MADISON AMERICAN LEGION POST 157

WHO CAN JOIN THE AMERICAN LEGION:

If you have served federal active duty in the United States Armed Forces since December 7, 1941, and have been honorably discharged or are still serving -- you are eligible for membership in The American Legion

“Finally Congress has acknowledged the service and sacrifice of at least 1,600 veterans who died or were wounded in previously undeclared periods of war,” said American Legion National Judge Advocate Kevin Bartlett. “This new law honors the memories of those veterans while allowing other veterans from those previously undeclared eras to receive all the American Legion benefits they have earned through their service.”

The LEGION Act - Let Everyone Get Involved in Opportunities for National Service Act — also redefines The American Legion’s membership eligibility dates. The eligibility now span from Dec. 7, 1941, until a time when the U.S. is no longer at war, as determined by Congress.

Here are answers to 11 key questions about the new law and what it means for The American Legion.

Question: How does this change the eligibility requirements for The American Legion?

Answer: The only change is that Congress has reduced the number of eligibility periods from seven to two. They are April 6, 1917, to Nov. 11, 1918, and Dec. 7, 1941, and continuing. No other restrictions are changed.

Question: What’s the impact on veterans who previously were not eligible for American Legion membership?

Answer: Veterans who were honorably discharged but whose service did not fall into the previous defined war eras may now join The American Legion immediately. To do so, eligible members may sign up by contacting us by email.

Question: I am among the veterans who were not allowed to join previously, so why do you want me now?

Answer: The American Legion’s founding fathers believed, “a veteran is a veteran,” an axiom that has held true throughout the organization’s more than century of service. Some veterans were ineligible to join because of the war eras that were defined by Congress. The recent bill passage and president’s signature changed that.

Question: So how does this differentiate The American Legion from AMVETS?

Answer: The American Legion’s eligibility criteria states that veterans must have served during “wartime.” When Congress decides the U.S. is no longer in a state of war, the Legion’s membership eligibility period will close, while AMVETS will still be open to those who served.

Question: How does this affect the Sons of The American Legion (SAL)?

Answer: The Sons’ eligibility criteria will change along with that of The American Legion. Any son or grandson of a living American Legion member will be able to join the SAL program. (Sons and grandsons of deceased veterans are also eligible.) For example, a son of a veteran who served between 1985 and 1988 previously would not have been eligible. With the extension of the war period, that veteran would immediately be eligible for The American Legion and the son would be able to join the SAL.

Question: How does this affect the eligibility for the American Legion Auxiliary?

Answer: This follows the same concept as the SAL, as noted previously. Membership in the American Legion Auxiliary is currently open to grandmothers, mothers, sisters, wives, and adopted female descendants of eligible veterans. In 2019 Membership was also opened to MALE spouses of female veterans.

Question: How does this affect membership for departments, districts and posts?

Answer: This change opens up American Legion membership to thousands more veterans who likely live in your communities. They may become members immediately.

Question: The current membership applications don’t address the eligibility change. How do we process those members?

Answer: New membership materials will be developed and provided as quickly as possible. Until then, it is recommended that prospective members from a previously undocumented war era write “Other Conflicts” in the eligibility date section and send it in to their department with the appropriate dues.

Question: What steps should departments, districts and posts focus on?

Answer: A good first step would be to review all recruiting materials to look for eligibility dates. Information on electronic media (websites, social media channels, etc.) should be changed immediately. It is up to departments to decide on the best way to handle printed materials, while updated ones are being produced.

Question: How does this change the Paid Up For Life program?

Answer: There are no changes to the PUFL program, though the newly eligible members would be able to become PUFLs. To learn more about the program, visit https://www.legion.org/PUFL

*Because eligibility dates remain open, all members of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible to join The American Legion at this time, until the date of the end of hostilities as determined by the government of the United States.

U.S. Merchant Marine eligible only from December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946 (WWII).

POST 157 MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION:

To request Membership Information -

Please include contact information (phone number, address).

Or call us at 540-547-6160.

If you send an email and do not have a response within 48 hours, please check your spam folder and/or your IT department for blocking of replies as spam.

WHAT WE DO:

The purpose of the Madison American Legion Post 157 is to support and assist Veterans and people in our community. It consists of the Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 157, the American Legion Riders, and the Sons of the American Legion.

We perform the following services in Madison:

  • Participate in The REACH program, delivering food to people of special needs in Madison County along with providing volunteers at the Reva Mobile Food Pantry.

  • Repairing the picnic pavilion at the Post for local use and rental.

  • Support the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

  • Support the Madison Marksman Youth Shooting Sports Team. Ongoing development and growth of the air gun and archery range for this American Legion/4-H Marksman Program.

  • Work with the Department of Parks and Recreation to support the Roller Hockey Program.

  • Hold monthly breakfasts and quarterly fundraising dinners to provide scholarships to Madison High School students.

  • Provide scholarships to Madison students for Boys and Girls State.

  • Provide scholarships to graduating seniors in the Madison Marksman Shooting Sports Program.

  • Place flags on Main Street on national holidays.

  • Provide a ceremonial rifle team for funerals, Memorial Day, and Veteran’s Day.

  • Assist Veterans in getting their VA benefits.

  • Provide free meeting space to local charity groups like Project Linus that makes blankets for needy children.

To accomplish all this our American Legion Post needs both more members and current members to help. If you are an honorably discharged veteran of any branch of the Armed Services who served during war or peace you are eligible to become a member.

AMERICANISM PROGRAMS:

We sponsor several programs, functions and projects yearly. Our Americanism programs in our public schools teach our students about our military history, the true meaning of military federal holidays and letter writing campaigns to our service men and women. We hold contests for grades K-8th, awarding certificates to all participants and medals to the top three. To provide scholarship money and an opportunity to go to the national level, we host the annual Oratorical contest for our high school students and often send several eleventh grade students to Boys State, Girls State, and the Jr. Law Cadet Enforcement Program.

ACTIVITIES:

We interact with our Senior citizens with flag posting, visits and provide an avenue for them to help support our troops with various projects.

Host our Holiday Giving and Cheer Program to provide essentials to local Veterans and Residents of our Residential Care Facilities.

Our dances vary from Canteen style to Square and Line Dancing.

CEREMONIES:

Annual ceremonies include: Veterans Day, Pearl Harbor Day, The Four Chaplains Ceremony and Memorial Day. Details are published in the local online news outlets, the local newspaper, this website and Facebook.

FLAG RETIREMENT:

We have a "Flag Box" for citizens to drop off flags that are no longer in display condition.

Annually in June, we have a Flag Retirement Ceremony that ensures proper dignity is displayed for our national symbol as we retire each flag of their duty.

LINKS:

National American Legion website: www.legion.org

Department of Virginia website: www.valegion.org

National American Legion Auxiliary website: www.alaforveterans.org

National Sons of The American Legion website: www.legion.org/sons

Rules about politics as a Legionnaire

CONTACT US:

Join us and help us make a difference in this community.

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