Veterans Benefits Information guide to VA benefits

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Veterans Benefits Information

Legion air rifle tournament names top 30 competitors

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In November of 2016, more than 1,300 youth entered round one of The American Legion’s Junior Shooting Sports individual postal match competition for a chance to qualify for the Legion’s 27th annual Junior 3-Position Air Rifle National Championships. The top 30 marksmen have been named and will be traveling to Colorado in July to compete. See the names of competitors here.

The championships will be held July 18-23 at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

During the competition, the participants in both the precision and sporter category will shoot a .177 caliber air rifle in three positions – prone, standing and kneeling. One competitor in each respective category will win the championship and a $5,000 scholarship provided by the Legion and Sons of The American Legion. A $1,000 scholarship, provided by the Auxiliary, will be awarded to the second-place finisher in each category.

The precision and sporter champion also will also receive an expense paid trip to The American Legion’s national convention in Reno, Nev. The champions will be honored Aug. 18-22 alongside other Legion youth program champions.

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Final 100 Cities/100 Memorials deadline coming soon

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The final deadline for entries to the 100 Cities/100 Memorials fund-matching program is June 15.

The U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library announced the program in 2016, which seeks to help people across the country restore and preserve local World War I memorials. It was adopted by The American Legion by Resolution 19, passed in May 2016 by the National Executive Committee.

Projects eligible for consideration stretch from anything finished after Jan. 1, 2014, through anything scheduled to be finished by Nov. 11, 2018. All submissions will receive national exposure via the commission's website, and tools to help project participants publicize their efforts in their own communities.

A number of Legion-led projects are included among the submissions; for example, Department of Utah National Executive Committeeman Terry Schow helped bring together a team from Ogden, Utah, that includes Legion Post 9, local DAR and Kiwanis chapters and more to restore a doughboy statue in the city cemetery.

Learn more about 100 Cities/100 Memorials and its timelines at

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National commander: Reschedule Choice hearing immediately

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National Commander Charles Schmidt issued the following statement following the cancellation of Wednesday’s Senate Committee Hearing on Veterans’ Affairs hearing examining the Department of Veterans Affairs Choice Program and the future of care in the community:

“The Choice program is critical to the health care of our veterans,. We respectfully urge the Senate to immediately reschedule the hearing that was cancelled today. Through their service, America’s veterans have earned the right to receive quality and efficient health care, regardless of where they decide to call home.”

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Hands across the border

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National Commander Charles E. Schmidt shakes hands across the U.S.-Canadian border with Past Department of Montana Commander/Past FODPAL President Jim Grosset.

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Legion awards Eagle Scout of the Year to Tennessee youth

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Scott Moore Jr., was named The American Legion’s Eagle Scout of the Year for 2017 on May 10, during the Legion’s annual Spring Meetings in Indianapolis. A senior at Northeast High School in Clarksville, Tenn., and a member of Boy Scout Troop 562, Moore will receive a $10,000 college scholarship.

Moore’s Eagle Scout project took place at The Well, which is a homeless shelter and food ministry in downtown Clarksville. He tore out the worn-out counters that were too high for serving food and replaced them with two new ones that he constructed, sanded and painted; built a wall and locking door in the bathroom to create a storage closet for dry goods and cleaning supplies; held three food drives that resulted in 1,700 canned and boxed goods; and put together 200 hygiene packets for men and women staying at the shelter. He completed his Eagle Scout project by raising more than $1,400 and asking for toiletry donations from hotels in the area.

Since 2010, Moore has held several leadership positions with Troop 562, such as a senior patrol leader, quartermaster and junior assistant Scoutmaster. And he’s achieved many successes as a Boy Scout, including becoming a member of the Order of the Arrow, and attending Boy Scout of America’s Kodiak Challenge and National Youth Leadership Training program. His volunteer efforts within the community include feeding homeless veterans, helping to plant 1,000 trees, restoring cemeteries, constructing wheelchair accessible picnic tables at parks, and more. He is a JROTC battalion commander for 191 cadets and has won the JROTC Superior Cadet Award, U.S. Army Recruiting Command Award for JROTC and the JROTC Academic Achievement Ribbon three times.

After high school graduation, the Kentucky American Legion Boys State alum will be fulfilling a lifelong dream: attending West Point. His career path while there will be aviation, just like his father Scott Moore Sr., who is still serving on active duty and is an American Legion member of Post 233 in Kentucky.

“Being a military child has taught me to improvise, adapt and overcome in all situations,” Moore said. “My motto is: If you throw me to the wolves, I will return leading the pack!”

Moore said his active involvement with Boy Scouts and JROTC, and his participation with Boys State and leadership courses within his community, was all in preparation for his acceptance into and time at West Point where “I want to learn to be an outstanding officer and continue to test myself," he said. "The prospect of becoming one of the nation’s elite soldiers and graduates of a school steeped in centuries of deep-rooted tradition motivated me to do whatever it would take to gain acceptance into West Point. I wanted to serve my country!”

As the 2017 Eagle Scout of the Year, Moore will join other Legion youth program champions during the organization’s national convention in Reno, Nev., in August.

The American Legion also awarded a $2,500 scholarship to three runners-up: Mitchell Woods of Hampton, Va.; Jonathan Huntley of Westfield, Mass.; and Koen Weaver of Mount Morris, N.Y.

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Did you know?

A veteran’s family must request a United States flag.

A flag is provided at no cost to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran. Generally, the flag is given to the next of kin. Only one flag may be provided per veteran. Upon the request of the family, an “Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes” (VA Form 21-2008) must be submitted along with a copy of the veteran’s discharge papers. Flags may be obtained from VA regional offices and most U.S. Post Offices.