More veterans would be eligible to join the American Legion, under a measure now pending before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Under the Legion Act, veterans who served honorably and were discharged during “unrecognized times of war since World War II” would be allowed to join the nation’s largest veterans’ service organization. Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., are co-sponsoring the bill. With Legion membership, these veterans would have access to additional benefits. For example, the Legion offers help in processing applications for VA benefits. The organization would welcome the additional membership, but cannot accept the affected veterans because of the conditions of its congressional charter.
“Nearly 1,600 brave American men and women were killed or wounded since World War II, while defending our nation during times not officially recognized as periods of war by the U.S. government,” said Brett P. Reistad, the Legion’s national commander. “We hope that the American people will encourage all members of Congress to support the Legion Act. It is an appropriate thank you to those who served.”