The VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War
(1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local
organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service: Many
arrived home wounded or sick. There was no medical care or veterans'
pension for them, and they were left to care for themselves.
In their misery, some of these veterans banded together and formed
organizations with what would become known as the Veterans of Foreign
Wars of the United States. After chapters were formed in Ohio, Colorado
and Pennsylvania, the movement quickly gained momentum. By 1915,
membership grew to 5,000; by 1936, membership was almost 200,000.
Since then, the VFW's voice had been instrumental in establishing
the Veterans Administration, creating a GI bill for the 20th century,
the development of the national cemetery system and the fight for
compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange and for veterans
diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. In 2008, VFW won a long-fought victory
with the passing of a GI Bill for the 21st Century, giving expanded
educational benefits to America's active-duty service members, and
members of the Guard and Reserves, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The VFW also has fought for improving VA medical centers services for women veterans.
Besides helping fund the creation of the Vietnam, Korean War, World
War II and Women in Military Service memorials, the VFW in 2005 became
the first veterans' organization to contribute to building the new
Disabled Veterans for Life Memorial, which opened in November 2010.
Annually, the nearly 2 million members of the VFW and its
Auxiliaries contribute more than 8.6 million hours of volunteerism in
the community, including participation in Make A Difference Day and
National Volunteer Week.
From providing over $3 million in college scholarships and savings
bonds to students every year, to encouraging elevation of the Department
of Veterans Affairs to the president's cabinet, the VFW is there.
About the USS & USAT Dorchester
The first Dorchester was built in 1893, and was acquired by the U.S. Navy on August 24th 1917. USS Dorchester was a 50 foot Schooner Patrol Vessel assigned to the Chesapeake Bay, under the command of the 5th Naval District. The Ship was decommissioned on November 26th 1918, and returned to the Conservation Commission the very same day.
The Second Dorchester, USAT Dorchester was one of 3 identical ships built and launched on March 20 1926 originally called the SS Dorchester. Originally designed to haul 314 passengers along with 90 crew, the ship was requisitioned by the Army in February 1942. At that time the ship was converted to a troop transport to transport 751 troops along with 153 crew. This 368 foot ship had 4-20 MM guns, a 3" 50 Cal. in the fore and a 4" 50 Cal. in the aft. Despite the heavy weaponry, on February 3rd 1943, was torpedoed by a German U-boat (U-223.) The damage caused loss of power, which prevented the sounding of emergency whistles or use of radios to the other ships in the area. Of the 904 on board, only 230 were rescued and survived. The USAT Dorchester is the most famous of the Dorchesters because of the acts of 4 servicemen on the ship, known as the 4 Immortal Chaplains. After the attack when servicemen were abandoning ship, and searching for life jackets, these 4 chaplains all of different faiths gave up their life jackets with no regard as to the faith or race of the servicemen; the chaplains later went down with the ship.
The Third Dorchester was Built April 12th 1945, and Commissioned June 15th 1945 to the United States Naval Reserve. She was 328 feet long, and 50 feet wide, the length of the first Dorchester. Dorchester was decommissioned on October 16th 1946 and remained in the reserve fleet until being sold August 1st 1973. Since then the boat has been listed on the owners active fleet roster, as a fishing boat.
Post 8731 was mustered in 1968, and construction of our post home starting in 1969. A special thank you goes out to the Hoglund family as they ensured the VFW had a placed to call home, by selling us the piece of land we sit on for $1.00