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Veterans Benefits Information

American Legion World Series coverage grows on ESPNU, ESPNews

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Continuing growth of the American Legion World Series in Shelby, N.C., has led to an increase of live television coverage on the ESPN family of networks for 2019.

Once again, Thursday’s games will air online on ESPN3.com and games Saturday through Monday will air on ESPNU.

For the first time, Friday’s pool play games will also be broadcast live on television and can be seen on ESPNU.

Tuesday will bring two opportunities to see the championship game. The game will be aired live on ESPNews with a 6:30 p.m. Eastern first pitch. Following coverage on ESPNews, the game will air again on ESPNU.

Here is the complete schedule for the 2019 American Legion World Series, all times Eastern:

Thursday, Aug. 15, on ESPN3.com

Game 1 – 10 a.m. – Southeast vs. Great Lakes

Game 2 – 1 p.m. – Mid-South vs. Western

Game 3 – 4 p.m. – Central Plains vs. Northwest

Game 4 – 7:30 p.m. – Northeast vs. Mid-Atlantic

Friday, Aug. 16, on ESPNU

Game 5 – 4 p.m. – Great Lakes vs. Western

Game 6 – 7 p.m. – Southeast vs. Mid-South

Saturday, Aug. 17, on ESPNU

Game 7 – 1 p.m. – Northwest vs. Northeast

Game 8 – 4 p.m. – Mid-Atlantic vs. Central Plains

Game 9 – 7:30 p.m. – Southeast vs. Western

Sunday, Aug. 18, on ESPNU

Game 10 – 1 p.m. – Mid-South vs. Great Lakes

Game 11 – 4 p.m. – Mid-Atlantic vs. Northwest

Game 12 – 7:30 p.m. – Northeast vs. Central Plains

Monday, Aug. 19, on ESPNU

Game 13 – 4 p.m. – Semifinal – Winner Stars vs. Runner-Up Stripes

Game 14 – 7 p.m. – Semifinal – Winner Stripes vs. Runner-Up Stars

Tuesday, Aug. 20, on ESPNews

Game 15 – 6:30 p.m. – Championship -- Winner Game 13 vs. Winner Game 14


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National commander to ting bell at NYSE

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In celebration of The American Legion’s centennial, American Legion National Commander Brett Reistad and representatives from Philips North America and the Department of Veterans Affairs will be ringing the closing bell Thursday, July 17, at the New York Stock Exchange.

From mental health, to supporting families and communities, to fighting for benefits earned through selfless service, The American Legion has been the driving force in supporting and advocating for our nation’s veterans for the past one hundred years. As The American Legion enters its second century, the nation’s largest veterans organization continues to innovate and focus on our veterans’ most pressing need — improving their access to quality care.

The American Legion recognizes that such an effort requires close collaboration between non-profits and public and private sector organizations like Philips North America.

Through a shared commitment to improving the lives of veterans and their families/caregivers, as well as the communities in which we live and operate, Philips North America and The American Legion are collaborating on Project Atlas — an innovative multi-year pilot where Philips and The American Legion will partner to combine the convenience of the retail clinic model with leading Philips telehealth solutions, and access to VA caregivers — right in the local American Legion post.

Click here at 4 p.m. Thursday to watch the national commander ring the bell.


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Support Legion programs through the purchase of centennial coins

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American Legion Family members and coin collectors have purchased more than 102,500 American Legion 100th anniversary commemorative coins, according to unaudited numbers from the U.S. Mint, since their release March 14.

Each coin incorporates original designs by members of the Mint’s Artistic Infusion program, inspired by The American Legion’s history and legacy.

• The silver dollar features the American Legion emblem surrounded by oak leaves and a French fleur-de-lis. On the reverse side are crossed U.S. and American Legion flags beneath an arch from the Arc de Triomphe, in another nod to the Legion’s birthplace.

• The $5 gold coin commemorates The American Legion’s birth in Paris in 1919, with the Eiffel Tower and a V for victory; they are encircled by the outer edge of the background of the American Legion emblem, representing the rays of the sun. The coin’s reverse depicts an eagle in flight, symbolizing honor, valor and bravery.

• In a tribute to the Legion’s dedication to 100 percent Americanism and the welfare of youth, the clad half dollar portrays two children, one wearing a parent’s or grandparent’s American Legion cap, saluting a U.S. flag on the coin’s reverse side. The words “I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG …” are on the obverse side, continuing on the back with “ … OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”

To purchase an American Legion commemorative coin or coin set, go to www.legion.org/coin or call 1-800-872-6468.

"The special centennial coins, produced and sold by the U.S. Mint, are a great way to honor our organization’s legacy that began March 15-17, 1919," said American Legion National Commander Brett Reistad. "It’s an awesome, inspiring and successful legacy — authoring the GI Bill, creating what is today’s Department of Veterans Affairs, ushering in the U.S. Flag Code, mentoring millions of youths through various programs, and so much more."

Proceeds from coin sales will help fund American Legion programs that support veterans, servicemembers, their families and the communities in which they live.

The U.S. Mint will have a booth in the Exhibit Hall at the Indiana Convention Center during The American Legion’s 101st national convention to sell the Legion’s commemoratives coin series.


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Hosting Legacy Run kickoff 'remarkable' for Florida Post 347

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With a membership of more than 6,700, American Legion Post 347 in Lady Lake, Fla., can lay claim to the title of the largest American Legion post in the world.

It’s fitting that in August, the world’s largest post will host the start of the biggest American Legion Riders event of the year.

Post 347 will serve as the kickoff point for this year’s Legacy Run, which will leave Lady Lake Aug. 18 to begin a seven-state ride that will wrap up in Indianapolis on Aug. 22 in time for the 2019 National Convention.

Immediate Past Post 347 Commander Al Varrone, who is chairman of the Legacy Run activities, began hearing “rumblings” of his post hosting the 2019 Legacy Run kickoff during the 2018 American Legion National Convention in Minneapolis. He was then approached by Legacy Run Chief Road Captain Bob Sussan, chairman of the National American Legion Riders Advisory Committee, last November.

“I thought it would be a big honor for the post to be able to do that, so I was kind of anxious to get it going,” Varrone said. “And there were folks at my post who were anxious as well – especially my Riders.”

Post 347 didn’t have a Riders chapter until three summers ago, but Chapter 347 Director Gene Haplea said the number of Riders has grown to more than 100 since then. Hosting the kickoff of the Legacy Run “is a fantastic opportunity for some exposure and for a (Riders) chapter to get involved in some good,” Haplea said. “For ours, it’s even more so. We’re a relatively new chapter … doing some good things, some fun things and starting to become much more active within the post.

“To tack something like this on – the Legacy Run in any year is a noteworthy kind of accolade to be associated with. To host it in the centennial year, with all else that’s been going on with the Legion … is even more remarkable. We’re thrilled.”

With anywhere from 200 to 300 riders and their passengers on the ride, a Legacy Run stop at an American Legion post usually provides months of preparation for the post. But Varrone said his post is used to big events.

“Our post is probably an anomaly as far as American Legion posts go,” he said. “We’re used to hosting between 600 and 700 people at our post on Tuesday nights because that’s when our Queen of Hearts drawing is. Logistically, for the post to be able to handle it is a relatively easy thing to do.”

Varrone said the post doesn’t normally open up its kitchen until 5 p.m. on Friday but will have it open starting at noon on Aug. 16 and will serve food until 7 p.m. that night. The following day the post will serve lunch and then provide a spaghetti and meatballs dinner that night.

Varrone said the post’s kitchen is used to serving 150 to 250 meals on the busy Tuesday nights, making it well-prepared for the Legacy Run. And Varrone would know. His wife, Joyce, is Post 347’s kitchen manager and a member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 347.

“They’re kind of used to it,” Varrone said. “And we have a good group of volunteers that handle that.”

Volunteers for any big event at the post come from a cross-section of the entire American Legion Family – including the more than 2,400 Auxiliary members and 700-plus Sons of The American Legion members. “Our volunteers, by and large, come from across the entire (Legion Family) spectrum,” Varrone said. “Normally when we do things at the post, it’s not just the Legion members. It’s the Auxiliary and the SAL, and we have a very good relationship across all the different organizations.”

Varrone said being able to kick off the Legacy Run at his post is a great honor – as is being the largest American Legion post in existence. “There’s a lot of pride there,” he said. “If you happen to be there on a Tuesday night ... and we have the 700 people in the building … the lounge manager gets up there right before the drawing … and he always starts it off by saying ‘Welcome to American Legion Post 347, the largest post in the world.’ You oughta hear the roar that goes up inside that place.”

Haplea said there’s also a great deal of pride in how the Legion Riders, through the Legacy Run, have taken up the cause of The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund, which provides college assistance for the children of U.S. military personnel killed on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, as well as children of post-9/11 veterans with a combined VA disability rating of 50 percent or higher. The 2018 Legacy Run raised a record $1,300,804 for the Legacy Fund, the fifth-straight year the ride has raised more than $1 million.

The reason behind the fund also resonates strongly with Haplea, who was on active duty with the U.S. Navy in the Pentagon on 9/11. “I’m extremely proud to be a part of that kind of an effort that’s taken place and grown over all those years,” he said. “To me, it’s another testament … of just what kind of a role the Legion Riders have been playing and will continue to play and grow in their chapters. We’re that one unique effort at the post level that embodies everything the Legion is about, which is the family. We are the sole connecting point within the post that connects all the dots. We have members that are Legionnaires, members that are Auxiliary members and members that are SAL members.

“To have one group like that pulling everybody together … is really exciting. It’s humbling, but it’s exciting at the same time. And for the Legion Riders to have been handed the challenge … of heading up the lion’s share of the heavy lifting to make this Legacy Scholarship really, really come alive, is just extraordinarily special. It’s personally special to me.”

Online registration for the 2019 Legacy Run continues here.


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Legacy Run registration already at 300-plus

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Registration for the 2019 American Legion Legacy Run already has surpassed 310 participants in two months. To register online, click here.

Online registration for riders and passengers will end Aug. 11. All riders and passengers who register online before Aug. 1 will be mailed the registration packet with patches and map book materials before national staff departs. Those who register on or after Aug. 1 will be mailed their registration packets on or after Sept. 1 (while supplies last) as staff returns from convention duties.

Online registration is simple and easy with a credit card payment. Those preferring to print and mail a registration form with a check or money order need to continue through the online registration process. Instructions are provided on the information review page to print the registration form and mail payment.

A reminder that pre-payment for fuel and meals is mandatory, in order to avoid dealing with cash on organized fuel stops and to be able to properly advise meal locations how much food to prepare.

For those wanting to support the Legacy Run but are unable to participate, online registration for supporters (non-riders and non-passengers) will continue until Sept. 7. Supporter registrations of $25 or more will also receive a thank-you package while supplies last.

The Legacy Run will depart American Legion Post 347 in Lady Lake, Fla., on Aug. 18, and arrive in Indianapolis on Aug. 22 for the 2019 American Legion National Convention. Along the way, the ride will make stops in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky, before ending up at Kenneth N. Dowden Wayne Post 64 in Indianapolis.

The 2018 Legacy Run raised a record $1,300,804 for The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund, the fifth-straight year the ride has raised more than $1 million. The Legacy Fund provides college assistance for the children of U.S. military personnel killed on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, as well as children of post-9/11 veterans with a combined VA disability rating of 50 percent or higher.


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