KANSAS CITY, MO – In an unprecedented response to dwindling membership ranks, the Veterans of Foreign Wars have extended eligibility to military fakers.
According to officials, people who fake military service may be the financial saving grace for what many perceive as a dying organization. A lack of interest in the current crop of young veterans has caused membership to shrink and many posts to close.
The VFW conducted a survey last year to discover why young veterans were ambivalent towards the organization. 65 percent of those surveyed, aged 18-30, responded by asking, "What's the VFW?"
"After I figured out it wasn't just a creepy, dive bar behind 7-11, I joined up," said Matt Ross, a 24-year-old Iraq veteran who quit a few weeks later. "It's nice, but it's not my thing. I only pre-partied there for the cheap drinks. If I'm going to tell war stories all night, it's cause I'm trying to get laid."
"Unfortunately," he added, "the VFW is an old, wrinkly sausage fest."
While the VFW was founded as an exclusive organization open only to war veterans, the pool of eligible people who have also heard of it is small, making it difficult to recruit members. The decision by top VFW officers to let non-war veterans apply was not taken lightly.
"We're not just letting anyone in," said Post 5150 Commander Jake Taylor. "The applicant must be a veteran poser. Panel interviews to assess the posers storytelling abilities are conducted, where the applicant must take shots of Jack Daniels while telling three different war stories of increasing absurdity."
Additionally, fakers must be able to prove they can actively lie about serving during sustained combat operations.
Fakers have welcomed the opportunity to come out of the closet of shame and finally share a drink with the men they have impersonated for years.
"I feel like I'm getting called up to the big leagues," said "General" Doug Stevens, a Vietnam-era faker. "It's one thing to tell made up war stories to civilians. Those idiots will believe anything if you're wearing an Army hat. But to have a genuine, was-in-the-shit, combat veteran believe you killed a platoon of NVA single-handedly with only a bayonet and love of country is a whole different ball game. I've actually got my ribbons ordered correctly now."
Membership applications have soared after the announcement, with the organization projecting they'll likely be in the black for the first time in three years. However, most authentic VFW members quickly soured on the new members.
"I understand we needed more people but this is ridiculous," said Vietnam veteran Cooper Oldman. "This place use to be where a bunch of veterans with similar experiences could share some bullshit, exaggerated war stories over a drink. Now, it's like listening to horrible Black Hawk Down fan fiction. I'd rather be back in the Mekong burning a leech off my dick than look at another one of these guys."
Oldman sighed and took a double shot after he noticed two unshaven, overweight men wearing multicam hats walk into the bar. One sported a shirt that said "I killed Bin Laden." The other's read: "I'm with stupid."