Since 1923, the Veterans of Foreign Wars has concerned itself with the safety of the communities in which their Posts and members reside.
Alarmed over the post-WWI use of drugs, VFW magazine, then called Foreign Service, printed a resolution calling for President Warren G. Harding to declare a National Anti-Dope Week and set up a national conference to deal with the problem. VFW Posts began a process of making the public aware of the dangers of drug use that continues to this day.
Early on, VFW Posts began sponsoring bicycle safety clubs. In 1962, Posts started providing reflective stickers through the Lite-a-Bike program. When manufacturers began putting lights on bicycles, the reflective stickers were moved to backpacks and jackets and the program became Lite-a-Tike. Working with the National Safety Council, driver safety programs were part of the first safety efforts. Later the VFW began to promote AARP’s 55 Alive/Mature Driving program.
In the late 1970s, VFW families became increasingly concerned about the safety of their children. One of the first organizations to create a child ID kit, the VFW provided hundreds of thousands of parents with this tool they hoped would never be used.
With the tragedy of 9/11, the VFW has begun encouraging Posts to utilize the resources of the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA). These organizations, as well as hundreds of others,provide printed materials about safety in the home, community, while traveling, almost anywhere.
Throughout the history of the VFW, Posts have been quick to recognize the contributions of those who make our homes, highways and communities safer. Today, VFW Posts regularly honor citizens who save lives and those who serve the community as emergency responders. Our Safety (First Responders) Award to this day recognizes those who keep us safe.
Click here to nominate a First Responder today!