About the American Legion

Since its founding in Paris in 1919, The American Legion has been an advocate for America's veterans, a friend of the U.S. military, a sponsor of community-based programs for young people and a spokesman for patriotic values. Nearly 2.8 million members make it the nation's largest veterans group, with about 15,000 local "posts" in most communities and six foreign countries. Membership is restricted to men and women who served in the U.S. military during an official period of conflict. Visit National American Legion's Website ............click here

Recent American Legion Victories for Veterans

  • Since eligibility reform, VA's budget has increased by $20.7 billion ($38.6 billion in FY 96 to $59.3 billion in FY 03) and VA's patient population has increased by 5.5 million (2.5 million in FY 96 to 8 million in FY 03).
  • Largest defense budgets since the mid-1980s.
  • Annual increases in military housing allowances to reduce out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Annual funding increases for the Defense Health Program and TRICARE.
  • Supported the creation and funding of the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Supported the development and deployment of the National Missile Defense program beginning in 2004.
  • Prevented doubling of VA prescription co-payments for Priority Group 7 and 8 veterans.
  • Prevented establishing an annual $250 VA enrollment fees for Priority Group 7 and 8 veterans.
  • Prevented increasing VA primary care co-payments for Priority Group 7 and 8 veterans.
  • Prevented redefinition of VA disability to medical conditions incurred or aggravated while in the performance of duties.
  • Combat-Related Special Compensation program provides tax-free reimbursements to some service-connected military retirees.
  • Proposed Constitutional Amendment to protect Old Glory passed in the House for an unprecedented sixth time.
  • VA disability compensation for Vietnam veterans with diabetes exposed to Agent Orange.
  • VA benefits for children with spina bifida whose parents are Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange.
  • Lifetime access to Department of Defense medical treatment and discount pharmaceuticals for military retirees.
  • More than $150 million in annual federal investment in scientific studies on Gulf War illness.
  • A federal law making it easier for Gulf War veterans with undiagnosed illnesses to receive VA benefits.
  • VA compensation and health care for Gulf War veterans who have contracted Lou Gehrig�s disease.
  • Tougher veterans-preference laws to protect veterans federal-advancement opportunities.
  • A Legion-sponsored American Legacy Scholarship Fund for the children of troops killed since Sept. 11, 2001.
  • Along with the American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of The American Legion, donated more than $4 million to help build the National World War II Memorial.

 

Historic Contributions

  • Wrote the original GI Bill in 1944 and has successfully lobbied for increases in Montgomery GI Bill funding.
  • Provides free, professional assistance -- for any veteran -- in filing and pursuing claims before any administrative or judicial body of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Advocates a GI Bill of Health to give military retirees, Medicare veterans and their families access VA health care.
  • Strongly advocates adequate funding for training, equipment and quality-of-life improvements for the troops.
  • The first veterans group to identify Gulf War Syndrome.
  • Through joint research with Columbia U., helped service members suffering from Agent Orange and radiation exposure.
  • Assists families of deployed active-duty troops through the Family Support Network, (800) 504-4098.
  • Spends more than $25 million annually on programs benefiting young people: American Legion Boys State/Boys Nation, National High School Oratorical Contest, Junior Shooting Sports and American Legion Baseball.
  • Largest collective donor of blood to the Red Cross: about 100,000 pints yearly.
  • National Emergency Fund awarded grants totaling more than $3 million since 1989 to help victims of natural disasters.
  • Authored original "flag code" under federal law and has advocated recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in U.S. schools.
  • Founded Citizens Flag Alliance to advocate passage of a flag-protection constitutional amendment.
  • Provides honor guards at civic events and for the funerals of countless veterans.

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