Magazine article VFW Magazine

Opening a New Era

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Opening a New Era

Article excerpt

Membership reaches a crossroad as a new

category of VFW eligibility is created.

Get ready to welcome a new lot of deserving overseas veterans into VFW's ranks. Oct. 3, 2002, is likely to go down as a red-- letter date in VFW history. The Senate approved House Resolution 3838 that day, amending our congressional charter to expand membership. Thirteen days later, on Oct. 16, it became Public Law 107-242 when President Bush signed the bill.

The membership door is now open to recipients of hostile fire and imminent danger pay. These special forms of pay recognize that Americans in uniform who are placed in jeopardy on foreign soil deserve something extra. In many past cases, a campaign medal went along with the pay, but in others it did not. This created a dilemma for VFW.

How do we bring in veterans who, by our bylaws, are technically not eligible but in reality should be? That problem was actually solved years ago with the pay mentioned above. It has just taken us awhile to take advantage of this golden opportunity.

First, let's define the difference. Hostile Fire Pay (HFP) is "event-based." That means actual exposure to hostile fire or an enemy mine explosion. Imminent Danger Pay (IDP) is "threat-based" This is awarded for service in an officially designated area where the likely "threat of physical harm or imminent danger because of civil insurrection, civil war, terrorism or wartime conditions" exists.

HFP dates back to 1963. …

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