Safety and Recognition Program
  • 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. 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. A special section in this manual is dedicated to the ways in which these courageous individuals can be recognized at every level of the VFW. 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. 
Recognition Certificates   

  • National Citation of Recognition
  • Public Servant Award Citations for Emergency Medical Technicians, Law Enforcement Personnel and Firefighters
  • VFW National Emergency Medical Technician Public Servant Citation
  • VFW National Law Enforcement Public Servant Citation
  • VFW National Firefighters Public Servant Citation
Criteria for these awards - Candidates must have demonstrated:
  1. Recognition by their colleagues or those they serve
  2. Consistent excellence in the performance of their duties.
  3. Consistent dedication to their official responsibilities over a period of years and continuous growth in responsibilities and skills within their profession.
  4. Dispatchers can compete for the awards
Youth Cadet Awards 
The VFW awards for special recognition of outstanding achievement and exceptional leadership are available for Junior and Senior ROTC programs, Naval Sea Cadets and Civil Air Patrol Cadets. If any of these programs exist in your community, these awards provide your Post an outstanding opportunity to honor these patriotic young people.
  1. Good academic standing
  2. Satisfactory progress in the cadet program
  3. Outstanding achievement in community service and/or the cadet program
  4. Outstanding leadership in the cadet program
  5. High moral character
  6. Exceptional professionalism in appearance and actions (Officer Award)
  7. Outstanding military bearing and conduct in and out of uniform (NCO Award)
  8. Involvement in patriotic programs, drill team, color guard, etc.
  9. Demonstrated potential and willingness to assume higher levels of responsibility
Additional criteria for JROTC & SROTC awards:
  1. Positive attitude toward the ROTC Program
  2. For JROTC, must be enrolled as a 10th - 12th grade JROTC student
  3. For SROTC, must be an undergraduate student enrolled in Military Science I through IV
  4. Must maintain a "B” average in ROTC curriculum and a "C” average in all remaining subjects with no failing grades in the previous semester
  5. Active in at least one other student extra-curricular activity (music, athletics, government, etc.


Our programs support our service members while they are on the front line, as they are being discharged and long after they return. Your tax-deductible donation will be immediately directed to the VFW programs where your support is most urgently needed.