For our veterans, every story is a war story.

We believe every veteran has a story worth telling: unique stories of sacrifice, laughter, pain, commitment and honor. And here at Tales from the VFW, we know the power of a good story. Anyone who has listened to a vet share a memory from his or her service knows this power.

If we don't listen to the voices of our vets, we lose more than simple history, we lose ourselves.

If we don’t listen to the voices of our vets, we lose more than simple history, we lose ourselves.

That's the main goal of our project: to travel the country and listen to our veterans, preserving the amazing stories they have to tell.

The main goal of this ongoing project: to travel the country and listen to our veterans, preserving the amazing stories they have to tell.

Tales from the VFWTales from the VFW is a digital scrapbook of stories and artifacts from our American veterans, woven together by the team of award-winning novelist and U.S. Navy vet Tommy Zurhellen, photographer Chris Motta, and publisher Dan Cafaro. The project can be described as a “moveable feast” of memories, recorded from veterans all across the country.

Tales from the VFWJoin Tommy, Chris, and Dan as they hit the road and meet veterans at local VFW posts from Maine to Montana, and all points in between. In a country defined by road trips, this just may be the most important American road trip of all.


Why the VFW? Well, if your mission is to listen to stories from American vets, you learn quickly that the best place to hear them is your local VFW Post. Since 1914, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) has been a vital second home for veterans returning from conflicts overseas. Membership in the VFW is limited to honorably discharged veterans with overseas experience, as recognized by campaign medals. Today, there are more than 6,800 VFW posts across the world, with almost 1.9 million members.

Tales from the VFW

We know we’re not the only folks committed to preserving the stories of our vets; we welcome everyone to join our Tales from the VFW project. Do you have a veteran in your life with a great story to tell? Are you a vet who would like to share your experiences? Contact Dan with your story. If it’s a vet’s tale, it’s worth telling, and who knows? Tommy, Chris, and Dan may just come to a VFW near you to hear it firsthand.

Be a part of a uniquely American story and support Tales from the VFW today!

Tales from the VFW


Tommy ZurhellenTommy Zurhellen was born in New York City and is the award-winning author of the Messiah Trilogy novels: Nazareth, North Dakota (2011), Apostle Islands (2012) and Armageddon, Texas (2014). He served in the U.S. Navy from 1991-96 aboard the cruisers USS Truxtun and USS California, stationed at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, WA. After his Navy service, he used the GI Bill to earn his MFA in writing from the University of Alabama. Currently he is Associate Professor of English at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where he also is a VFW Life Member at Post 170. He is passionate about the important issues facing our veterans today.


Chris MottaChristopher Motta was born in Massachusetts in 1974 where he currently lives and works. He received a BA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1998, and his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2007. He has had recent exhibitions with the New Wilmington Art Association, Delaware (2010), along with Barbara Crawford Gallery and Adaptation gallery in Philadelphia (2009). Past exhibitions include Museum of New Art, Michigan (2007), TLGUTS, Massachusetts (2007), and Anton Art Center, Michigan (2007). Upcoming shows include Constructed Spaces: Contemporary Color Photography at the Academy Art Museum, Maryland. His works are included in numerous private collections.

Publisher and Editor

Dan CafaroDan Cafaro is the founder and chief imagination officer of Atticus Books, a fiery multimedia press based in Madison, N.J. Dan is a journalist and editor, and son of Joseph F. Cafaro (Oct. 23, 1930-Jan. 5, 2012), a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War where he earned his combat infantry badge. Dan dedicates this collaborative project, Tales from the VFW, to his father, Joe, who was a member at VFW Post 4591 in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.