JACKSONVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) -- They serve as lobbyists and community volunteers, but before that, they served our country.
Last year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Arkansas had more than 10,000 lifetime members and last weekend signed up more than 40 new veterans at Jacksonville's Air Show.
But getting those members to actively participate at their local posts seems to be a challenge.
V.F.W. Posts across the country are where the American military legacy can be found on the walls and in the seats.
"The Vietnam War was not a popular war anyway so we were kind of a distant group at the time but it's all changed now," says Chuck Dicus who has been a member of Jacksonville V.F.W. Post 4548. He joined when he returned from Vietnam nearly 30 years ago.
"A lot of people think that it's just a bunch of old vets out there that sit around and tell war stories. Well, we do. That's a fact. We tell war stories but then we sit around and listen to the new war stories," says Dicus.
New stories from new veterans like their post commander, 32-year-old Justin Farrar.
"Come election night, I was nominated and I didn't turn it down or anything and next thing I know, I'm sitting in the commander's seat," says Farrar.
Farrar is an active member of the Arkansas Army National Guard and is one the few Iraq war veterans in his post, which is the largest in the state. He's working to change that with a non-smoking policy and family-friendly activities to draw his generation to the VFW.
"We're doing pretty well in membership. It's just, it would be nice to see a lot of the younger ones that we have signed up in the past to come out and participate," says Farrar.
"We didn't have bombs in the road. All of ours were falling out of the sky, you know. It's different," says Dicus.
They come from different wars, different generations but fought the same fight for freedom.
"We want them to be here," says Dicus of the new generation of veterans. "We need them to be here."
Last year, 645 lifetime V.F.W. members who served in World War Two and Vietnam passed away.
Follow Lisa on Twitter at @LisaHutsonTHV.