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Veterans Benefits Information

Second episode of American Legion centennial documentary released

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Before The American Legion celebrated its 100th birthday last month, the first two episodes of the newly produced centennial documentary on the history and influence of The American Legion, "To Strengthen a Nation," were released.

Watch "To Strengthen a Nation: Prelude" and "Episode 1: Formation of The American Legion." The episodes are available on The American Legion's YouTube channel.

The second episode of "To Strengthen a Nation" has been released – "Episode 2: Mutual Helpfulness." This episode focuses on The American Legion helping its fellow veterans through service officers, the GI Bill, Agent Orange benefits, and more.

“To Strengthen a Nation” has professional actors, who are also Legionnaires, crisscrossing the country to discover how The American Legion was formed, grew, and serves community, state and nation today. Episodes will be posted monthly or bimonthly between now and the 101st National Convention in Indianapolis in late August.

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American Legion Child Welfare Foundation awards grant for autism research

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The American Legion’s Child Welfare Foundation (CWF) awarded the Organization for Autism Research (OAR) a grant April 16 that will aid in the printing and distribution of a revised resource “A Parent's Guide to Research: 2019 Outreach.” The revised guide will provide parents with information about autism, explain the differences in information resources, and give them the tools to interpret and apply findings to their individual situation and needs.

OAR is a national nonprofit organization in Arlington, Va., that was founded and led by parents and grandparents of children with autism. They work to provide new and useful information to members of the autism community, and promote initiatives that enhance the quality of life for individuals with autism.

The $14,250 grant was presented to OAR Executive Director Michael Maloney and Director of Research and Programs Kimberly Ha by American Legion Finance Commission member George Lussier and Department of Virginia's National Executive Alternative Committeeman Linden Dixon Jr.

The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation was founded to contribute to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual welfare of children and youth. CWF accomplishes this mission by promoting child welfare through dissemination of knowledge about research, studies, surveys, projects, or by supporting programs and activities benefiting the welfare of children and youth.

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The American Legion: Notre Dame is ‘gift to humanity’

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American Legion National Commander Brett P. Reistad expressed his condolences to the people of France in a statement issued today following the recent fire at Notre Dame cathedral.

“On behalf of the entire American Legion Family, I offer condolences to the people of France for the tragic fire that engulfed Notre Dame cathedral,” Reistad said. “The American Legion was founded in Paris. We still maintain an American Legion presence there. We will always have a strong connection to the nation that aided us during our revolution and has been a strong ally ever since.

"For eight centuries Notre Dame has been France’s gift to humanity. We are grateful for the brave firefighters who prevented this precious landmark from becoming a total loss. In June, I will visit France to participate in D-Day observances. I plan to personally convey my condolences to the many French officials and citizens that I will meet during my visit to that great country. Let there be no doubt that this nation that has seen so much destruction over two world wars will rebuild this magnificent structure.”

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University of Akron veterans participating in suicide awareness walk

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Members of American Legion University of Akron Post 808 in Ohio and others will participate in a suicide awareness walk on April 28 at the university.

The April 28 event is one of more than 150 Out of the Darkness suicide awareness campus walks taking place this spring across the country. The walks, sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, are aimed at raising funds and awareness alike.

Post 808 Commander Daryll Mauder said they’re hoping “for the biggest turnout yet” for the walk, which will take place at 1 p.m. April 28 at Stile Field House on the University of Akron campus. Those seeking to join the UA Veterans team or to donate can do so by clicking here.

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

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American Legion to attend Tattoo festival next week

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The 23rd annual Virginia International Tattoo – a world-class event in Norfolk that that draws in more than 45,000 people to honor America’s military, patriotism and freedom through music, marching, pageantry, panel discussions and more – gets underway Thursday, April 25 in Norfolk, Va., at the Scope Arena. The American Legion will have two distinguished American Legion women at this year’s celebration with its theme "Celebrating Women in Service to the Nation."

American Legion Past National Commander Denise Rohan and American Legion 100th Anniversary Honorary Committee member Diane Carlson Evans, a Vietnam War combat nurse, will be present at the Tattoo. And The American Legion will display its four-panel “100 Years for God and Country” chronology exhibit at the festival where hundreds of other exhibitors and vendors will be present.

Rohan and Evans will attend the NATO flag raising ceremony the evening of April 25 and participate in the Courage, Commitment and Leadership Forum: Extraordinary Women of the U.S. Military on Friday, April 26, from 1:30-3 p.m. inside the Scope Arena. The event is free and open to the public. Rohan and Evans also will be recognized and honored during the Tattoo Finale later that evening.

Other events where they will be in attendance include the 66th annual Parade of Nations on Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m.

The Virginia International Tattoo began in 1997, and is the signature event of the Virginia Arts Festival with over 1,000 performers from around the world. The attraction draws in people from over 45 states and more than eight nations to watch “the largest spectacle of music and might in the United States,” with a display of military music, massed pipes and drums, drill teams, heavy athletics, colorful dances, and much more.

For more information on the 2019 Virginia International Tattoo and how to attend, please visit

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