I used to think of the VFW, which stands for Veterans of Foreign Wars, as a handful of old-timers sitting in a dimly-lit post reminiscing over cheap drafts. After reviewing their website, VFW.org, I now know that there is much more to this veterans’ organization.
It turns out that the men and women who are so adept at defending our country’s interests around the world are also pretty good at defending their own when they come home. The website details the group’s efforts to lobby for veterans’ causes, educate vets about resources available to them and assist them in getting help.
Most of the main pages on the site have the words “No one does more for veterans” splashed across the middle in large type. The slogan is surrounded by links to sections designed to educate and assist members.
The homepage has a carousel of images that link to useful resources. There are sections on programs that offer help to vets, assistance in navigating the Veterans’ Administration claims process, GI Bill issues, donating to the organization, and information on joining. The bottom of the page features more links to news articles, contests and benefits offered by companies that support the VFW.
The navigation bar at the top of the page details what the site has to offer. An Assistance link guides members to information on VA benefits, financial grants, educational support and help for mental health issues.
The Advocacy link takes you to pages explaining the VFW’s lobbying efforts on behalf of veterans. They push for beneficial legislation, weigh in on national security and foreign affairs, advocate on behalf of female vets, keep an eye on the VA and more.
The Community link connects members with support in several areas. There are VFW scholarships and in-school programs for youths, support for families of deployed service men and women, volunteering opportunities, flag etiquette instruction and help for veterans who want to go back to school after their service.
A handful of other links make up the rest of the navigation bar: Find a Post, About Us, Our Allies, Contact Us, FAQ, VFW Store, Media & Events, Join, Renew, and Donate.
Unlike the few VFW posts I’ve been in, the website has a clean, contemporary design. (That’s not a knock on the posts. I’ve always enjoyed the cozy, corner bar feel of the ones I’ve visited). The typography, navigation, images and videos are all well done. The site gives the impression of a dynamic organization serving its members well.
Kevin OʼNeill has been a staff artist for The Times-Tribune since June 1993. In addition to doing illustrations and infographics and designing pages for the paper’s print and electronic publications, he writes InSites, a weekly column about websites and apps. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5212