Smithsonian Voices

From the Smithsonian Museums

Native Americans Have Always Answered the Call to Serve: National VFW Day 2020

National Veterans of Foreign Wars Day, September 29, acknowledges the men and women who have served honorably in the U.S. military overseas in war or other imminent danger. The VFW traces its roots to the late 19th century and efforts to secure rights and benefits for veterans of the Spanish–American and Philippine–American wars. Its establishment, however, dates to 1914. A few years later, the participation of American Indians in the U.S. military during World War I helped bring down the last obstacles to their recognition as American citizens. Here, the museum looks at the mission and vision of the VFW and Native Americans' extraordinary record of service in combat.