Veterans Benefits Information guide to VA benefits

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Veterans Benefits Information

Time to recognize educators and celebrate military families

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The American Legion has a commitment to education, believing a strong education program is vital to instill a sense of personal obligation and responsibility in today’s youth. This week is American Education Week, an opportunity to recognize those who are making a difference in providing quality education to today’s youth.

During American Education Week, Legion posts can:

- Honor educators by presenting a certificate of appreciation.

- Exhibit student work and special projects within the post.

- Sponsor a poster, art or essay contest for students.

For more information on ways to support American Education Week, click here.

Next week families are celebrated for National Family Week, Nov. 24-Dec. 1.

A guiding principle of The American Legion’s Children & Youth programs continues to be maintaining the integrity of the family. American Legion Family members can initiate and engage in local activities during National Family Week that promote, encourage and celebrate healthy families and communities.

American Legion posts can host a family-friendly festival that includes fun children-specific activities such as face painting, bounce houses and games; conduct a community family project; invite families to a meal at the post to initiate strong communication; or host a military appreciation event.

As for military families, posts can communicate with local military families about the needs they may have if a loved one is deployed.

Download The American Legion’s National Family Week brochure for further assistance.

Share on how your post supported American Education Week and National Family Week.

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'An act of faith and kindness': How Buddy Checks make a difference

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Prior to Veterans Day, American Legion National Commander Bill Oxford called on Legionnaires to follow up on the inaugural Buddy Checks to fellow veterans that debuted last March and received National Executive Committee support the following spring.

During the 2019 Spring Meetings, the NEC passed Resolution 18, which calls for the twice-annual Buddy Checks to be conducted Legion-wide on the weeks of The American Legion’s birthday and Veterans Day.

American Legion posts again stepped up. In Weehawken, N.J., members of Post 18 took to the streets to connect with members of the post who haven’t been active in recent years, including one 91-year-old World War II widower.

“That’s what (non-commissioned officers) do in the service. You’re supposed to check up on your troops,” Post 18 Commander Chris Page said. “We’re charged … with the health and welfare of our troops. What we like to do is check up on our members and make sure they’re OK. We also check in on their families as well. It goes back to helping out with the community.”

And in Fort Gibson, Okla., members of Frank Gladd Post 20 were conducting Buddy Checks and came into contact with an 87-year-old Korean War veteran who hadn’t paid his membership dues in two years. Past Post and District Commander Jim Quinn said the veteran told the post he could no longer make it to post meetings and that his membership in the Legion was no longer important to anyone.

“I was dispatched to the veteran's house with his membership card,” Quinn said. “When I arrived at the veteran’s house, he invited me in and we had about a half-hour conversation about the current weather and our time in service. I asked him about his welfare and if there was anything we at the post could do for him. He replied that he was fine but he had trouble driving.”

Quinn left the veteran’s membership card with him and “told him if he needed any help with going places to call the post and we would arrange to take him where he needed to go. He told me he was not in that bad of shape but if he needed help he would call.”

The post processed the veteran’s membership with “Pay It Forward” funds. Two weeks later the veteran called the post and requested Quinn return to his house. “When I arrived he presented me with a check for his 2019 and 2020 dues,” Quinn said. “The moral of this story is cast your bread upon the waters, and it will be returned to you tenfold. An act of faith and kindness shown to this veteran convinced him that his post stands for the ideals of The American Legion and not just to collect dues.”

The following are a few more examples of what posts did on Veterans Day or have developed as programs to follow the Buddy Check philosophy.

• In St. James, N.C., American Legion Post 543 had a busy Veterans Day weekend that included distributing poppies that Saturday, and taking part in a parade and a Veterans Day picnic. A Buddy Check also was performed on Veterans Day, when the post’s honor guard and officers visited the Carillion Assisted Living where – after the colors were presented and the national anthem played – veteran residents were given a challenge coin from the Post 543 Commander George Freeman, and widows of veterans were given U.S. flags representing their loved ones’ service. Post 543 Service Officer Steve Muir said the post also has 70 active programs that regularly reach out to veterans in need in the community. “I must say that what Post 543 does in the Brunswick County, North Carolina community goes way beyond Buddy Checks,” said Muir.

• In Blue Ash, Ohio, American Legion Post 630 has initiated a “Never Alone” program. Coordinating with the Cincinnati VA Medical Center, the post receives notice whenever a veteran with no known family passes away. The post ensures there are veterans graveside to give their fellow veteran the proper farewell. The program was the idea of Post 630 member Pat Buschman.

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Veterans Day over the air

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“CQ CQ CQ, this is control station N9V, the American Legion Amateur Radio Club Special Event Station, and today we are saluting veterans and active-duty military personnel who have worn or are now wearing the uniform of America’s fighting men and women.”

This was the call that went out to amateur radio operators worldwide to join with The American Legion Amateur Radio Club [TALARC] to commemorate Veterans Day 2019. The purpose of the annual event is to underscore the importance of Veterans Day via the amateur radio community and acknowledge the honorable nature of military service.

Legion radio club members from Glen Arden (Md.) Post 275; Dell Rapids (S.D.) Post 65; Dorchester (Md.) Post 91; and the Easton Amateur Radio Society of Cambridge, Md. – along with National Headquarters radio operators – logged more than 400 stations during the six-hour event. Commemorative certificates and QSL cards – acknowledgments of contact – are available to those who participated. Instructions for securing these items are on the N9V or K9TAL pages of

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Prominent ham magazine features Kentucky post

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The recent report made by Boyle Post 46 in Danville, Ky., about its observance of its own – and The American Legion’s – 100th anniversaries included an overview of how the Wilderness Road Amateur Radio Club (WRARC) contributed to the activities.

Wilderness Road is a post-sponsored organization, rather than a post-owned club, and the story of how the two joined forces was featured in the October 2019 issue of CQ, the world's leading independent magazine devoted to amateur radio, published for more than 70 years. Read the article here, and learn more about CQ here.

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Veterans outreach effort coming to Indiana

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Department of Indiana Legionnaires are conducting a district revitalization and veterans outreach effort in Clark, Crawford, Dubois, Floyd, Harrison, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Warrick and Vanderburg counties Nov. 22-23. Legionnaires will be on hand to discuss veterans benefits, the Legion’s legislative efforts, membership opportunities and service to the community.

The effort will take place from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. both days at the following American Legion posts:

• Tell City Post 213, 1912 Main St., Tell City.

• Otis-Stone Post 354, 1127 Chestnut St., Evansville.

• Floyds Knobs Post 42, 4530 Paoli Pike, Floyds Knobs.

A veterans service officer will be available at all locations to discuss claims and other Department of Veterans Affairs benefits-related questions.

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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