American Legion Post 36

Tue, 11/29/2022 - 10:15am

Welcome to the holiday season! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, some other spiritual holiday or don’t celebrate anything during December at all, you can’t escape the holiday season, not that you would want to. Something really special about all the lights and the general up lifting feeling, unless you are really stressing about what the perfect gift would be for that special someone(s). The holiday season actually starts Dec. 1 at Togus. At 3 p.m., the employees and others will assemble in front of Building 200 (the hospital) and have a procession to the garden outside Building 207 where there will be a gathering to provide the holiday spirit to the staff and residents of the hospice, nursing, and dementia units (referred to as the Community Living Center). The celebration will conclude with the lighting of the Big Tree and garden display at 4:30. If you want to start the holiday season off in the true spirit of this special time of year and bring real joy to the residence of the CLC, join us in the celebration at 4 outside Building 207.

I just thought of a great Christmas present for the veteran in your family. How about signing them up for “paid up for life” membership in the American Legion? If for some strange reason, they aren’t members of the American Legion but are members of the VFW, DAV, FRA, and/or MOAA, pick the one they are the most active with and pay them up for life as well. That would be a gift that keeps on giving!

I have often written about the VA and the fact that there are really two VAs we deal with; the VBA for Benefits and the VHA for Healthcare. For our purposes, they are completely separate. If you want to file a claim for service-connected healthcare, Pensions, or Aid and Attendance, for example, that is the VBA. To navigate the VBA, we recommend you get represented by the American Legion, DAV, VFW, or the Maine Bureau of Veterans Services (MBVS). They do all the paperwork for you. On the healthcare side, your Primary Care doctor is typically the one who will provide the referrals to specialty care, home health care, or geriatric care. When that gets complicated, the VHA has the Patient Advocate whose job it is to sort out any healthcare issues you might have, typically confusion relative to multiple doctors’ treatments or issues you might have with specific practitioners. Unfortunately, at the moment the Patient Advocate position is vacant. There are still senior VHA staff that can help with any of these type issues. Your Post Service Officer, Ed Harmon, or myself can connect you with the right person.

Saturday Dec. 3 from 4:30-6:30 p.m., the Legion will be hosting along with local Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts a fundraiser for Ian Michaud. Information about Ian's fight with Osteosarcoma can be found at If you are unable to attend and would like to donate go to