Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation (commonly referenced as VA&R) is one of the KEY pillars of the American Legion. The American Legion stands on the front line of change in this pillar of service. It is a complex and vital part of the organization’s mission – particularly now, as a new generation of wartime veterans enters the civilian and VA worlds.
For more than 90 years, The American Legion has acted as the nation’s leading advocate for proper health care, economic opportunity and legal benefits for U.S. military veterans. The Legion was instrumental in the creation of the Veterans Administration in 1930, and an ardent supporter of its elevation to cabinet status when it became the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1989. The relationship between VA and The American Legion continues to evolve today.
As it has for decades, The American Legion continues to aggressively lobby for adequate funding of VA health care, timely access to facilities, fair rulings on benefit claims, and economic opportunities for those who have come home changed by their military experiences. A nationwide network of American Legion department service officers works diligently to assist veterans as they pursue benefits and care they earned and deserve. At the local, state and national levels, thousands of Legionnaires provide countless hours to help veterans obtain their benefits. The American Legion provides professional representation in claims appeals, discharge disputes and transition assistance from active-duty to civilian status throughout the country.
Today, as the number of discharged veterans from the global war on terrorism has surpassed 500,000, the Legion’s federally chartered role to support them could not be more profound. The Legion strongly believes that a veteran is a veteran, no matter the war era, nature or location of service. In that light, The American Legion is the only organization that works on behalf of all 24.5 million U.S. veterans and all who will follow.