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Veterans Benefits Information

Commander Schmidt: 'Meet me on stage in Reno'

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In his closing remarks to the National Executive Committee members Thursday morning at American Legion National Headquarters in Indianapolis, National Commander Charles E. Schmidt said he wants all 55 department commanders to "meet me on stage in Reno, Nevada" during the organization's upcoming national convention. He wants to recognize the departments not once, but twice – for 100 percent membership and 100 percent submission of Consolidated Post Reports.

He tasked the NECmen with working with their respective department leadership all the way down to the post level to accomplish his goal. "I have a lot more (commander's membership incentive) pins to give out, and I want to see everybody in this room earn one," Schmidt said. "And posts should get credit for all the things that they do."

Schmidt believes that Resolution No. 1 – passed yesterday during the NEC meeting, which will make contact information for newly acquired DMS members available through www.mylegion.org effective July 1 – will give the organization a membership boost for 2018. But he doesn't want members to give up on this membership year because "in effort to carry the Legion's legacy forward, who's going to fill your shoes? Carrying the legacy forward is our responsibility."

The NEC passed 29 resolutions, which will be made available early next week on the Legion's Digital Archive. A few resolutions passed include the establishment of a suicide prevention program under the Legion's TBI/PTSD Committee that will be charged with examining the recent trends of veteran suicide as it relates to traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and military sexual trauma. The program will "analyze best practices in veteran suicide prevention not currently being used" by the Departments of Defense or Veterans Affairs. Another resolution passed will honor a VA physician and health-care provider of the year.

Other resolutions call on the support for memorials in Washington, D.C., that honor the Global War on Terrorism, Desert Storm and Desert Shield and Gold Star Mothers. And to honor the Legion's upcoming centennial, resolutions passed for a centennial postage stamp and coin, and a painting that commemorates the Legion's 100 years.

Meanwhile, on behalf of National Headquarters, Schmidt made a $500 donation to the Department of Mexico's support efforts for the Escuela Legión Americana. The donation will purchase school books and supplies for the children in attendance. Learn more about the history of the school here.


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Career fairs scheduled coast-to-coast

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Check out the rest of May’s career events for veterans, servicemembers and military spouses from coast-to-coast:

May 18: Fort Buchanan Hiring Fair. 9-10 a.m., resume workshop provided by The American Legion; 10:30-11:30 a.m., financial literacy workshop provided by The American Legion; 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., networking lunch; 1-4 p.m., hiring fair. Fort Buchanan Community Club and Conference Center, 660 Depot Road, Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico.

May 18: Fort Belvoir/Springfield Job Fair. 10 a.m.-noon, reserved for candidates who have active security clearance (military and veterans); noon-2 p.m., open to all job seekers. American Legion Post 176, 6520 Amherst Ave., Springfield, Va.

May 23: Boston Hiring Expo with the Boston Red Sox. 9:30-11 a.m., personal branding workshop; 11 a.m.-2 p.m., hiring fair. All registered veterans and military spouses are eligible to receive up to two free tickets to attend that evening's game between the Red Sox and the Texas Rangers. Fenway Park, 4 Yawkey Way, Boston, Mass.

May 23-24: Fort Belvoir Military Spouse Networking Reception and Hiring Fair. Tuesday: 7-9 p.m., networking reception, Capital One Headquarters, 1680 Capital One Drive, McLean, Va. Wednesday: 10 a.m.-1 p.m., hiring fair, Fort Belvoir Community Center, 10300 Taylor Road, Fort Belvoir, Va.

May 24: Veteran and Wounded Warrior Hiring and Support Summit. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., career fair. Doubletree by Hilton Hotel-Seattle Airport, 18740 International Blvd., Seattle, Wash.

May 25: Pensacola Hiring Fair. 8:30-10 a.m., personal branding workshop; 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., hiring fair. Florida Army National Guard Armory, 8790 Grow Drive, Pensacola, Fla.

Follow the links for full details and keep tabs on upcoming career fairs at www.legion.org/careers/jobfairs.


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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 www.worldwar1centennial.org/100-cities-100-memorials-home.


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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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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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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.