Good news for ALL veterans on this, the 100th anniversary of The American Legion.
Good news for ALL veterans on this, the 100th anniversary of The American Legion. There are thousands of veterans who have been unable to join the American Legion. Only those veterans who fell within the combat zones of WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Lebanon/Grenada, the Panama conflict and the Gulf-war known as the War on Terrorism. But there are 12 combat operations, which includes the Cold War, the Libyan Conflict and the Persian Gulf Conflict that required an active presence, who are not recognized. S.504, the Legion Act corrects this error. Vicky Hartzler’s office announced last Wednesday that the President signed the Legion Act on July 30, 2019. The Legion Act eliminates these gaps and welcomes all of their brother and sister veterans into the American Legion, opening up membership to all veterans since Dec. 7, 1941. The American Legion is a powerful lobbying force for veterans issues. They have long supported extending membership to all veterans. This was a well thought out bill and hard fought by the legislative arm of the American Legion. It clearly states in this bill, “It is the sense of Congress that, in accordance with the history, tradition, and purposes of The American Legion, it is fair, proper, and reasonable that the privilege of membership in The American Legion should be extended to all military personnel who served in active military duty during all the unrecognized war eras involving active United States military personnel.” Please see website: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/s504/text The American Legion and its sister organization The American Legion Auxiliary have a rich history of supporting and fighting for our veterans and helped to establish well known foundations that still exist today. Here is their brief history. The American Legion was founded in St. Louis on May 10, 1919 and in September was chartered and incorporated by an act of Congress as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. By the end of 1919 the Legions national headquarters was established in Indianapolis rather than Washington, a resolution was passed in support of the Boy Scouts of America, and then American Legion Auxiliary established their own charter. The Legion created the U.S. Veterans Bureau the forerunner to the Veterans Administration (VA). The Legion is also responsible for creating: The American Legion Baseball program, Today, more than 50% of Major League Baseball players are graduates of this Program; the first American Legion Boys State convened, where young men gain an understanding of the structure on the operation of the federal government, and the first Boys Nation brings together youth leadership; various scholarship programs are set up; the first draft of what will become the “GI Bill of Rights” which is considered the Legions single greatest legislative achievement. In 1944 Roosevelt signs into law the original GI Bill, or Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, which ushered in monumental changes in U.S. society. Higher education became democratized after 8 million veterans returned to school on the GI Bill, they got better jobs, bought homes in the suburbs and raise families. It was found that for every dollar spent on education for veterans, the U.S. economy eventually gets $7 back; In 1932, the Sons of The American Legion (SAL), is recognized. In 1946 the Legion and the Auxiliary presented a grant of $50,000 to the American Heart Association, which launched a nationwide program for the study, prevention and treatment of rheumatic heart disease. In 1950 it contributed funds in the field of mental health, launching the National Association for Mental Health; The Legion is also the birth place for programs such as the Child Welfare Foundation, concerns over the fate of all prisoners of war, the National Emergency Fund, and the effects of exposure to Agent Orange, to just mention just a few. Then, in 2007 the American Legion adopted the American Legion Riders as a national program for the American Legion. The American Legion has benefitted all Americans, especially our veterans and their families and thru this membership you join your voice with one of the biggest supporter for veterans. For those veterans looking for that camaraderie find your closest AmericanLegion Post and join up now. Membership is now open and is offered to all veterans, and their families thru the Auxiliary, the Sons, the Juniors and the Riders. The closest Post here at the Lake is the American Legion Zack Wheat Post 624 in Sunrise Beach. It’a located at 852 AmericanLegion Road that intersects at the Hurricane Deck Grade School and across from Sunrise Beach Fire Department. You can visit their website, zackwheatlegionpost624.org. If you go to the bottom of the page you will find ‘Newsletter/Calendar.’ Click on it and you will find a contact list and the calendar for the month August listing events for that month. Scrolling down further you will also find fliers with details of functions that will be coming up in the future. In September they are sponsoring a Fish Fry fund raiser, on Sept. 13, 5-7, for Fisher House, which is being built at the VA Hospital in Columbia for the families of veterans staying the the VA hospital. On Sept. 13-14, they are sponsoring a Biker Fest as a passport office and offering breakfast and lunch. On Sept. 28, there will be an American Legion Post picnic and it’s open to all veterans and their families at 12, and if it rains the rain day will be Sept. 29, with burgers, dogs, baked beans, chips, and games. There is a well equipped play ground outfitted in the back for the kids, the legionaries worked hard to set up for children. And, for the ladies they are hosting a fashion show on Sept. 23. The post offers golf in the summer months and a turkey shoot in the winter months. American Legion Posts nation wide now offer something for all members, look them up, stop in to chat and join. The AmericanLegion is now offering membership for ALL veterans and their family members. Legion members can now welcome all of their brother and sister veterans into the American Legion. Happy Birthday American Legion!