WELCOME TO THE AMERICAN LEGION

America's Largest Veterans Service Organization

myLegion.org Icon
Social IconsSocial IconsSocial IconsSocial IconsSocial Icons
2018 - 2019 National Commander
Brett P. Reistad
 
You are Team 100
By Brett Reistad, National Commander
Sep 10, 2018
 
 
 
As I prepare to lead The American Legion during its centennial year, I believe this is an opportunity to promote and educate communities nationwide about the organization’s history, four pillars, programs, and contributions to veterans and their families. To support this effort, I have chosen Team 100 to be our centennial membership theme - to bring all our resources to bear, increase our membership and start our second century of service off on the right foot.
You, my fellow Legionnaires, are Team 100. And I need your commitment to achieve this success, just as you once committed yourself to serving your country.

If we use the Team 100 concept effectively and everyone takes ownership, we can’t fail. Remember that each of us are stakeholders in this great organization.
Team 100 includes every member of the American Legion Family who has the talent and ability to guide our organization to achieve an increase in membership to begin our next 100 years. Eligible members are out there. Our role is to find them, to educate them about The American Legion, and to engage them, make them feel welcome and encourage them to participate.
 
During my national commander campaign travels to American Legion departments, I met a Legionnaire in Montana that was a recruiter. He came to me and said, “You know those future members are out there. They just need to be asked to be Legionnaires.” And he’s absolutely right.

A wise man once said, “In order to succeed, we must believe that we can.” I not only believe that we can, I know we can. I truly believe that you are the right team at the right time.
Success isn’t just about what you accomplished in your life. It’s about what you inspire others to do. I want to see us inspire each other. As a former grunt, I picked the infantry motto, “Follow me.” So follow me as we go forth to make history of our own.
Team 100!

Meet the National Commander

Brett P. Reistad was elected national commander of The American Legion on Aug. 30, 2018, in Minneapolis during the organization's 100th national convention. He has been a member of the nation's largest veterans organization since 1981.

A resident of Manassas, Va., Reistad is a life member and past commander of Post 270 in McLean. The Department of Virginia reached an all-time high in membership while he served as department commander from 2005-2006. He retired as a lieutenant with the Fairfax County Police Department after 26 years of service and began a second career as a law enforcement services coordinator for the Regional Organized Crime Information Center of the Regional Information Sharing Systems Program, a congressionally funded law enforcement investigative assistance program of the U.S. Department of Justice. He holds a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice from Virginia's Bluefield College.

Reistad's American Legion membership eligibility is through his honorable Vietnam War-era service (1974-1978) as an active duty U.S. Army infantryman where he served with the Presidential Salute Battery of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) at historic Fort Myer, Va. He participated in the inaugural ceremony for President Carter and other high-profile ceremonies. He has since been honored as a Distinguished Member of the Regiment.

Reistad has served at every level of The American Legion. He is a past president and honorary life member of the National American Legion Press Association. He recently completed a six-year appointment as chairman of the Department Legislative Committee and two three-year terms as a gubernatorial appointee to the Commonwealth of Virginia's Joint Leadership Council of Veterans Service Organizations where he helped coordinate the input of 23 veterans service organizations in crafting veteran-friendly legislation and advocating the proposed legislation before the governor and General Assembly. He is also a tenured past department historian and was recently bestowed an honorary life membership by the National Association of Department Historians of the American Legion.

He is a past Legionnaire of the Year from Post 270 and a member of the Sons of The American Legion Squadron 10 in Manassas. His wife, Jessica, and his family, are proud members of the American Legion Family.

His theme as national commander is "Celebrating Our Legacy," with special emphasis on the organization's centennial.


NATIONAL COMMANDERS NEWS

Posted 7 April 2018
JOIN DONATE RENEW
Final 100 Cities/100 Memorial grant recipients named
Legion involved with several winners, also designated as national centennial memorials.
Read more
Add a memorial to our database
Help national World War I commission get the word out
Read more
Share this email:
 
Share  
 
 
 
Tweet  
 
 
 
Email  
 
 

 
Kentucky Post 113 draws big crowd to honor Vietnam veterans
Read more
 
An embrace of sovereignty
 
Read more
National commander featured on C-SPAN
Read more
MORE HEADLINES

GI Bill exhibit makes stop at Montana Military Museum
Read more
Bataan survivor Ben Skardon participates in Bataan Memorial Death March
Read more
'Broken Arrows' in South Carolina and Greenland
 
Read more
Legionnaire reflects on Paralympic experience
Read more
 
Anti-litter movement educates youth
Read more
11 departments win Big Twelve Competition
Read more
Service. Patriotism. Camaraderie. Join Us
True or False: Once the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 was signed into law, The American Legion let it evolve naturally under federal management.
Find out here
 
CWF application online, submissions start May 1
Read more
Veterans train to better assist each other
Read more
 
 
Coast Guard retires cutter Sherman after long storied legacy
Read more
 
USAA Tips: This year, trade lucky for good
Read more
A packed schedule of career events in April
Read more
53 youth headed to Indianapolis for National Oratorical Contest
Read more
 
Membership effort coming to Hot Springs area in Wyoming
Read more
Puerto Rico hosting membership training, benefits assistance
Read more
Legacy Scholarship deadline is April 9th
Apply here
Donate to the Legacy Scholarship


Posted 7 March 2018

JOIN

DONATE

RENEW

Legion members attend post meetings virtually

American Legion posts in New York and Ohio use online video conferencing to stay innovative and to keep members involved.

Read more

 
 
 
 

Share this email:

 

 

Share

 

 

 

 

Tweet

 

 

 

 

Email

 

 

 

Share your March 15th Legion birthday celebration on Legiontown

Share your story

 
 
 
 

The 2018 American Legion Birthday Speech

 
 
 
 
 

 

MORE HEADLINES

New Mexico’s mid-winter conference ‘taxes’ raise over $1,200 for youth programs

Read more

 
 
 
 

Legion posts: File IRS Form 990

Read more

 
 
 
 

Nearly 1,400 Legion posts honored for membership

Read more

 
 
 
 

Join The American Legion

 
 
 
 

The American Legion’s Legislative Agenda booklet

Download here

 
 
 
 

President seeks $12 billion increase for VA programs

Read more

 
 
 
 

American Legion announces Veteran Entrepreneur Contest

Read more

 
 
 
 
 

Posted 2 March 2018

JOIN

DONATE

Rohan to Congress: We exist to strengthen America

American Legion National Commander Denise H. Rohan testified before a joint session of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans' Affairs.

Read more

 
 
 
 

  Share this email:

 

Share

 

Tweet

 

Email

 

Praise for past efforts, focus on new ones

Read more

 
 
 
 

2018 WASHINGTON CONFERENCE COVERAGE

 
 
 
 

VETERANS AFFAIRS AND REHABILITATION

Shulkin outlines VA's top five priorities

Read more

 
 
 
 

Roe: 'VA isn't going anywhere'

Read more

 
 
 
 

VA: Trust being regained, but work remains

Read more

 
 
 
 

Tester to Legion: I stand with you in opposing VA privatization

Read more

 
 
 
 

JOBS FOR VETERANS

Job fair puts veterans face-to-face with prospective employers

Read more

 
 
 
 

Commission considers challenges facing job-seeking veterans

Read more

 
 
 
 

The role of the résumé: 'an introduction' to a job interview

Read more

 
 
 
 

Legion’s Employment Innovations Taskforce convenes for first time

Read more

 
 
 
 

Tools to help transitioning servicemembers considered

Read more

 
 
 
 

Subscribe to the monthly Career Center e-newsletter

Learn more

 
 
 
 

MORE FROM D.C.

Legionnaires updated on defense budgeting, cybersecurity and TRICARE

Read more

 
 
 
 

Patriot Award goes to Vietnam combat nurse

Read more

 
 
 
 

VA Physician, Provider of Year honored

Read more

 
 
 
 

Preventing suicide 'left of boom'

Read more

 
 
 
 

Legionnaires rally in D.C. before storming the Hill

Read more

 
 
 
 

Subscribe to the Legislative Update e-newsletter

Read more

 
 
 
 

MORE HEADLINES

National Commander Rohan guest speaks as NPC Headliners Newsmaker

Read more

 
 
 
 

Legion announces Veteran Entrepreneur Contest

Read more

 
 
 
 

Legion honors the fallen with 25,000-poppy wreath

Read more

 
 
 
 

Army bobsledders 19th, 20th in Olympics finale

Read more

 
 
 
 

Registration now open for ALR Northwest romp

Read more

 
 
 
 

Veterans outreach scheduled for Missouri

Read more

 
 
 
 

75th anniversary of Operation Gunnerside, the Norwegian raid on the Heavy Water plant of the Nazis.

Read more

 
 
 
 

USAA Tips: Is a yard sale worth the hassle?

Read more

 
 
 
 

Why You Should Join The American Legion

Become a member

 
 
 
 
 

Posted 28 Februaru 2018
 

JOIN

DONATE

Hosing down the competition

Virginia fire organization houses custom-built mini engine used in Legion national commander bid.

Read more

 
 
 
 

Share this email:

 

Share

 

Tweet

 

Email

 

Join The American Legion

 
 
 
 

Post 307, New Orleans
Post 307’s Centennial Celebration page includes a picture dating to the late 1950s or early 1960s, showing John Guirovich Jr. (past post commander and 1972-1973 Louisiana department commander), left, and Norman Paternostra (original charter member and past post commander) doing a ceremonial burning of the mortgage for Post 307’s former home on Magazine Street.

Read more

 
 
 
 

Entire Legion Family welcome at 100th National Convention

Read more

 
 
 
 

California post honors the centennial of its namesake’s death

Read more

 
 
 
 

HEADLINES

 

 

Posted 20 February 2018

 

JOIN

DONATE

RENEW

 

Legacy Scholarship changes lives

Dear American Legion Family and Friends,


Like all parents Sheryl Johnson wants the best for her children, emphasizing the importance of a college education. As a single mother, she had spent many hours at her kitchen table, calculator in hand, trying to figure out how to make college payments for her oldest child, DeAndre Johns.

Johnson, a 10-year Army veteran with an 80 percent VA disability rating, eagerly awaited hearing about whether DeAndre would receive a Legacy Scholarship from The American Legion. Once the news came last spring, it changed everything.

“When I got the scholarship, it did feel like a jump start,” said DeAndre, a freshman majoring in petroleum engineering at Texas Tech University. “It made it feel like this is real. I can make my place in the world because of the scholarship.

Johnson is a first-generation college graduate. “College to me is everything,” she said. “I am so thankful that he got this scholarship because it helps us tremendously.”

Their story is among hundreds that have been made possible by American Legion Family members over the years. Just last year, 55 recipients received the needs-based scholarship to help pay for college.

The April 9 application deadline for the 2018-19 school year may seem a long way off. But it’s really not. Students should not hesitate to begin learning about the scholarship and compiling information.

Those scholarships are made possible by the dedication of our American Legion Riders who have annually helped raise $1 million or more for these scholarships. These donations are turned into scholarships for children whose parents have either died on active duty since 9/11 or have a combined VA disability rating of 50 percent or greater.

These scholarships not only help students afford college, they change lives and inspire young minds. Jacob Mussi, a physics student at Boston University, is another recipient who is full of gratitude for the American Legion Family.

“Thank you goes without saying. Thank you so much,” he said. “When you have a cause that’s important like (The American Legion Legacy Scholarship), just taking not only time out of your day but money out of your wallet to support somebody else’s problems is a type of generosity that I hope to have someday.”



Family First.


Denise H. Rohan
National Commander

 

FAQs for applicants, donors and others

 
 
 
 

Share this email:

 

 

Share

 

 

 

 

Tweet

 

 

 

 

Email

 

 

 

 

MORE HEADLINES

Lincoln’s legacy remembered at pilgrimage

Read more

 
 
 
 

Tune in to watch the Commander's Call live

Learn more

 
 
 
 

 
Posted 1 January 2018
 
 
 

Posted 30 December 2017
 
Keith Kreul Update
 
http://www.wilegion.org/view/image/nc_kreul.keith.jpg
 
 Keith A. Kreul, age 89, of Fennimore, died on Thursday Dec. 28, 2017 at the Grant Regional Health Center in Lancaster. He was born on April 21, 1928 in Mt. Ida Township, Grant Co., WI, the son of Harry and Elsie (Wehrle) Kreul. He was united in marriage to Dolores Morfey on Feb. 14, 1953.
 
Following graduation from high school, Keith attended and received his bachelor’s degree from U.W. Madison in Mechanical Engineering. In Oct. of 1951, he enlisted in the U.S. Army until being honorable discharged in Oct. of 1953. Keith was employed at Fairbanks-Morse in Beloit until he moved back to Fennimore and joined his father on the family farm operating under the name “Diamond K Farms”. In 1966, he was a part of the Fennimore Good Samaritan Society Steering Committee, which was instrumental in the building of the nursing home. Keith also held various positions within state organizations. In 1970, Keith was Chairman of the WI Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service, 1971, State Executive Director of that USDA agency, he managed the WI ASCS office in Madison, 1981, and Keith was appointed State Director Farmers Home Administration. He was also very active in the American Legion post #184; serving as County Commander from 1964-1966; District Commander from 1970-1972; Department Commander from 1973-1974. In 1979, he was elected National Vice Commander and in 1981 was appointed Chairman of the National Legislative Commission, and in 1983, Keith was elected National Commander. In 1985, Keith accepted a district director position with the ASCS agency where he held that position until Nov. of 1996 when he retired.
 
Keith is survived by his beloved wife of 64 years; Dolores of Fennimore, four children; Jeff (Lorie) Kreul of Madison, John (Karen) Kreul of Fennimore, Jim Kreul of Fennimore, Kim (Steve) Schroeder of Dodgeville, nine grandchildren and eight great grandchildren along with several nieces and nephews.
 
Keith was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers; infant LeRoy, Richard “Dick”, and Roger Kreul.
At the request of Keith and his family, there will be no formal memorial services held at this time. A private burial with Military honors will be held at a later date at the Prairie Cemetery in Fennimore. Memorials may be given to the Fennimore American Legion Post #184 or the charity of your choice in loving memory of Keith A. Kreul. The Larson Family Funeral Home of Fennimore is assisting the family.

Posted 29 December2017

Chaplain's Alert for December 29, 2017-Kreul

http://www.wilegion.org/view/image/nc_kreul.keith.jpg

It is with great sadness that we share the passing of PDC (1973-1974) and PNC (1983-1984) Keith A. Kreul.
Arrangements are pending and will be shared when they become available.

Condolences may be sent to:

Larson Family Funeral Home
C/O Kreul Family
925 10th St.
Fennimore, WI 53809

 


Posted 22 December 2017

http://editor.ne16.com/the-american-legion/ALOU_DD_Header.jpg

JOIN

DONATE

http://editor.ne16.com/the-american-legion/122117_ALOU_P1.jpg

Single mom, son relish college ‘milestone,’ thanks to Legacy Scholarship

DeAndre Johns of Texas said he can "make a place in this world" because of The American Legion.

Read more

 
 
 
 

Donate to The American Legion Legacy Scholarship

 
 
 
 

Share this email:

Share

 

Tweet

 

Email

 

http://editor.ne16.com/the-american-legion/120717_USAA_Ad.jpg

http://editor.ne16.com/the-american-legion/122117_ALOU_BigQ.jpg

http://editor.ne16.com/the-american-legion/122117_ALOU_P2.jpg

Indiana Blue Star Spirit of Christmas: An ‘incredible day of giving’

Read more

 
 
 
 

http://editor.ne16.com/the-american-legion/122117_ALOU_P2_2.jpg

A mission of honor and remembrance by Riders in Illinois

Read more

 
 
 
 

http://editor.ne16.com/the-american-legion/122117_ALOU_P2_3.jpg

Tampa post honors veterans on Wreaths Across America Day

Read more

 
 
 
 

http://editor.ne16.com/the-american-legion/122117_ALOU_P22_2.jpg

Vietnam Marine and Purple Heart recipient Glenn Shelton laid to rest as almost 300 strangers attend his Memorial Service

Read more

 
 
 
 

 

Veterans. Defense. Youth. Americanism. Communities. JOIN US

 
 
 
 

OTHER HEADLINES

 

http://editor.ne16.com/the-american-legion/122117_ALOU_P3.jpg

Legion applauds VA’s updated guidance on medical marijuana

Read more

 
 
 
 

http://editor.ne16.com/the-american-legion/122117_ALOU_P3_2.jpg

Iowa Legion post gets $20,000 'surprise'

Read more

 
 
 
 

http://editor.ne16.com/the-american-legion/122117_ALOU_P3_3.jpg

OCW helps VA patients deliver Christmas to family members

Read more

 
 
 
 

http://editor.ne16.com/the-american-legion/122117_ALOU_P4.jpg

I Am The American Legion: Josh Clement

Read more

 
 
 
 

See more IATAL videos

 
 
 
 

http://editor.ne16.com/the-american-legion/122117_ALOU_P4_3.jpg

USAA Tips: More advice on setting financial goals for the new year

Read more

 
 
 
 

http://editor.ne16.com/the-american-legion/122117_ALOU_P4_2.jpg

Honor and Remembrance: Looking back at the Tet Offensive

Read more

 
 
 
 

http://editor.ne16.com/the-american-legion/122117_ALOU_P5.jpg

TALARC members help fulfill dying veteran’s last request

Read more

 
 
 
 

Sign up for the TALARC monthly e-newsletter

 
 
 
 

http://editor.ne16.com/the-american-legion/122117_ALOU_P5_2.jpg

EMP threat ‘as real as the sun’

Read more

 
 
 
 

http://editor.ne16.com/the-american-legion/122117_ALOU_P5_3.jpg

A place to land

Read more

 
 
 
 

http://editor.ne16.com/the-american-legion/122117_ALOU_P6.jpg

A question of intervention

Read more

 
 
 
 
 

Posted 14 December 2017

JOIN

DONATE

RENEW

Bipartisan support for legislation expanding caregiver benefits

The American Legion and other VSOs call for passage of S. 2193 to expand VA’s caregiver support program and benefits for all disabled veterans.

Read more

 
 
 
 

Learn more about the Caring for Our Veterans Act of 2017

 
 
 
 

Share this email:

 

Share

 

 

Tweet

 

 

Email

 

 

 

Become a member of The American Legion

 
 
 
 

OTHER HEADLINES

National Wreaths Across America Day is Dec. 16

Read more

 
 
 
 

American Legion National Commander Rohan reflects on day of infamy

Read more

 
 
 
 

Legion Family members nationwide deliver the holiday spirit

Read more

 
 
 
 

RIP Clarence Beavers, last of the all-black paratrooper 'Triple Nickles'

Read more

 
 
 
 

More from the Burn Pit

 
 
 
 

Army edges Navy, wins first Commander-in-Chief’s trophy in 21 years

Read more

 
 
 
 

Navy misses field goal on final play, Army wins for second year in a row

Read more

 
 
 
 

Legion testifies on pre-discharge programs for separating servicemembers

Read more

 
 
 
 

USAA Tips: How to set financial goals for the new year

Read more

 
 
 
 

Military health discussion at National Defense Forum

Read more

 
 
 
 

Legion Baseball alums Morris and Trammell elected into HoF

Read more

 
 
 
 

Subscribe to the Dugout e-newsletter

 
 
 
 

A salute of honor to hospice veterans

Read more

 
 
 
 

Palm Springs ham club to host chat with Santa

Read more

 
 
 
 
 

Posted 12 December 2017

JOIN

DONATE

RENEW

A salute of honor to hospice veterans

Legion Family members from four posts in Illinois volunteer with the Quad County Hospice No Veteran Will Die Alone program. 

Read more

 
 
 
 

Share this email:

 

 

Share

 

 

 

 

Tweet

 

 

 

 

Email

 

 

 

Commander’s message: OCW program helps families all year-round

Read more

 
 
 
 

Adjutant’s message: Legion Family delivers the spirit of Christmas to children

Read more

 
 
 
 

OTHER HEADLINES

Legion membership promotion terminated

Read more

 
 
 
 

Painting gives recognition to the fallen during Christmas

Read more

 
 
 
 

Help build the Legion’s database of veterans memorials

Read more

 
 
 
 

Legislation proposed, enacted into law that affects veterans

Read more

 
 
 
 

96-year-old World War II veteran joins the Legion

Read more

 
 
 
 

Wyoming post launches Students 4 Veterans program

Read more

 
 
 
 

Membership message: Engage first-year members

Read more

 
 
 
 
 

Posted 28 November 2017
Your kind contributions directly benefit those who need support most.
JOIN DONATE RENEW

Help us help veterans and children on Giving Tuesday
 
Dear American Legion Family and Friends,  

In the spirit of giving this holiday season, I encourage you to consider a donation to the Commander’s Charity Fund. Perhaps there is no better day than today, Giving Tuesday, to generously give to programs that help veterans and children in need.

Throughout the year, American Legion service officers work tirelessly to help veterans understand and apply for the benefits they’ve earned through military service. Your donation to the Commander’s Charity Fund directly helps service officers and stands as an investment into the long-term needs of those who have served our country in uniform. 

Donations to the Commander’s Charity Fund also supply much-needed resources for The American Legion’s Temporary Financial Assistance program. This special fund is for veterans and military families who are facing economic difficulties with minor children at home. While supporting these families 365 days a year is important, there is no better time than now to offer your assistance during this time of giving.  

Join me and other American Legion Family members across the nation in pledging our support -- $25, $50, $100 or whatever amount you feel is appropriate – to help our veterans and military families in need. To donate, please visit www.legion.org/donate  

Family First.

Denise H. Rohan
National Commander
Share this email:
 
Share  
 
 
 
Tweet  
 
 
 
Email  
 
 
'This is what The American Legion is about'
Read more

Donate to the Commander's Charity Fund
Donate here

'Family First' hits New York City
Read more
 

20 November 2017

JOIN

DONATE

10 fallen heroes from the War on Terror come home in an artistic tribute

The mural painted by SAL member and artist Mike Sekletar and Brian Goodwin of Amherst, Ohio, was unveiled on Veterans Day before Gold Star families, Legionnaires, community.

Honor wins out over cold temps in NYC

Read more

 
 
 
 

More Veterans Day headlines

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this email:

 

 

Share

 

 

 

 

Tweet

 

 

 

 

Email

 

 

 

New naval asset named for Legionnaire Woody Williams

Read more

 
 
 
 

More Medal of Honor headlines

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

OTHER HEADLINES

Virginia post restores cannon from World War I

Read more

 
 
 
 

D.C. area program provides vehicle for veterans to put skills into context

Read more

 
 
 
 

U.S. Department of Labor announces new HIRE Vets Medallion Program

Read more

 
 
 
 

Beyond the common knowledge of World War I

Read more

 
 
 
 

Boys State 'really is for everyone'

Read more

 
 
 
 

Legion celebrates passage of commemorative coin bill

Read more

 
 
 
 

PBS presents: "VA: The Human Cost of War"

Read more

 
 
 
 

Ride 2 Recovery California Challenge escorted by Riders

Read more

 
 
 
 

Double amputee veteran runs 31 marathons in 31 days

Read more

 
 
 
 

Legacy Scholarship helps daughter of a disabled veteran follow dreams

Read more

 
 
 
 

Apply now

 
 
 
 

Support National Family Week, Nov. 19-25

Read more

 
 
 
 

Download the “National Family Week” brochure

 
 
 
 
 

Posted 9 November 2017
JOIN DONATE RENEW
 

America has been blessed by its veterans
 
As mass murders, terrorist attacks and devastating natural disasters dominate recent news, it is easy to despair. But as Veterans Day approaches, we have the opportunity to focus on something positive. For it is usually veterans who protect us and come to our aid during the most desperate times.

Although the forces of Mother Nature cannot be stopped, there is a good chance that those handling the majority of rescues following a hurricane or other natural disaster are military veterans. Whether it’s a Coast Guard search and rescue team or a police officer with prior military service, they risk their own lives to save others.

Like many Americans, I was struck by a viral photograph that circulated the web following the horrific attack in Las Vegas last month. The New York Post published the picture with the not-surprising headline, “Hero who shielded woman from Vegas carnage is a U.S. soldier.”

The heartbreaking image of a brave man using his entire body to comfort and shield a wounded woman from further harm was not just a true depiction. It was a metaphor.

Our military – soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – protect, shield and comfort all of us every day. Since the founding of our American Legion, veterans have shielded us from the likes of Hitler, Imperial Japan, Marxist tyrants and terrorists.

The soldier in the Las Vegas photograph, Matthew Cobos, was off-duty. He was not wearing his uniform, yet he still offered his body to buffer bullets in a moment of peril. After pulling the woman to safety, he ran back to the danger zone to rescue others. That is what soldiers do. That is what veterans do.

A century ago, Americans were fighting a war to liberate Europe. Compared to other countries, U.S. involvement was relatively short in time. But the sacrifice was enormous. A total of 116,516 Americans paid the ultimate price. Another 200,000 were wounded. It finally ended as an armistice went into effect at 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918. The moment lives on as the designated date to reflect on the contributions that U.S. military veterans have made since the founding of our great Republic.

In 2016, President Barack Obama signed the Veterans Day Moment of Silence Act, legislation which had the full support of The American Legion. The proclamation calls for the American people everywhere to observe a two-minute national moment of silence on Veterans Day, Nov. 11,  at 2:11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

I will be in New York during the moment of silence but even in the bustle of America’s busiest city my quiet thoughts will reflect on the sacrifice and service of the millions of men and women who have worn the greatest uniform the world has ever known.
 

Denise H. Rohan
National Commander
Share this email:
 
Share  
 
 
 
Tweet  
 
 
 
Email  
 
 
 
National Commander's Veterans Day message
Watch here

 
Family First Veterans Day Dinner Materials
Download here

 
Specials, discounts offered for Veterans Day
Read more
 
 

Posted 2 November 2017
The American Legion releases medical cannabis survey results
 
A press conference is held in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C., to share the results of a recent survey regarding veteran opinion of medical cannabis as a treatment option. To learn more, visit www.legion.org/mmjresearch #Vets4MMJrese
 
Link to Medical Cannabis Press Conference

Posted 13 October 2017

JOIN  |  RENEW  |  PUBLICATIONS  |  DONATE  |  EMBLEM SALES  |  REUNIONS  | CALENDAR  | CONTACT US
 
National Commander Denise H. Rohan and Legion leadership meet in Indianapolis to vote on resolutions, receive donations and promote Family First! initiatives. 
Read more

Share this e-mail: Facebook Twitter

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This week's headlines
 
 
U.S. Sen. Todd Young, instrumental in passage of the legislation, praises organization for its efforts across the nation. Read more
 
     
 
 
     
 

Posted 12 October 2017
The
American
Legion
 
For God and country
MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS P.O. BOX 1055 INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46206-1055
(317) 630-1253 Fax (317) 630-1368
www.legion.org
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Legion Reaffirms Position for ‘Strong America’
 
INDIANAPOLIS (October 11, 2017) – In response to recent headlines about a divided country, The American Legion’s board of directors unanimously passed a national resolution titled “Reaffirmation for a strong America.”
 
In a meeting today in Indianapolis, the organization’s National Executive Committee passed the statement which reaffirms the Legion’s “unwavering support for the American way of life”  under the U.S. Constitution, and “urges Americans and freedom-loving peoples everywhere to stand united in their respect” for each other, for military troops and law enforcement officials. It states that law enforcement officials “have the duty and responsibility of providing an orderly process to our way of life.”
 
“It’s time we spoke up and have our voice heard as we stand up for this country and for the principles upon which The American Legion was founded,” said Americanism Commission Chairman Rich Anderson, adding that the resolution calls for unity and respect. “It cannot be disputed that we are a nation of diverse people having diverse perspectives, but I am confident that coming together as Legionnaires and especially as proud Americans alike, that a 100 percent Americanism will persevere.”
 
A complete text of the resolution can be found on www.legion.org . With a current membership of 2 million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through nearly 13,000 posts across the nation.
 
Contact: John Raughter, (317) 630-1253, jraughter@legion.org

6 October 2017
JOIN  |  RENEW  |  PUBLICATIONS  |  DONATE  |  EMBLEM SALES  |  REUNIONS  | CALENDAR  | CONTACT US
 
Legion Family members in Wharton, Texas, assess damage and thankful for support after Hurricane Harvey.  Read more | Rebuilding 40 years of memories

Share this e-mail: Facebook Twitter

 
 
 
 
 
This week's headlines
 
 
     
 
     
 
 
     
 

Posted 4 October 2017
Veterans Angry, Disappointed following PBS' Vietnam War Documentary
 
American Vietnam War veterans and South Vietnamese Vietnam War veterans meet up to discuss the PBS documentary on the Vietnam War by American filmmaker Ken Burns on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, in San Jose, Calif.
                                         American Vietnam War veterans and South Vietnamese Vietnam War veterans meet up to discuss
                                         the PBS documentary on the Vietnam War by American filmmaker Ken Burns on Thursday, Sept.
                                         28, 2017, in San Jose, Calif. Mercury News | 2 Oct 2017 |
A gripping documentary on the Vietnam War -- described by many viewers as a masterful depiction of a prolonged conflict that divided the nation -- has left many American and Vietnamese veterans feeling deeply disappointed, even betrayed.
"The Vietnam War" -- a 10-part, 18-hour PBS documentary by American filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that concluded Thursday night -- depicts the history of the war through photographs, archival footage and interviews with more than 80 veterans and witnesses from all sides. The film has been hailed as a hard-hitting, raw account of the war and the players involved.
But veterans of the South Vietnamese military say they were largely left out of the narrative, their voices drowned out by the film's focus on North Vietnam and its communist leader, Ho Chi Minh. And many American veterans say that the series had several glaring omissions and focused too much on leftist anti-war protesters and soldiers who came to oppose the war.
On Thursday evening, hours before the film's final installment aired, a group of American and South Vietnamese veterans came together at a San Jose home to share memories of the war and talk about the documentary.
Sutton Vo, a former major in South Vietnam's army engineering corps, watched the series but has told friends and family not to do so. The film is "pure propaganda," he said.
"The Vietnam War included the Americans, South Vietnam and North Vietnam. But in the 18 hours, the role of South Vietnam was very small," said Vo, 80. "Any documentary should be fair and should tell the truth to the people."
After the war, Vo was sent to a communist "re-education" camp, where he was imprisoned for 13 years. At one point, he said, he was confined for three months to a pitch-black cell virtually 24 hours a day -- his feet shackled and his hands bound with rubber string -- after an escape attempt.
Despite South Vietnam's fall to the communists in 1975, he said, South Vietnamese soldiers did what they could with what little they had.
"We fought for our country with our best," Vo said. "We didn't need the Americans to do our job for us. We didn't need the American GIs to come and fight for us. We needed money, supplies and international support."
Like Vo, Cang Dong spent time in a re-education camp; he was freed in 1987. Dong, 70, president of the local chapter of Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America, has just started watching the series, but said he's unhappy with what he sees as the filmmakers' glorification of Ho.
"Everything is a big lie," he said. "To our people, Ho Chi Minh was a big liar and immoral."
Veteran Jim Barker, 70, of San Jose, also said he was surprised by the extent of coverage given to North Vietnamese soldiers in the film.
"What bothered me is the element of arrogance that seemed to come out in seeing themselves so superior. I had trouble with that," said Barker, who was an adviser with a South Vietnamese intelligence unit in the Central Highlands and survived the siege of Kontum in 1972. "That focus detracted attention from the people of South Vietnam and the idealism that was there."
In a recent interview with New America Media, Novick acknowledged that historically the stories of South Vietnamese were simplified in the U.S. news media, which she said portrayed the South as "inept and corrupt."
"But the film has gone a long way to tell their stories, the heroism and the stories of personal sacrifice made by those on the losing side," she said.
Asked about criticism that stories were missing from the narrative, Burns in the same interview said he and Novick had to make "huge, painful decisions."
"We cannot tell every story," Burns said. "Even if it were 180 hours, people would say, 'You left this out.' What you want to do is tell a story in which this Gold Star mother had to stand in for lots of Gold Star mothers, and this Saigon civilian has to stand in for many Saigon civilians, and this ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) marine has to stand in for many, many ARVN marines. But we feel that we put our arms around everything."
PBS did not immediately respond Friday to a request for comment.
Jack Wells, a retired lieutenant colonel of the U.S. Marine Corps who served in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969, called the documentary "a masterpiece of video and footage" in which he learned a number of things, but said he identified several omissions that bothered him.
He pointed to the film's depiction of Kim Phuc, "the Napalm girl" who became a famous symbol of the war after a 1972 photograph showed her running naked on a road with other children, her back severely burned by a South Vietnamese napalm attack. The film said Phuc left Vietnam and eventually moved to Canada but didn't mention that she had requested political asylum from the Vietnamese communists, who had used her as a propaganda symbol, Wells said.
The documentary had serious biases, the 73-year-old Cupertino resident said.
"If they had an anti-war protester, they didn't seem to give the same amount of time to someone who wasn't a protester or someone who saw humanitarian treatment of the enemy," Wells said.
Barker agreed. "A lot of us have a tremendous sense of pride for what we attempted to do and defend," he said.
Beth Nguyen, an author and a graduate professor at the University of San Francisco, arrived as a baby in the U.S. from Vietnam in 1975 after her family escaped by boat. The family settled in Michigan.
"I grew up knowing about the war in the same way that most Americans grew up learning about the war, which was through movies or books," said Nguyen, 43. "Mostly every movie is done by a white man. And this documentary is sort of the same perspective."
Nguyen said she also felt the film diminished the voices of South Vietnam, which she said was "expected and disappointing."
"America was divided by the war," she said. "American pain and suffering is something I feel is important to discuss and think about, but it should not come at the expense of Vietnamese pain and suffering, which is what usually happens."
The documentary took on a different meaning for 54-year-old Andrew Lam, whose father, a former lieutenant general for the South Vietnamese army, was featured throughout the documentary.
Lam, a Fremont resident who grew up in Milpitas, was the journalist who interviewed Novick as well as Burns earlier this month for New America Media, a multimedia ethnic news agency based in San Francisco.
The film brought out emotions in his father, 86-year-old Thi Quang Lam, that he had never seen growing up, he said.
"It was very emotional, because I knew the events, but I never knew how he felt," Lam said.
A pivotal moment in the film came when his father was asked to describe how he felt when the ship he was traveling on toward the Philippines -- where he would ask for political asylum -- asked Lam and fellow vets to take down the South Vietnamese flag that had been hanging from the ship.
"I could hear the cry in his voice, which to me was a shock because my father was a general," Lam said. "We didn't talk about how we felt." ___
This article is written by Tatiana Sanchez from Mercury News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.
Related Topics

Posted 28 September 2017
The American Legion: Hollywood’s Hottest Private Club
Younger veterans took control of Post 43 and lured a cool crowd with Art Deco bar and movie house—plus free parking
embers of American Legion Post 43 in Hollywood, Calif.
Members of American Legion Post 43 in Hollywood, Calif. Photo: Jon Endow
 
By Michael M. Phillips
Sept. 26, 2017 11:32 a.m. ET
HOLLYWOOD—Here are words not often seen together in a sentence: American Legion and cool.
The young guns who have seized control of American Legion Post 43 are trying to fuse them together in the minds of a new generation of combat veterans, rebranding their venerable Egyptian Revival building, with its underground Art Deco bar, as “the coolest private club in Hollywood.”
“We have the cheapest drinks, the nicest people, the best-looking bar,” says Post Commander Fernando Rivero, a 42-year-old TV producer who engineered a bloodless coup that overthrew Post 43’s old guard. “We have free parking, which is of tremendous value in Hollywood. There’s really no other place I want to go.”
The American Legion has an image problem. Though the group is immersed in good works, its name summons visions of crotchety vets nursing beers in linoleum-floored posts. An “old-timey funny-hat club,” in Mr. Rivero’s words.
At one California Legion convention, he was aghast the program mostly featured ads for hospices and cemeteries. He waved the booklet in frustration. “You realize your advertisers are branding you?” he said. “Welcome to the American Legion—prepare to die.”
The organization also has a demographic problem. World War II and Korea vets are indeed dying at a rapid clip, with the Vietnam generation next in line. Despite constant war since the Sept. 11 attacks, the country’s veteran population is expected to fall to 13.6 million in two decades, from 20 million today, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Hollywood post, which opened in 1929, has in its new incarnation managed to prosper and attract vets for whom hip isn’t necessarily a prelude to replacement.
emorabilia in the Post 43 museum
Memorabilia in the Post 43 museum Photo: Michael M. Phillips/The Wall Street Journal
“I never thought in a million years that I’d be so into this,” says Second Vice Commander Jennifer Campbell, 35, a former Army truck driver turned personal trainer. “I’m as surprised as anybody.”
Down the road from the Hollywood Bowl, Post 43 has long ties to the entertainment industry. Clark Gable, Charlton Heston, Ronald Reagan and Rudy Vallee were members. Shirley Temple was an honorary colonel, and photos of her curls stand out in the Post museum amid the machine guns, a dog-tag stamping machine and an Adolf Hitler pin cushion. (Suffice it to say he’s bent over.)
In recent decades the Post business model provided ample money for good works, from Boys State to patriotic oratory contests to projects to help veterans navigate the VA. The legionnaires rent their parking lot during events at the Hollywood Bowl. Movie and TV producers film at the Post; a young Jim Kirk lost a fight in the Art Deco bar in the 2009 movie “Star Trek.” For nine years starting in 1984, the entire clubhouse was a stage for the immersive production of the play “Tamara.”
But there was little effort to make the Post a social center for new vets.