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Veterans Benefits Information

New membership incentives for departments and posts

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As an incentive to reach 100 percent membership department wide in celebration of The American Legion’s 100th anniversary, posts and departments have a chance to earn money. American Legion National Commander Brett Reistad has announced two new Team 100 membership awards that provide an opportunity for departments and posts to earn financial means to support their programs while growing membership at every level of the organization.

Departments:

• $2,500 will be awarded to each department that achieves 100 percent of its established 2019 membership goal by the Armed Forces Day (May 8, 2019) 100 percent target date.

• $5,000, in addition to the $2,500, will be awarded to each department that achieves 105 percent of its established 2019 membership goal by the delegate strength target date (30 days before start of national convention)

Posts:

• $5 for every expired 2014, 2015 and 2016 member that renews for 2019 will be awarded to posts.

The expired members can be found by following these four steps:

1. Sign into www.mylegion.org

2. Click on “Reports/Labels” located on the left side of the page

3. Click on “Post Reports” folder

4. Open the “Revitalization” folder. Inside this folder you will find three reports where you can select expired members for letters, labels and rosters (“Unrenewed_Letters,” “Unrenewed_Labels” and “Unrenewed_Roster”).

If your post does not have access to MyLegion.org, visit www.mylegion.org and click on “Authorization Form” at the bottom of the page and complete the registration process. If you need assistance please call 800-433-3318 or send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

To receive credit for renewing a 2014, 2015 or 2016 Legionnaire, they must renew in your post and you have to use their current membership ID number. The ID number will be on the expired listing downloaded through MyLegion or provided by your department. If the expired Legionnaire was not a member of your post, please transfer them into your post and then process their dues payment.

Additionally, the national commander is designating the week of The American Legion's 100th birthday, March 10-16, as "Week of Personal Engagement." He is calling on Legionnaires to make contact with veterans in their community to ask them join and be a part of Team 100.

"The American Legion soared from zero to 685,000 members in its first eight months," Reistad said. That was without direct mail or internet. "The Legion was built on personal contact and engagement. Let's do our founders proud by moving with strength and momentum into our second century."

There are two new public service announcements from Reistad about these new membership incentives and personal engagement week. View and share on social media here.


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Arizona Legion Riders bringing toys to area youth

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For 12 years, American Legion Riders Chapter 35 in Chandler, Ariz., has used Thanksgiving weekend to collect toys for needy children. The chapter regularly collects more than $10,000 in toys and just approached $20,000 during its Nov. 24 event at Chandler Harley-Davidson.

It’s a labor of love for the Riders, who donate the toys through Toys for Tots in Chandler; this year the toys will go to the Boys and Girls Club of the East Valley for distribution among area children.

“All the toys stay local right in Chandler,” said Past ALR Chapter 35 Director Jim Yilek, who has run the toy drive for nine years. “Everybody likes to give to kids that need help.”

Yilek said Chapter 232 will solicit donations from local businesses and individuals prior to the event, which includes a barbecue, karaoke and live music, and this year came following a 57-mile poker run by Chapter 35’s Legion Riders. The ride is open to the public and includes a registration fee – $20 per rider or $15 with a toy, and $15 per passenger or $10 with a toy.

Yilek also collects $500 donations from each site that serves as a stop on the ride. In the past two years alone Chapter 232 has collected well over $30,000 in toys through the event.

“A lot of kids, their parents can’t afford to do their Christmas,” Yilek said. “This is just something (Chapter) 35 has taken on and continued to do.”


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USAA Tips: How to advise a young person to consider military service

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Content provided courtesy of USAA | By Chad Storlie

There are a lot of big decisions in life: marriage, finances, buying a house, and many, many others. Right up there is the decision to join the military. Today, with so many career options for young people, it can be a difficult choice to decide to join the military.

Follow this advice to give guidance, support, and understanding to help others decide if a military career is right for them.

  1. Listen to a young person’s goals in their words. Before even starting to describe the benefits of military service, what does this person want to accomplish? Do they want to travel, live somewhere else, have new experiences, or just get out and see the world more? These can be reasons to join the service, but they can also be gateways to other career decisions to personal travel, higher education, working in a new location, or waiting for a decision to become more apparent.

  2. The military has higher standards today than most of us remember. Today, the military has very high standards of fitness, intelligence, existing body art (tattoos), prior drug use, and prior criminal activity just to name a few. If someone wants to join the military and they do not meet the standards, then they probably cannot.

  3. Think about the National Guard and Reserve. For some young people, joining the military full time may be too much of an initial commitment. For those young people, the National Guard and the Reserve may be a perfect fit. The attraction of the National Guard and Reserve: staying local, serving the military, learning new skills, and the potential for active duty can be a great option.

  4. Think about the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard is America’s “forgotten” military service that offers great options. Many young people are compelled by more altruistic goals of public service, helping others, and being on the “front lines” daily instead of just when they are deployed. In this case, the Coast Guard maybe a great answer that offers public service and a strong focus on rescuing others in need.

  5. Military recruiters are your friend. Websites are great, but talking to a real person offers excellent options. A young person may be more comfortable with a military veteran in the room when they talk to a military recruiter to ask questions and not be intimidated by the uniform and “unknown” words. Meet with recruiters from multiple military branches and see what they have to offer and what sounds good to the young person.

  6. Talk about the four D’s: Disability, death, divorce, and deployments. I also talk about the Four D’s whenever anyone asks me about joining the military. Nearly every day in the military is difficult. You are in arduous conditions, deployed for months away from loved ones, in physical danger, and you often can’t call even for someone’s birthday. This is a hard set of subjects that must be talked about because it happens a great deal in every military service, even in “peacetime."

Listening to a young person’s goals and ambitions is the best way to discuss the potential of military service. Listen more than you talk, discuss the joys and sorrows of service, and get a military recruiter to talk about all the options in a relaxed setting.


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New monetary rewards to earn for recruiting and retaining

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As an incentive to reach 100 percent membership department wide in celebration of The American Legion’s 100th anniversary, posts and departments have a chance to earn money. There are two new membership awards that provide an opportunity for departments and posts to earn financial means to support their programs while growing membership at every level of the organization.

Departments:

• $2,500 will be awarded to each department that achieves 100 percent of its established 2019 membership goal by the Armed Forces Day (May 8, 2019) 100 percent target date.

• $5,000, in addition to the $2,500, will be awarded to each department that achieves 105 percent of its established 2019 membership goal by the delegate strength target date (30 days before start of national convention)

Posts:

• $5 for every expired 2014, 2015 and 2016 member that renews for 2019 will be awarded to posts.

The expired members can be found by following these four steps:

1. Sign into www.mylegion.org

2. Click on “Reports/Labels” located on the left side of the page

3. Click on “Post Reports” folder

4. Open the “Revitalization” folder. Inside this folder you will find three reports where you can select expired members for letters, labels and rosters (“Unrenewed_Letters,” “Unrenewed_Labels” and “Unrenewed_Roster”).

If your post does not have access to MyLegion.org, visit www.mylegion.org and click on “Authorization Form” at the bottom of the page and complete the registration process. If you need assistance please call 800-433-3318 or send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

To receive credit for renewing a 2014, 2015 or 2016 Legionnaire, they must renew in your post and you have to use their current membership ID number. The ID number will be on the expired listing downloaded through MyLegion or provided by your department. If the expired Legionnaire was not a member of your post, please transfer them into your post and then process their dues payment.


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DHA leaders: Embrace historical changes to military health

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Transforming the Military Health System into an integrated system of readiness and health was the topic for two Defense Health Agency leaders on Wednesday, Nov. 28, during the 2018 meeting of AMSUS, the Society of Federal Health Professionals.

“We have an incredible, incredible health care system,” said Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director of the DHA, “and we have the capability to be so much better. It’s our mission to make our health care system the very, very best that our patients deserve and need.”

Under the backdrop of the 127th AMSUS annual meeting theme, “The Future of Healthcare is Now,” Bono described planning for changes that are occurring as the DHA assumes administrative and management responsibilities for all military treatment facilities. Several MTFs came under the DHA umbrella on Oct. 1, the first step in a phased approach for DHA to gradually assume direct management of all MTFs by Oct. 1, 2021. 


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