VFW Cancels Reno National Convention

The convention was scheduled for July 18-23, 2020

Empty VFW National Convention hallKANSAS CITY, Mo. —  The Veterans of Foreign Wars announced today its 121st VFW National Convention scheduled to be held in Reno, Nevada, this July has been officially cancelled. 

Thousands of VFW and Auxiliary delegates were expected to gather to represent the organization’s total membership of more than 1.6 million at the weeklong event. 

The decision comes as public-health concerns and social-distancing mandates are expected to span into the summer months ahead. This year will mark the first in the organization’s storied 121-year history where a national convention will not be held. The VFW Auxiliary has also cancelled its convention.  

“We explored every effort to move forward with the convention in its current form, and the decision was not made lightly,” explained William “Doc” Schmitz, national commander of the VFW. “But, the fact is the health and well-being of our members, partners and supporters remains our priority, and we will not put them at risk.” 

Pursuant to the organization’s bylaws, the VFW National Council of Administration is responsible for administering the affairs and transacting the business of the organization in the intervals between conventions to include conducting an election of national officers. 

Despite the cancellation of convention, the VFW remains fully operational in accepting and processing applications to all of its national support programs and maintains an active role in advocating for veterans’ legislation. Further, VFW Posts across the nation have mobilized to lead many initiatives to bring relief and assistance to their local communities amid the pandemic.

“As veterans, we know best how to navigate times of uncertainty,” said Schmitz. “Convention or not, we have a job to do and a solemn promise to keep to America’s veterans, service members, and their families. We will ensure the needs of those who rely on the vital services we provide are met without interruption.”