Veterans Benefits Information guide to VA benefits

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Veterans Benefits Information

Beware of scam donation solicitations

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As with holidays, and natural disasters and other times of emergency, the coronavirus pandemic has brought out those attempting to scam people wanting to assist others – including American Legion Family members. Any solicitations for donations should first be confirmed as legitimate before donating.

Over the weekend an email went out to some members of the American Legion Department of Colorado that claimed to be from Department Commander Dean Noechel. The email contained the following request:

"The American Legion Department of Colorado needs some gift cards for donation to Veterans at Hospice and Palliative care units for preventive items for Corona Disease (COVID 19). I have decided to make it a personal duty. I will be responsible for the reimbursement."

The email didn’t come from Noechel, who shared the contents of the email on Facebook to warn others. His post was shared to The American Legion National Headquarters Facebook page, and within an hour another Legionnaire said she’d received a similar email from the Department of California.

Individuals receiving any donation solicitations – email or otherwise – from their posts, departments, National Headquarters or individuals are urged to contact leadership from each respective entity before attempting to donate any funds.

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American Legion discusses coronavirus on FOX News

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American Legion National Legislative Division Director Melissa Bryant appeared on FOX News on March 29 to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and how it's impacting the U.S. military, the Department of Veterans Affairs and The American Legion.

Talking with host Jon Scott on The FOX Report, Bryant spoke on how the military and VA are being used to combat the pandemic across the country. She also discussed how American Legion posts are assisting their communities and military families during this crisis.

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VA fights to flatten the curve against COVID-19

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The Department of Veterans Affairs is working directly with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and federal partners to monitor the outbreak of the virus and implement an aggressive public health response to the novel COVID-19 pandemic. To date, VA has administered over 7,425 COVID-19 tests nationwide while taking steps to prevent the spread of the virus.

Measures include outreach to veteran patients and staff, screening at VA health care facilities, and protective procedures for VA’s most vulnerable patients admitted to community living centers and spinal cord injury units.

“The American people can be proud that we have the most comprehensive veterans assistance of any nation in the world. And all of us can be assured that the VA is ready to help stop the spread of the coronavirus,” wrote VA Secretary Robert Wilkie in a Military Times op-ed. “The VA has proudly served as a frontline responder after natural disasters such as the hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico and our southern states, and VA is preparing to play that role again during this national emergency,” said Wilkie. “In fact, we have already deployed some of our staff to assist the Department of Health and Human Services, and we are working directly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal partners to monitor the outbreak.”

In efforts to bolster medical staffs, VA requested a waiver from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to make it easier for the department to rehire retired VA health care workers and which will help VA health care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. VA is inviting interested retired physicians, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technicians, respiratory therapists and other medical professionals to register online.

“This action helps give the department surge capacity as needed,” said Wilkie. “On behalf of all the veterans we serve, I thank OPM for its quick action and invite our retired health care workers to consider coming back to VA during this crucial time.”

To do your part in flattening the curve in the COVID-19 pandemic, VA and the CDC released these advised precautions:

  • Practice social distancing

  • Get a flu shot

  • Keep your hands clean by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

  • Avoid people who are sick

  • Stay home and away from others when sick

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with tissues or your arm/sleeve. Dispose of tissues in the trash.

  • Keep surfaces clean using disinfecting wipes

  • Check the CDC advisories prior to planning travel.

For the latest VA updates on coronavirus and common-sense tips on preventing the spread of disease, visit

Stay informed on message from American Legion National Commander James W. "Bill" Oxford and other news stories regarding the coronavirus at

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Pandemic Mars Putin’s Coronation and Endangers Russia’s Veterans

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President Vladimir Putin’s grand plans to celebrate the 75th anniversary of victory in World War II, and his own leadership, may be foiled by the coronavirus, which also threatens war heroes.

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Toolkit can help posts conduct Buddy Checks during the pandemic

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A new toolkit to help American Legion posts touch base with veterans in their communities during the coronavirus pandemic is now available. “How to Perform a Buddy Check During the Coronavirus Pandemic” offers tips about how to reach veterans who may be sheltering and social distancing to find out if they need assistance.

The toolkit explains how to assemble a Buddy Check team and how to acquire the names of Legionnaires, past and present, so they can be contacted. The kit also has sample scripts for Buddy Check callers.

Click here to download the toolkit.

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Did you know?

Military Funeral Honors ceremonies must be scheduled in advance.

The law requires that every eligible veteran receive a military funeral honors ceremony, which includes the folding and presentation of the United States flag and the playing of “taps,” upon the family’s request. This Department of Defense program calls for the funeral director to request military funeral honors on behalf of the veteran’s family.