WASHINGTON, (WETM – TV) – Rep. Tom Reed congratulated William “Doc” Schmitz, of Corning, N.Y., on his election to be the new leader of the 1.2 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, a congressionally-chartered veterans service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from all five branches of the armed forces.
“Doc has been an instrumental part of my staff in Congress from day one,” Tom said. “Doc cares about the needs of veterans, wants to ensure they are treated fairly and knows the issues surrounding the veteran community like no other. I am proud to have him on my staff, and I know he will lead the VFW to even greater heights.”
During his tenure as national commander, Schmitz will log thousands of miles across the U.S. and abroad to promote the many objectives of the VFW.
His charge to members and supporters of the $102 million nonprofit organization over the next year is to “Dare to Care.” This initiative is calling on individuals to help confront the challenges that hinder America’s service members and families from living their best lives.
Schmitz takes office during a time of great momentum for the organization which recently announced its first increase in membership in 27 years, reached a milestone achievement of more than $8.3 billion in benefits and compensation collected from the VA on behalf of veterans, and fought for the successful passage of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019. Through donations and corporate partnerships, the VFW has also surpassed $11 million in financial grants and $6.5 million in scholarships awarded to veterans. The VFW is celebrating 100 years of its National Veterans Service and National Legislative Service programs which advocate for the best possible quality of life solutions and benefits on behalf of America’s veterans, service members and military families.
Aiding the organization’s corporate relationships is its VFW Foundation, an IRS 501(c)(3) charity which maintains a coveted four-star rating by Charity Navigator, setting the VFW Foundation apart from its peers and demonstrating to the public its trustworthiness.
VFW membership eligibility requires honorable service in a war or expedition on foreign soil or in hostile waters. Schmitz served in the United States Navy from 1966 to 1970, with deployment to Vietnam as a corpsman attached to United States Marine Corps infantry and artillery. He then joined the VFW in 1971 at Post 524 in Corning, N.Y., where he has served the VFW in many vital leadership positions at the local, state and national levels.