VFW 8879

Teamwork - Leadership - Commitment


Teamwork ~ Leadership ~ Commitment


Our Post is located in West Des Moines, Iowa. We received our Charter on January 6, 1947 and are named in honor of John Emerick and Harrison Williams - both Veterans who killed in WWII.

Our current membership include 93 veterans from World War II through the Afghanistan and Iraq conflict in the Global War on Terrorism. We meet on the first Monday of the month (except September in 2019 - when we meet on the 9th) at    7:00 pm in the West Des Moines Community Center, 217 5th St., West Des Moines, IA 50265

Hosting educational programs and community services throughout the year emphasizes our commitment to our community. 

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VFW Post 8879 encourages all local Elementary, Junior High, and High Schools to show-case their student’s talents in the Veterans Of Foreign Wars Educational Programs. These programs offer cash awards recognizing the student’s communication skills and their Love- Of -Country. The programs include:   

Patriot's Pen 

Each year more than 132,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $55,000, with each first-place state winner receiving a minimum of $500 at the national level. 

The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief. Want to apply? Read the rules and eligibility requirements and download the entry form before submitting your entry to your local VFW Post. 

The 2018-19 theme is: 
"Why I Honor the American Flag”

Voice of Democracy

Established in 1947, our Voice of Democracy audio-essay program provides high school students with the unique opportunity to express themselves in regards to a democratic and patriotic-themed recorded essay. Each year, nearly 40,000 9-12 grade students from across the country enter to win their share of $2.1 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the program. 

The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. A complete list of other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first-place winner from each VFW Department (state) wins a minimum scholarship of $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. Want to apply? Read the rules and eligibility requirements and download the entry form before you submit your entry at your local VFW Post 8879. 

2018 - 19 Theme:

"Why My Vote Matters”

Student Entry Deadline: October 31, 2018 Patriotic Audio Essay Competition Grand Prize: $30,000 Award 


Teacher of the Year

Without our nation’s veterans, America wouldn't be the great nation it is today. Our youth deserve to learn about our rich history, traditions and the role of our veterans in creating and shaping America.

The VFW Teacher of the Year award contest recognizes three exceptional teachers for their outstanding commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students. Each year, a classroom elementary, junior high and high school teacher whose curriculum focuses on citizenship education topics — for at least half of the school day in a classroom environment — can be nominated for the Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award. Winners receive:

  • A $1,000 award for professional development expenses.
  • A $1,000 award for his/her school. 
  • Two award plaques: one for the teacher, the other for his/her school.
  • An all-expenses-paid trip to attend a VFW conference to receive their award. 

For Further Information Contact:

Greg Allen - Mobile: 316-665-0507   or

Randy Steig - Mobile:  515-975-3783



Rick Gray created a series of murals for VFW Post 8879 in honor of all veterans. View them in the video below and at 128 5th St. in West Des Moines, Iowa.

In the video below, Commander Ryan Gilbert and fellow Post 8879 members dedicate a memorial bench at the Iowas Veterans Cemetery. 



Our programs support our service members while they are on the front line, as they are being discharged and long after they return. Your tax-deductible donation will be immediately directed to the VFW programs where your support is most urgently needed.

News & Events

Upcoming events

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View Local, State and National events. 


Membership Details

As yesterday's defenders of freedom...

 ...we want to welcome today's military service members into our ranks to become part of our elite group.

WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, Kosovo, War in Afghanistan, War in Iraq, War on Global Terror and other Peace-Keeping Expeditionary Campaigns throughout the globe.

Assistance & Benefits

Assistance & Benefits

The Veterans of Foreign Wars is dedicated

 to supporting those who sacrifice so much for this country, veterans, service members in the US Armed Forces, and their families and continues to be a voice for returning and currently deployed service members and their families.

Post News

Important Info for Post8879 Members

West Des Moines Parade

VFW Post 8879 Members to Lead Annual Parade

Names to Appear on WDM Vietnam Memorial

VFW Post 8879 is working with the City of West Des Moines and Polk County to create a Vietnam Memorial on Veteran's Highway.

National News

Important info from National VFW

President Releases FY 2020 Budget Request

WASHINGTON - The president's federal spending plan for fiscal year 2020 adds 30,000 more troops and proposes a ...

VFW Concerned With VA MISSION Act Implementation

WASHINGTON - This morning, during testimony before a joint hearing of the Senate and House Veterans' Affairs Committees, the Veter...



"That the purpose of this Corporation shall be fraternal, patriotic, historical, charitable, and educational: to preserve and strengthen comradeship among its members; to assist worthy comrades; to perpetuate the memory and history of our dead; and to assist their widows and orphans; to maintain true allegiance to the Government of the United States of America, and fidelity to its Constitution and laws; to foster true patriotism; to maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom, and to preserve and defend the United States from all her enemies."

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