**BREAKING NEWS**

Southern Division February 2020 Newsletter

American Legion Auxiliary Makes National News

 A national article about the American Legion Auxiliary’s 100th birthday and Veterans Day is now in circulation in newspapers across the country.   Click the link below to read the article in "The Oklahoman."

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Long Time ALA Member Passes Away

 Helen Wert, age 94 and an American Legion Auxiliary member in the Collinsville Unit 2 for 27+ years, and before that, in the Claremore Unit 141 passed away November 5, 2019.  Helen has been a faithful volunteer at the ODVA Vet Center in Claremore for years, serving in multiple roles and areas.  Arrangements for Helen have been entrusted to Rice Funeral Home in Claremore.   Viewing will be Thursday, November 7th from 6 to 8 pm and grave side service on Friday at 1 pm at Floral Haven Cemetery at 71st and 129th West Avenue in Tulsa. 

American Legion Auxiliary Eighth District Convention

1st Round Convention Call 2010-2020 pdf (pdf)

Download
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Home Depot to Renovate ALA Headquarters

The Home Depot crew will be at the ALA Headquarters, 917 NW 92nd St, Oklahoma City, on Thursday, November 7, 2019.  They will arrive at 7 am and they will do a kickoff with the news between 7 and 9 am.  Come join us at that time to show support for the Oklahoma American Legion Auxiliary!

NEW ELIGIBILTY

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LEGION ACT SIGNED INTO LAW

 The LEGION Act (Let Everyone Get Involved In Opportunities for National Service Act) opens the door for approximately 6 million veterans to access American Legion programs and benefits for which they previously had not been eligible.


Now that the legislation has been signed, The American Legion’s eligibility criteria immediately changes from seven war eras to two: April 6, 1917, to Nov. 11, 1918, and Dec. 7, 1941 to a time later determined by the federal government. No other restrictions to American Legion membership are changed.


“The larger pool of veterans now eligible for The American Legion will also open their family members to eligibility in the Sons of the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary as well.”

11 Things You Need To Know About "LEGION ACT"

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1) 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 change 

2) 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 at www.legion.org/join

3) I am among the veterans 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. 

4) 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.

5) 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. 

6) 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 direct and adopted female descendants of eligible veterans. 

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7) 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. 

8) The current membership applications don’t address the 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.

9) 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.

10) 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

11) Who can I contact for more information about this change as it applies to membership and recruit

 Membership Division. Visit this web page to find the representative in your state. https://www.legion.org/membership/contactus