Dear American Legion Family Members and Friends,
It’s been a little more than a year since the LEGION Act was signed into law, which extended the ongoing declared period of war back to Dec. 7, 1941. The act paved the way to honor thousands of veterans who were killed or wounded on duty during periods not previously considered wartime.
Notably for The American Legion the LEGION Act — Let Everyone Get Involved in Opportunities for National Service Act — filled in the gaps of membership eligibility. What that means for us is that any veteran with an honorable discharge who served since the day Pearl Harbor was attacked is now eligible to join The American Legion.
For these newly eligible members — roughly 4.2 million — it means they can now join the nation’s largest and most influential veterans service organization, and enjoy the rewards of membership.
But many of these now-eligible members don’t yet realize they can join. They have tried to sign up in the past, only to learn they were not eligible due to the previous definitions of war periods.
So, it is up to us to spread the word and let these deserving veterans know that we are now allowed to welcome them into our family. And what better of a time to do that than this week — American Legion Day is Sept. 16. As you reach out to these non-members, here are some things to know about the LEGION Act.
But communicating with these eligible members is not limited to just today or this week. I know that many of you are planning Veterans Day activities at your post or elsewhere in your community. Be sure to invite these eligible members to these events.
What a wonderful opportunity to welcome them and demonstrate how we continue to serve our great nation, states and communities. And now, these newly eligible members are not only able to observe the great community service we provide, they can serve with us.
Stay safe, my friends and comrades.
For God and country,
James W. “Bill” Oxford