The Veterans of Foreign Wars are in a new kind of fight: How to stay relevant for a new generation of veterans. The VFW has been a veterans institution for more than 100 years, and its list of accomplishments are many, from helping secure veterans benefits like the G.I. Bill, to representing veterans’ needs on Capitol Hill. At this year’s annual convention in Pittsburgh, VFW members discussed ways to attract younger veterans to the group.
“Today’s generation of veterans do not want to sit at a bar,” said Michael Mitchel, the commander VFW Post 1 in Denver, Colorado, who gave a presentation at the convention on attracting younger members. “They want to contribute to their community and their comrades.”
According to Mitchel, if the VFW wants to remain a gathering place and community center for the most recent generation of veterans, they might need to rely less on some old standbys, like the dollar-beer canteens, and focus on appealing more to the interests of millennials.