Department of Florida

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Archives

August 2018

U.S. Mint unveils Legion Centennial Coin Designs. U.S. Mint Director David J. Ryder, the son of two veterans, unveiled before thousands of American Legion members the designs of three commemorative coins that go on sale March 2019 to honor the organization’s 100th anniversary. The coin required congressional action. On Oct. 6, 2017, Congress passed Public Law 115-65 allowing the Mint to strike and issue 50,000 of the gold coins, 400,000 of the silver dollars and 750,000 of the half-dollars.

The Department of Florida also offers a Florida Centennial Coin.

Archives

August 2017

The American Legion assists in the creation and eventual passage of the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act, which modernizes the current appeals process at the Department of Veterans Affairs, forcing VA to render a decision on a veteran’s claim within one year.

Archives

August 2017

Denise H. Rohan of Wisconsin is elected National Commander, the first woman to hold the role in the Legion’s history.

Archives

August 2017

The American Legion, in concert with others, creates, advocates for and passes the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2017. Named after the author of the original GI Bill and Past National Commander of The American Legion, the new GI Bill improves upon the great foundation that already existed, removing the burdensome cap to use the education benefit, along with many other great additions to the legislation aimed at improving the lives of veterans and their families.

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June 2017

Created to hold VA employees more accountable, the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 is passed by Congress in concert with The American Legion. A longtime goal of the Legion, this legislation gives the VA secretary the authority to terminate the employment of VA employees who do not hold the standard of the VA’s missions, to help veterans. The American Legion worked hard with Congress, VA and others to create and pass this much needed veteran-centric legislation.

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July 2016

The Legacy Scholarship is expanded to children of post-9/11 veterans who have a combined VA disability rating of 50 percent or greater.

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August 2014

National Commander Michael D. Helm announces that Legion Family members and friends donated more than $4 million (his goal) to Legion charities and programs during his year in office.

Archives

August 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.

Archives

2014

In the midst of a VA waiting-list scandal that reached up to forty deaths of veterans waiting for care, The American Legion calls for the resignations of several top officials, including VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. The scandal would ultimately engulf multiple facilities and offices; the Legion kept the issue in front of the public and Congress via articles and testimony.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki Testifies Before Senate  Committee

Archives

October 2012

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.