The Veterans of Foreign Wars is looking for a few hundred thousand good men and figures Desert Storm is just the thing to deliver them.
With an average age of 64 among its 2.1 million members, VFW officials say the organization needs to think young."We wish more (young veterans) would join because the rest of us are about ready to die," said Paul Zimmer, chaplain of VFW Post 10420 in Myrtle Beach, Fla.
Fifty-two percent of the VFW's members served in World War II, with 21 percent drawn from the Korean War, 24 percent from Vietnam and 3 percent from 20 other occupations or campaigns, including the invasion of Panama.
Membership is actually up 25,000 over last year, said VFW commander in chief James Kimery, and the organization has grown during each of the last 35 years.
"We aren't concerned about going under any time soon," Kimery said in an interview from Port Lavaca, Texas. But the group still needs an infusion of young members, said its director of public relations, Richard Kolb.
"It's a legitimate concern," he said. "In a lot of posts they have only World War II veterans. That's why the situation with these troops coming back has been a godsend for us."