Veterans Benefits Information guide to VA benefits

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Veterans Benefits Information

For Forgotten Veterans, a Dignified End

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Some 50 veterans die poor and alone in New York City each year. A network of former military peers makes sure they receive a dignified send-off with all due ceremony.

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Memorial Day Events

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Every year, organizers across Georgia -- municipalities, veterans service organizations, private businesses, and others -- host Memorial Day events honoring our state's heroes.

This year, as every year, we have compiled a list of every event submitted to the GDVS. 

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Support National Poppy Day on social media

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This year The American Legion Family has called upon Congress to designate May 26, 2017, as National Poppy Day to expand awareness and provide support everywhere for all who have served and sacrificed in the U.S. armed forces. NALPA members are encouraged to help spread the message by wearing poppies and sharing on social media who they are wearing the poppy for.

When posting National Poppy Day support to social media, please use the hastags #PoppyDay and #LegionFamily.

Click here to see samples of National Poppy Day social media postings.













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Commander's fundraising goal still attainable

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While Rachel’s husband was deployed for the second time, her only form of transportation for their three young children broke down. After making the costly repairs to the vehicle, little money was left at the end of the month to pay for household expenses. The American Legion’s Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) program was there to support Rachel and her children, and honor her husband’s service by paying for their mortgage, electricity and gas bill.

Rachel is one of thousands of eligible military spouses, servicemembers and veterans with children who have benefited from the Legion’s TFA program. Since January, TFA has provided more than $238,000 in cash grants that have helped 158 families with 336 minor children maintain basic needs such as shelter, utilities, clothing, food and medical care. And since its inception 92 years ago, TFA has awarded more than $15 million in cash grants to aid veterans and their minor children.

American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt’s fundraising project is to raise $1 million for TFA during his tenure as national commander, which comes to a close in August during the organization’s 99th National Convention in Reno, Nev.

American Legion service officers are also part of Schmidt’s fundraising project, and his goal is to raise another $1 million for service officer training. Today, nearly 3,000 American Legion service officers help more than 700,000 veterans and their families file disability claims and apply for VA benefits and other forms of assistance, free of charge.

“Both programs depend on charitable contributions to offer the free assistance. That’s why I have made service officer training and TFA the focus of my fundraising project,” Schmidt said.

To support either of these great programs – TFA and service officer training – visit and select “Commander’s Fund.” Then, under the "Program Designation" tab, select "Commander's Charity Fund."

Or send a check to American Legion Charities (put “Commander’s Fund” on the memo line) and mail it to The American Legion, 5745 Lee Road, Indianapolis, IN 46216. The fund has 501(c)(3) status and all money raised goes directly to the programs.

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Legion Baseball, Boys State alumni capture effects of PTSD on film

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War and the effects it has on troops returning home is captured in the award-winning film “Battle Scars,” a drama and thriller produced by two American Legion program alumni. The film won the Founder’s Choice Award at the 2015 GI Film Festival and will be available July 14 for Legion posts to screen.

“Battle Scars” is about a young Marine who is suffering from both post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other wounds unseen after returning home from Afghanistan, and is trying to forget what happened during his service overseas but his father, also a veteran, won’t let him. He in turn crosses paths with a woman “who leads him into a violent world every bit as dangerous and isolating as the brutality that (he) so desperately left behind in Afghanistan.”

Danny Buday, writer and director of “Battle Scars” and a California Boys State alum, and associate producer Lane Carlson, who played American Legion Baseball for Post 491 in Bayport, Minn., spoke with The American Legion about the inspiration for the film and how their participation in Legion programs impacted their support for America’s military heroes.

The American Legion: Who or what inspired this film?

Buday: I’ve seen a few documentaries about the ongoing war in Afghanistan while on the film festival circuit with my feature “5 Star Day,” and I found myself most fascinated with the sections of the documentaries that focused on the soldiers trying to adjust once they came back home from their various tours of duty. Soon after, I read an article about a recent increase in certain types of IED blast wounds and the idea for “Battle Scars” was born.

The struggle and tenacity displayed by our injured soldiers was the main inspiration for this film. Our goal was to create a film that soldiers suffering from PTSD would find both entertaining and relatable. This film is dedicated to every servicemember suffering from post-traumatic stress.

Why is this film so important to you?

Buday: On average, 22 servicemembers a day die from suicide. That number shook all of our team members and was one of the initial catalysts that led us to decide to focus on a story about PTSD and, more specifically, how both a soldier and their family deal with the physical and psychological effects of trying to acclimate back home after a long tour of duty overseas. For me, I felt it was important to try and share a story that other soldiers might be able to relate to and find common ground with.

Carlson: For me, this film is an opportunity to really bring home some hard facts of what continues to happen to our soldiers each day. The war continues on for many soldiers returning home. This film hit home as I have friends that have served in both Afghanistan and Iraq. My intention is to not only entertain and raise awareness for PTSD, but also offer out alternative healing modalities and organizations to help those dealing with PTSD.

Can you share what your experience with Boys State and Legion Baseball was like?

Buday: Boys State was an amazing experience and served as my introduction into the world of local, state and national politics while also providing a hands-on approach to mock government. My time during Boys State taught me valuable life lessons about how to work as a team toward a common goal and the value of the electoral process.

Carlson: I have fond memories of our coaches and team gathering at the Bayport Legion recreational area following our baseball games, eating pizza and sharing stories. We were always greeted with smiles and words of encouragement from Post 491.

Did your participation in Legion youth programs impact your appreciation for veterans?

Buday: My exposure to Boys State as well as my involvement in the Civil Air Patrol definitely played a role in my support for veterans and my desire to create a film that would resonate with veterans.

Carlson: I’ve always had the utmost respect for those men and women who’ve given their lives to help protect and serve. My exposure to the American Legion Baseball program definitely played a role in my support for veterans. I feel this film allows me the opportunity to give back to The American Legion.

What do you want viewers to take away from watching the film?

Buday: I hope audiences take away a better awareness and sense of compassion for the silent, psychological traumas that affect our soldiers. People see the external injuries of soldiers and most of them instantly feel an overwhelming sense of compassion, yet thousands of soldiers are coming home with PTSD each year and we can’t seem to find a way to focus the spotlight and attention on the tremendous amount of internal and unseen pain and suffering these brave men and women are coming back home with.

Carlson: It illuminates the physical and psychological injuries our soldiers face on a daily basis. Our main character has an injury that we want the public to talk about. It’s important for us to continue the conversation about PTSD and the alarming rate of suicides our soldiers are facing each day. It’s up to all of us to come together and help our brothers and sisters who have served this great country. We have the opportunity to transform, inspire and unite around those suffering from PTSD.

View a trailer of "Battle Scars" here. American Legion posts that wish to screen the film can contact Lane Carlson at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The 94-minute film is not rated but does contain strong language and scenes of nudity.

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Did you know?

The issuance or replacement of military service medals, awards and decorations must be requested in writing.

Requests should be submitted in writing to the appropriate military service branch division of the NPRC. Standard form (SF 180), available through the VA, is recommended to submit your request. Generally, there is no charge for medal or award replacements. For more information, or for the mailing address of the military branch office to submit your request to, call 1-86-NARA-NARA (1-866-272-6272) or visit the NPRC website at