VFW eligibility includes:
Anyone who has served honorably as an officer or enlisted person, whether on active duty, discharged under honorable conditions, released to inactive duty or retired, shall be eligible for membership.
(1). whose service in the Armed Forces of the United States in any foreign war, insurrection, or expedition is recognized as campaign medal service and governed by the authorization of the issuance of a campaign badge (medal) by the Government of the United States of America or as set forth in the Congressional Charter; and
(2). who is a citizen of the United States, subject to the provisions hereinafter set forth.
Persons in the Armed Forces of the United States shall become eligible for membership immediately upon arrival on hostile soil, in hostile waters, or the airspace above in the performance of service qualifying such persons for membership. This includes those having served honorably on the Korean peninsula or in its territorial waters for not less than 30 consecutive days, or a total of 60 non-consecutive days, after June 30, 1949.
Many recipients of of the AFEM and N/MC Expeditionary Medals also qualify. Since WWII, campaign medals have been awarded for 3 wars, 8 places of occupation, 28 multi-service operations and 10 Navy/Marine expeditions, as well as a ribbon for a separate ship action.