WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, introduced the LEGION Act, bipartisan legislation that would extend American Legion membership to honorably discharged veterans who served since World War II.
Currently, only veterans who served during periods of declared hostilities are able to join the American Legion. The bipartisan LEGION Act is supported by the American Legion and ensures the thousands of brave American veterans who fought for our country during unrecognized times of war are able to enjoy the full benefits of the American Legion.
“For 100 years, The American Legion has fostered a community for service members and veterans throughout our great nation,” said Senator Tillis. “The bipartisan LEGION Act will expand access to the American Legion to all veterans who served honorably, and I look forward to building support for this commonsense legislation in the Senate.”
“The American Legion provides critical resources to our veterans, but currently, only veterans who served during formally recognized conflicts can belong to the Legion. That restriction leaves out thousands of former American servicemembers who signed up to defend our country. Our legislation rights this wrong and ensures veterans have the opportunity to join the American Legion,” said Senator Sinema.
“Nearly 1,600 brave American men and women were killed or wounded since World War II, while defending our nation during times not officially recognized as periods of war by the U.S. government,” American Legion National Commander Brett P. Reistad said. “These veterans are unable to receive some of the benefits and recognition available to their counterparts who served during official wartime periods. Because The American Legion is congressionally chartered, we are unable to welcome many of these veterans as members of the nation’s largest veterans organization. It is fitting that during the 100th anniversary of the founding of The American Legion, Senators Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) and Thom Tillis (NC) are introducing the LEGION Act, bipartisan legislation that will recognize all veterans who served honorably since the start of World War II, while also fostering growth within the veteran community. Moreover, we salute Sen. Sinema for making this the first bill that she has introduced as a newly elected U.S. senator. We hope that the American people will encourage all members of Congress to support the LEGION Act. It is an appropriate ‘thank you’ to those who served.”