The Americanlegion

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Four Pillars +1

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From the Greatest Generation to the Latest Generation,the American Legion continues to advocate for our military, for our veterans and for a strong America. Since 1919,the American Legion has fought for each generation through the four pillars of service. And now Community Service as well.

Veterans’ Services

American Legion service officers answer questions and provide help in securing your veterans’ benefits.

Veterans’ Assistance Referral

Do you know a vet or family member who needs help or has questions about veterans’ benefits? The Veteran Assistance Referral Form can help American Legion members get help from their department service officers. Just complete this form and a service officer from your area will contact you. Or, if you prefer, just call your local service officer. Dept-Service-Officer-Directory (Excel)

Fields marked with a * are required

Contact a Service Officer with your Question

If you are a veteran, you are never alone. Legion services are here to help as you struggle through paperwork and the bureaucracy of government agencies. The American Legion department service officers (DSO) offer free advice and guidance for veterans who need the services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Call or e-mail your local service officer with your questions. We’ll help you access the benefits you have earned.

Youth

Mentoring youth is one of the four pillars of The American Legion. We like to sponsor opportunities for youth to excel, develop skills, experience team work, and grow as leaders.

Baseball

Thousands of youth have hit homeruns thanks to Legion Posts across the state that sponsor American Legion Baseball. For wholesome fun, healthy competition and good sportsmanship, invite a youth that you know to try out for one of the most successful and respected amateur athletic leagues.

Since 1925, American Legion Baseball has contributed to the development of good sportsmanship and citizenship while providing wholesome recreation for our nation’s youth. Many former players are now playing in the major leagues thanks to their participation in Legion baseball. Anyone interested in forming an American Legion baseball team must work with a local Legion Post and the Department of New York Baseball Committee.

An information packet can be obtained from the Department Headquarters. Send an e-mail message to info@nylegion.org, including your name, address, and phone number, to request information about New York American Legion Baseball. You can access more information about the American Legion Baseball program on the National Headquarters website.

NYS Legion baseball on Facebook

Department Baseball Page with…

  • Department Baseball Committee
  • Department Baseball Rules and By-Laws
  • Baseball Dual Participation Form
  • Tournament Dates, and more.

Boys State

Nominate a teen boy to one of the most rewarding experiences of his life. He’ll spend a week preparing for championship competitions in a variety of sports, learning about government at all levels, and running for office. He’ll be trained by Marines and mentored by counselors from business, education and legal fields. It’s a week that could change their lives!

Boys State Information

Boys State website

Junior ROTC

The American Legion is a strong supporter of Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) and ROTC across the state. Legion posts present medals available through American Legion Emblem Sales to the top JROTC and ROTC students in their area. The Department honors a JROTC Cadet of the Year with an award and scholarship.

Junior Shooting Sports

Marksmanship and gun safety have always been a top issue with the Legionnaires of New York State. The Junior Shooting Sports program provides a structured outlet for youth ages 14 to 21, up to and including high school seniors. They participate in 10-meter air rifle competition in a well-supervised environment.

Each year, the top shooters in the state are given the opportunity to compete in the National Finals held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, where scholarships are awarded to the winners. Contact a local American Legion Post for further information, or the Junior Shooting Sports Chairman, Lawrence L. Behling at (315) 695-7133.

2016-2017 Season Info and Forms

Junior Law Cadet

The American Legion’s Junior Law Cadet Program educates youth about law enforcement and instills a newfound respect for law enforcement professions. Participate in your local American Legion Junior Law Cadet program to gain first-hand experiences and insight into the operations of law enforcement agencies.

Oratorical Contest

Challenge our high school youth to improve their speaking skills and to develop a deeper appreciation of the Constitution of the United States. Winners at all levels – local, regional and state receive scholarships. At the state level, the first place winner gets a $6,000 scholarship.

Oratorical Contestant Application

Scholarships

The American Legion offers a number of scholarships and other resources to assist young people in their pursuit of higher education. There are opportunities for everyone, including kin of wartime veterans and participants in Legion programs. Contact your local post or auxiliary to find out about local scholarships.

The Department of New York offers the Richard M. Pedro Memorial Scholarship for high school seniors. Deadline is June 15. Details.

The New York American Legion Press Association (NYALPA) offers the Albert M. Becker Memorial Scholarship for a high school senior or graduate planning to pursue a degree in a communications field. Annual deadline is April 15. Details.

The American Legion offers the Legacy Scholarship for children whose parents are killed while serving their country. Details.

For info on other national American Legion scholarships, click here.

Scouting

Your local post may be a sponsor or supporter of the Boy Scout program. Talk to your local post to find out more. Contact information:

Department Scouting Chair:
Steve A. Mataraza
63 Rugg Rd.
Medusa, NY 12120
C 518-207-7672
smataraza@riteaid.com

Department Scouting Vice-Chair:
Jean Williams
2087 Michigan Street
Wayland, NY 14572
585-728-3212
jwilliams3212@yahoo.com

2018 Eagle Scout Nomination Form (fillable PDF)
Outstanding Scout Troop nomination form (Doc)
Outstanding Cub Scout Pack nomination form (Doc)
Outstanding Explorer Post nomination form (Doc)
Scouter of Year nomination (Doc)
Outstanding Venturing Crew nomination form (Doc)

Youth Programs Alumni

Former participants in American Legion Youth Programs can stay connected, stay informed and stay active by joining the Youth Programs Alumni Association. Membership is free. Members receive regular news about the programs, resources, volunteer opportunities and an e-newsletter. More information.

Children and Families

Children & Youth Month (April)

Child Welfare Foundation

Created by the Legion in the 1950s, the Child Welfare Foundation is a separate 501(c)3 corporation that accepts funding proposals from nonprofit organizations for projects that contribute to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual welfare of children. To date, $12.6 million has been awarded to assist our nation’s children, including $734,220 awarded to 20 nonprofit organizations in 2012. More information.

Family Assistance

The American Legion Family and Youth Support Center provides immediate assistance, financially and emotionally, to service personnel and their families whose lives have been directly affected by wartime service and America’s war on terror (including families unable to meet monthly expenses while a family member is deployed). The American Legion has a toll-free telephone number, (800) 504-4098, for servicemembers and their family members to call for assistance. For more info, or to apply online, click here.

Scholarships

The American Legion offers a number of scholarships and other resources to assist young people in their pursuit of higher education. There are opportunities for everyone, including kin of wartime veterans and participants in Legion programs. Contact your local post or auxiliary to find out about local scholarships.

The New York American Legion Press Association (NYALPA) offers the Albert M. Becker Memorial Scholarship for a high school senior or graduate planning to pursue a degree in a communications field. Annual deadline is April 15.

Scholarship Guidelines
Scholarship Application (fillable in Adobe Reader)

The American Legion offers the Legacy Scholarship for children whose parents are killed while serving their country. For details and application, click here.

For info on other national American Legion scholarships, click here.

Youth Support

The American Legion sponsors a variety of internal and external programs to address the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs of our nation’s youth. Contact your local post and auxiliary for local programs. Other programs and resources.

Support Troops

Operation Comfort Warrior

Operation Comfort Warrior is dedicated to meeting the needs of wounded, injured or ill military personnel by providing them with comfort items not usually supplied by the government. Patients at U.S. military hospitals and warrior transition units are given items like sweat suits, DVDs, puzzles, electronic devices, books, calling cards. Plus, the program provides larger items such as ping pong tables, entertainment centers, computers, kayaks and other recreational goods for use by wounded warriors in common areas. Unlike other charitable wounded warrior programs, one hundred percent of all donations to Operation Comfort Warrior go directly to purchasing items for the troops (as The American Legion takes care of administrative costs). Donate here.

POW/MIA

The American Legion is committed to achieving a full accounting of all POW/MIAs from the Gulf War, Vietnam War, Cold War, Korean War and World War II. This means returning living POWs, the repatriation of their remains, or finding convincing evidence why neither of these is possible. The American Legion supports the continued declassification of all POW/MIA information, the strengthening of joint commissions with Russia, North Korea and China, and adequate resourcing of investigative efforts and field operations to resolve POW/MIA issues. The American Legion has also worked continuously with both Congress and DoD to improve the policies and programs for the accountability of missing persons.

Recognition Day: For years, The American Legion supported a National POW/MIA Recognition Day, which is now recognized annually on the third Friday of September.

POW/MIA Empty Chair: Resolution 288, adopted at the 67th American Legion National Convention, calls for designating a POW/MIA Empty Chair at all official meetings of The American Legion as a physical symbol of the thousands of American POW/MIAs still unaccounted for from all wars and conflicts involving the United States.

Troop Support

The American Legion provides troop support through various programs nationwide and believes there is no separating the warrior from the war. Those who put their lives on the line in defense of their country – and their fellow citizens – deserve America’s total support. List of programs.

Heroes to Hometown

“Heroes to Hometowns” is a transition program for severely injured service members returning home. “Heroes to Hometowns” establishes a support network and coordinates resources for those servicemembers.

If you are a servicemember, veteran, or family member of a servicemember or veteran who has been severely injured, please fill out the Heroes to Hometowns assistance request form.

“Heroes to Hometowns” can provide:
• A Welcome-home celebration
• Temporary Financial Assistance
• Pro-bono financial planning
• Housing assistance
• Home and vehicle adaptation
• Government claims assistance
• Family support

You may contact “Heroes to Hometowns” at:
Americanism Division
heroestohometowns@legion.org
Office: (317) 630-1255

Community Service

American Legion Auxiliary

Founded in 1919, The American Legion Auxiliary has nearly 1 million members from all walks of life. The Auxiliary administers hundreds of volunteer programs, gives tens of thousands of hours to its communities and to veterans, and raises millions of dollars to support its own programs, as well as other worthwhile charities familiar to Americans. It is the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization. Through its nearly 10,500 units located in every state and some foreign countries, the Auxiliary embodies the spirit of America that has prevailed through war and peace.
Department of New York Auxiliary
National Auxiliary

Blood Donor Program

People have held blood drives and given blood since community service became an American value. It’s only natural that The American Legion – with community service as one of its pillars – be heavily involved in blood donation efforts. A number of posts hold regular blood drives in conjunction with the American Red Cross. The Blood Donor Program honors those departments that best participate in blood-donation efforts, recognizing departments in two areas: for post participation and individual Legionnaire participation. Post participation awards are given to departments with the highest number of participating posts. Individual participation awards are given to departments with the highest percentage of individuals giving blood to the program.

Posts interested in hosting drives can set up a blood drive by visiting the Red Cross’ blood drive registration page.

Posts, counties and districts record blood donor programs by using the Department of New York’s Blood Donor Program Form.

Financial Assistance

The American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) program has awarded cash grants to minor children of veterans who are eligible for American Legion membership. These grants help families in need meet the cost of shelter, food, utilities and health expenses, thereby keeping the child or children in a more stable environment.

Who Is Eligible: TFA is limited to minor children (17 years or younger) whose biological parent, or legal guardian, is a veteran and is, or would have been, eligible for American Legion membership. However, Legion membership is not required. Children 18-20 years old will also be considered if a current disability requires special schooling or indefinite in-home care, or they are enrolled in an approved high school and unmarried.

No child is considered eligible for Temporary Financial Assistance until a complete investigation is conducted at the post or department level; a legitimate family need is determined; and all other available assistance resources have been utilized or exhausted. Additionally, the TFA application must originate and be filled out by someone at the local level.

For more information, contact your local post or the Department of New York:
info@nylegion.org
(518) 463-2215

You can donate to the Temporary Financial Assistance program by sending a check or money order, made out to The American Legion Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 1055, Indianapolis, IN, 46206 or donate online.

Legion Riders

American Legion Riders chapters are well known for their charitable work, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local children’s hospitals, schools, veterans homes, severely wounded servicemembers and scholarships. Since 2006, Riders nationwide have participated in the Legion Legacy Run, to annually raise money for the Legacy Scholarship Fund, established to provide scholarships to children of U.S. military personnel killed since Sept. 11, 2001.
NY Legion Riders
National Riders Page

National Emergency Fund

Created in 1989 in response to Hurricane Hugo, the National Emergency Fund has provided more than $8 million in direct financial assistance to American Legion Family members and posts in the wake of disasters. “Devotion to mutual helpfulness” — words from the Preamble to The American Legion Constitution — is the reason for the fund. It’s our pledge of support to our distressed comrades. All contributions are deposited into a special account and are used exclusively to meet our members’ most urgent needs. Not a penny of the fund is used for fundraising, administrative costs or fulfillment.

How to apply
You may also mail a donation for the fund. (Make check out to Department of New York, and indicate NEF on memo line. Mail to American Legion, Dept. of New York, 112 State Street, Suite 1300, Albany, New York 12207.)

Sons of the American Legion

Sons of The American Legion members include males of all ages whose parents or grandparents served in the U.S. military and were eligible for American Legion membership. Although Sons has its own membership, the organization is not a separate entity. Rather, SAL is a program of The American Legion. Many Legionnaires hold dual membership in SAL. The Sons organization is divided into detachments at the state level and squadrons at the local level. A squadron pairs with a local American Legion post.

SAL New York Detachment
National SAL