Veterans Benefits Information guide to VA benefits

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Veterans Benefits Information

Arctic Blast Promises a Frigid Veterans Day in Midwest

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A cold snap is expected to break temperature records in much of the U.S. this week.

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The Soldiers We Leave Behind

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War, immigration and what it means to be American.

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Legion College graduates leave Indy with tools for membership growth

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On Friday, 57 Legionnaires celebrated a successful week at National American Legion College in Indianapolis, where they gained a deeper knowledge of the organization, developed mentorship and leadership qualities, explained their “why” when it comes to belonging and recruiting, and much more.

At a graduation ceremony in the NEC Room at National Headquarters, Legion College Chancellor and Past National Commander David Rehbein encouraged and challenged the class of 2019 as they prepared to receive their diplomas.

“Your leadership is going to be dependent upon your communication skills,” Rehbein said. “The better they are, the better you can be a leader. Accept criticism, and never let it get personal. If you’re never criticized, you’re never challenged. But make sure the criticism is valid.”

For post meetings, come early and stay late,” he continued “It’s about creating personal relationships. A big part of this is getting to know each other … we’re all in this together.

Finally, “the only time you should be aware of what color of cap you’re wearing is when you look in the mirror. If you act different because you now put on a white cap … that’s a failure. (No matter the color of the Legion cap), deep down we are all blue caps and need to remain blue caps so we can connect with people at the post.”

The Legion College graduates return home with tools and other resources to continue growing as Legionnaires and to help support their departments.

Michael Downs, commander of American Legion Post 1 in Alaska and the department’s second vice commander, wanted to attend Legion College to learn how he can do more for the organization at the local level.

“I want to help more, and I want to have the tools that I need to do that,” Downs said. “I don’t want to be stumbling around in the dark. (This has been) a great experience. Interacting with other folks here has probably been the best part.”

For Patricia Thurston, sergeant at arms for the Department of Maine, she enjoyed sharing ideas and camaraderie with other Legionnaires. “The experience has been very positive,” she said. “Everybody is lifting each other up and working together.”

Networking through Legion College is “the most valuable piece of your experience,” National Commander James Oxford told the graduates. Further, with what they’ve learned, they will sell others on the benefits of belonging to The American Legion. “You are the best commercial that we can have out there.”

As the graduation ceremony concluded, the students presented Oxford with an $1,800 donation to support his fundraising efforts for The American Legion’s Veterans and Children Foundation.

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American Legion welcomes president’s signing of POW/MIA Flag Act

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American Legion National Commander Bill Oxford thanked President Trump for signing a bipartisan act which will require certain prominent federal properties to display the POW/MIA Flag every day with the U.S. Flag.

“Yesterday I was humbled to stand with my fellow veterans inside the Oval Office and watch the president of the United States sign this symbolic but important legislation,” Oxford said. “It is important that Americans never forget that there are still more than 82,000 men and women who were taken prisoner or never had a full accounting. The American Legion reveres their memory and will continue to honor them at all of our meetings. I plan to visit the headquarters of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency later this month to observe their work firsthand. DPAA does a remarkable job of identifying and repatriating so many heroes who paid the ultimate price for freedom. The American Legion is eager to explore additional ways to lend our support.”

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I Never Expected to Protest the Vietnam War While on Active Duty

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In 1969, this Army veteran joined a contingent of active-duty troops at an antiwar rally. That led him to a lifelong career working for peace.

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