The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, with its Auxiliaries, includes 2.4 million members in approximately 9,000 Posts worldwide. Its mission is to "honor the dead by helping the living" through veterans' service, community service, national security and a strong national defense. The VFW traces its roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service: Many arrived home wounded or sick. There was no medical care or veterans' pension for them, and they were left to care for themselves. From providing $2.5 million in college scholarships to high school students every year to encouraging elevation of the Veterans Administration to the president's cabinet, the VFW is there--honoring the dead by helping the living.