From Ohio History Central
In 1899, some veterans from the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection met in Columbus, Ohio, and formed the American Veterans of Foreign Service. This organization united together several other veteran groups to create the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1913. The American Veterans of Foreign Service was the first national organization within the United States to represent veterans of all foreign wars.
The American Veterans of Foreign Service served as an early voice for veterans before the United States government and before the American people. The organization lobbied federal and state governments to provide additional benefits to veterans. It also helped veterans complete the paperwork necessary for them to receive benefits. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, once formed in 1913, continued and expanded the activities of the American Veterans of Foreign Service.