The American Legion (AL), which is celebrating its 100-year anniversary, is one many recognized Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) that is congressionally charted and therefore the rules of the Legion are mandated by law. To name just a few other charted VSO in Maine and their membership eligibility requirements; the American Legion for any veteran who served during a declared war era, VFW for any veteran who participated in a Foreign War, DAV for disabled veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of American for paralyzed veterans, and AMVETS for all veterans. Others in Maine include the Marine Corp League, Military Officers Association of America, Vietnam Veterans of American, and a few more.
The American Legion today is the only VSO organization on the Boothbay peninsula, which means if you are a veteran who served during a peace time period, you are not eligible to be in a local service organization (i.e. American Legion). That all changed as of June 30, 2019. Congress recognized that since 1947 through all the unrecognized war ears involving the U.S. military personnel, not fewer than 778 members of the Armed Forces have sacrificed their lives in service to the U.S. Since the end of World War II, during so-called peacetime eras, the military has been involved in not fewer than 12 known eras, which are unrecognized by the United States Government as periods of war, but resulted in numerous United States personnel combat casualties. U.S. casualties occurred during each of the following: the Greek Civil War between 1946 and 1949, the Chinese Civil War during the aftermath of WW II, the Cold War from 1947 to 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed. The Cold War had over 32 military combat deaths. Other unrecognized wars that involved U.S. military casualties were the China Cold War, the Cuban Bay of Pigs in 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Dominican Civil War in 1965, the Iranian Hostage Crisis from 1979 to 1981, the Salvadoran Civil War, the Libyan Conflict, the Persian Gulf Conflict, and since the Korean armistice that ended in 1955, nearly 100 military personnel sacrificed their lives in service to the U.S. Congress has now declared that the American Legion should be extended to all military personnel who served on active military duty during all of the unrecognized war eras involving active United States military personnel and it is now law. The next step will be for the National American Legion to change their eligibility requirements to include all veterans who serviced honorably since 1941. Currently, all veterans who served between Aug. 2, 1990 and today are eligible.
Don’t forget to call the Legion (633-4487) to reserve a table at the Sept. 14 yard sale. It would be gratefully appreciated to sign up early so the Yard Sale organizers can be appropriately prepared. We currently have seven tables reserved.
The next breakfast will be Sunday, Aug. 11! Spread the word, bring the family, bring your neighbors, make it a community event.