Changes to American Legion opens up membership to millions of veterans

Local News

President Donald Trump’s recent passing of the Legion Act is seen as a victory at American Legion posts throughout the country.

“A lot of guys feel, ‘You didn’t want me then. Why do you want me now?’ said Bob Borszich, 6th District Commander at the American Legion Post 33.

In the past, membership was exclusive to veterans who fought in years where America was formally at war.
And now, the rules have changed.

“Until they passed that law, we had nothing to do with it,” he said. “We certainly welcome everybody and anybody right now to join the American Legion.”

As a workaround, the new Legion Act says the United States has been in a state of war since America’s entry into WWII–allowing several decades-worth of veterans to join.

“It’ll make 6,000,000 more veterans eligible for the American Legion and their benefits,” said Borszich.

Just because it’s a non-war era doesn’t mean American servicemembers aren’t getting killed.

“It honors 1,600 military veterans who were either killed or wounded in action in those non-declared war eras,” he said.

Enrollment is expected to increase, though it is unclear by how much.

“We would certainly welcome it,” he said. “Because there is a lot of hard feelings out there about the fact that they weren’t able to join previously.”

Post 33 in Neenah has over 170 members who participate in community events. And just one more member would be a victory.

“We’re certainly very, very happy and glad that it got [changed] and we can now recruit these members and they can be part of American Legion,” said Borszich.

You can learn more about becoming a member on-site at local Posts, or on pages like this.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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