, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Guam, the Marshall Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and one of the oldest is located in Paris, France.