By Dan Yates, Army
Writing Type: Array
for many inside, it is their rock.
Membership strict, you must qualify;
there are no exceptions for lady or guy.
Dad’s money can’t buy it, eligibility strict,
by serving their country in an overseas conflict.
Honorable service to the Red, White and Blue
earns one membership in the VFW.
War has consequences; some scars you can’t hide,
while others exist, buried deep inside.
This building’s a hospital, though my only proof
are the members who swear there’s a red cross on its roof.
Once seamen, tankers, grunts and more,
they may be patients when they walk through the door.
Someone is waiting who’s been there themself
to listen and help put that pain on a shelf.
Next week may be different; one never can tell.
Today Joe will listen and walk someone through hell.
Every vet on a stool somehow can relate
though, when just a teen, didn’t know their own fate.
They gave overseas; now at home some still give,
volunteering their time so Americans can live.
Next time you see them march in a parade,
remember the VFW is "American made."
Notes: I would like to thank Commander Jerry Youngblood and members of VFW Post 5789 of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, for allowing me the opportunity to interview him and members of his Post as I prepared to write this poem. The content includes their thoughts and opinions on the value of VFW membership.