National Military Services

NMS Group

VFW National Military Services (NMS) offers support and assistance to the military community in many different ways through its four programs, Operation Uplink™, Military Assistance Program, Unmet Needs and the VFW "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" program. Whether it's helping service members and their families through long deployments or cope with rough financial times, NMS programs put our military families first. From providing free phone time and financial assistance to farewell and welcome home ceremonies and college scholarships, the NMS department is here supporting our troops day in and day out. Some say they've got your back. We prove it. 

The VFW NMS programs are funded solely by the generosity of our donors. 



As the largest organization of combat veterans, VFW knows the importance of keeping military families in touch. That's why in 1996 VFW launched the VFW Operation Uplink™ program - the premiere calling program for deployed service members that provides free phone time to active-duty military personnel and hospitalized veterans.  Operation Uplink initially provided calling cards to deployed and hospitalized troops, but on Mother's Day 2006, due to the growing popularity of the program and thanks to the generosity of corporate donors like Sport Clips and Harleysville Insurance, the program began hosting "Free Call Days."

The program is the only one of its kind, providing at least three designated days each month when deployed service members making phone calls from their Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) center or military DSN line to the U.S., and other home base location land lines, are greeted by a recording which states the call will be free, courtesy of Operation Uplink. VFW and Ladies Auxiliary members, major corporate donors such as Sport Clips, Harleysville Insurance as well as other caring citizens, generously support the donations-based program. Since its start in 2006, Free Call Days have provided more than 7.4 million free connections for service members and their families.  The VFW is proud of Operation Uplink because it provides an easy way for individuals and organizations to make an immediate difference in the lives of active-duty military personnel and their families.

Click here if you or your corporation is interested in sponsoring a Free Call Day! Contact Linda Ferguson of VFW National Military Services at 816-968-1102 or lferguson@vfw.org with any questions.


VFW Unmet Needs was created in 2004 through a corporate partnership to assist military service members and their families who run into unexpected financial difficulties as a result of deployment or other hardships directly related to military service. Unmet Needs assists with basic life needs such as: mortgage and rent, home and auto repairs, insurance, utilities, food and clothing. Unmet Needs helps meet unanticipated financial demands on our service members' families that can't be remedied through existing means and provides our service members with the security of knowing that their families have additional support here at home.

The financial assistance is in the form of up to $2,500 in grants that do not need to be repaid. All grants are paid directly to the "creditor" (such as the electric company), and not to the individual. Each case is reviewed individually and acceptance determined by a committee.

Eligible service members can download and complete a grant application.


The VFW Military Assistance Program (MAP) is the outstretched hand between the VFW and the local military, offering our support around the world. In the last five years, MAP has sponsored events supporting over one million service members and their families. If you are a service member or a Family Readiness Group leader, please contact us and we will help you locate a VFW Post or Ladies Auxiliary in your area to work with.

Does your Post or Ladies Auxiliary want to host a MAP event but doesn't know where to start? The best place to start is with the MAP Grant Application, which can only be completed and submitted by a VFW or Ladies Auxiliary member. From this page, simply login (link is above) with a VFW member login and go to the National Military Services link, then look for the Military Assistance Program (MAP) files.   

A huge part of MAP includes the Adopt-a-Unit program. Through Adopt-a-Unit, VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary adopt hundreds of military units around the world. Adopt-a-Unit's goal is to develop supportive relationships with units before, during and after deployments to help deliver the vast network of resources VFW has available for the military. Please contact us if your unit is interested in learning more.  

To contact the Military Assistance Program (MAP), please email us at map@vfw.org or call 816-756-3390 and ask for the MAP office. 


The VFW and Sport Clips are giving the gift of scholarships to our nation’s heroes as a way of thanking them for their dedicated service to our nation! The VFW “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” program will award scholarships of up to $5,000 to qualifying veterans and service members to help them complete their educational goals without incurring excessive student loan debt. The VFW and Sport Clips are committed to serving America’s defenders as they return from war and move on to the next chapter of their lives. 

 Learn more about the VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship including details on eligibility.  

Scholarship FAQ


  •  Since 2006, over 7.4 million free connections home for deployed troops and hospitalized veterans.
  •  More than $4.7 million in grants toward emergency financial aid to over 3,500 military families. 
  •  Hosted nearly 2 million military families at events worldwide since 2005.


 Through NMS, the VFW offers support and assistance to the military community in many ways. We are here to help military members and their families weather long deployments and cope with emergency financial situations. But, our help doesn't stop there. Find out more about what we offer and find out how you can help.

Some say they've got your back. We prove it.


VFW Operation Uplink currently works through over 450 Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) centers located throughout Afghanistan, Kuwait and other Middle East locations as well as military DSN lines to provide at least three Free Call Days monthly. Each month, the Free Call Days allow, on average, more than 50,000 deployed service members the chance to call back to the US and to other selected home base locations' land lines for free. We currently provide at least three Free Call Days a month in lieu of providing phone cards.


Are you a deployed service member who would like to receive free phone time to call home to your family? Do you know of a deployed service member or hospitalized veteran who could use a free call home? Please click on the link below to request a virtual pin for an individual service member or veteran. Providing their contact information allows VFW Operation Uplink the ability to make sure they receive some much deserved talk time with their loved ones.


With your help, VFW National Military Services can continue to ensure that America's heroes receive free phone calls home, emergency financial assistance and other morale-boosting support. Click on the links below to get ideas for National Military Service fundraisers and other ways to help support your local service members.


The VFW takes troop support very seriously. We honor our commitment to today's military through Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with the various branches of service. Below are the VFW's current MOU contracts.