Each year, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and its auxiliary members gather for a five-day convention. This year's convention goes from July 23 to 27 in Charlotte, N.C. The National Convention includes health fairs, exhibits, workshops, a patriotic celebration and much more. If you're a VFW or Auxiliary member in the Charlotte area, learn how you can register ahead of time here.
Why The VFW Is Important
The VFW is one of the oldest veterans' service organizations in the country. It was officially chartered in 1936, but its roots go back to the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection. In 1899, when veterans of those wars arrived home wounded and sick, the men had no pension or resources to cover their medical care. Faced with the difficulty of covering their medical expenses, a group of veterans got together and formed an organization that later became the VFW. Over the years, the VFW has played an important role in establishing and improving the VA healthcare system and other resources for veterans.
Focus On Health At The Convention
Those who attend the convention will have countless opportunities to learn about health and wellness resources. The first four days of the convention will feature a VFW Health Fair from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Attendees can also take advantage of a free kidney health check that helps identify risk factors for kidney cancer. The kidney health check will give you more information on the biggest risks for kidney cancer, which include high blood pressure and diabetes. It also includes a blood pressure check, free educational materials and the chance to talk with a healthcare professional. The kidney health screening takes place July 23 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On the 23rd and 24th, you can also receive a free SPOTme skin cancer screening from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Skin cancer is more common in men over 50, and it can be highly treatable and curable when caught early. The SPOTme screening is one of the most successful public health programs in the U.S. In more than 2.5 million screenings, the test has detected more than 28,000 melanomas! You can take advantage of this free resource at the convention.
After the first four days of exhibits, services and meetings, attendees can all enjoy the Patriotic Celebration taking place July 26 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The celebration will include a patriotic march, entertainment from The Oak Ridge Boys, and will conclude with a fireworks display.
Alternative Way To Help Veterans
If you can't make the convention or you're not a VFW member, you can still help veterans with a car donation this summer. Anyone can donate a vehicle to help make life better for disabled veterans. Vehicles For Veterans offers free vehicle towing and a great tax deduction, but the best feeling is knowing that your donation helps veterans. Donate your vehicle today by calling 1-855-811-4838 or filling out an online car donation form.