VFW Member in Kentucky Makes History

Army veteran Martha Lain believes her work in both the VFW and the VFW Auxiliary '...has made me what I am today'

When Martha Lain was installed as 2021-2022 VFW Auxiliary Department of Kentucky president, she accomplished something that no other Auxiliary member can claim. Lain became the first VFW Auxiliary Department president to have also been a VFW Department commander.

Lain joined the Auxiliary at 16 years old under the eligibility of her father, Charles E. Brown, who served in the Army during World War II. 

VFW Life member Martha Lain, 2021-2022 VFW Department of Kentucky Auxiliary President, and former VFW Department of KY CommanderIn 1984, Lain joined the Army, as many of her ancestors had, and states, “I joined because I believed in what the military had done for our great country.” But her motivation was two-fold.

“I wanted to prove to myself and my parents that old saying, ‘A woman’s place is in the home’ was not always true,” Lain said.

During her 10 years in the Army, Lain served as a track vehicle repairer, a master driver, received “an expert badge in M16 rifle, M203 grenade launcher, a driver’s badge for every piece of equipment from a Jeep to a M1A1 Abrams tank,” received many awards and became a section chief over 36 soldiers.

While Lain was serving in Korea, her father mailed a VFW application to her. She joined as a life member. Lain said she is proud to be a dual member and has served both organizations at Post/Auxiliary, District and Department levels.

She added that she is honored to be a part of the VFW and the Auxiliary, stating that her participation in the organizations “… has made me what I am today.”

It’s important to note, while dual members have been grandfathered in to the Auxiliary, new members cannot be dual members. Any prospective member who is eligible for VFW membership must join the VFW.

This article was written by Maria Royer and originally appeared in the January 2022 VFW Auxiliary Magazine.