New Jersey Legionnaire NJ Legionnarie_Nov 2016 : Page 1

WORLD’S LARGEST VETERANS’ ORGANIZATION VOLUME 32, NO. 4 New Jersey LEGIONNAIRE Official Publication of THE AMERICAN LEGION, DEPARTMENT OF NEW JERSEY Index Dept. Service Officer Column Tom Lowe Adjutant’s Column Page 3-4 3 2 5 National Convention Highlights Dates to Remember Legislative Report Boys State Baseball 5 8 TRENTON, NEW JERSEY NOVEMBER 2016 10 9 COMMANDER’S MESSAGE It has been a busy and productive summer and early fall. What a great time to be traveling throughout this beautiful state to attend various events and ceremonies! One recent event was the first fund raiser for the “Centennial Celebration.” It made me reflect on how proud I feel to be part of this organization which has accomplished so much in its almost 100 year history. Not only have we fought for and won many benefits for veterans and veteran’s rights but we have also helped improve the lives of children and youth through our many programs including COTA, Boys State, and Legion Ball to name a few. We have helped numerous families through our Family Support Network and our National Emergency Fund which ROGER GENGARO helped posts and families recover from natural disasters. We have fostered Americanism through our many school and community programs. We have granted college scholarships to deserving students at the national, state and local level. Posts have helped their communities in ways too numerous to mention. In addition to all the good works we have done I take pride in our wonderful traditions to honor our past which will serve as a model to future generations. As important as it is to honor our past we must constantly strive to keep our organization vibrant and relevant. To do this it is necessary to continually evaluate and improve what we do and how we do it. We must also work tirelessly to maintain and increase our membership. I am happy to point out that we met and slightly exceeded the first membership target which was 50%; in fact, we hit 53.27% on September 14th. Let’s keep up the good work and ultimately exceed our goal of 46,300 members for this membership year. Remember, I am asking that each member bring in at least one new member. I am also happy to report that contributions have started to come in for our department project to help our homeless veterans here in New Jersey deal with their emotional and mental issues such as PTSD, and potential suicide. Please always keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Finally, we are approaching a very important election so be sure to exercise the right to vote that we have all fought for. Get out and vote and encourage others to do so. Roger that! n Legion Supports Efforts to Assist Veterans Impacted by ITT Closures The American Legion is supporting federal efforts to assist student veter-ans impacted by the closure of ITT Technical Institute (ITT Tech) by providing educational counseling through its service officer network. ITT Tech announced it was permanently closing all its campuses nation-wide September 6, citing actions by the U.S. Department of Education to ban the for-profit institution from enrolling new students using federal financial aid over concerns of financial mismanagement. This announcement directly affects more than 6,000 military veterans expected to attend fall 2016 classes using GI Bill funds. Accredited American Legion service officers are specially trained to pro-vide expert assistance, which is free to all veterans and their families. While the majority of a service officer’s work involves application for VA disability bene-fits, these professionals also provide information, referrals and resources on education. Recently, service officers have received information to specifically counsel veterans affected by the ITT Tech closings. “We are deeply troubled by ITT Tech’s abrupt closing and the blockade it has placed in front of veterans seeking higher education,” said American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt. “Since its inception, The American Legion has honored its commitment to veterans and their families in readjusting to civilian life. Today, our service officers assist veterans with understanding their benefits, solving VA’s healthcare maze and finding edu-cational opportunities that match their interests. We are honored to serve as the nation’s vanguard for veterans’ education benefits by counseling these vet-erans through our service officer network.” To contact your nearest department service officer for ITT Tech informa-tion or questions on your VA benefits, visit www.legion.org/serviceofficers. The American Legion is the largest wartime veterans service organization with 2.2 million members in more than 13,000 posts in communities across America. The Legion, established by an act of Congress in 1919, was instru-mental in getting the original GI Bill through Congress and the creation of the Department of Veterans Affairs. n

Commander’s Message

Roger Gengaro

It has been a busy and productive summer and early fall. What a great time to be traveling throughout this beautiful state to attend various events and ceremonies! One recent event was the first fund raiser for the “Centennial Celebration.” It made me reflect on how proud I feel to be part of this organization which has accomplished so much in its almost 100 year history. Not only have we fought for and won many benefits for veterans and veteran’s rights but we have also helped improve the lives of children and youth through our many programs including COTA, Boys State, and Legion Ball to name a few. We have helped numerous families through our Family Support Network and our National Emergency Fund which helped posts and families recover from natural disasters. We have fostered Americanism through our many school and community programs. We have granted college scholarships to deserving students at the national, state and local level. Posts have helped their communities in ways too numerous to mention.

In addition to all the good works we have done I take pride in our wonderful traditions to honor our past which will serve as a model to future generations. As important as it is to honor our past we must constantly strive to keep our organization vibrant and relevant. To do this it is necessary to continually evaluate and improve what we do and how we do it. We must also work tirelessly to maintain and increase our membership. I am happy to point out that we met and slightly exceeded the first membership target which was 50%; in fact, we hit 53.27% on September 14th. Let’s keep up the good work and ultimately exceed our goal of 46,300 members for this membership year. Remember, I am asking that each member bring in at least one new member.

I am also happy to report that contributions have started to come in for our department project to help our homeless veterans here in New Jersey deal with their emotional and mental issues such as PTSD, and potential suicide. Please always keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Finally, we are approaching a very important election so be sure to exercise the right to vote that we have all fought for. Get out and vote and encourage others to do so.

Roger that!

Read the full article at http://www.evergreeneditions.com/article/Commander%E2%80%99s+Message/2636908/357024/article.html.

Legion Supports Efforts To Assist Veterans Impacted By ITT Closures

The American Legion is supporting federal efforts to assist student veterans impacted by the closure of ITT Technical Institute (ITT Tech) by providing educational counseling through its service officer network.

ITT Tech announced it was permanently closing all its campuses nationwide September 6, citing actions by the U.S. Department of Education to ban the for-profit institution from enrolling new students using federal financial aid over concerns of financial mismanagement. This announcement directly affects more than 6,000 military veterans expected to attend fall 2016 classes using GI Bill funds.

Accredited American Legion service officers are specially trained to provide expert assistance, which is free to all veterans and their families. While the majority of a service officer’s work involves application for VA disability benefits, these professionals also provide information, referrals and resources on education. Recently, service officers have received information to specifically counsel veterans affected by the ITT Tech closings.

“We are deeply troubled by ITT Tech’s abrupt closing and the blockade it has placed in front of veterans seeking higher education,” said American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt. “Since its inception, The American Legion has honored its commitment to veterans and their families in readjusting to civilian life. Today, our service officers assist veterans with understanding their benefits, solving VA’s healthcare maze and finding educational opportunities that match their interests. We are honored to serve as the nation’s vanguard for veterans’ education benefits by counseling these veterans through our service officer network.”

To contact your nearest department service officer for ITT Tech information or questions on your VA benefits, visit www.legion.org/serviceofficers.

The American Legion is the largest wartime veterans service organization with 2.2 million members in more than 13,000 posts in communities across America. The Legion, established by an act of Congress in 1919, was instrumental in getting the original GI Bill through Congress and the creation of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Read the full article at http://www.evergreeneditions.com/article/Legion+Supports+Efforts+To+Assist+Veterans+Impacted+By+ITT+Closures/2636914/357024/article.html.

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