“We’ve had a decline over the last few years due to the unfortunate demise of our World War II veterans.”
Jim Rowoldt is the state adjutant quartermaster with the California VFW…and a Vietnam Vet. He says another challenge is convincing new vets that the VFW is not all about sitting around trading war stories.
“That was one of the perceptions that I constantly was working to overcome. What we really need to be talking about is the good that we do in the community.”
Like awarding millions of dollars in grants to young vets who find themselves in financial binds when returning to civilian life.
Rowoldt acknowledges that many young vets may not think they have much in common with older VFW members. But he says age is not a factor when it comes to the experience of combat.
“If bullets are flying, war is war. While we may have the generational gap, we’re still veterans and we have a shared experience.”
Rowoldt says the VFW is starting to use facebook and other social networking websites used by young people to recruit new members.