Veterans Benefits Information

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Veterans Benefits Information

American Legion Baseball activities encouraged to be put on hold

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With the number of COVID-19 cases growing daily and state governments limiting social interactions through statewide restrictions, the National American Legion Baseball Committee is strongly encouraging and recommending that American Legion departments put on hold all baseball activities (team meetings, tryouts, practices, etc.) until all restrictions have been lifted. The recommendation has the endorsement of the National Americanism Commission.

A memo was sent out to American Legion department commanders, adjutants and baseball chairmen from National Americanism Commission Chairman Richard Anderson with the guidance. The memo states that “Currently the National American Legion Baseball schedule remains in place per dates approved by the National Executive Committee; however, the schedule is subject to the respective state restrictions where the Regional and World Series tournaments are scheduled. It remains the goal of the Americanism Commission to hold our Regional and World Series tournaments this summer if possible.”

The National American Legion Baseball Committee is continuing to monitor COVID-19 developments through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while COVID-19 updates from National Commander James W. "Bill" Oxford are appearing daily on The American Legion national website. The committee will communicate with American Legion department leadership on a consistent basis to provide additional information as it becomes available.

Anderson requested that all American Legion departments “review the guidelines, restrictions and regulations established by local, state and federal governments to ensure doing whatever is required for the safety and well-being of everyone involved. The more prepared we are moving into this 2020 program season, the better we are in the face of all possible contingencies.”


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Veterans Crisis Line available around the clock

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Social distancing and isolation have been urged, if not required, throughout the United States to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Isolation, however, can cause psychological strain, and The American Legion strongly encourages use of the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1 after dialing) for those in need of help. The line is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Legionnaires who are concerned about veterans in their communities who may be isolated or at risk are encouraged to visit www.veteranscrisisline.net to learn how confidential connections can be made with caring, qualified VA responders.

Toll-free number: 1-800-273-8255 (press 1 after dialing)

Text message: 838255

Website for online chat: www.veteranscrisisline.net


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Emblem Sales temporarily reduces operations, due to state guidance

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Due to Indiana government regulations related to the COVID-19 virus, American Legion Emblem Sales will temporarily be operating with limited staff beginning Wednesday, March 25.

During this time, the Emblem Sales call center will be closed, but customers can email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and available staff will respond as quickly as possible.

Orders may be placed online at legion.org/emblemsales, but shipping delays can be expected during this time. American Legion Emblem Sales apologizes for this inconvenience and appreciates the understanding of American Legion Family customers during this difficult time.


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Deadline extended for annual media contest

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Dear media and communication supporters,

First, I hope that each of you and your loved ones are well and staying safe amid the coronavirus crisis. While this pandemic is a challenge for everyone, it is also a time when The American Legion Family shows that it can and will rise to the occasion. 

I have read reports of American Legion Family members serving their communities during this time. Some are performing Buddy Checks on veterans in their communities. Others are helping facilitate getting lunches to at-risk children after schools were forced to shut down their meal programs. And there are also members who are buying supplies for older veterans who are most vulnerable for contracting coronavirus. 

What’s important to note here is that not only did I learn of these selfless actions, but Americans across the nation learned how The American Legion is working to better its communities in a time of crisis. That’s thanks to the efforts to get those stories into local media outlets. 

As a member of The American Legion Media Alliance (TALMA), this is a perfect time for you to showcase how your post is active in its community. Feel free to share your success stories so that the national staff can highlight your successes to an even larger audience. 

I’ve been pleased in how many have joined TALMA in the short time since we have started accepting members. All members of The American Legion Family are eligible to join TALMA. And those who sign up now, will receive up to six months free — and the opportunity to enter the contests for both this year and next year. A $15 membership fee will ensure your membership through Aug. 31, 2021. To join TALMA, please go to www.legion.org/talma/join

I also wanted to let you know that we have extended the deadline for the first TALMA awards contest due to the coronavirus. The contest, which is open to all TALMA members, will take submissions that have a valid postmarked date of May 8 or earlier. (In future years, we will be moving the contest to a digital entry system. There was not time to put that in place this year in order to have a contest this year.) 

For more information about the categories, please visit www.legion.org/talma/contest

To enter the contest, please mail your entries to Media and Communications Division, The American Legion, 700 N. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis, IN 46206 

Since the Media and Communications Commission will not be at Spring Meetings, we are looking at an alternative way to judge this year’s contest. Winners will still be notified by June 1 and receive a free ticket to the annual banquet at National Convention as well as a beautiful and durable plaque. 

I look forward to seeing all the great entries you have compiled this past entry period and am looking forward to your involvement in TALMA. Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions.

Sincerely,

Walter Ivie

Chairman, Media & Communications Commission


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2020 Boys Nation and JSSP air rifle tournament cancelled

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The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to pose serious health risks, creating unprecedented responses from government and public health authorities and levels of uncertainty throughout the nation. The way in which it may spread, and its duration, cannot be accurately predicted.

Because of these uncertainties, the 75th session of American Legion Boys Nation (scheduled for July 17-25 in Washington, D.C.) and the American Legion Junior Shooting 3-Position Air Rifle National Championship (scheduled for July 21-26 in Colorado Springs, Colo.) have been cancelled.

American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford said the decision to cancel the 2020 Boys Nation program and air rifle national tournament “was difficult. It was made with safety as the highest priority.”

Oxford hopes that this early cancellation notification will provide departments flexibility to make the best decisions possible for their respective Boys State programs, and provide shooting coaches flexibility for making the best decisions possible for their youth who are currently involved in the national postal tournament, “without feeling the pressure of their youth being excluded from the national capstone programs,” he said.

Assessment is underway regarding the awarding of 2020 Samsung American Legion Scholarships to Boys State and Girls State participants. More information will be announced.

“Times right now are tough, but we will get through them together," Oxford said. "Thank you for your patience, resilience and continued service to our great organization and country.”

 


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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 www.archives.gov