Buddy Poppy

The VFW Buddy Poppy Program

Download the History of the Buddy Poppy pamphlet by clicking here

Hear from those who assemble these mighty little flowers in “The Veterans Behind the Buddy Poppy” video below. Also below is a video on the impact and meaning of these powerful little silk flowers.

In the World War I battlefields of Belgium, poppies grew wild amid the ravaged landscape. How could such a pretty little flower grow wild while surrounded by death and destruction? The overturned soils of battle enabled the poppy seeds to be covered, thus allowing them to grow and to forever serve as a reminder of the bloodshed during that and future wars.

The poppy movement was inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields” written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae of the Canadian forces in 1915 before the United States entered World War I. Selling replicas of the original Flanders’ poppy originated in some of the allied countries immediately after the Armistice. 


VFW Post Chairs – Place your orders early for Memorial Day, Veterans Day, or any other holidays and recruiting events.

Veterans of Foreign Wars


Anaheim Post 3173 Law Enforcement (LE) Officer of the Year 2021-2022

Anaheim Police Officer Ryan Warner

Any individual who serves in a municipal, county, state or federal unit tasked with enforcement of the laws pertaining to their area of responsibility. This award does not apply to individuals employed by private companies or security services.

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) of the year 2021-2022
No Entry

Any individual, who actively gives emergency medical treatment, provides rescue service or civil disaster assistance as a member of any public or volunteer company organized to give emergency medical care, provide rescue and civil disaster assistance to our nation’s citizens.

Anaheim Post 3173 Firefighters (FF) of the year 2021-2022
Anaheim Firefighter Ryan Lazar

Any individual who actively fights fires as a member of any public or volunteer company organized to fight fires and give assistance to our nation’s citizens.

CRITERIA: Candidates must have demonstrated:

  • Recognition by their colleagues or those they serve.

  • Consistent excellence in the performance of their duties. Documentation is the key, such as awards, letters, newspaper coverage, TV coverage, etc.

  • Consistent dedication to their official responsibilities over a period of years and continuous growth in responsibilities and skills within their profession.


Mentoring is an opportunity for knowledgeable and long-time members of the VFW to work with a newer member and guide that member to the path of Leadership within our organization.

Past and/or current District Officers should be selected to mentor each new Post Commander to ensure their success. The same should occur with new District 2 Officers or Program Chairs.

Members should be selected for mentoring who have the desire to progress in positions.


Each year more than 165,400 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of more than $1.4 million in state and national awards.

Conducted nationwide, this VFW-sponsored youth essay competition gives 6th-, 7th– and 8th grade students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme.

The Anaheim 2021-2022 Patriot Pen Winner: No entry

 "What is next for America?"



The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is deeply committed to achieving the fullest possible accounting of 83,000 missing Americans that include approximately 73,000 from World War II, 7,700 from the Korean War, 1,600 from the Vietnam War, and 130+ post-Vietnam.

The third Friday of every September is set aside as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Let us remember those who put country before self, but have yet to return home from their wars.

Let us remember their families, who continue to burn the candle of hope. And let us continue to tell the story that without the service and sacrifice of American servicemen and women, there would not be a United States of America.

In support of this commitment, Dept. of CA District 2 and Anaheim Post 3173 requests VFW members send their National, State and Local representatives a letter urging their continued support of this issue; this includes asking members of the public to also write on behalf of our missing veterans.

To ensure they are never forgotten, Anaheim Posts Ensures:
  • Urge support from local news media and club newsletters.

  • Notify all news Media well in advance of all POW/MIA Programs to ensure their participation.

  • Comply with VFW National mandates, and our state resolution that requires having an empty chair at all official function properly personalized with a POW chair cover and/or table.

  • Have a POW/MIA Flag on location for meetings and special events.

  • Set up a POW/MIA Table

  • Meet the POW/MIA families from your area and see if Post or Auxiliary can be of assistance to them.

  • Appoint a POW/MIA Chairperson and send their name to the State Chairperson.

  • With the help from the Auxiliary to conduct a POW/MIA ceremony, as outlined in the VFW Manual of Procedure Ritual.

  • Educate and inform communities, schools, youth groups and local government that the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Flag is only subordinate to the US Flag and should be displayed or presented accordingly.

  • Follow updates for Vietnam War POW/MIAs


James Bledsoe

Sponsored by Post 3173

As Boy and Girl Scouts, Sea Scouts, Venture Scouts and JROTC cadets, these individuals are often a tremendous asset to a Post by helping with Post projects such as placing flags on graves on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, helping with Post maintenance and fix-up efforts, helping distribute “Buddy”® Poppies, providing color guards and assisting with VFW public events.

 As young adults, participants in these programs are much more likely than others of their age group to enter the military and, ultimately, become eligible for membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars. was awarded:

Life Scout James K. Bledsoe was awarded:

VFW Post 3173– Scout of the Year 2021-2022

To participate in the 2022-2023 Scouting Program

Drop off your Package at your nearest VFW Post


Jessica Del Angel

Sponsored by VFW Post 3173

El Cerrito Middle School

Karen Bell

Sponsored by VFW Post 3173

Western High  School

Each year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars selects elementary, middle, and high school teachers to participate in the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher program. These certified/licensed elementary, junior high and high school teachers teach and promote America’s history, traditions and citizenship education effectively.

All current certified/licensed teachers in grades K-12 are eligible. Previous national VFW winners are ineligible. Nominations can be submitted by themselves, fellow teachers, supervisors, family members or other interested individuals.

Jessica Del Angel was awarded

VFW Post 3173 Middle School Teacher of the Year for 2021-2022

VFW District 2 Middle School Teacher of the Year for 2021-2022

VFW Department Middle school Teacher of the Year 2021-2022

Karen Bell was awarded

VFW Post 3173 High School Teacher of the Year for 2021-2022

VFW District 2 High School Teacher of the Year for 2021-2022

To submit your teacher:

Read and follow the instructions in the Teachers of the Year – Rules & Regulations

Drop off your Package at your nearest VFW Post


Ariana Perez

Sponsored by Post 3173

Troy High School

Since 1947, the Voice of Democracy has been the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ (VFW’s) premier scholarship program. Each year, nearly 57,000 high school students compete for more than $2 million in scholarships and incentives.

Students compete by writing and recording an audio essay on an annual patriotic theme.

The 2021-2022 VFW Voice of Democracy theme was:

Is This the Country the Founders Envisioned?

Anna was awarded:

VFW Post 3173 – Voice of Democracy

VFW District 2 – Voice of Democracy

VFW Department of California – Voice of Democracy – Runner up

Congratulations to Ariana for a job well done!


VFW in the Classroom

Every day, we strive to thank America’s educators by providing them with helpful resources and encouraging our members to visit local classrooms. Let us help you educate America’s future leaders and bring history to life!

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 can provide students with a unique perspective about the sacrifices America’s service members make to maintain freedom for all of us.

When visiting a classroom, a VFW member will prepare a brief introduction, a main presentation and a Q&A session. Depending on the topic, a member may bring appropriate memorabilia, uniforms, photographs and other relevant material.

American history is something we all share, and there’s no one better to help tell that story than someone who’s had a great part in shaping it.

Contact your local VFW Post to arrange for a veteran to visit your classroom.

If you are a VFW member or Post interested in becoming active with your local schools these tips and suggestions may be helpful.

Voice of Democracy
Patriot’s Pen
Scout of the Year
Teacher of the Year