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Veterans Benefits Information

Last member of Doolittle Raiders passes away

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The last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders, who gave the United States a much-needed boost during the dark days of World War II, has passed away.

Retired Lt. Col. Dick Cole died Tuesday in San Antonio. He was 103.

Cole served as co-pilot in then-Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle’s No. 1 bomber during the 1942 raid to strike Japan that helped lift America’s spirit in the months after Pearl Harbor. The Doolittle raid was comprised of 80 U.S. Army Air Forces airmen in 16 B-25B Mitchell bombers that were launched from the aircraft carrier Hornet, with no promise of returning safely. It took the bombers about four hours to reach the target of Tokyo, about 650 nautical miles from the Hornet.

“We all shared the same risks and had no realization of the positive affect our efforts had on the morale of America at the time,” Cole said in 2013. “We are grateful we had the opportunity to serve and are mindful that our nation benefitted from our service.”

After dropping their bombs, Doolittle’s crew set out to land in China, refuel and then continue to the western part of the country. A severe rainstorm interrupted those plans, forcing the crew to bail out before their fuel ran out. Cole’s parachute got stuck in a tree. After freeing himself, he walked to a Chinese village, where he was safely reunited with the crew.

Overall, only three of the 80 men were killed during the raid that was conducted 77 years ago this month. Eight others were captured and held as POWs, four of whom died during captivity.

In November 2013, Cole and two of the three other remaining survivors at that time performed the final toasting ceremony for their fallen comrades at the United States Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. A fourth survivor was unable to attend.

The ceremony included a roll call of each of the Raiders’ names, only interrupted by three calls of “Here” by Cole, Lt. Col. Edward Saylor and Staff Sgt. David Thatcher. Afterward, Cole broke the seal of an 1896 bottle of Hennessey cognac, per the wishes of Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, the group’s commanding officer.

On the morning of the April 1942 raid, Doolittle promised his men he would throw the biggest party they ever saw if the raid was successful. After the war, the Raiders reunited to celebrate Doolittle’s birthday in December 1946, and that get-together turned into an annual ritual that concluded in 2013.

During the 2013 ceremony, Gen. Mark Welsh, chief of staff for the Air Force, said current airmen will keep the Raiders’ legacy alive. For example, he noted that during the first night of Operation Desert Storm in 1991, the first bombs dropped over Baghdad included the words “Make the Doolittle Raiders proud.”

At the memorial service, Cole recalled signing up for a dangerous mission he saw on a bulletin board. It turned out to be a callout for volunteers for the Doolittle raid. “So, I signed my name,” he said nonchalantly.

“Yes, sir, you did,” Welsh said. “And you and Col. Doolittle and your brothers inspired a nation and you turned the tide of a war. And we are forever grateful.”

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Share how your post, department is honoring Memorial Day

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On Monday, May 27, American Legion Family members nationwide will be honoring the more than 1 million men and women who have lost their lives defending America in wars from the Revolution to the global war on terrorism. Whether it's participating in a Memorial Day parade, placing crosses and flags at veteran gravesites or hosting a ceremony, please share how your post or department will be remembering veterans.

You can share at

A Memorial Day speech that posts and departments can use is available. Click here to download the speech.

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Call to spring FODPAL meeting

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FODPAL President Angel O. Narvaez has called for the spring FODPAL meeting to be held on Wednesday, May 8, at 0730 hrs., Room 301 of National Headquarters in Indianapolis.

All FODPAL officers and NECmen are expected to attend. All other FODPAL members who will be in the Indianapolis area are also invited to attend.

Doug Haggan

FODPAL Secretary

Past National Vice Commander

Past Department of France Commander

“Still Serving America’s Veterans…Around the World”


Alaska 2018

Philippines 2018

France 2018

Hawaii 2017

Mexico 2018

Puerto Rico 2018

China Post #1 2024

Montreal Post #1 0

Toronto Post #5 2020

Fort Pepperrell Post CN09 0

Tony Matthews Post CN18 0

Calgary Alberta Post CN20 2018

Charles A. Dunn Post CN75 2019

If you owe FODPAL dues, please mail them to

Doug Haggan

5712 Riva Ridge Dr.

Indianapolis, IN 46237


$40 for a department

$15 for a post

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95th Department of France Convention package info released

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Hosted by the Department of France

Hotel Schützenhof

Windereckerstraße 2

53783 Eitorf-Alzenbach

Convention Package Consists Of:

❖ 4 days - 3 nights

❖ One convention coin per department-registered guest residing at the hotel

❖ Breakfast buffet

❖ Utilization of the conference rooms

❖ Mineral water and juice during our meetings

❖ Late morning coffee/tee and yogurt

❖ Afternoon coffee and pastry

❖ Evening dinner buffet (includes banquet on Saturday)

❖ One drink of choice with evening dinner

20-23 June 2019

Three Nights - single room €305.00 per person

Three Nights - double room €250.00 per person

21-23 June 2019

Two Nights - single room €215.00 per person

Two Nights - double room €180.00 per person

22-23 June 2019

One Night - single room €120.00 per person

One Night - double room €105.00 per person

Following expenditures to be paid at convention.

Attending meetings only. Not staying at hotel €16.00 per person, per day.

* Includes use of conference room, late morning coffee/tee and yogurt, afternoon coffee and pastry, and mineral water and juice during our meetings. Please notify Convention Committee if you will be attending convention meetings only!

Banquet only (Saturday). €25.00 per person.

Breakfast only. Not staying at hotel. €8.00 per person, per day.

Dinner only (Thursday-Friday). Not staying at hotel. €15.00 per person, per day.

The American Legion / Department of France 95th Annual Convention Agenda / 20-23 June 2019

Thursday, 20 June 2019

1200 1400 Arrival – check in


1400 1500 Registration Department Sgt-At-Arms

16:00 Call to order Department Commander

Opening ceremonies Department Commander

Roll call Department Adjutant

Introduction of guest Department Sgt-At-Arms

Welcome remarks Convention Chairman

Minutes of previous meeting Department Adjutant

Finance report Department Finance Officer





New Business Department Commander

Administrative Announcements Department Adjutant




Prayer Department Chaplain

Recovering of POW/MIA Flag POW/MIA Chairman

Retiring of colors Department Commander

TBA Committee Meetings

TBA Dinner

Friday 21 June 2019


08:30 09:00 Registration Department Sgt-At-Arms

09:00 Convening of Convention Department Commander

Opening ceremonies Department Commander

Roll call Department Adjutant

Introduction of guest Department Sgt-At-Arms

Adoption of convention rules Department Judge Advocate

Report of credential committee Department Sgt-At-Arms

Conformation of standing Department Commander

Committees Committee Chairmans

Ratification of 2019 convention Department Adjutant

Minutes Department Adjutant

Presentation of resolutions Department Adjutant

Award committee report Department Adjutant

Awards presentations Department Commander

Guest speaker TBA

Recessing convention Department Commander

TBA Committee Meetings

TBA Break for lunch


1330 1400 Registration Department Sgt-At-Arms

1400 Convening of convention Department Commander

Roll call Department Adjutant

Standing committee reports Department Commander

Audit and Finance report Department Finance Officer

Presentation of 2019-2020 operating budget Department Finance Officer

Annual reports Department Commander

Presentation of awards Department Commander

Administrative announcements Department Adjutant

TBA Past Commanders Club

TBA Annual Caucus

TBA Dinner

Saturday, 22 June 2019


08:30-09:00 Registration Department Sgt-At-Arms

09:00 Reconvening of convention Department Commander

Roll Call Department Adjutant

Report of Credential Committee Department Sgt-At-Arms

Awards Report Department Commander

Awards Presentations Department Commander

Voting on 2019 – 2020 operating budget Department Finance Officer

Adoption of Dept. Constitution and By-Laws Department Judge Advocate

Appointment of Election Judge Department Commander

Appointment of Election Tellers Department Commander


Roll Call Department Adjutant

2020MY Department Elections Election Judge

Short Form Installation NEC MAN

Appointment of Adjutant Department Commander

Administrative Announcements Department Adjutant

Post Everlasting Department Chaplain

Closing Ceremonies Department Commander

Adjournment of Convention Department Commander

TBA Break for lunch


TBA Registration Department Sgt-At-Arms

TBA Call to Order Department Commander

Opening Ceremonies Department Commander

Roll Call Department Adjutant

Introduction of Guest Department Sgt-At-Arms

Minutes from 4th DEC Department Adjutant




Request for Funds Department Commander

Annual Appointments Department Commander

Appointment of Delegates to 2019 National Convention Department Commander

Appointments-Chef Delegates To 2019 National Convention Department Commander

Report of 2019 Convention Convention Chairman

Selection of 2ndDEC Site for 2019 Department Commander

General Announcements Department Adjutant




Prayer Department Chaplain

Retiring Of Colors Department Commander

18:00 Cocktails

18:30 Memorial Service / Dinner / Speakers and Awards

Sunday, 22 June 2019

Departure after Breakfast


* RSVP no later than 15 May 2019

* All payments must be in euros.

* Please make all euros checks payable to David Greaux

Bank Transfer Information

NAME: David Greaux

IBAN: DE37793301110000005356


Verwendungszweck: Dept. Convention / Option 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6

* If any questions arise, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Please fill out reservation form - circulating via email - and send in no later than 15 May 2019 to ensure a reserved room.

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Don't be scared off by an entry-level job

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From | By Lida Citroën

As you get ready to take off the uniform you may find yourself un-qualified for the types of jobs you desire. As you consider additional education and training, why not think about an entry-level job?

I get it: You gained a ton of experience in the military. You managed people under high-stress, high-stakes conditions and you were personally in charge of huge projects with multi-million-dollar valuations. But sometimes changing careers and pivoting from what you know and are trained for, requires starting at the beginning.

What is an entry-level job?

“An entry-level job is a job that is normally designed or designated for recent graduates of a given discipline and typically does not require prior experience in the field or profession. These roles may require some on-site training.” Many entry-level jobs do not come with medical benefits or paid time off.

Before you reject an entry-level job

If it seems you’re only attracting interest for entry-level positions, remember:

  • It’s not personal. Being rejected for a high-level job doesn’t mean you aren’t valuable and important. It also doesn’t mean the employer doesn’t like you.

  • The employers aren’t judging you or singling you out because they don’t like or appreciate you and your service. In many cases, it’s the opposite! An employer might see your potential and know their company well enough to know that you can build a career there if you’re willing to start at entry level.

  • Most professionals in the business world start at entry level. While you have years of experience, training and skill building, the employer might see you as someone who would benefit from learning the business from the ground level up.

  • All military jobs are entry level. The military doesn’t hire people in as Chiefs or Generals, so you’ve done entry level before. Granted, you may feel that you’ve earned the right to not have to repeat this process, but to the employer, you haven’t.

  • In an entry-level role, you could quickly accelerate past your peers and have an edge for promotions and visibility in the company because of the skills and experience you gained in the military.

Can you afford to work an entry-level job?

After you’ve decided that you are willing to earn your way back to a management or leadership position, ask yourself if you’re able to afford to work in an entry-level job – financially and career-wise.

Financially, entry-level jobs typically pay less. The company is hiring someone with (the perception of) lower skills and abilities and is investing in that employee to (hopefully) see them grow in the company. Many entry-level employees leave the company after learning the job isn’t what they wanted so employers typically don’t pay as much for these workers as they might, for instance, for a senior manager position.

Consider, too, any impact to your resume or career goals. Before you accept an entry-level job, ask yourself:

  • Will taking an entry-level job look bad on my resume? If so, how will I explain it to future employers?

  • If I take an entry-level job, can I accelerate in my desired career field faster?

  • Will taking an entry-level job give me the skills, work experience and contacts I need to move into the career I desire?

Not all jobs are created equal. An entry-level job at a progressive company that promotes from within, provides on-the-job training and rewards excellence could be a terrific foot in the door to a new career.

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