person who has served in the armed forces

A veteran (from the Latin word vetus, meaning old)[1] is a person who has a long experience in something. The term is most often used to describe people who were in the armed forces, especially those who had to fight in a war.

US veteran of World War I in his original uniform

Veterans associations


United Kingdom


The Royal British Legion began in 1921 after the First World War.

United States


At the end of the American Revolution Army and Navy Officers formed the Society of the Cincinnati. After the US Civil War Veterans from the opposing sides formed their own associations:

  • Union
    • Military Order of the Loyal Legion
    • Grand Army of the Republic
  • Confederate:
    • United Confederate Veterans

After the Spanish-American War of 1898 Veterans formed an associations which still exists, called the Veterans of Foreign Wars. After World War I veterans formed the American Legion

There is also the:

  • AMVETS - American Veterans organization, also "American Veterans of WW2 and Korea", and later Vietnam
  • DAV - Disabled American Veterans organization-for veterans who were disabled by their military service
  • Marine Corps League - United States Marine veterans organization
  • Veterans organizations are also made up of different branches of the armed services - such as the Army; Navy, USMC or USAF or by units such as ships or divisions or regiments


  1. "Veteran". Merriam Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 2009-07-23.