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Central Valley Veterans Invited To Legion Session
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Military veterans in and around the Central Valley area are invited next week for a special service session at The American Legion Department of California Headquarters at 1601 Seventh St., Sanger.

National and state teams from The American Legion will be in town to discuss veteran’s benefits and service to the community.

All wartime veterans in the area are invited to the Headquarters Building to learn more about The American Legion and veteran benefits. Membership and veteran information staff will be available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, March 3 and 4, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 along with members of American Legion Posts in the Central Valley area to kick off this community and veteran service campaign.

A Veteran Service Officer will also be available all three days for all area veterans with claims or other veteran-related questions.

In keeping with the over 95-year tradition of The American Legion, the rejuvenated American Legion posts around the state focus on community service and assistance to veterans. The scope and nature of the posts’ community service will be determined by its members and input from local civic and community officials.

“Service, that’s what The American Legion is all about,” said Lawrence Van Kurin, Commander of The American Legion for the Department (state) of California. “We exist to help each and every veteran, their families and the communities they live in.

“The Central Valley area is an ideal place to strengthen partnerships between the veterans and the community,” Van Kurin added. “The people here care about their community and practice good citizenship every day. Now, wartime veterans have a special place from which they can make a difference.”

Since its inception in 1919, The American Legion has been a key advocate for veterans’ benefits, children and youth, patriotic American values, a strong national defense and quality-of-life issues for those serving in today’s armed forces.

The organization, which spearheaded the original GI Bill, has been advocating reform of the veteran’s health care system under its GI Bill of Health. Creation of the federal forerunner of the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as the agency’s ascent to cabinet-level status is due in part to The American Legion’s advocacy. The American Legion was also instrumental in the establishment of the Veterans Home Loan, veterans hiring preference and just compensation to veterans suffering from illnesses related to their military service, including those whose ailments stem from exposure to Agent Orange and mysterious Persian Gulf origins.

Equally aggressive are The American Legion’s efforts to instill values in young people through numerous programs, including American Legion Boys State, American Legion Boys Nation, Junior Shooting Sports, the National High School Oratorical Contest, American Legion Baseball, Teenage Suicide Prevention and Child Health. The American Legion has supported Scouting since 1919. Many American Legion posts also support Junior ROTC high school units and fund-raising for children and youth.