VFW to Update Congressional Charter

WASHINGTON — With the support of two key members of Congress, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States may soon be updating its congressional charter to adhere to a national resolution approved by delegates attending the 115th VFW National Convention in St. Louis.

The VFW’s congressional charter was signed in 1936 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt when the military was comprised almost entirely of men. The update consists of two wording changes — replacing men with veterans, and widows with surviving spouses — and is supported by two companion bills, S. 2782 and H.R. 5441, which were introduced by Senate VA Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and House VA Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), respectively.

“We are not changing our congressional charter because it’s politically correct,” said VFW National Commander John W. Stroud, “we’re changing it because being an eligible veteran is what’s important to our great organization, not one’s gender, and changing widows to surviving spouses is more representative of today’s military. I salute every delegate for their support of Resolution 301, and thank the Senate and House VA Committee chairmen for their sponsorships.”