The American Legion is welcoming more members from more than 6 million Veterans who were ineligible to join prior to the passage of The LEGION Act. With Bi-partisan support, on July 30, 2019, President Trump signed a bill that declared the United States has been in a state of war since December, 7, 1941. Before July 30th, many veterans were ineligible to join because of the war eras were defined by Congress. The recent bill passage and the President’s signature immediately reduced the number of war eras from seven to two.
The bipartisan LEGION Act (Let Everyone Get Involved In Opportunities for National Service Act) fully supported by the American Legion enables thousands of American Veterans who fought for this country but whose service fell into previously defined war eras are now eligible to join the American Legion.
The LEGION Act also honors the 1,600 service members who were killed or wounded in undeclared periods of war spanning the last 78 years by extending honors to those veterans, their spouses and descendants. Membership eligibility has been opened eligibility to The American Legion Family to hundreds of thousands who had previously been excluded.
For 100 years the American Legion has provided critical resources and created a community for veterans, the passage of this legislation will ensure that everyone who puts on the uniform has the privilege to join the Legions’ ranks.
Regardless of when a service member served, every veteran is a hero and has earned our respect and full access to their benefits.
The LEGION Act honors and acknowledges all the service members who were killed or wounded in undeclared periods of war spanning the last 78 years by extending honors to those Veterans, their spouses and descendants. Membership eligibility has been expanded through the American Legion Family of organizations such as the Sons of the American Legion (SAL); The American Legion Auxiliary and the American Legion Riders, many who had previously been excluded are quickly joining the family.
Jean Wilson, a resident of Harrison Ohio, who likewise made 2019 history was elected the Department of Ohio’s first female, 1st Vice Commander. Jean is a dual member of both the American Legion as a Legionnaire (United States Army 1969-1971 Veteran) and is also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary (the daughter of a Veteran). Jean stated “I love explaining American Legion Membership benefits. The American Legion wrote the GI Bill of Rights, so if you have ever attended college or received help buying a home by way of the GI Bill; or if you have ever needed help processing complicated VA medical claims; you can thank the American Legion since these services are available free of charge to all members. The American Legion is actively seeking ways to help all Veterans yesterday, today and tomorrow.”
Since 1919 the American Legion has provided critical resources and a community for Veterans, the passage of this legislation ensures that anyone who puts on the uniform has the privilege to join the American Legions’ ranks. Nevertheless when a Veteran served, each is a hero who has earned our respect and deserves full access to their benefits.
American Legion Auxiliary Historian
Yeager Benson Post, Unit 199 Harrison, Ohio
National American Legion Press Association
Director Area 1
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