In the final installment of our series celebrating the history of the VFW National Home for Children, we take a look at some of the notable events of the present decade and how those accomplishments are helping ensure we are able to continue to offer struggling military and veteran families the opportunity to live in the National Home’s peaceful and caring atmosphere while they get their lives back on track.
In 2007, the National Home was approached by a VFW member from the state of Washington wanting to help the Home. By 2008, he was asking about building a new home. He wanted to leave a lasting impact on the lives of struggling veteran families. He did just that when he singlehandedly funded the construction of the National Home’s newest duplex, home to the Air Force and Air National Guard houses. The new duplex was dedicated in October 2011.
Upkeep of the Air Force House is sponsored by the VFW Department of Europe, while the MOC and MOCA Grand of Florida sponsor the Air National Guard House.
In June of 2012, the National Home formally dedicated its new Tribute Park. The Tribute Park features serene walking paths, ornamental trees and beautiful sculptures, among other features. Every item in the Tribute Park serves as a timeless expression of dedication to the National Home’s mission --and helps create a peaceful and beautiful park for residents and visitors alike to enjoy. It also ensures we are able to serve future generations of military and veteran families, as the net donation from each tribute is placed in our Amy Ross Endowment Fund, a permanently restricted endowment fund created to generate annual income for the National Home.
As the needs of military and veteran families have changed over time, the National Home has also evolved to meet those changing needs. What started as a home for the widows and orphans of our nation’s early wars is now a community of families, each with their unique struggles and goals, who share the common thread of service and sacrifice for our nation. The Board of Trustees formally adopted the National Home’s current program for military and veteran families in June 2013, again demonstrating the National Home’s ability to recognize, modernize and respond to the changing needs of America’s military members and veterans, and to our ever-present wish to honor those who have served.
In January of 2015, the National Home celebrated 90 years of service to our nation’s military and veteran families with a large birthday cake and talk of future plans. To commemorate the anniversary and preserve the National Home’s rich history, we launched our museum project. An updated museum will be housed in a renovated, universally accessible building and showcase the history in a way that respects the past while showing the Home from a modern, fresh perspective.
As our 90th anniversary year comes to a close, we hope you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane as much as we have. As always, we thank you for your continued support of the struggling military and veteran families served by your VFW National Home for Children.