Showing posts with label VFW. Show all posts
Showing posts with label VFW. Show all posts

Dec 1, 2018


The Military Order of the Cootie of the United States is a non-profit Veterans Service Organization. It is known as "The Honor Degree of the VFW" and members are comprised of the officers and leadership of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

The Military Order of the Cootie was established on September 17, 1920, in Washington, D.C., by Fred Madden and F. L. Gransbury. The organization was modeled after the Imperial Order of the Dragon, an auxiliary to the Spanish American War Veterans.

The name "cootie" is a reference to the lice that plagued soldiers in World War I. Cooties were credited with keeping soldiers' heads down in the trenches. A meeting of cooties is called a "scratch", the local chapter a "Pup Tent", the state affiliate a "Grand", and national headquarters at Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, "The Supreme".

In the years after its founding, it took on several special projects designed to bring smiles to the faces of two special groups of people - hospitalized veterans and residents of the VFW National Home.

The official uniform of the VFW's Military Order of the Cootie is red pants with a white stripe running down each side; ruffled white shirt; lace-trimmed red vest emblazoned on the back with a gold-outlined, bug-like creature with flashing light bulb eyes; red, overseas-style cap worn sideways so that the tassels dangle beside the wearer's ears.

There are about 37,000 Cooties in 1,000 Pup tents. Membership is open to members in good standing in the VFW who have displayed their willingness to work for the parent organization.

The Military Order of the Cootie Auxiliary draws its membership from the ranks of women eighteen and older who have been active members of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary for at least six months and who are the wife, widow, sister, half-sister, daughter, foster daughter, or granddaughter of an active VFW member in good standing. Today there are approximately 17,000 auxiliary members contained in 597 Pup Tents.

May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Poppies

Moina Michael conceived of an idea in 1918 after reading a poem, to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later, Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom. When she returned to France, she made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries.

In 1921, the practice of selling poppies was taken up by the American Legion Auxiliary and in1922 by the VFW. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. The practice continues today. 

Several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3, Jefferson Davis' birthday, in Louisiana and Tennessee.