|The United Spanish War Veterans (USWV) no longer exists.
The Sons of Spanish-American War Veterans (SSAWV), chartered by the USWV in 1937 does still exist, but in a greatly
reduced form. Currently, it includes approximately four hundred members nationwide. There are active camps in South Carolina,
Illinois,Colorada, California, North Carolina,Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and more forming every year. Most members
are members-at-large without local camps. Annually, a national convention is held. Each Memorial Day, the organization takes
part in events at Arlington National Cemetery. General Orders are mailed out to members twice a year. |
"With the passing of the years, as the Great Commander reduces
the ranks of the Veterans of the War of 98', a new source of strength is coming to the fore to lend a helping hand. As the
service of the Veterans of 61' to 65' is kept crystal clear by their sons, so, too, will the long and arduous service rendered
by the Veterans of 1898 - 1902 be kept bright in the minds of men by the Sons of Spanish - American War Veterans. Always ready
to assist the Veterans, however and whenever they may, they say: "We are willing. Call on Us."?
The Society, Sons of Spanish - American War Veterans, was
organized in the Spring of 1927. Its tenets were to perpetuate the memories of the men who served honorably in the War with
Spain, the Philippine Insurrection and the China Relief Expedition; to carry on the fight for adequate and equitable legislation
for the Veterans of '98 and for those widows and dependent min ors in State and National Legislatures; and to concentrate
their strength behind drives to keep this a land where the ideals of Washington, Lincoln and the Veterans own McKinley might
always hold sway.
Not least in this enumeration of its objects, is the aim
to have its members so conduct themselves at all times under all circumstances as to make their veteran fathers proud to call
them and give into their care a heritage that is second to none!
The first Sons' Camp in the United States, the nucleus of
today' great organization, was the Col. Rice W. Means Camp, No. 1, of New York City. Brought into being at a time when legislation
affecting Veterans of the Spanish -American War was being introduced into Congress, its modest debut into therealm of junior
allied veteran groups was scarcely noted in the more pressingaffairs of the hour. To a few deeply interested veterans, however,
it meant thetransportation into reality of a dream -- the fulfillment of a fond hope.
Trials and Growth:
The subsequent growth of the Order was slow. Its path was
beset withpitfalls that usually harass any pioneer movement; its leaders were challenged by the trials and tribulations attendant
newly launched organizations. Practically all its early members were in their teens; few of its officers had ever had opportunity
to try their hands at organization tasks; and seldom did they know much of parliamentary procedure. The leaders of each new
unit had, with but few exceptions, to learn everything in the painful and costly "School of Experience."
But with the determination that had been characteristic
of their fathers before them, these pioneer "Sons" kept their groups together and bit by bit the movement spread from two
to two, from city to city, from state to state. Then a burst of enthusiasm swept the county. In all sections of the Nation
units began springing up and in the year that followed more than thirty camps were chartered by National Headquarters of the
United Spanish War Veterans. Recognition by parent groups of the potential value of the Sons was one of the prime reasons
for this growth and it has continued steady over the intervening years. Over a hundred Camps had been chartered by General
Headquarters of the U.S.W.V. for the Sons and four Departments were functioning by 1936. These were in Massachusetts, New
Jersey, New York and Wisconsin, with California, Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania in a formative stage.
In the meanwhile the Rules and Regulations set up by the
Veteran for the Sons' Organization had been revised and allowed fro the creation of a Sons' National Organization when five
state departments should have been formed. Early in 1937 California became a department. Since this was the fifth such State
unit the youthful Order was in line to become a National Body with its own headquarters, officers, etc.
At the 38th National Encampment of the United Spanish War
Veterans at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., a National Administrator of the Sons of Spanish - American War Veterans was set up by
the Veterans with full powers to create a National Organization of the Sons if and when he saw fit. At the same encampment
steps were taken to permit the Sons into the U.S.W.V. as an affiliated group.
First National Convention:
In 1937, at Columbus, Ohio -- ten years after the institution
of the original Camp -- the Sons became a National Organization, elected National Officers, and became self-governing and
accountable only to themselves and posterity. Too, the Veterans had revised their constitution so as to admit the Sons into
the U.S.W.V. as an affiliated group. They were on their own! The Organization is not a military body in any sense of the word,
although many of its members are veterans in their own rights.
The Sons of Spanish - American War Veterans is a movement
founded on the highest of ideals, that of "Honor Thy Father." By entering the ranks of this group you will help to create
something monumental, a living testimonial of your love for your greatest pal -- your Dad! Since World War II and the Korean
incident, the condition in the world today demand that we gather together all eligible Sons as soon as possible. This need
of patriotic interest such as ours is great.
Since the time of their inception the Sons of Spanish -
American War Veterans have striven to be of value and assistance to the parent Order. Its members have at all times placed
themselves at the command of the Veteran whenever necessity called. They have always been ready to help in Memorial Day Parades
and in Memorial Services throughout the year. They have lent able support to the various units of the parent organization
in the decorating of Veterans' graves. At times certain Camps have furnished the Bugler for the sounding of "TAPS" and the
Firing Squads for the last rites at Veterans' Burials. They have been active in calling attention to their fathers' services
in 98 'and the subsequent period up to 1902 and making it known to an unaware and perhaps indifferent public. Having capable
young men in their organization's Camps has enabled them to chastise whenever necessary those forces inimical to veteranism
when they have dared place their derogatory remarks into public print. Camps all over the nation make visits to Veterans in
the various Government Hospitals and Facilities and distribute cigarettes and cigars and other permissible items to the patients.
In short, they are trying, as well as they can, to carry out their pledge to helpfulness to the Veterans and their allied
groups -- the Auxiliaries.
The official Charter date for the SSAWV was the 24th of
August 1937 in Columbus,Ohio at the 39th National Encampment of the USWV. The first National President was Melvin Richard