Former U.S. military service members who deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq aren't interested in veterans' organizations such as the VFW and American Legion, The Washington Times newspaper reported Sunday. Those stalwart veterans groups are out of touch with today's generation of former service members who joined the U.S. military after Sept. 11, 2001, according to the report.
Members of VFW Post 8973, the only active VFW post left on New Orleans' east bank, would disagree with The Washington Times assessment. Its membership has grown dramatically during the past three years, from a handful of vets to about 200. About two thirds of them served in Afghanistan and Iraq and are driven by a desire to serve other veterans.
The Washington Times piece leads with a former Army reservist who served a tour in Iraq and wants to stay away from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. She, like other newer veterans quoted in the story, sees the older service organizations meeting in dark "depressing" places where old-timers are drinking in the morning.
The newer generation would prefer to be active in their communities, according to the report. The paper quotes VFW and American Legion spokesman as saying their organization is reaching out to younger veterans.