A Message from National Commander Charles Schmidt

Posted on July 26th, 2017

The American Legion, since its inception in 1919, has stood for the principles of justice, freedom, and democracy, and has abhorred hatred and arbitrary discrimination in any form leveled against any person, group or organization.  

We also believe in maintaining the strongest military possible and every aspect of service should be aimed at maximum readiness to fulfill the mission.

Any requirement that disqualifies an able-bodied person from serving in our armed forces should be based solely upon its proven adverse effect on readiness, and nothing else.

Furthermore, we believe that the mental and physical qualifications of all military personnel, regardless of gender or age, should be held to a single standard.  Should that standard become questionable, The American Legion relies on the judgment of the senior leadership of the military.

Charles E. Schmidt

National Commander

The American Legion

 



2017 – 2018 State Officers Elected

Posted on July 16th, 2017

July 16th, 2017 Killeen.

The 99th Annual Department Convention has come to a close and with it the starts of a new year. The following individuals were elected as State Officers; Commander John Hince, Vice Commander Phil Westerman, Treasurer David Paris, Judge Advocate Dan Corbin, Historian Susan Marty and Sgt-at-Arms Kimberly Biggerstaff. 

At the Post DEC Meeting State Commander John Hince appointed Harvey Klee as Chaplain and Mark Thompson as Asst Sgt-at-Arms.



Department Headquarters Phones

Posted on July 6th, 2017

We are experiencing a temporary interruption in telephone services, the telephone company is working on the problem and should have it corrected soon. Thank you for your patience.



Legislative Alert

Posted on June 29th, 2017

We need everyone to contact their member of Congress and ask them to support The American Legion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act. This Act, if passed, would honor the Legion for its 100 years of service by directing the U.S. Mint to issue a variety of special limited edition commemorative coins available for purchase during 2019. Congress only authorizes two coins per year and one has already been for 2019, so there’s only one left. And the Legion has strong competition!

Your Member of Congress will be home for the July 4th week. This serves as an opportunity to personally contact them while they’re home.

If you are unable to contact your Member directly, please call their congressional office and ask to speak with their Veterans Affairs staffer. Contact information for all offices, if needed, can be found by entering your zip code here: http://capwiz.com/legion/dbq/officials/
Legislative Action Center | The American Legion
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Elected Officials Find elected officials, including the president, members of Congress, and more.

The House bill is H.R. 2519 and the Senate bill is S. 1182. A one-pager explaining this legislation is available here:https://drive.google.com/open…

Tell them that:

“The American Legion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act provides Congress with a valuable way to thank the Legion for its service to our nation, and to invest in our shared values. We hope that you will join with us to support this legislation.”

Senators Young (IN) and Donnelly (IN) are leading the bill on the Senate side and Reps. Roe (TN) and Walz (MN) are leading the House companion bill.

Your Council Vice Chairman will follow this email up with a personal phone call to you in the near future to offer any assistance necessary.

If you have any questions, you are encouraged to contact either myself or Jeff, our Grassroots Coordinator located in our Washington DC office. We’d be glad to assist you. I can be reached at dmoss2@windstream.net or 706.463.1674. Jeff at jsteele@legion.org or 202.263.2987.

Thank you for your willingness to assist us in this important effort. We know we can count on you to help.



2018 Membership Cards

Posted on June 28th, 2017

The 2018 membership cards are in and we have started shipping them to the Posts that have certified. Most of the membership boxes are going out by UPS so watch for your delivery. One of the first things you will notice is the 2018 Membership cards are much longer, also national has redesigned the cards to allow more information to be provided on the card and the scanners at national will capture the data and update or add to a members record.

For those Post Adjutants out there that used the old template to print cards for new members, we have updated and posted the new template on the forms page in the Post forms section.

Post Adjutants will also notice that the section 1 & 2 of the membership cards do not fit straight in the 6 x 9 envelopes provided by Department, we have look at obtaining a longer envelopes but it will cause your postage rates to increase. Post Adjutant are asked to gently bend section 1 & 2 and the perforation without separating the two halves of the cards. 



American Legion National Commander salutes Senate bill on Flag Day

Posted on June 15th, 2017

American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt was delighted to learn on this historic Flag Day that U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., has introduced a bill to give Congress the authority to prohibit physical desecration of the U.S. flag. The measure follows introduction of a similar bill in the House on Feb. 2 by Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark.

“Both houses of Congress now have the opportunity to do what most Americans believe should be done – pass a constitutional amendment to protect the U.S. flag from deliberate acts of physical desecration,” said Schmidt, leader of the nation’s largest organization of wartime veterans. “The 5-4 1989 Supreme Court decision that defined U.S. flag burning as free speech demands a constitutional amendment in order to return to the states the ability to protect our nation’s sacred symbol of freedom and unity. We can argue all day long that flag burning is behavior, and not speech, but that doesn’t change the court’s ruling. It will take a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and Senate now to get this passed, and three-fourths of the states must ratify it. I am calling on all American Legion members and everyone in this nation who understands the colors of our country and all the lives that have been lost fighting for liberty under them, to contact their congressional delegations to co-sponsor these bills and push to give the flag amendment a floor vote.  Our flag deserves it.”

The American Legion has fought to return to the states the ability to protect the flag since the Supreme Court took it away in its much criticized Texas v. Johnson ruling.

Weeks after the decision in 1989, The American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary formed the Citizens Flag Alliance, a consortium that grew to more than 100 other organizations that seek protection of the flag.  In 2006, the flag amendment measure came within one vote of achieving the necessary supermajority in the Senate, after the House overwhelmingly achieved the necessary two-thirds support. In successive congressional sessions since then, flag-protection amendment measures have been introduced but have not advanced out of committee for floor votes.

“This Flag Day is the 240th anniversary of the resolution passed by the Second Continental Congress that adopted our banner of stars and stripes, representing, as the patriots said at the time, ‘a new constellation,’” Schmidt said. “Since then, over a million Americans have died fighting under that constellation, for the liberty of others and the protection of us all. If any exception should be made to our Constitution, which we deeply respect, it’s the flag that symbolizes every right and freedom written into it.”



The American Legion GI Bill forum, exhibit set for The National WWII Museum

Posted on May 17th, 2017

June 20 event to open centennial salute to “the greatest legislation”

WASHINGTON (May 17, 2017) – The original cover and signature page of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, along with the typed and hand-edited speech given by President Franklin D. Roosevelt after signing it, will be showcased at The National WWII Museum in New Orleans beginning June 20 as part of an American Legion centennial salute to the GI Bill.

The bill, drafted and pushed to passage by The American Legion in 1943 and 1944, transformed the United States, building the middle class and democratizing higher education. The exhibit, titled “The Greatest Legislation,” features illustrated panels and touchscreen videos that tell the dramatic story of how The American Legion drafted the measure and overcame numerous challenges to get it to the president’s desk June 22, 1944. It also traces the effects of the bill during the 20th century and its evolution to best serve veterans of the post 9/11 era.

A free reception at the museum is planned at 5 p.m. June 20, followed by a moderated panel discussion led by American Legion 100th Anniversary Honorary Committee Chairman Ted Roosevelt IV. Scheduled panelists include former U.S. Sen. James Webb, who wrote, introduced and championed the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008; VA Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity Curtis Coy; Student Veterans of America CEO and President Jared Lyon; and American Legion Assistant Director of Veterans Employment and Education John Kamin.

The panel discussion will include remarks from National WWII Museum President Dr. Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller and American Legion Executive Director Verna Jones. The event will include a question-and-answer session were audience members will be invited to share the ways in which the GI Bill has influenced their lives and to discuss the future of the benefit for today’s veterans.

In addition to the cover and signature pages of the original act, on loan from the National Archives, and the speech, on loan from the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, is a pen used by President Roosevelt to sign the bill into law, on loan from The American Legion National Headquarters.

Visitors planning to attend the June 20 event are asked to call ahead at 1-877-813-3329 extension 412.

The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today – so that future generations will know the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifices of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit nationalww2museum.org.

With a current membership of 2.2 million wartime veterans, The American Legion, www.legion.org, was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 13,000 posts across the nation.

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Contact: Joe Plenzler, (202) 263-5758/ 301-800-9457 cell, jplenzler@legion.org



Support American Legion Charities Inc. through your purchases on smile.amazon.com

Posted on December 2nd, 2016

It is now possible to support American Legion programs through donations made while shopping on Amazon. American Legion Charities Inc. is now one of the charities available to donate to through AmazonSmile (https://smile.amazon.com/).

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way to support charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at www.smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.

Simply go to smile.amazon.com, sign into your normal Amazon account and then type in “American Legion Charities Inc” in the search box when the prompt comes up. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation.

The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes or service charges. From time to time, Amazon may offer special, limited time promotions that increase the donation amount on one or more products or services, or provide for additional donations to charitable organizations.

Only purchases at smile.amazon.com – not at www.amazon.com or through the mobile app – support any charities.



Legion leads memorial inventory effort

Posted on November 18th, 2016

National commander calls on members to document, photograph and upload into database all local military, veteran and war monuments and memorials.

American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt is calling on all posts, districts, counties, areas, zones, departments and affiliates of the organization to help build an unparalleled database of memorials and monuments that honor U.S. military service and sacrifice. The database and uploading instructions can be found at www.legion.org/memorials on the Legion’s national website.

“As The American Legion nears its centennial year, one aspect of our organization’s rich legacy is universal – ‘to preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the great wars,’” Schmidt said, quoting from the Preamble to The American Legion Constitution. “We know that in virtually every corner of the country, and beyond our shores, American Legion Family members have paid tribute to military service, honor and remembrance by carving out sacred spaces in their communities to ensure that the price paid for freedom is not lost on future generations.”

Schmidt said the Legion’s memorials database project is a great opportunity to involve the entire American Legion Family, youth groups such as Boy Scouts, local civic organizations, schools and others. “It is especially important to assess the conditions of these memorials – whether it’s a plaque in the park listing a county’s war dead or a well-known community statue or plaza. What better way to commemorate the Legion’s centennial than to spruce up, repair and revive awareness to those who served before us, whose memorials and monuments may be showing the effects of age and weather? It’s also the perfect time for communities to reacquaint themselves with the meaning of their memorials.”

The American Legion Memorial Inventory Project is not focused on any one war era. “We know that American Legion posts care for memorials ranging from the Revolution to the Global War on Terrorism, all around the world,” Schmidt said. “We also are well aware that some of them have come under attack because they may contain some religious symbolism or language, and The American Legion steadfastly opposes removal or revision of such monuments. In order to ensure their continued respect and protection, we have a responsibility to index them and bring attention to their original and intended meaning.”

The web platform – easily accessed and used from a smartphone or electronic tablet – asks for the location of the memorial, a description of it, date of installation if known and a rating of its condition. Uploaders are also strongly encouraged to take photos of the memorial and post them onto the database. Once a submission has been made, it may take a couple of days before it appears, following review.

The American Legion is also working with the United States World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library to document monuments and memorials dedicated specifically to World War I, thousands of which were erected by the early American Legion. The 100 Cities/100 Memorials program includes a matching-money grant opportunity for applicants. More can be learned about that project at www.worldwar1centennial.org/100-cities-100-memorials-home online.

The American Legion National Executive Committee passed Resolution 10 during the Oct. 12-13 meetings in Indianapolis to encourage all American Legion posts, American Legion Riders chapters, American Legion Auxiliary units and affiliated groups to participate in the Veterans Memorial Identification Project and build the national database.

“This is who we are in The American Legion,” said American Legion 100th Anniversary Observance Committee Chairman Robert W. Spanogle, a past national commander and past national adjutant of the organization. “This memorial identification project will be a major benefit for researchers, students, educators, the media and travelers who need to understand the story of our nation as told through the military experience and immortalized in every community. We have a sacred obligation to keep these memories alive, recorded and in the best possible condition.”



LegionCare program now improved!

Posted on September 14th, 2015

The Legionnaire Insurance Trust (LIT) is pleased to announce some important changes to the LegionCare program just revealed at the 97th Annual American Legion National Convention earlier this month.

The first of these exciting updates – starting for enrollments after 1/1/2015, anyone enrolled in LegionCare will be covered for as long as they remain a member of The Legion Family. No need to re-enroll every 5 years!

The second change, and what we think is the most important – All “Legion Family” members – Legion, senior ALA, and senior SAL – in good standing are now eligible for the coverage.  The Legionnaire Insurance Trust has been working hard to provide valuable benefits to your entire family and we look forward to continuing to serve  veterans’ insurance needs.

Those “Legion Family” members stopping by our booth were able to enroll in the LIT’s LegionCare program and have their coverage become effective immediately, but this opportunity is not restricted to just those who were at the National Convention. Every eligible “Legion Family” member may enroll, but the member must sign-up to be covered.  Please keep the momentum going after the convention and spread the word about these exciting changes to LegionCare.

Reminder about LegionCare:

What is LegionCare? LegionCare provides up to $1,000 of 24 hours accidental death coverage to an enrolled member.  And if an enrolled members suffers a covered loss while performing “official Legion Family business”, there is an additional $4,000 benefit* –bringing the total to up to $5,000.

How do I enroll? Just go online to www.TheLIT.com/No-Cost-LegionCare and fill in the requested information.  By enrolling on-line, your coverage will begin immediately and you will get an e-mail confirmation within minutes.  Those without access to the internet may enroll by calling the LIT’s toll-free number – (800) 235-6943 – and our customer service area will process your enrollment over the phone.

Don’t delay – sign-up today!



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