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DISABLED VETERANS OF THE WORLD WAR


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DISABLED VETERANS OF THE WORLD WAR, INC., 1920

 

This badge is another WWI veteran society that apparently had a short existence. For the many years this badge was part of my collection, I could only guess at the meaning of the letters appearing on the face of the badge. A chance find of a Life Membership Certificate on eBay gave me the specific meaning of this badge. The Certificate, shown partially in the first illustration (the certificate is larger than my copier limit of standard paper size) gives the complete name, the year of incorporation and, presumably, the location of the national headquarters. All this info is enlarged from the certificate and appears at the bottom of the photo.

The badge is an eight pointed or Bath Cross with disk attached to the center containing a wreath and Geneva Cross with each arm containing a single letter of the society name. The reverse is plain with the makers name THE GREENDUCK CO. CHICAGO. The suspension ribbon is unusual in that it is made up of two ribbons with one sewn on top of the other. I have seen three or four other examples of this badge and each has the same double ribbon which I believe is standard, but unique, with this badge.

The fate of this organization is purely conjecture on my part, but I see their history as follows: Formed after WWI, the society incorporated in California. We can only assume its function was aid and benefits for wounded and crippled soldiers with a documented wound as a requirement for membership. It sold Life Memberships to give the society operating capital for an office, office supplies, advertising, membership badges, etc. Life Memberships early in an organization's career is slightly pyramidal in concept. The monies give the group a boost, but future memberships are critical to maintain the group since existing life members no longer add to the society finances. I would guess the group probably ceased to exist during the 1920s, but it may have been the depression of the 1930s that finally caused it to close its doors. It may also have become part of, or absorbed, by another group (e.g., the Disabled American Veterans).

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Frederick,

 

Thanks for bringing up this obscure veteran group. I have never heard of it. The ribbon is certainly unique. Reminds me of the Purple Heart ribbon, which I suspect is what it is supposed to do. It has an interesting pin attachment as well.

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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Sarge,

 

It seems that for every group that survives the start-up process and becomes a nationally recognized society, there are ten to twenty groups that fail. On one hand, these groups are fascinating because of their uniqueness; but on the other hand, they are frustrating because of the lack of information available through the usual channels. Until Bishop & Elliott's book American Society Medals, I never heard of the Disabled Officers Association which had a similar short life, but had two distinct badges. It is the groups started with the noblest of ideas and never progress beyond a few meetings and hand written by-laws and whose only records lie in someones attic facing an eventual fate in a land fill that I worry about most. At least if the group reached a point where a membership badge was issued, a little, mysterious record survives for puzzled future collectors.

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  • 10 years later...

I have recently found a DVWW lapel pin. It is less than 0.5 inches in diameter.

 

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Because of its design and obscurity, if it weren't for a group like the USMF, its true identity might have been lost to history.

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