Among all the flowers that evoke the memories and emotions of war is the red poppy, which became associated with war after the publication of a poem written by Col. John McCrae of Canada. The poem, “In Flander’s Field,” describes blowing red fields among the battleground of the fallen.
The VFW was the first veterans’ organization to adopt the poppy and develop a national distribution campaign. For more than 75 years, the VFW’s Buddy Poppy program has raised millions of dollars in support of veterans’ welfare and the well being of their dependents.
Today, VFW Buddy Poppies are assembled by disabled, needy and aging veterans in VA Hospitals and domiciliaries across the country and used by VFW Posts and their Ladies Auxiliaries to compensate the veterans who assemble the poppies. Donations also provide financial assistance to maintain state and national veterans’ rehabilitation and service programs, and to partially support the VFW National Home for veterans’ orphans and widows.
Posts and Ladies Auxiliaries are encouraged to purchase five Poppies per member each year to support our annual Department campaign to reach 1,000,000 purchased. For information on how to purchase Poppies click here and scroll down to the Buddy Poppy files.
Many Posts and Ladies Auxiliaries participate in the annual Poppy Display contest which is judged at the State Convention. Winners advance to the National level.