The Military Order of the Cootie are known as "The Honor Degree of the VFW" and our
members are comprised of the officers and leadership of the Veterans of Foreign Wars
of the United States. Membership in the MOC is recognition of outstanding service to
the VFW and its programs.
Founded in New York City on September 17, 1920, the MOC is based on the principals
of good humor and fun. Over the past ninety years, the Cooties have provided social
and entertainment programs to members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. as
an Ancillary unit within the organization. Since 1923, our first year as a part of the VFW,
the Cooties have worked hard to further the aims of the VFW while adding to it the
frivolity known as Military Humor to the serious work of our parent organization. What
would ultimately become known as the VFW National Home for Children, a sprawling
campus of homes located in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, started out as the brainchild of the
MOC. We firmly believe in caring for the widows and children of our Armed Forces.
Literally millions of dollars have been raised and donated to help "our kids" over our
history; starting with the library, the swimming pool, the Fire Department, and a host of
other projects designed to make life fun and educational for the children during their
stay at the National Home.
With the outbreak of World War II, the Cooties recognized a need to entertain
hospitalized troops and veterans during their confinement and rehabilitation at Veterans
Administration facilities throughout the country. Our service program is described as a
directive to "Keep 'em Smiling in Beds of White." Each year the Cooties volunteer
thousands of hours of time worth over ten million dollars to DVA Hospitals and
domiciliary throughout the United States. This work, in addition to the hours of service
donated as active members of the VFW, set the members of the MOC apart as Foreign
Service and Combat Veterans who are fully engaged in their communities, and their
fellow comrades in arms and their families. Our distinctive red hat and unusual uniform
sets us apart and draws attention to the plight of those less fortunate than ourselves.
We sacrifice a little of ourselves to bring a smile or a laugh during what is normally a
difficult time for our heroes. We seek others like us to join and help us help them in their
times of stress and anxiety.
Kevin D. Keller
Grand of Illinois