In 1899 a VFW post began in Denver Colorado. There are two other posts which claim they are the first post, but the National VFW recognizes the Denver Post as being the first. It is Post 1 John S Stewart.
The VFW name was created on September 17, 1914 at a conference at the Schenley Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The new organization was a merger of two prior veterans organizations, both beginning in 1899: the American Veterans of Foreign Service and the National Society of the Army of the Philippines. The former was formed for veterans of the Spanish–American War, while the latter was formed for veterans of the Philippine–American War.
On May 28, 1936, by an act of the United States Congress, the VFW became a government-chartered non-profit organization. As such, it receives no funding from United States tax receipts and is supported by charitable donations.