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118th VFW National Convention Rolls Into New Orleans

10,000 delegates to represent total membership of almost 1.7 million

July 20, 2017


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a 26-year absence, up to 10,000 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and its Auxiliary are set to roll into New Orleans this weekend to elect new leadership and to approve resolutions that will guide the national organization’s advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill and its veteran and military support programs across the country. The 118th VFW National Convention begins Saturday at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The business sessions are closed to the public, but a free two-day veterans walk-in claims clinic and health fair will be accessible to all veterans, service members and their families.

“We are very fortunate to have Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. David J. Shulkin as our keynote speaker on Monday,” said VFW National Commander Brian Duffy. “He has the most difficult job in Washington, and we look forward to hearing how the VA is healing in the aftermath of the nationwide crisis in access to care and confidence, as well as to hear from all our exceptional award recipients and special guest speakers.”

National awards to be presented or recognized at the 118th National Convention include:

VFW Outstanding Post Special Project Award to VFW Post 11999, Cloudcroft, N.M.
VFW Americanism Award to Delta Airlines Honor Guard
VFW Armed Forces Award to Gen. Richard A. Cody, U.S. Army retired, and Chairman of the Board of Homes for Our Troops
VFW Voice of Democracy $30,000 1st-place winner Savannah Wittman
VFW News Media Award to Darrell Ehrlick, editor, Billings Gazette (Mont.)
VFW Accredited Service Representative of the Year Award to Raymond Denisewich
VFW Hall of Fame Award to combat-wounded Iraq veteran and comedian Bobby Henline
VFW Aeronautics & Aerospace Award to NASA astronaut and Navy Capt. Christopher J. Cassidy
VFW Citizenship Award to TAPS President/Founder Bonnie Carroll
VFW National Teacher Awards to Theresa Early, Laurel Ridge Elementary School in Fairfax, Va.; Jeffrey Benes, Antioch Middle School in Gladstone, Mo.; and Steve Johnson, Churchill County High School in Fallon, Nev.
And the introduction of the VFW National Home for Children 2017 Buddy Poppy Child Isabel Marvin
The 10,000 VFW and Auxiliary delegates will represent the organization’s total membership of nearly 1.7 million at the weeklong convention. Their mission will be to approve new national priorities to guide the VFW as it lobbies Congress on issues important to the nation’s veterans, service members and their families. Convention delegates will also elect a new VFW national commander, Keith E. Harman of Delphos, Ohio, as well as recognize prominent individuals and organizations for their support of veterans and military personnel.

The VFW National Convention business sessions are not open to the public, but each will stream live at www.vfw.org/convention beginning at 7:30 a.m. CDT on July 24, and at 8 a.m. on July 25-26. Only registered and credentialed media from bona fide news organizations will be approved to cover convention activities. Click here to pre-register. Onsite registration begins Saturday, July 22, at the VFW Communications Office inside Hall B.