The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the first major veterans service organization to pass a resolution at its 2005 national convention pledging “to support the fundraising efforts and building of the National Museum of the United States Army,” recently confirmed its commitment with a $500,000 leadership gift to support the museum’s Veterans’ Hall.
“I cannot thank the VFW enough for their part in supporting this special space in the Museum,” remarked MG John P. Herrling, campaign executive director.
“The Veterans’ Hall will be the premier feature of the museum for exclusive use of veterans and their families. It’ll be that one special, central place in the Museum where veterans and their families can reflect, remember, and enjoy the enduring spirit of Army camaraderie, so we’re hoping other veterans’ organizations and associations of all sizes will follow the VFW’s lead in helping raise the $5 million needed to complete the project,” Herrling said.
The generous contribution not only places the VFW in the museum campaign’s Four-Star Circle of Distinction reserved for donors of $500,000-$999,999 who will be recognized on the Museum lobby’s Donor Wall; it also ensures prominent acknowledgement of the organization as the leading contributor to date within the Veterans’ Hall itself.
According to Carol Lindamood Harlow, deputy executive director for the campaign, the names of all veterans’ groups—local posts, states, associations, and the like—that contribute substantial amounts will be acknowledged within the Veterans’ Hall. “Veterans’ groups that have already contributed substantial amounts will be properly acknowledged,” Harlow explained.
The Veterans’ Hall will provide a unique setting to honor the service and sacrifice of America’s veterans, in war and peace, and at home and abroad. The multi-functional space on the National Army Museum’s second floor will host a variety of educational outreach initiatives including presentations, demonstrations, state-of-the-art educational programs, and lecture series. The Veterans’ Hall will be available to veterans and their families for veterans’ reunions, meetings, dinners, socials, and official functions. It is also expected to house interactive features such as the Registry of the American Soldier, which already includes the service records of over 389,000 Army veterans.
“The VFW understands that it is incumbent upon us to assist in the effort to preserve and celebrate the Army’s history of service to the nation,” said VFW Adjutant General, Allen “Gunner” Kent. “The National Museum of the United States Army is a place where history, achievement, courage and sacrifice will become real for all people and will be an enduring link to the millions of American men and women who have proudly worn the uniform of the United States Army.”
The VFW was founded in 1899 following the Spanish-American War to secure rights and benefits for those who had served. Today, the VFW continues to foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts and ensure that veterans are respected for their service, always receive their earned entitlements, and are recognized for the sacrifices they and their loved ones have made on behalf of their country.
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