ELIGIBILITY FOR MEMBERSHIP - WHY JOIN US ? (updated 9/13/2019)

MAJOR CHANGE TO ELIGIBILITY FOR MEMBERSHIP!! Due to recent changes to the American Legion Charter, the rules for membership eligibility have been changed, much for the better for the life of the Legion. President Trump signed, on July 30, 2019, the “LEGION Act” a bipartisan act which will recognize veterans who served on Active Duty during periods not previously considered “Wartime.” LEGION stands for “Let Everyone Get Involved In Opportunities for National service. This opens the door for millions of veterans to access American Legion programs and benefits for which they previously had not been eligible. Up until July 30, 2019, a potential member had to show active duty service during times of national declared conflict. One did not have to serve in a combat zone.

As a result of this Congressional action, of which our President quickly agreed to and signed the declaration, “any service member with service on Federal active duty in the United States Armed Forces since December 7, 1941, and have been honorably discharged or are still serving - you are eligible for membership in The American Legion!” Service should be illustrated by the DD214, reflecting Honorable Service during their military career; a copy of which need to be provided at time of application.

“U.S. Merchant Marine eligible only from December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946 (WWII)”

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Currently, our Post 501 stands at 100% of goal, with 294 paid members, short just 7 left to go. If you are one of those “still getting around to it”, please just take a few minutes to update your membership. We know that there is a lot of pressure today for one’s funding, what with the cost of living still growing. But if our Post 501 is to survive, membership has to grow. We need memberships in good standing, just like flowers in the window box need sun, to grow strong. One of our Auxiliary members stated it quite correctly - “FLAME needs to be kindled”. Flame is life to a fire, which is life to all mankind. When the fire begins to die down, we all need to remember to add kindling to the fire to generate the heat. The heat is the pressure we put on our legislators to provide much needed support to our veterans, their families”.

As you have heard many times, over and over again, it is the Veteran who has given us the opportunity to continue to live in the best country in the world. Legionnaires are all veterans, and if their military experiences were positive, it is time for each of us to pay back, to those following in boots, and their families, the same opportunity we have enjoyed. It is our membership that the legislators in the State of Wisconsin, and also in our Nation’s capital, look to for guidance. The greater the membership, the stronger and brighter our flame. Join, for the first time, or renew to regain that part of the FLAME.

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Membership in the American Legion, especially at the local post level, provides many personal benefits, along with a place to enjoy comradeship with folks who have marched in boots just as you have.  Not only do you have a place to share experiences while serving our Nation, both in peace and in challenging times, but you also have an opportunity to support those warriors and their families, especially their children and youth, in meeting their needs.  This is the unselfish, volunteer side of the American Legion.

Now what's in it for me?  I have to pay dues, which seem to go up a bit over time (some of our members solve this issue by becoming a PUFL {Paid Up For Life} member (www.legion.org/join/pufl).  OK - so what do I get for this membership?  Ever hear of the GI Bill - did you use?  The current ongoing efforts to improve VA services - have you used VA benefits? How about the Money-Saving Discounts for various programs and services, such as: Home Depot, Office Depot, Omaha Steaks, Allied Moving, USAA insurance services, Lifestation, CVS Caremark, Gov Vacation rewards, Wyndham, Best Western, and Motel 6, and several auto rental firms such as Alamo, National and Enterprise.  This discounting list is not all inclusive - check out the National Website, www.legion.org/benefits, for details on large selection of more personal benefits.  If interested, you can also renew your roll call by going direct to National - just log onto www.legion.org/renew

You can go to the National Legion website to join online, www.legion.org/join, or print off a membership application.  Be sure when you complete the membership application that you indicate our American Legion Post 501 otherwise you will be assigned to State Headquarters.

Included in your membership are the regular Legion National magazines, the State of Wisconsin and our own monthly Post 501 newsletters, all of which are a great way to keep on top of the numerous benefits available for Legionnaires, their Auxiliary and their Sons of the American Legion. 

Let your voice be heard.  We, in the Legion, are the strongest voice for veterans in Washington, D.C.     

So do yourself a favor, a fellow veteran, those currently serving in boots and their families, and join or renew your valuable membership today.  We will look forward to seeing you at our Post !

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Please believe us when we say we truly need your partnership.  Every paid member counts when our Legion leadership approaches our Congressional members to enact services for our Veterans and their families. Many Veterans benefit programs are currently underfunded, or at risk of being eliminated in part or in whole.  Numbers are the one thing that our Congress focuses on when enacting legislation beneficial to our American heroes.  Please do your part to make these programs solvent.  Our lobby is our strength.

Membership annual dues are now $42 and this rate will be retained  for your renewal for the 2019 year.  

By the way, you can also reduce your overall costs for membership just by considering becoming a “PUFL”. What …..? you may ask is this? It stands for Paid Up For Life ! By sharing a one time payment, you won’t be bothered every year thereafter to submit your annual membership dues. The premium for this can be found by going to the National website. You will need to enter your Legion #, and your date of birth. The specific $ amount for you will be displayed, and you could even, with a credit card, cover this cost right on line. Otherwise, call the National phone number 1-800-433-3318 for assistance. Many of our members have selected this manner of removing future annual notices of dues due.

It's not too late to show your support.  Membership is our Post 501's lifeblood, and is the most important factor of being able to support our mission.  If you want to participate in either the monthly meetings, if only once a year, or become a regular, or just participate in our pancake breakfasts, or special dinners, or even if you wish to only attend other fund raising events, we thank you especially.  We have a lot of hard working members who would love to meet and work along side with you.  We know that each of us has a lot of commitments to family, church, work and are always short of extra time.  But if you just have a couple hours a month or quarter, we'd sure be appreciative of your presence.  We are especially looking for veterans of Desert Storm, Iraq, or Afghanistan actions.  You are the future of service to Veterans, service which will always be needed.  Your reward is being able to proudly say "I served twice, once in uniform, and now without".

You can go to the National Legion website to renew online, www.legion.org/renew, or print off a membership application. If you join in this manner, be sure to identify our Post 501 as your choice.

If you have questions, please click on the "Contact Us" tab above and send us a message or call the Post 501 at 608-244-7716.  We'll gladly be in touch.