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Veterans Benefits Information

SAL national membership dues increasing June 1

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As we start wrapping up the 2020 membership year, we had some challenges with the pandemic and the cancellation of meetings and events. With cancellations, unfortunately, it also brought rumors, speculation, and confusion. Lately, the confusion has been, “When does the SAL per capita go into effect, and how much is it?”

At the 2019 Sons of The American Legion National Convention held in Indianapolis, the delegates in attendance at the convention approved Resolution 14, “Amendment to the National Constitution of the Sons of The American Legion, Article X, Section 2.” The resolution is, in short, a national per capita increase:

"RESOLVED, That the Sons of The American Legion in National Convention assembled on August 23-25, 2019, in Indianapolis, Indiana, amend the Constitution of the Sons of The American Legion, Article X, Section 2 to read, “The amount of such annual National dues shall be $5.00 per member and shall be payable October 20 of each year and for the succeeding year;” and be it further

"RESOLVED, That the increase take effect on June 1, 2020, with the distribution of the 2021 National Membership cards, and applied to all membership transmittals received after that date."

The approved increase raised the national per capita from $2 to $5 annually per member, a $3 increase. The $2 per capita has not changed for the last 37 years, since 1981. Like everything else in this world, the cost of goods and labor only increases and never decreases; unfortunately, national headquarters is no different.

To put things in perspective, The American Legion raises its per capita for Legionnaires every 7-10 years. Since 1981, The American Legion raised their per capita four times to meet the annual cost of living, labor, and services. It was long overdue, and only fair the SAL raise their per capita, which will also mean the SAL will be a financially self-sustaining program, something that has not occurred for more than a decade.

Another point of confusion and the second part of the previous question I am asked is, “When does the per capita increase start?” From the numerous emails I have received, many members seem to think the 2021 per capita increase doesn’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2021. Members are confusing a calendar year with a membership year.

Let’s clarify this, so all SAL members are on the same page. A calendar year runs from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. The SAL membership year runs from July 1 to June 30. This means that after June 1, when detachments start to collect membership renewals for the following year, you need to collect $5, not the previous $2.

This is the bottom line. If you are accepting a membership renewal and handing out a 2021 membership card, then you need to make sure your membership dues are adjusted accordingly to reflect the $3 increase in per capita. If you have any questions, please feel free to submit your questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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MySAL.org makes membership 'simple and efficient'

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As a squadron adjutant I have been using the MySAL.org site since its beginning a few years ago. It is has been a fantastic tool to keep track of member data, make labels for mailing, make needed changes to addresses and continuous years of membership. The time and paperwork it saves has been beyond value.

WOW! They found a way to make the site even better and more important to the squadrons of the Sons of The American Legion. I am now able to transmit my squadron’s membership online without leaving my post home or my own home. I can transmit renewals and create new members all on the MySAL.org site. It has made membership so simple and efficient. Not to mention not having the cost of mailing or driving membership to our state headquarters.

I have heard some squadron adjutants worry about giving their bank account information to the national organization. I’m here to tell you there is nothing to worry or be concerned about with your account. We have never had a problem with the membership monies being taken directly from our account. It is making it even easier to track our squadron’s membership dues and our bank account.

If you are a squadron adjutant and are not registered on My SAL.org you’re missing a great opportunity to track membership and pay dues in a most easy and efficient process.


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A Legion Riders tribute to West LA hospital and staff

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In one of the largest public gatherings in Los Angeles County since stay-at-home orders were put in place in March, southern California American Legion Riders – along with police, firefighters and first responders – last week paid tribute to hospital and staff employees at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, for their service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The “Salute to Heroes” ceremony was organized by the LA County Sheriff's Department along with members of the VA police department. Lt. Ernie Bille of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department who also serves as the commander for LA Sheriff’s Star Post 309 explained that May is Military Appreciation Month and, within this month, is also National Police Week. “We’re also taking this opportunity during this crisis to honor those who help our fellow veterans here at the veterans hospital and the veterans home,” Bille said.

Dozens of American Legion Riders from the greater Los Angeles region showed up to participate in the event while practicing safe social distancing procedures. Karl Risinger of Hollywood Chapter 43, who coordinated the Riders presence, spoke of how easy it was to find people who wanted to join in. “Most of us are veterans ourselves, so we’re saluting our brothers and sisters who are sitting in the hospital right now and all the front-line workers who are helping them out.”

The ceremony consisted of several law-enforcement and first-responder agencies from the area. American Legion Riders rode through the emergency vehicles to join them in formation while residents and patients there watched them from their rooms.

Once everyone was in place, the order was given to dismount. Participants either stood at attention or saluted as the Marine Corps Color Guard presented colors and the National Anthem was sung. Spectators were then treated to a flyover by police helicopters, followed by another flyover from the famous World War II Condor Squadron. At that point, all participants remounted their vehicles and proceeded on the parade route around the VA grounds.

About the parade route, Risinger said the Riders mission this way: “The big thing is they want a loud presence today ... They want us with the loud bikes just revving it up as we parade around the VA grounds.”

 


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Emulating Democrats, G.O.P. Ties House Hopes to Diverse Recruits

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“We need candidates other than boring old white people”: House Republicans are betting on a group of diverse candidates with compelling biographies to help them reclaim lost seats.

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Make it a socially responsible Poppy Day

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American Legion National Commander Bill Oxford and American Legion Auxiliary President Nicole Clapp are encouraging their members to join them in remembering the fallen and honoring all veterans this Poppy Day, Friday, May 22.

In a new video message, Oxford reminds Legionnaires to adhere to social distancing and other safety precautions while participating in this annual remembrance.

Clapp encourages American Legion Family members to participate and share their experiences on social media.

• On Facebook, join the Auxiliary for its Virtual Poppy Day Watch Party at noon Eastern on Friday.

• On Instagram, help populate the virtual poppy garden by posting poppy images and using the hashtag #poppyday.

For more information and resources, visit www.legion.org/poppyday or www.alaforveterans.org.


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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