Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Bethany Helwig
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Legion, Auxiliary invite veterans to join

 

November 14, 2019



With celebrations of Veterans Day still fresh in our minds, the American Legion and Auxiliary have put out the call for veterans and active military alike to apply for membership with the recent change in eligibility requirements.

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump signed into law the Let Everyone Get Involved in Opportunities for National Service (LEGION) Act, which changed the service criteria for membership from seven war eras to two: April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918, and December 7, 1941 to the present (or the cessation of hostilities as determined by the U.S. Government). This allows approximately 6 million veterans and active military that had previously been ineligible (as their service was not legally recognized as during “wartime”) to now seek membership.

“Recognizing the service of these wartime veterans is the right thing to do and it is long overdue,” said National Commander Brett Reistad.

Jennifer Halvick, the 8th District Membership Chairman, said that veterans, active military, and reservists “don’t have to be retired to be in the Legion.”

According to Halvick, posts of the Legion and Auxiliary provide scholarships for local communities as well as help with funds for veterans, their families, and the communities in which they live. Honor guards across the country also visit veterans in nursing homes.

Local posts, such as the Peterson Westerberg Post 415 American Legion and Auxiliary, are seeking new members to help keep them running. As the years go on, the number of surviving veterans from previous wars has dwindled, and some officers running the posts have expressed feeling burned out. They hope that with the new legislation more members will join.

Those that served one day of federal service and received an honorable discharge during the newly determined dates, or are currently serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines, can seek access to American Legion programs and benefits.

In addition, the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary changed their bylaws so the word “wife” has been replaced with “spouse.” Therefore, anyone married to a member of the American Legion regardless of their sex is now eligible to join the American Legion Auxiliary.

For more information, visit legion.org or contact your local post.

 

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