In their misery, some of these veterans banded together and formed organizations with what would become known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. After chapters were formed in Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania, the movement quickly gained momentum. By 1915, membership grew to 5,000; by 1936, membership was almost 200,000.
Since then, the VFW's voice had been instrumental in establishing the Veterans Administration, creating a GI bill for the 20th century, the development of the national cemetery system and the fight for compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange and for veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. In 2008, VFW won a long-fought victory with the passing of a GI Bill for the 21st Century, giving expanded educational benefits to America's active-duty service members, and members of the Guard and Reserves, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Besides helping fund the creation of the Vietnam, Korean War, World War II and Women in Military Service memorials, the VFW in 2005 became the first veterans' organization to contribute to building the new Disabled Veterans for Life Memorial, which opened in November 2010.
Annually, the nearly 2 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliaries contribute more than 8.6 million hours of volunteerism in the community, including participation in Make A Difference Day and National Volunteer Week.
From providing over $3 million in college scholarships and savings bonds to students every year, to encouraging elevation of the Department of Veterans Affairs to the president's cabinet, the VFW is there.
On April 4, 1923 the veterans of Springfield and Clark County area
formed the first V.F.W. Post in Springfield. It was known as the
Hawthorn Post. And the purpose was to obtain benefits for veterans and
1928 the name of the post was changed to Theodore Grimes Post in honor
of the first local soldier killed in World War 1 from this area.
1932, the Woman’s Relief Corps of Theodore Grimes Post 1031 was formed
and the first club room for the Post was established at Main Street and
In 1935 Ladies Auxiliary to Post 1031 was instituted.
In 1937 Vin Oui Oui Pup Tent #18 Military Order of the Cooties was organized with 20 charter members.
In 1939 the Drum and Bugle Corp members were State Champions.
Theodore Grimes Post changed their name in 1946 to also commemorate the
first veteran who lost his life from this area in World War II, John
1947 the Post moved to West High Street and in 1948 their first BINGO
game was started. The Bingo games are still in operation.
Nineteen fifty-two saw the move to 1237 East Main Street. The property was purchased from Allen Tool Company for $19,000.
In 1953, the Post started its Ambulance Service. Post members on call manned it for "Operation Emergency”.
The Fairground Cafeteria was completed in 1958; a nice new cement block building where before it was operated out of a tent.
April 21, 1963 the present Post cornerstone was laid and in December
the dedication was held. Leah Tingley presented the Bronze Plaque to
the Post in memory of all departed comrades.
On May 17, 1965 the Post purchased the property west of the Post home for $9,000.
In 1967, the Post voted to purchase an ambulance to serve the veterans of Clark County.
In 1966, Post 1031 sponsored a parade in honor of Clark County veterans serving in Vietnam.
The cafeteria at the Clark County Fairgrounds burned completely in January, 1971.
June of that year the Post bought an ambulance. In the same month it
purchased the home at 1241 E. Main Street for expansion for a cost of
In July 1972 ground was broken for a new addition to the building.
An Open House Dedication of the new addition was held in April 1973 and the Post celebrated its 50th Anniversary.
A playground was deemed needed so the Post bought the green space behind the club at a cost of $25,000.
The 1980s saw more growth. $15,000 was donated to charities from Bingo profits in 1984.
Post sponsored the first Outreach V.A. Clinic for veterans of Clark and
surrounding counties in 1985. The Youth Building was built at a cost
of $200,000 that same year.
1990s had more changes. In 1990 the Post purchased a new ambulance,
built a new bar, completely rebuilt the club and Red Room and
accomplished a lot of needed repairs the building
1996 and 1997 saw more remodeling. This time completely remodeling the upstairs and all the restrooms.
the year 2000 a new Shelter House was built and incorporated into the
Youth Building, the parking lot has been extended and paved, property in
front of the building was fenced and a memorial was dedicated therein.