VFW Post 688, located in Boerne, Texas, received its Charter in 1936. The Post is named in honor of Private Bruno Phillip, a Boerne native and eldest son of Julius Phillip. At the age of 30, Phillip volunteered to serve as an Infantryman in the U.S. Army during the World War I. He was killed in action on September 3rd, 1918, during the Saint Mihiel Offensive in France.
Post 688 has over 250 members who collectively represent service to our nation in every conflict from World War II through Operation Inherent Resolve.
Post 688 hosts and participates in more than forty community events throughout the year including parades, commemorations, school visits, and other events to honor veterans our military, and to educate the community about important dates related to historical military actions that preserved the freedoms Americans enjoy today.
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Post members contribute hundreds of volunteer hours each year to community service projects in Boerne and across Kendall County. We support the VFW National Home for Children in Eaton Rapids, Michigan for the children of deceased or incapacitated Veterans. The Post participates in many other programs to assist disabled and distressed Veterans, spouses and children of Veterans. In recognition of its dedicated service, Post 688 has been awarded the title “All American Post” multiple times by the VFW National Headquarters.
VFW Post 688 is an active and important part of the Boerne, Texas community. The Post provides support and service to veterans and their families; works to protect veterans’ rights, state and federal benefits; volunteers service hours to improve the City of Boerne and Kendall County; preserves the historic traditions of patriotism, military service, and devotion to country; and serves as a constant reminder to all that ‘freedom is not free’ – that it must be protected by the toil, sacrifice, blood, sweat and tears of current and future American citizen Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen.
We accomplish these things by being involved in the Post’s activities and the community, by continuing to live the values of selfless service, dedication, loyalty and duty which we learned and practiced as uniformed members of the United States military. All of this requires that members of the Post be committed to and involved in Post projects. Members can be as involved, or not, as they choose.
We ask that VFW 688 members commit themselves to the roles and functions of the Post; to volunteer time and talents to helping veterans and the community. This Post, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization as a whole, will always only be as effective as an organization and meaningful to the nation as the membership makes it.
History of the VFW
The VFW traces its roots to the veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) who founded local, fraternal societies based on their shared experiences and the spirit of comradeship known only to those who faced the dangers of war. Many of these veterans returned home from these conflicts either wounded or sick. There was no medical care or veterans' pension for them and they were essentially left to care for themselves. These groups of veterans began working to secure rights and benefits for their service.
In 1914, the American Veterans of Foreign Service in Ohio, the National Society of the Army of the Philippines in Colorado, and the Foreign Service Veterans in Pennsylvania merged, creating the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. The movement quickly gained momentum and chapters formed in other states. By 1915, membership grew to 5,000; by 1936, when the VFW was formally chartered by Congress, membership was almost 200,000.
No one does more for Veterans. The VFW’s first national assistance effort began in 1922 with the Buddy Poppy program to assist WWI disabled veterans. The VFW lobbied hard in support of the 1924 World War Veterans Adjusted Compensation Act, "The Soldier's Bonus," which granted World War I veterans compensation for wages lost due to wartime service. In 1925, the organization established a National Home for Veterans' Orphans. After the United States' entry into World War II, the VFW pushed Congress to provide life insurance coverage for all service personnel, the origin of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance. The VFW played a crucial role in gaining passage of the GI Bill of Rights in 1944, the 1952 Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (Korean War GI Bill), and the 1966 Veterans Readjustment Benefits Act (Vietnam War GI Bill).
In 2004 the VFW created the Unmet Needs program to financially assist service members or recently discharged vets. And the VFW lobbied hard again for passage of the 2008 Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act (9-11 GI Bill), providing education benefits for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
Currently, the VFW National Legislative Service office in Washington, D.C., monitors legislation that affects veterans and lobbies Congress and the executive branch on veterans' issues. The office often assists congressional staffs in preparing legislation. VFW has almost 16,000 service officers to assist veterans and their dependents in gaining federal or state entitlements. These service officers help with military discharge upgrades, records correction, education benefits, disability compensation, pension eligibility, and other veterans' issues. VFW field representatives conduct regular inspections of VA health care facilities, regional VA offices, and national cemeteries.
Today the 1.6 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliaries are located in 8,500 VFW Posts and 52 Departments around the world; an organization dedicated to serving the needs of those who have sacrificed in our nation’s conflicts abroad.