The Veterans’ Legacy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in North Carolina, servicing veterans and their families by providing historical research. The significance of this research provides deceased veterans’ families a means to discover what a relative did during their military service, and veterans a process to have their documents corrected. Often times, we find that veterans have been awarded decorations, but their accomplishments are not reflected on their discharge papers.VLF’s founders consists of a handful of veterans, who are passionate about the work they do for other veterans and veteran families.
The belief that every veteran should be honored and recognized for his or her military service is what drives VLF to do what they do. Where documented evidence of service-related action did not previously exist, is incomplete, or has been lost, the foundation will provide the results of research to appropriate agencies in order to preserve and enhance the historical legacy of veteran services. Headquartered in Harnett County, NC, the foundation has a core team of competent researchers and administrators coordinating casework and fundraising. Our services extend throughout the country, coordinating our efforts with a network of dedicated volunteer caseworkers. Our efforts were recently featured in The American Legion magazine (February 2012 issue).
Recognition for actions and deeds that involve service, achievement and heroism is typically recognized through the appropriate military branch. While this recognition is normally accomplished in a timely manner and within the required submission limitation, there are instances where submissions have been misplaced, not properly prepared or simply never initiated.There are provisions available that allow for the submission for consideration of awards and decorations for service on behalf of veterans or families of veterans. While this provides the opportunity for consideration, it does not provide a means of guidance for veterans, their families, veteran service officers or congressional representatives to perform the labor intensive research and preparation of proper documentation for an effective submission. The burden of researching archives and documents, obtaining corroborating statements and creating an effective submission package lies primarily with the veteran or family.Until now, no organization existed to expressly assist the veteran or family in the entire submission process.
The Veterans’ Legacy Foundation was formed in an effort to institutionalize the volunteer efforts of a small group of veterans and avid military historians. This group has been volunteering their time since 2000 in support of veterans in Harnett County, North Carolina and surrounding counties. To date these efforts have resulted in numerous awards and recognition for service from WWI to post-Desert Storm. These efforts not only contribute to historical veteran legacies of North Carolina, but the research augments military records at various national and unit archives and in some cases, replaces records lost in the disastrous 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center, St Louis, MO.
From an initial caseload of 2‐3 several years ago, today the Foundation has over 170 active cases and the number is steadily increasing.
Other states are expressing interest in the foundation’s services, and the foundation looks forward to opening branch offices in other states to support the case requests as funding permits.
We partner with Members of Congress or their staff as well as Veteran Service Officers, to enhance their ability in assisting veterans and their families. We simply provide the research which many times can intimidate the veteran or family member and create the package to be submitted to the appropriate congressional staff. Many Congressional staffs and VSOs welcome the assistance as well as make veterans and family members aware of the unique services provided by the foundation.