Photo Credit: Creative Commons, David Goehring
The American Legion is a non-profit organization with over 2.4 million members and 14,000 posts worldwide. This post will cover what exactly the American Legion does for veterans and how you can reap the rewards.
“Legionnaires,” as they’re affectionately known, work tirelessly for the benefit of veterans. Here are a few of the ways The American Legion benefits veterans:
1. Operation Comfort Warriors
Hospitalization puts mental, emotional and often financial strain on patients. This program helps provide hospitalized service members and veterans with non-essential items that a hospital might not normally provide. The Legion purchases items that military hospitals or warrior transition units say are needed. The items ordered by the Legion for these medical facilities may vary from place to place – often depending on location, area of medical specialty, or specific need. Non-emergency requests for assistance can be made online. Operation Comfort Warriors is one of the most rewarding and needed American Legion benefits for veterans.
2. Homeless Veteran Outreach
A January 2014 report cited nationwide veteran homelessness at 49,933. There are many programs at work in our country that tackle the issue of homelessness. The Legion works to support where possible and fill in the gaps where no programs are available. American Legion benefits veterans by providing direct assistance to homeless veterans and their families who reach out for it.
3. National Emergency Fund
Hurricane Hugo led to the creation of this fund in 1989 and since then has given over $8 million in assistance to Legion families and posts affected by declared disasters. Qualified Legion family members may be eligible to receive up to $3,000, and posts could receive $10,000. These funds are intended to assist with immediate sustenance needs – food, diapers, temporary shelter and similar items.
4. Employment Assistance
Scholarships: The American Legion is also an education advocate and there are several available scholarships. Some of the scholarships for veterans offered are:
- Legacy Scholarship – Children of service members who died while serving are eligible to apply for this scholarship. The amount of award depends on funds available.
- Baseball Scholarship – Over $16,000 was awarded to eligible players last year. The award amount may vary and the recipient must be part of a post-affiliated baseball team.
- Samsung American Legion Scholarship – This scholarship fund has awarded over $5.2 million to eligible applicants since its inception in 1996. This scholarship is for undergraduate coursework and expenses. Applicants directly related to a Korean War veteran could receive special consideration.
- Nursing Scholarship – The Eight and Forty Lung and Respiratory Disease Nursing Scholarship Fund offers scholarships up to $3,000 to eligible nurses who work in the field of pediatric lung and respiratory control.
G.I. Jobs has a Military Friendly® Schools page where you can tap into the schools that best fit your career goals and scholarship needs. Check out this list of Military Friendly® Schools.
For a complete list of all scholarships available from the American Legion and more information, go to http://www.legion.org/scholarships .
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