Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873

What we Do

The mission of the VFW is to foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts, to serve our veterans, the military, and our communities, and to advocate on behalf of all veterans. The VFW Post in Naperville has been repeatedly recognized at the national level for the work we and our Ladies Auxiliary do in performing this mission throughout our community. Here's some of the things we do:

TAKING CARE OF VETERANS We take great pride in being a resource for our local veterans, those still serving and those who have previously served. As a group, we routinely support and aid fellow veterans who are in need due to circumstances beyond their control. Members of our post proactively keep veterans up to date on relevant changes to state and federal Department of Veterans Affairs policies (i.e. medical, financial, education, etc.) to ensure each veteran is able to take advantage of the benefits they have earned. We also provide assistance in contacting the right people within various organizations to facilitate resolving veteran related problems and issues. Finally, we honor our fellow veterans as they pass from this life by attending their visitations, remembering their service, and rendering a final salute as comrades in arms.

PATRIOTIC DAYS AND EVENTS We host public commemorations and other events on many patriotic days, honoring America's veterans and rich history. We spearhead and participate in numerous memorial services on Memorial Day followed by leading Naperville's Memorial Day Parade. We also play a key role in the yearly memorial service held on the Riverwalk each Patriot's Day (September 11). We participate in various patriotic ceremonies throughout the year at our local schools (elementary through senior high), local retirement and assisted living communities, and local businesses.

VOICE OF DEMOCRACY SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM The VFW Voice of Democracy contest provides students in grades 9-12 the opportunity to explore democratic ideals and principles through audio essays. Each year, we select three winners and they share in the scholarship money awarded by our post. Our first place winner is advanced to the next higher level. The first-place winner at the national level receives a $30,000 scholarship and a trip to Washington, D.C.

PATRIOT'S PEN SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM The VFW Patriot's Pen essay contest is for students in grades 6- 8 and challenges them to reflect on American history and their own experiences based on a patriotic theme. Each year, we select a number of winners and they share in the scholarship money awarded by our post. Winners are advanced to the next higher level for competition. The first-place winner at the national level receives $5,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C.

TEACHER OF THE YEAR AWARD Each year the VFW recognizes three exceptional teachers - one each from the elementary, junior high and high school levels - for their outstanding commitment to teach Americanism and instill patriotism in their students. Our post has a long history of recognizing teachers for their efforts and contributions in this area and we continue to nominate teachers for these awards. 

THE VFW IN THE CLASSROOM Veterans play an important role in educating our nation's youth about the founding principles upon which America was founded. As combat veterans, VFW members provide students with insight into the great sacrifices our service members make to maintain freedom for allof us. Our post has well established relationships with our local schools and each year, many of our post members participate in numerous ceremonies, discussion panels, and patriotic celebrations to further the education of students from the elementary to the high school level.

BUDDY POPPY The red poppy is a symbol of war and remembrance, dating back to Canada's Col. John McCrae's poem, "In Flanders Field," which describes blowing red fields of poppies among the graves of the fallen. Each year, particularly around Memorial Day, members of our post distribute poppies while collecting donations that are used throughout the year to aid and assist veterans and their families who are in need.

NATIONAL HOME The VFW National Home in Eaton Rapids, Michigan has a commitment to honor our nation's veterans and active-duty military by providing help and hope for their children and their families. It does so by providing a place to live for military families dealing with issues such as reintegration challenges, post-traumatic stress, high unemployment and rehabilitation from battlefield injuries, and the loss of a service member during combat. The Naperville VFW passionately supports this resource for military families through yearly visits to the community and fund raising through events such as the 0.1km Judd-a-thon race.

HOMELESS VETERANS Each year, "stand downs" are conducted to collect and distribute clothing and other items to local homeless veterans in the Chicago area. Our post has a rich history of participating in these events with collected/donated items benefitting hundreds of individuals.

COMMUNITY SERVICE EVENTS Throughout the year, our post plays host to a number of community events such as our annual Turkey Raffle, weekly fish frys during lent, community blood drives, and other activities.