Aug. 30, 2013
National Commander James E. Koutz announced that the American Legion family raised more than $1.1 million for Operation Comfort Warriors during the 2012-2013 fundraising year. It easily surpassed his original goal of $500,000.
VA guarantees its 20 millionth home loan. 1936-1937 National Commander Harry Colmery and 1943-1944 National Commander Warren Atherton escorted the original GI Bill of Rights through Congress in 1944, arguing passionately for veterans educational benefits, government-assured health care and what they called “readjustment allowances.” Today Colmery and Atherton are lauded as the “fathers of the GI Bill” and its successors.
Continuing a long-standing tradition of advocating for timely and adequate medical care for veterans, the Legion forms a PTS-TBI Ad Hoc Committee to both examine current methods by VA and the Department of Defense of treating the two conditions, and investigate potential alternatives.
The entire Legion family bands together and wins $250,000 for Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW) in PepsiCo’s Refresh Everything Project, submitting the most votes in an online contest and beating out hundreds of other groups and charities to take first place in the contest’s first month. A big part of getting the word out was the American Legion Online Update e-newsletter. This is an early example of the still growing power of online and social media to augment everything the Legion does.
Oct. 22, 2009
President Obama signs the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform Act of 2009, guaranteeing “advance funding” for VA appropriations, a formula that The American Legion has strongly supported for many years. The new law sets funding for VA one year in advance.
June 30, 2008
President George W. Bush signs into law the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act, a next-generation GI Bill strongly supported by the Legion. The bill renews the federal government’s commitment to veterans by providing them with substantially better education benefits. The Post-9/11 GI Bill took effect Aug. 1, 2009, and sent an unprecedented number of veterans to college. Today, as at its formation, the Legion remains at the forefront of efforts to improve education and other benefits for all veterans.
Oct. 17-18, 2007
The American Legion National Executive Committee passes Resolution 35 and adopts The American Legion Riders as a national program of The American Legion. The first American Legion Riders chapter was established by American Legion Post 396 in Garden City, Mich., in 1993.
Sept 19, 2004
The American Legion launches a national program, the Blue Star Salute, where posts across the country hold public events to recognize troops, their families and local businesses on Armed Forces Day.
Sept. 3, 2004
American Legion lobbying leads to more progress in elimination of the Disabled Veterans Tax with passage of PL 108-375 that eliminates the 10-year phase-in for 100 percent service- connected retirees, allowing them to immediately begin receiving both retired pay and VA disability payments.
Oct. 17, 2003
American Legion efforts on Capitol Hill break the deadlock on the Disabled Veterans Tax when Congress creates a 10-year phase-in for service-connected disabled retirees to receive military retired pay and VA disability compensation without subtraction from either. Legion efforts also result I passage of the Military Family Tax Relief Act.