observances are among the many other ways Legionnaires make service a pleasure
PILLAR ONE: VETERANS AFFAIRS AND REHABILITATION
The American Legion Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation pillar is composed of programs, services and advocacy efforts that improve the lives of those who served, along with their families and dependents, after discharge from the military.
VETERANS HEALTH CARE
The American Legion’s advocacy for a well funded, well staffed VA health care system includes budget testimony before congress, recommendations to the White House and site visits and inspections at health care facilities across the country. The Legion’s research from System Worth Saving Task Force inspections is shared with the federal government to help guide the Veterans Health Administration.
EMPLOYMENT AND BUSINESS
The American Legion conducts, promotes and supports hundreds of career events nationwide each year. Working veteran to veteran with its American Legion Business Task Force, along with the Small Business Administration, Department of labor, VA and corporate associates, the Legion helps veterans understand the federal contracting process and offers personal guidance for career seeking veterans. (http://www.legion.org/careers)
DEPARTMENT SERVICE OFFICERS
In every state, as well as many cities and counties, American Legion Service Officers help veterans file benefits claims, get answers about health care understand their GI Bill benefits, look for jobs and more. (http://www.legion.org/departmentofficers)
BOARD OF VETERANS APPEALS
For veterans and families disputing benefits decisions by the VA, the American Legion has staff representativies in Washington D. C. who can help free of charge to the veteran.
VA VOLUNTEER SERVICES
Legion Family members donate millions of hours a year at health care facilities, working through the VA volunteer Services program. These volunteer hours save the federal government no less than an estimated $18.5 million a year. Other Legion opportunities include Habitat for Humanity Ride 2 Recovers, Operation Homefront, Veterans of Valor and VA’s National Suicide Hotline. (http://www.legion.org/volunteers)
VETERANS EDUCATION AND THE GI BILL
The American Legion was instrumental in the creation of a new Post 9/11 GI Bill to provide veteran education benefits to meet today’s needs. Following its passage, the Legion has continued to fight to make it more helpful to National Guardsman, reservists and those pursuing online education. (http://www.legion.org/mygibill)
HEROES TO HOMETOWNS
The American Legion helps severely wounded military personnel to adjust to new lives across the nation through Heroes to Hometowns. Legion staff members work closely with the DOD and VA to connect today’s wounded warriors with veterans in their local communities. (http://www.legion.org/heros)
American Legion experts offer free assistance to those applying to their service branches for corrections to their military records and discharge status.
COMBATING THE CLAIMS BACKLOG
VA and the American Legion work side-by-side to reverse a massive backlog of unresolved benefits claims. Through its Regional Office Action Review (ROAR) initiative, the Legion pinpoints problems and identifies best practices in claims management. (http://www.legion.org/veteransbenefits)
HELP FOR HOMELESS VETERANS
At the local, state and national levels, the American Legion provides support for homeless veterans and programs and help to get them back on their fee. (http://www.legion.org/homeless)
Legion honor guards salute their fallen comrades as funeral services throughout the country every day. Legion Riders provide motorcycle escorts and security at services for fallen troops and veterans. The Legion also works closely with the National Cemetery Administration, Arlington National Cemetery and the American Battle Monuments Commission to assure respect and honor are bestowed upon fallen service members, no matter where they are laid to rest. The American Legion’s Overseas Graves Decoration Trust fund supplies U. S. flags for graves of U. S. soldiers in European cemeteries.