VSOs are there for you
These organizations are dedicated to the health, well-being and prosperity of our troops and veterans. They provide crucial services for veterans and advocacy for veteran issues. Visit these websites to learn more about each organization and the resources that are available to you or the veteran in your life.
The American Legion was founded in 1919 to aid disabled veterans and their families, as well as to promote maintaining a strong national defense. They are the largest Veterans Service Organization (VSO), with 2.7 million members.
The American Legion provides many essential services to veterans, including:
- Providing input to legislation that directly affects veterans and future veterans;
- Offering professionally trained service officers to assist veterans with filing claims;
- Providing representation for VA claims appeals and upgrades, and for military service record corrections and upgrades before the Discharge Review Board;
- Offering temporary financial assistance for veterans who are having financial difficulty caring for their young children.
The American Legion also has a representative working in the Military Severely Injured Center, located in the Pentagon, to identify and coordinate the return of military members to their hometowns.
Established in 1945 by combat-blinded veterans returning from World War II, the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) was chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1958. As such, BVA is the only Veterans Service Organization exclusively dedicated to representing and promoting the welfare of America's blinded veterans and their families.
BVA locates blinded veterans who need assistance, guides them through the rehabilitation process, and acts as advocates for them before Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs in the securing of all the benefits they have earned through their service to the nation.
The organization also promotes access to technology and the practical use of the latest research. Its Field Service Program provides encouragement and emotional support through role models, who can demonstrate that the challenges of blindness can be successfully overcome. BVA serves as a medium of communication for and about blinded veterans and the issues that affect them.
In recent years, BVA has taken a more active stance in its support of vocational and recreational programs that foster rehabilitation. BVA regional groups and volunteer offices throughout the country offer opportunities for blinded veterans to serve, socialize, and further support one another.
With more than 1.4 million members, Disabled American Veterans is an organization of disabled veterans who are focused on building better lives for disabled veterans and their families.
The organization accomplishes this goal by providing free assistance to veterans in obtaining benefits and services earned through their military service. It is fully funded through its membership dues and public contributions. It is not a government agency and receives no government funds.
DAV is the foremost representative of the interests of disabled veterans and their families, their widowed spouses and their orphans before federal, state, and local governments. Our National Legislative Program ensures disabled veterans are not forgotten by lawmakers.
The DAV was formed as our country faced the painful effects of World War I. Throughout our 85-year history, DAV has grown and adapted to face the needs of disabled veterans. As a new generation of wartime disabled veterans return from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, the DAV is working hard to ensure all veterans are cared for well into the future.
Founded in June, 2004, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is the nation's first and largest group dedicated to the troops and veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the civilian supporters of those troops and veterans.
The mission of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is to ensure the enactment of policies that properly provide for our troops and veterans, keep our military strong, and guarantee our national security for the purpose of a stronger America. IAVA uniquely empowers Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans to use their credibility and experiences to speak truth to power, shape public opinion, and place a priority on these issues.
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is a veterans' service organization that has been in the forefront of "educating and agitating" for legislative action on issues of importance to veterans and their families over the past quarter of a century.
As a membership organization, VVA:
- Fought to have Agent Orange labeled as the toxic killer that it is;
- Fought to get Post-traumatic Stress Disorder recognized and treated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); and
- Fought to get the Vet Centers established, funded, and maintained.
VVA is about veterans doing for other veterans to help them become self-sufficient. Our motto encompasses our reason for being: "Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another."