Holiday cards needed for Fitzsimons & Post 2018

By: Annette Johnson, Department Jr. Vice Commander

Please consider adopting a veteran this year by sending a Christmas/Holiday card to our Fitzsimons veterans. Our veterans do not have an option to sit down to dinner, enjoy a classic movie, or visit with grand kids. The only way they can visit with family members is in the cold outdoors, distanced by 20 feet of bushes and fencing, and yell to each other through iron fencing.

For people with hearing and speech projection issues this is not an easy task and the veterans are often observed as remaining silent because they either cannot hear or yell loud enough. Please take a few minutes to let them know they are not forgotten this year. If you do not know what to write, go to ‘Today is History’ in your browser and copy then paste some historical data into a word doc and print it out. This way the veterans can share their historical stories with their brothers and sisters lining in the center.

Caroling for Veterans – consider coming to Fitzsimons Living Center and joining us on December 5th – gathering at 10:00 am and we will start singing at 10:30, in the first courtyard. Please park in the lot across from the main entrance. Depending on COVID 19 restrictions in force on this date. Address: 1919 QUENTIN STREET, Aurora, CO. 80045 (main cross streets Peoria and Colfax)

Thank you for taking a little time out of your life to spread some Holiday cheer to our veterans living at Fitzsimons.

I wish everyone a safe and healthy this Holiday season.

Department Service Officers taking care of our veterans

On November 19 & 20, your Department Service Officers, Dean Casey and Will Davis took part in a VA Veterans Experience Acton Center Virtual event. The American Legions and the DAV were involved with the Department of Colorado Veterans Affairs (CVA). No other Service Offices (VFW, PVA, etc.) took part in this event. Dean and Will each had 17 Veterans to call in the two days. They used Ring Central which indicated to the recipient that the call was coming from the Washington D.C. VA office.

They started the calling at 9 am each day and had a list to contact each hour until 2 pm which was their last call.

Their goal was to call two veterans each hour with the call lasting about 30 minutes each. Out of the 34 contact names whey were able to contact all but 6 veterans. Three were already American Legion claimants and the rest either did not have representation or were represented by DAV or CVA.

They gained about six new American Legion Power of Attorneys out of the event. The intent of the calls was to ascertain what the issues were and what service the veteran needed. They were then transferred to the Washington D.C. VA and referred to either Benefits, Health Care or Cemetery to complete the call. Thanks to Dean and Will for taking care of our veterans with this important event.

Renew legion membership

National Commander Thanksgiving Message

American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford extends a Thanksgiving greeting to members of the American Legion Family, and active-duty military men and women

 

Invite newly eligible veterans to serve with us

On July 30, 2019, the LEGION Act was signed into law, which extended the ongoing declared period of war back to Dec. 7, 1941. The act paved the way to honor thousands of veterans

who were killed or wounded on duty during periods not previously considered wartime.

Notably for The American Legion the LEGION Act — Let Everyone Get Involved in Opportunities for National Service Act — filled in the gaps of membership eligibility. What that means for us is that any veteran with an honorable discharge who served since the day Pearl Harbor was attacked is now eligible to join The American Legion.

For these newly eligible members — roughly 4.2 million — it means they can now join the nation’s largest and most influential veterans service organization and enjoy the rewards of membership. National Commander Oxford

But many of these now-eligible members don’t yet realize they can join. They have tried to sign up in the past, only to learn they were not eligible due to the previous definitions of war periods.

So, it is up to us to spread the word and let these deserving veterans know that we are now allowed to welcome them into our family. As you reach out to these non-members, visit legion.org to search for and read the article “11 things you need to know about the

LEGION Act.” But communicating with these eligible members is not limited to just today or this week. Invite eligible members to your Thanksgiving or Christmas event at the post or elsewhere in yourcommunity.

What a wonderful opportunity to welcome them and demonstrate how we continue to serve our great nation, states and communities. And now, these newly eligible members are not only able to observe the great community service we provide, but they can serve with us.

For God and country,

Bill Oxford

National Commander

Colorado American Legion Posts in Action

Read here

Buddy Checks

By: Chip Kossow, Sr Vice Commander

The holiday season is back and there are so many things to enjoy this time of year. But how are your buddies doing?

Not everyone is feeling the blessings of the season. Add in the social unrest, governmental dysfunction, and the social distancing isolation, its, a wonder we’re all not sitting there with our head in our hands. One thing is certain; Hearing from a friend can help.

The Buddy Check program is designed for Legionnaires to make contact, engage in conversation, assess risks and direct veterans in need to the appropriate services. Buddy checks have been an official thing within The American Legion since the National Executive Committee passed the Buddy Check Resolution in the spring of 2019. It was originally designated for the week of The American Legion’s birthday, 15 March and Veteran’s Day, but should be used whenever it is needed – like now. Veterans are more susceptible to depression and this time of year can exacerbate the problem. Veterans are more receptive to other veterans. Especially the veterans they know or at least from their own town. Posts should organize the effort for maximum effectiveness. Gather up a team, divvy up the list of members, and start making connections. The key is listening to the veteran.

Be prepared to answer the many possible questions about healthcare, community functions, financial assistance, meetings, or membership renewal. You may need to research details and get back to them. When the call is complete, ensure you thank them for their time and leave contact info for future use. The American Legion has a free tool kit available for download at https://www.legion.org/publications/247460/buddy-check-event-toolkit.

The American Legion is also asking you to contact Congress in an effort to unanimously pass the Buddy Check Week bill. The legislation will require VA to establish a “Buddy Check Week,” as well as provide educational opportunities, materials and references for veterans to learn more about how to conduct personal wellness checks.The bill also compels VA to expand resources for the Veterans Crisis Line to handle any potential increased volume during the designated week. Go to https://www.votervoice.net/AmericanLegion/home to get contact information for your area. God Bless our veterans, their families, and the United States of America!

Stay in touch!!!

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Know Your benefits

 

Filing for VA Benefits Prior to filing for any VA benefit, it is highly recommended the claimant consult with an accredited American Legion service officer.  The American Legion has approximately 3,000 accredited service officers to assist you.  To locate a service officer, please go to www.legion.org/serviceofficers.  Submitting all of the required information with the proper claim form to VA may reduce processing time by as many as 120 days.  American Legion service officers are able to explain the claim process, help with the proper forms and required documentation for veterans and their dependents at no charge.

USAA is proud to be Preferred  Provider of insurance and Financial Services to The American Legion.

Please visit usaa.com/legion or call 877 699-2654