VFW Military Assistance Program Funds First Event in Japan

As a Navy veteran with over 23 years of service, Jon Way wanted to do something special for his fellow Sailors who were returning home on the USS George Washington.

Together with other members of his Post—VFW Post 1054 in Yokosuka, Japan—USO, MWR, and the George Washington’s home guard, Way worked to coordinate a welcome home fit for heroes.

Held on December 5, 2013, in front of the USO building in Yokosuka, Japan, the event drew a crowd of more than 500 people, including active duty military and their families, as well as veterans and other community members.

A VFW Military Assistance Program grant provided food and drinks, and VFW members were on hand to answer questions and educate active duty service members on what the VFW has to offer them.

“Our Post does a lot in the community, and Post funds are tight,” said Way. “None of this would have been possible without the grant from the VFW.”

Fourteen volunteers assisted Way on the day of, including six fellow VFW Post 1054 members, four USO staff members, four representatives from local colleges, and several veterans who shared the VFW’s work. 

Way is proud of the turnout and is urging others to support this worthwhile cause.

“Give what you can … whether it be money or a little bit of your time,” said Way. “Every little bit helps.”

Way is also excited to say that he was part of the first event in Japan to be funded by a grant of this kind.

“The reactions from guests were all positive!” said Way. “And everyone was excited to learn more about the VFW. Many didn’t know they could even join. Most of those same people left as members. It was a good day.”