September Commander’s Corner
Newly-elected National Commander Jim Koutz made a visit to Maine and stopped by the Post on September 8. Rumford’s Town Manager Carlos Puiia presented him with a Key to the City. The Commander was very impressed with Maine hospitality. Members of the Post attended the Fall Conference in Millinocket and came back with fresh ideas on Legion Programs.
Guest speaker Joe Gallagher, Director of IT National Headquarters gave a very informative presentation on myLegion.org. Legion members, Posts and Districts can setup an account on myLegion.org it can be a very helpful tool in membership.
Starting this month I will include information on positions and programs of the American Legion. I will obtain the information from an American Legion publication booklet ‘Positions and Programs quick reference guide.
This month’s position is Disabled Veterans Tax, which references the current practice which bars certain veterans from receiving both their full retirement pay as well as their full disability pay. Prior to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2004, all veterans who received disability compensation from the VA would have their retirement pay reduced by an offset, preventing them from receiving their full retirement pay.
With the passage of that act, a phased progression was put in place to work downwards from 100% disabled veterans to 50% disabled veterans to allow more severely disabled veterans to receive both benefits in full. This phase-in provides of the addition of levels of disabilities at a rate of approximately 10% per year and will be fully implemented by 2014. Regardless of this act, veterans receiving 40% or lower rates of disability must still offset their retirement pay.
This is the Disabled Veterans Tax and is opposed by the American Legion. Military retirement pay is compensation for longevity of honorable military service. VA service-connected disability compensation is for medical conditions incurred or aggravated while on active duty. These payments to a veteran are thus made for two distinct reasons. The American Legion supports the Retired Pay Restoration Act in both houses S 344 and HR 303, as well as HR 333, the Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act. The Disabled Veterans Tax needs to be completely abolished.
This month’s program is American Legion Legacy Scholarship. The American Legion assists families of military personnel who die on active duty on or after September 11, 2001, by providing college scholarships for their children. It’s just one of the many ways the American Legion remembers those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while defending this nation against terrorism.
The American Legion Legacy Scholarship is unique because it helps the children of those who now, and will in the future, serve America in the Global War on Terrorism. Country music artist Michael Peterson has pledged 50% of net profits from the sale of each of his music products. Legion family contributors and the general public may direct their donations to: The American Legion Legacy
Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1055, Indianapolis, IN 46206. For more information on the above topics please stop by your local Post or visit the Legion website at legion.org.
The Post Americanism Officer will try and conduct the High School Oratorical Scholarship Program this fall. The main purpose of the program is to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the Constitution of the United States on the part of high school students. You must be a citizen or lawful resident of the United States be in the grades 9 through 12 or an accredited home school program. State level prizes ranging from $150 to $1,000 and at national level the scholarships awarded range from $1,500 to $18,000.
Any students, parents or teachers that would like more information, contact the Post at 369-9053 and leave your name and phone number and you will be contacted. We will ensure you are contacted and have the materials you need to prepare yourself for the competition.
We will continue the monthly meetings for the Legion, Ladies Auxiliary and the Sons of American Legion on Sunday, October 7 with the meal at 5 p.m. and the meeting at 6 p.m. Keep the membership dues coming in as those are what helps pay for the Legion Programs locally, state and at national levels.