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The American Legion is a social and mutual-aid veterans' organization including members of the United States armed forces. The organization was founded in 1919 by veterans returning from Europe after World War I, and was later chartered as an official American patriotic society under Title 36 of the United States Code. The organization is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, and also has offices in Washington, DC. The group has nearly 3 million members in over 14,000 Posts worldwide.

In addition to organizing commemorative events and volunteer veteran support activities, the American Legion is active in issue oriented U.S. politics. Its primary political activity is lobbying on behalf of the interests of veterans and service members, including support for veterans benefits such as pensions and the Veterans Affairs hospital system. The Legion has also been involved as a conservative voice in more general political and cultural issues.

Military service is a life-changing event. That’s why supporting our veterans, service members and their families is a fundamental responsibility we all share. While the war in Iraq is over and the Afghan war is winding down, our obligation to our returning veterans continues. Education, health care and job training are among the essentials needed to help welcome them back to our communities.

(The following is a quote)

"We took another step this session to help veterans get the medical attention they need by providing assistance from the Veterans Trust Fund for service-related brain injury screening. Under House File 545, funding is available to those who cannot receive payment or reimbursement through any other federal or state program, private health insurance or managed care organization.

To ensure timely treatment, there are no income eligibility requirements for veterans seeking help from the Trust Fund for possible service-related brain injury. The Veterans Trust Fund also helps low-income veterans with expenses related to vision, hearing and dental care, durable medical equipment, and emergency home or vehicle repairs. 

Here are a few other ways we’ve continued Iowa’s strong track record of supporting and honoring our service members, veterans and their families this session:

• Ensuring that those serving on active duty remain eligible to receive tuition assistance benefits and attend school once they return. (SF 332)  (Senate File 332)

• Emphasizing the admission of homeless, honorably discharged veterans to the Iowa Veterans Home. (HF 544)  (House File 544)

• Including a mental health treatment staff member on the care committee for patients at the Iowa Veterans Home. (HF 544)

• Providing care at the Iowa Veterans Home for Gold Star parents—that is any parent of a service member who died on active duty. (HF 544)

• Allowing veterans to immediately get their veteran status marked on their driver’s license or state ID. (SF 224)"

(This information was compiled from Senator Liz Mathis at the end of legislative session in the Spring of 2013)