Spring is, at long last, in the air. One sure sign of that arrival is the steady increase in the number of motorcycles appearing each day on the streets and highways of Wisconsin. With their arrival comes renewed interest in forming VFWRG’s (VFW Rider Groups).

Here's a photo from a few years back. That's me with my old dog "Journey" perched on the back of an '83 GL650. She never rode with me, but she loved to hop up and pose for pictures! She's gone and so is the 650, but I have an older Goldwing now... and a beagle.

The how’s and wherefore’s of such sanctioned groups has been under intense study by VFW National of late because there are many important points to be considered before the VFW, at any level, can become involved in such activities. Veteran of Foreign Wars Motorcycle Riders Groups/Associations, henceforth referred to as VFWRG, [are now permissible] pursuant to mandate of the 111th National Convention, Resolution 308, adopted August 23, 2010. However, before you just run off and announce your new Riders Group, you will be required to download the official instructions for doing so, and complete an application which must be approved first by the Department Commander and then passed to VFW National for the Commander-in-Chief’s approval. The guidelines specify who can belong to the group, what standards of membership/ownership/insurance are required, and a review/approval process for any proposed “patch” or logo. You may download the National Guidelines here, or on our Wisconsin VFW Downloadable Forms Page, where you will also find the appropriate Post or District application forms, listed under National Forms & Information.

Because these forms and guidelines are subject to periodic updating and/or modification, we strongly recommend that you make sure you have the latest copy in hand before proceeding. Revised documents will automatically be available on our Downloadable Forms Page as they are received from National.

I am a rider myself, so I find this an exciting prospect for the Veterans of Foreign Wars and I look forward to potentially joining a VFW Riders Group. Let’s ride… but let’s do it right!

  1. Tom "Squirts" Clark says:

    Nice article! I am a proud VFW Rider, actually a “Vander Clute” VFW Rider in Southern Illinois. I am hopeful that these new guidelines will spur VFW Posts to action. I understand that some in National are wary of “bikers” somehow tarnishing the image of the VFW but what they do not take into account is the positive Public Relations that a riders group can bring to the “V”… Not only that, but riders groups can appeal to YOUNGER veterans which means younger MEMBERS to bolster the VFW’s sagging membership numbers due to natural attrition (Father Time sees to that). OUR riders group is “full steam ahead”! We have a great post as our sponsor, the post has increased DRAMATICALLY in new members and transfers into our Post and mens/ ladies auxiliaries and we riders are present for post functions such as BINGO to lendour older comrades a much appreciated hand. Riders groups are a WIN-WIN for the “V”… It’s a shame this is a “bottom up” program, but time will prove the rider group’s worth. Respects and take care “up there”. Tom “Squirts” Clark Vander Clute VFW Rider, Illinois

  2. daniel milkey says:

    I am here in Marinette WI. and there is no V.F.W. motorcycle club up here. Would it be all right to get a V.F.W. motorcycle vest to where when riding.

    • Membership Chairman says:

      Mr Milkey,

      Currently in Wisconsin there are two organized VFW Rider’s Groups, one out of Post 1865 in Kenosha and another out of Post 11038 Rochester “The Bunker”. I would think it would be frowned upon by many to wear insignia of an organization, whether club or group, of something you are not officially part of. Having said that, I am positive that either Post would welcome a new member, even one who is not local. You can be a part of either group without having to be a member of that post. For example, if you are a member of VFW Post 8813, you can still join VFW Post 11038 VFW Riders Group and still be a member of 8813.

      Feel free to contact me should you have any further questions.

      Keep the rubber on the road,
      Telemachos

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