September 23, 2016
Dear American Legion, Dept. of California Members:
You may see billboards or other communications from the Yes on 61 campaign indicating support from a veterans’ organization. I wanted to clarify with all of you that all of the major California’s veterans service organizations are universally and unequivocally in strong opposition to Proposition 61 because it would be terrible for veterans.
The group in question, VoteVets, is not a veteran service organization, but a political organization that is primarily focused on electing candidates to office. They have been the subject of several news articles questioning their money and motives (see below for more information).
Many of our organizations have been around for decades, and some for as long as a century. The bulk of our time is spent in in the trenches providing countless hours of community service and helping veterans who need it. While we are not inherently political, we sometimes have to take stands against policies that would hurt veterans. Prop 61 is such a policy.
The proponents of Prop 61 are trying to obscure this issue by putting out this political organization and saying it represents our voice. I urge all of our members, and our fellow organizations, to double down our efforts against Prop 61 so voters are not fooled.
The VA has estimated that Prop 61 could increase their prescription drug costs by $3.8 billion year, which would mean increased costs or reduced services for veterans and their families. We need to protect veterans and defeat Prop 61.
TIME Magazine said VoteVets conduct “political attacks” “under the cover of defending those who have served the nation in wartime.”
“But McConnell has cried foul. Much of the board of VoteVets is made up of Democratic donors and strategists, people like former Bill Clinton personal aide Douglas Band and former Clinton White House adviser Elaine Kamarck, who have only tangential ties to military service. And the public records that are available show that the group has a history of taking money from interests groups far afield of veterans issues to pay for political attacks against Republican candidates under the cover of defending those who have served the nation in wartime.
TIME Magazine, September 5, 2014
ProPublica.org Includes VoteVets.org on its list of “Dark Money” groups In 2012, ProPublica.org conducted an investigation into 106 nonprofit organizations that were politically active and “Funnel Dark Money into Campaigns.” VoteVets.org was ranked 8th of 106 for the percent of its budget “spent on politics.”VoteVets.org spent 49% of its budget on politics according to ProPublica.org. (propublica.org<http://projects.propublica.org/dark-money/organizations/all.html>)
VoteVets.org does not itself disclose any of its donors as a 501c4. However the Center for Responsive Politics has reported on donors to VoteVets.org and indicates they have received millions from unions and environmental organizations. opensecrets.org<http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2016/05/fueled-by-unions-and-secret-donors-liberal-vets-group-spends-millions-boosting-democrats/>, May 31, 2016
You can check out their web site here: http://www.votevets.org
Gary Leach, Department Commander
The veterans organizations opposed to Proposition 61 represent more than two hundred thousand California veterans. They include:
Both the Department of California and the Sons of the American Legion have signed on in opposition to Prop 61. Please join us.
The Mobile Health Provider Program is designed to equip VA health care providers with mobile technology to enhance the way they deliver health care to Veterans. Watch the videos below to learn more about the program.
How do we properly use The American Legion emblem?
The American Legion "Name and Emblem Use and Protection Guide" give us the answers.
"The purpose of this manual is to provide a set of guidelines on how to use the marks of The American Legion for all who have a need to use them – our members, local post officers, department officers, and suppliers of benefits and vendors of products for The American Legion and our members."
All member of our American Legion Family must remain vigilante in the proper use and protection of The American Legion emblem. This includes our subsidiaries, such as the Sons of the American Legion and American Legion Riders. The following rules relating to subsidiaries are taken directly from the "Name and Emblem Use and Protection Guide" (pages 18-19). All our Legion leaders should understand these rules.
"Moreover, because of the requirements of the trademark law, such subsidiary corporations, trusts or foundations – including Sons of The American Legion and the American Legion Riders – must meet the following requirements:
1. All officers, directors, trustees, etc. must be named by the department (usually nominated by the department commander and confirmed by the Department Executive Committee).
2. All vacancies in the subsidiary corporation must be filled by the department.
3. The subsidiary corporation must report to the department, no less frequently than monthly. These reports must include financial reports.
4. The department treasurer or finance officer must be a signatory on all accounts.
5. All amendments to articles of incorporation or by-laws must be approved by the department. (If the current text has not been approved by the department, it too must be so approved.)
These same rules apply to subsidiaries of posts, squadrons and Riders chapters. Of course, all references to departments also reference posts in the appropriate situation.
Remember: the subsidiary does NOT tell the parent what to do.
Post subsidiaries are subject to the same rules. Merely replace the word “department” with “post.” This is also true of American Legion Auxiliary units. Merely replace the word “post” with the word “unit.” Departments of the American Legion Auxiliary use language identical to that used by The American Legion."
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan sent video greetings to The American Legion 98th National Convention in Cincinnati.
Veterans and friends gathering to watch football has long been a tradition at American Legion Post 50 in Cleburne, Texas.
However, some will need to look elsewhere to watch their favorite teams.
The post recently made the decision not to televise games involving the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Rams.
“I expect this list to grow,” Post Commander Jeff Hill said. “We at Post 50 will not allow the disrespect of our country, its flag or its national anthem to be disrespected within our halls.”
The choice follows the decision by players on those teams to sit or kneel instead of standing during the pre-game performance of the national anthem.
49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the practice in preseason, igniting a media firestorm, something players on other NFL teams, as well as college and high school teams, have since adopted.
We have an FAQ Page on the department web site. FAQ Web Page
Some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) in many organizations, are those asked about acronyms. The American Legion is no exception as we have our fair share of acronyms. When people do not know the meaning of an acronym, whether a TLA*, FLA* or SLA*, the acronymcan block effective communication.
Visit the FAQ page of our Department web site and see the TLAs & FLAs we have shared. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, if there is an acronym you think should be added to our list.
American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt will award his national commander pin to any Legion member who obtains three new members into the Legion. A new member is any eligible person joining for the 2017 membership year who was not a member of The American Legion during the 2016 membership year.
Each member listed must be eligible for membership in The American Legion. Forward names of SAL members or Auxiliary members to your detachment or unit for use in their respective incentive programs.
To maintain the integrity of the national commander's pin incentive program, only one pin will be awarded per individual.
Upon receipt, national membership staff will confirm the names and mail the pin directly to the person who earned it. Commander Schmidt's incentive program will end June 30, 2017, or when supplies are exhausted.
100% American Legion Family Ribbons will be awarded to any post family that achieves 100% membership by the 2017 100% target date. A Legion Family is defined as a post and/or any combination of Auxiliary unit or SAL squadron.
(Each must achieve 100% to qualify)
Our Legislative Commission under the guidance of Pete Conaty, Legislative Advocate and Don Harper, Commission Chairman have been very busy supporting legislation for California veterans.
There are fifteen (15) veteran related bills that the The American Legion, Department of California sponsored, supported, or watched that are currently on the Governor’s desk. For more information visit: calegion.org
New Reports in Report Server
MyLegion.org is a free, secure internet site that provides access to member data and more. It is the ‘Members Only’ Section of Legion.Org.
Using myLegion.org Post Adjutants can take care of a number of important administrative functions for your post, including:
New features have been added to myLegion.org, they include:
This is a new feature that generates a pre-written letter that can be sent to Post 1000 members (members currently assigned to our state headquarters post, aka Post 1000) inviting them to transfer into your post. The invitation letter has a signature line for members to approve their transfer into your post.
Americans are on the move, and Legionnaires are no exception. National Headquarters’ Project Stay Active helps local posts maintain contact with members who move into your area. When moving into your area, the post should contact and welcome the member to the area. This is an ideal time to offer assistance and to invite the member to visit your post.
"Find Members in My Area" is a report designed to assist with identifying and contacting members who belong to Post 1000 or are expired members. Using the pull down menus, select the zip code(s), last paid year(s), and available posts to View Report.
Note: this new method of finding Post 1000 members in your area uses zip codes, not miles from your post. You can enter multiple zip codes using a comma to separate them. The results of your search can now be downloaded in a number of file formats including CSV, PDF, Excel and Word.
Photo by Lucas Carter/The American Legion
The founders of The American Legion had a vision for the organization when they first gathered in 1919. Nearly 100 years later, newly elected American Legion National Commander Charlie Schmidt said it’s the job of current Legionnaires to make sure that vision continues.
“Our time and responsibility is here for us, you and I, …to ensure that that vision is passed on to the next generation of veterans to insure those who have borne the battle, and their families, will be cared for by a grateful nation,” Schmidt told Legion family members on Sept. 1 at the Legion’s national convention in Cincinnati. “You and I must leave our footprints on today’s American Legion.
“Our Founding Fathers had a vision for America and its veterans. That vision is still relevant today. As long as there are conflicts around the world, our nation must be prepared to defend those vital interests to our nation and our allies with a strong and capable military. Where there are active-duty, Guard and Reserve personnel, and veterans, there will always be a need for The American Legion. You and I have inherited that vision.”
This app offers a succinct description of the Legion's forms of advocacy, opportunities to join, donate and find nearby posts.
The American Legion Claims Coach provides step-by-step guidance to help you and your service officer through the process of filing for VA benefits.
Founded in 1932, Sons of The American Legion exists to honor the service and sacrifice of Legionnaires.
Follow your favorite American Legion baseball teams as they compete to reach the American Legion Baseball World Series.
California Graphic Resources is a new feature on the Department of California web site. It is basically a link to a Dropbox account where we started to share quality graphics with our Legionnaires.
From a link to the Dropbox graphic on the Resources page of the web site, you can access the web team Dropbox account. You do not need a Dropbox account to download the graphic files.
The ‘American Legion’ folder contains graphics developed at the National office. We are making them available in our Dropbox, as higher quality graphics than you might otherwise find on the internet and to make them easier to find. We did the searching for you
The ‘Department of California’ folder contains graphics developed by our web team. You cannot use them to make money. We encourage you to use them to help communicate our good Legion message and to make The American Legion stronger. Agreed?
In the ‘Department of California’ folder is a folder titled, ‘2016-2017 Department Leaders’ this folder contains photos of our key department leaders. The large majority of these pictures were taken by Lillian Moss, Department Historian. More pictures will be added as time goes by and they will always identify who is in the picture and if possible, what leadership role the person holds.
If you would like the web team to help you access other graphic images or photos, just send your request in an e-mail (please include a contact phone #) to:
We will do our best to serve you. For God and Country.
Friday, December 16
Walk for Veterans - Sacramento
With The American Legion,
National Commander, Charlie Schmidt
Walk for Veteran Flier
March 10 - 12, 2017
Department Executive Committee (DEC)
West Covina Post 790
330 N. Azusa Ave., West Covina
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Member Muster Software
Free Download for posts in
Department of California
By answering a few simple questions, we are able to help you determine your eligibility for hundreds of available benefits.
After completing the questions, you will be delivered a customized report to provide to your Department Service Officer.