The American Legion of Montana
Department of Montana History Book Section #1 - Pages 1 - 7 Section #2 - Pages 8...
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(Updated May 12, 2016) Action on this issue has moved to the Senate after the House of Representatives disappointingly failed to include the full repeal in this year's FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Senate Armed Services Committee is now considering their version of the NDAA and we are doubling down on our efforts to get this included in the final bill. Please contact your Members of Congress requesting their cosponsorship and support for the full repeal of this unfair penalty on this nation’s disabled veterans.
(March 24, 2016) Veterans provide the backbone of liberty for our nation. Our gratitude for their sacrifice is immense. The freedom we enjoy today is a direct result of their sacrifices. The retirement benefits that military retirees receive are but a small portion of the debt this nation owes them. VA service-connected disability compensation is another.
But for more than 100 years before 1999, all disabled military retirees were required to fund their own veterans' disability compensation by forfeiting one dollar of earned retired pay for each dollar received in veterans' disability compensation. Since 1999, Congress has enacted legislation to progressively provide relief for this unfair offset between military retired pay and disability compensation. However, Congress has not yet provided all disabled military retirees this relief. This is patently unfair and The American Legion has long supported measures to correct this unfair situation.
The American Legion calls this unfair practice by the federal government the 'Disabled Veterans' Tax', and we adamantly oppose this unfair 'tax' on our wounded, injured, and ill retired veterans who suffered their disabilities because of their military service to this country.
This is why we support the Retired Pay Restoration Act, H.R. 303 in the U.S. House of Representatives and S. 271 in the Senate, in the current Congress.
You can help us by contacting your Members of Congress and asking them to co-sponsor these bills. The Senate is on recess . The House is on recess . We need veterans’ advocates around the country to take advantage of the opportunity to meet and call while they’re on recess working in their state or district.
The American Legion Family is also encouraged to use the TAL Action Center to contact their Senators and Representative to ask their cosponsorship and support for these proposals.
The American Legion will not rest until all of our retired, service-disabled warriors receive both of the benefits they earned due to their selfless sacrifice and duty to our nation.
Dear Legion Family Members and Friends,
Among the freedoms many Americans enjoy is the right to vote for our elected officials. This year, of course, is generating intense interest because a new president will be elected. Additionally, voters will elect every single member of the U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the U.S. Senate.
Right now we are entering a critical and exciting juncture as the two major political parties begin to hold primaries and caucuses to determine the front-runners for their nominations. Strong opinions can be found everywhere. Unfortunately, so too can some mistruths. Many political groups were created specifically to spin facts, distort reality and twist words to propel their candidates into office. The American Legion, as a nonpartisan organization, assumes a role of neutrality amid the storm of political rhetoric and images.
As individuals, we are free like anyone to vote as we wish and support the candidates we think best.
But as Legionnaires, we have a duty to participate in the election process and encourage others to exercise one of the most important freedoms we, and those who served in uniform before us, fought to protect: the freedom to vote.
On the local level, an American Legion post can take on a greater role in its community by organizing and hosting a political forum or debate among candidates. Remember that any such event must be open to all who are running for a particular office, and the Legion cannot promote any one candidate. When posts are using their facilities for such events, they should remove the emblem and Legion flag to avoid the impression of endorsement for any candidate. (Note that renting out hall space to a political campaign is still fair game, as long as it is not presented as an American Legion-sponsored event.)
Here are some reminders from the Legion’s Get Out the Vote brochure:
1. When hosting a voter registration drive, information and applications must be offered and available to all eligible voters.
2. Legionnaires may express partisan views, but they must do so when they are not wearing the Legion cap or other Legion attire, and without a direct connection to an American Legion post.
3. American Legion posts may coordinate forums or debates. However, posts cannot endorse or oppose a candidate, or coordinate activities with a candidate without giving his/her opponent the same opportunity.
Following these guidelines will keep the Legion above the fray without sacrificing any member’s right to participate in the democratic process. It is my hope that each of you do participate in the election process individually, and posts take the lead in their communities by arranging fair debates or “meet the candidates” forums to help all of our citizens fulfill a right too often taken for granted.
Duty. Honor. Country.