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Celebrate With The VFW

By Staff | Dec 1, 2011

Happy 80th Anniversary, VFW. What a milestone. We are planning to join you as you celebrate. The barbecue sounds great and we are pleased to hear there will be state and regional VFW officers attending.

When we go to the VFW there is always a great sense of comradery among its members. They have a bond that brings them together – service during war time on foreign soil. We must remember their service and their sacrifices.

With every special supplement for the newspaper, we always learn something. Doing research for the VFW Anniversary supplement was no different.

Jack and Kay Kibbie joined me at the library to look through newspaper archives in the genealogy room. The newspapers are available online, but it was fun turning the pages of the old books.

We looked through newspapers from 1931 and 1932, and in the 1979 and 1980 newspapers e found many, many memories. Then it was off to the VFW Hall to look at the history hanging on the wall. It was a very informative day, but one thing stood out.

The Charter for the V.F.W. Auxiliary states:

“Being the Mothers, Wives, Sisters and Daughters of the men of the United States Army, Navy or Marine Corps, whose service created eligibles for the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, and women members of the Armed Forces of the United States who are American citizens and who have had foreign service in time of war, are hereby authorized to organize and are constituted an Auxiliary to be known as Palo Alto Auxiliary of Post 2295 stationed at Emmetsburg, Iowa.” The Auxiliary Charter was issued in 1945.

As stated, this group included “women members of the Armed Forces of the United States who are American citizens and who have had foreign service in time of war.” Here’s my question: At what point did women, who have served overseas in a time of war, become members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and not just the Auxiliary?

I thought about this for a long while before going on the National VFW website and the Iowa VFW website. Click on the “contact us” button and ask the question. There has been on response…yet.

Women who served overseas during World War II served in a variety of roles, but not on the front lines. Could VFW/Auxiliary membership have something to do with women in combat? Perhaps one of you knows the answer.

Another interesting bit: Emmetsburg’s first VFW Post/American Legion Hall was at the top of the hill at 8th and Lawler. Before that building was torn down, it was apartments and we visited there often. There were a lot of interesting architectural features to the building.

Speaking of buildings, the organizational meeting for the VFW was held at the K.P. Hall in Emmetsburg. “K.P.” is undoubtedly the Knights of Pythias and that building still stands in the 800 block of Grand.

Every day is a learning day.