"I would not leave him there and I will not leave him here...I will see him home..."
The VFW is specialized for offering assistance to those who have so courageously served their country. They are able to offer hotel accommodations for a night as well as VA Medical Hotel accommodation. If a veteran is at risk for being homeless, they are able to offer rent covered for a month or even space rental for a trailer or camper. The VFW has also been able to provide propane for Veterans who are unable to afford it.
The VFW wants to be sure Veterans are able to successfully move around to the places they need to be. They can provide vehicle gas for work and medical travel to Helena or Salt Lake City. If a Veteran doesn't have a car, they can provide a bicycle if needed to get to work and can repair bicycles if they are required for transportation. If a Veteran is in a particularly difficult situation, the VFW will help provide bus fare and at times airplane fare to Salt Lake City for medical emergencies. They have also purchased a DAV van to help with veteran transportation. VFW members understand the cost of medical care can become burdensome and are able to help pay for medical prescriptions when medically necessary. They are also able to contribute crutches, walkers and various other medical equipment.
The VFW likes to give special attention to the Montana Veterans Home by hosting bingo, BBQ's and by donating books and magazines for the residents.
While caring for the Veterans at home, the VFW also participates in sending care packages to our troops actively serving and donate to National Home which provides funds to children who have lost their parent or parents due to war.
The VFW also proudly places flags on all Veteran's graves on Memorial Day and Veteran's Day.
While this is a small list of the services the VFW can and has provided, nothing can explain or convey the camaraderie Veterans are able to enjoy by being in each other's presence. They know things and have experienced things that only a fellow soldier would be able to understand. They have specific needs and sometimes require specialized help, both physical and emotional. The VFW provides an environment where Veterans feel like they belong and are understood, while continuing to provide opportunities to give back to the community that supports them.
The Military Order of the Cootie of the United States is a non-profit Veterans Service Organization. We are known as "The Honor Degree of the VFW" and our members are comprised of the officers and leadership of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Membership in the MOC is recognition of outstanding service to the VFW and its programs.
Founded in New York City on September 17, 1920, the MOC is based on the principals of good humor and fun. Over the past ninety years, the Cooties have provided social and entertainment programs to members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. as an Ancillary unit within the organization. Since 1923, our first year as a part of the VFW, the Cooties have worked hard to further the aims of the VFW while adding to it the frivolity known as Military Humor to the serious work of our parent organization. What would ultimately become known as the VFW National Home for Children, a sprawling campus of homes located in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, started out as the brainchild of the MOC. We firmly believe in caring for the widows and children of our Armed Forces. Literally millions of dollars have been raised and donated to help "our kids" over our history; starting with the library, the swimming pool, the Fire Department, and a host of other projects designed to make life fun and educational for the children during their stay at the National Home.
With the outbreak of World War II, the Cooties recognized a need to entertain hospitalized troops and veterans during their confinement and rehabilitation at Veterans Administration facilities throughout the country. Our service program is described as a directive to "Keep 'em Smiling in Beds of White." Each year the Cooties volunteer thousands of hours of time worth over ten million dollars to DVA Hospitals and domiciliaries throughout the United States. This work, in addition to the hours of service donated as active members of the VFW, set the members of the MOC apart as Foreign Service and Combat Veterans who are fully engaged in their communities, and their fellow comrades in arms and their families. Our distinctive red hat and unusual uniform sets us apart and draws attention to the plight of those less fortunate than ourselves. We sacrifice a little of ourselves to bring a smile or a laugh during what is normally a difficult time for our heroes. We seek others like us to join and help us help them in their times of stress and anxiety.