Our organization is huge, but we lose members due to death or disinterest. Our job is to help stem this flow. We can’t control deaths, but we can prevent losses due to disinterest or lack of post activities. Think about it.
We can also provide a service to all of our veterans in our towns. If they are not now an American Legionnaire, why not? Maybe they were never asked. Maybe they don’t see the benefit. We can help with that, but first we need to remind you of the service you can give to them.
We are the largest veterans group in America. We have been around for 92 years! That is a lot of service stripes on our sleeve! With time comes experience, knowledge and wisdom. You can share that with veterans you meet, work with, or know in other groups and churches.
We challenge you to especially help World War II and Korean War veterans. They are facing serious financial times. You have access to resources to help them. Here are just three examples of what you can do. We will use everyday events to show you how you and the American Legion can make a difference.
- Help them locate a DD Form 214. They may not have seen theirs for 20 or 30 years!. Try 55 years! One Korean War vet in Carrboro, NC, needs one because he is getting older and may need it for burial. Chapel Hill Post 6 helped him apply for his DD 214 and St. Louis came back with the infamous “There was a fire…” response. He could also use and needs VA medical care. He is well below the earning threshold. Now here is a caveat. We don’t have to sign them up as members to help them. It is our and your duty to do so. Make a friend. Friends become members.
- Enroll them in VA HealthCare via the VSO. Our nation is in a recession. Costs are going up and retirees are in a bind. Not every veteran has a retirement plan beyond Social Security. They are paying for Medicare each month. Times are hard. If they were signed up with VA Healthcare they would have access to medicine at reduced or no cost. This program requires a medical examination. That exam may save a life by identifying a problem ignored or overlooked. Help your neighbor. If you see a potential World War II or Korean War veteran, ask them, “Are you a VA patient?” If not, your job is to inform them about what is available and to point them to their local County VSO. You will not always get a member, but you will gain a friend for life.
- Aid & Attendance Pension. You are at church and you look around for Bob, Bill, or Patrick. They are not there and you ask around. They are now home-bound. You know they are vets, but they don’t belong to your post. They have not heard about Aid & Attendance benefits. They may even be considering selling their home to pay for special care. They may even have been approached by one of the many companies who are targeting them (and their potential pension benefit). Remember, the veteran does not have to be suffering from a service connected illness for this benefit. Give your friend a call, visit them, and let them know about this new VA benefit. Learn more
Don’t worry if you don’t know the specific of the program. Your post commander or Veterans Service Officer can help you as you help your veteran apply.
Need a refresher quick course on the value of the American Legion. Watch this