The American Legion is welcoming new members from more than  million veterans who were ineligible to join prior to the passage of the LEGION Act. On July 30, 2019, through bipartisan support, President Trump signed a bill that declared the United States has been in a state of war since December 7, 1941, the day Japan attacked the U.S.
Before July 30, many veterans were ineligible to join because war eras were defined by Congress. The recent bill passage and the president’s signature immediately reduced the number of war periods from seven to two and gave many veterans access to American Legion programs such as assistance preparing claims.
The bipartisan LEGION (Let Everyone Get Involved In Opportunities for National Service) Act was fully supported by The American Legion and enables thousands of American veterans who fought for this country but whose military service fell into previously undefined war eras the ability to join The American Legion.
The LEGION Act honors and acknowledges all the servicemembers who were killed or wounded in undeclared periods of war spanning the last 78 years by extending honors to those veterans, their spouses and descendants. Membership eligibility has been expanded through the American Legion Family of organizations such as the Sons of The American Legion (SAL); the American Legion Auxiliary; and the American Legion Riders, many of whom had previously been excluded and are quickly joining the Family.
Jean Wilson, a resident of Harrison, Ohio, likewise made 2019 history when she was elected the Department of Ohio’s first female vice commander. Jean is a dual member of both The American Legion as a Legionnaire (United States Army 1969-1971) and is also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary (the daughter of a veteran). Jean stated, “I love explaining American Legion membership benefits. The American Legion wrote the GI Bill of Rights, so if you have ever attended college or received help buying a home by way of the GI Bill; or if you have ever needed help processing complicated VA medical claims; you can thank The American Legion since these services are available free of charge to all members. The American Legion is actively seeking ways to help all veterans yesterday, today and tomorrow.”