VFW Post 1461 Eligibility Requirements
Membership in the VFW is based on the Veteran’s service. When applying for membership, proof of eligibility is required to show that the veteran earned an eligible campaign or service medal or received special pay for duty subject to hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay. You can find out more about qualifying service at the VFW’s national site at VFW.org or by clicking here.
The veteran’s Discharge Record (also known as the DOD DD-214 form) would provide proof of campaign ribbons. If you do not have a copy of the discharge record of the veteran, copies of their Military Record can be requested in writing from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) by printing and filling out the standard form 180, and mailing it to the appropriate address on the form. It may take several weeks in order to obtain the records this way, so we suggest that you first search your home, or ask family members who may have a copy.
Receipt of hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay can be verified through a service member’s Leave and Earnings Statement (DFAS Form 702), issued by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. The Marine Corps issues the DFAS-KC Form 7220/39.
Once you obtain a copy of your eligibility papers, it is best to safeguard them as you would any other sensitive document (wills, marriage and birth certificates, insurance policies). It may be required to obtain Veterans Administration benefits, such as medical, VA loans, or burial benefits. Therefore, you should ensure that a family member or another trusted person has immediate access to the form upon the death of the veteran.
If you have determined that you are eligible to join, you can download a copy of the VFW Post 1461 Membership application here. Be sure to complete it entirely, sign it, and mail it or drop it off with a copy of your DD-214 at the post. Dues are $35 per year as of January 1, 2014.