Buddy Poppy Program
Based on the poem “In Flander’s Field” by John McCrae, the Buddy Poppy has been a symbol of the sacrifices veterans have given since WWI. The VFW conducted its first poppy distribution before Memorial Day 1922, becoming the first veterans’ organization to do so. VFW Buddy Poppies are made by disabled and needy veterans in VA hospitals who receive compensation for assembling the poppies. All donations collected during a Buddy Poppy drive goes to a Relief Fund to support Education, Veterans and their families in need. No donations collected, by law, can go toward operation of the VFW Posts. VFW Post 970 conducts their Buddy Poppy drives before Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Veterans’ Day and Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
The purpose of this program is to promote patriotic activities and events. Back in 1980 VFW Post 970 dedicated a plaque commemorating the end of Operation Homecoming that brought the POWs back from Vietnam, ending on 4 Apr 1973. The plaque was placed at the Hickam AFB gas station near to where the POWs first stepped back onto US soil, a new Operation Homecoming monument is now across the street of the Gas Station. 1986 VFW Post 970 dedicated the first plaque at the Hickam AFB flag pole. VFW Post 970 also actively participates in multiple ceremonies for Veterans’ Day, Memorial Day and in the Independence Day Parade.
Veterans & Military Support (V&MS)
The V&MS program is made up of four parts. The first is “Operation Uplink”, offering free call days to troops stationed in Middle East countries through more than 600 MWR SPAWAR Internet cafes. Unlimited free calls available three days each month throughout the year. The second is the “Unmet Needs” program, this program provides up to $2,500 in financial assistance to service members and military families who face unexpected financial difficulties as a result of military service. The third is the “Military Assistance Program” (MAP) is the outstretched hand between the VFW and the local military, offering support to military members, their units and their family members during all phases of deployments. 2001 VFW Post 970 adopted the 293rd Combat Communications Squadron and Headquarters 201st Combat Communications Group supporting their Family Readiness Programs and their deployed personnel. The fourth is the Sport Clip Help A Hero Scholarship.
Working alongside America’s youth and instilling a sense of patriotism has always been – and will always be – a VFW priority.
Scouting in the Community
Since their inception, the VFW and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have supported each other. On Hickam AFB here in Hawaii, VFW Post 970 acts as the “Chartered Organization” for multiple units: Boy Scout Troop 135 (2006), Cub Scout Pack 297 (2013) / Pack 206 (2015), and Crew 970(2016). To continue building the relationship between the two programs, all chartered Scouting units support Post 970 during our Buddy poppy drives here on base.
JROTC/Civil Air Patrol
VFW Post provides awards for the Radford H.S. JROTC program and Civil Air Patrol Composite Squadron 66 on JBPH-H.
Youth Scholarship and Education
Voice of Democracy (VOD)
The VFW Voice of Democracy scholarship contest provides students in grades 9-12 the opportunity to explore democratic ideals and principles through audio essays. The National first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship and a trip to Washington, D.C.
The VFW Patriot’s pen essay contest is for students in grades 6-8 and challenge them to reflect on American history and their own experiences based on a patriotic theme. The National first-place winner receives $5,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C.
Teacher of the Year
Each year the National VFW recognizes three exceptional teachers – one each from the elementary, junior high and high school levels, for their outstanding commitment to teach Americanism and instill patriotism in their students.
The VFW legislative program monitors all legislation affecting veterans. Being one of the largest veteran’s organizations, the VFW is one of the most successful organizations advocating on veterans behalves.
Community Activities Program
Understanding the importance of being a part of the community, participating and volunteering whenever possible. Working on service projects and participation at events like, Living History Day at Fort DeRussy and the Great Gun Show at the Neal Blaisdell Center.
Simply put, the VFW strives to do good things for deserving people – our veterans, their families and their communities. From local grassroots ideas to national influence, we work every day to make a difference. It’s our strength as an organization. And, with each individual membership, we only grow stronger.