The Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation (VA&R) program promotes the American Legion Auxiliary’s (ALA) mission to enhance the lives of veterans, military, and their families, ensuring restoration and/or transition to normally functioning lives.
The Department (VA&R) special project will be “Serve Our Willing Warriors”. Willing Warriors is a privately funded 501 (c)(3) charitable organization offering cost-free getaways from the hospital environment where Warriors and their families can come to relax, spend quality time together, and reconnect. The average hospital stay for recovering warriors is about three hundred days.
The ALA will continue to support the American Legion’s national initiative “Be The One’’, encouraging all posts, units, and squadrons across the nation to conduct activities to raise awareness of the ever-climbing number of veterans (currently 17-20 daily) who give into their inner struggles and end their lives. Members are encouraged to wear the “Be the One” shirts or pins, conduct buddy checks, or any other small action that can help you “be the one to save one.”
We will also raise funds to support the needs of our VA Medical Centers and assist and support veterans, veteran caregivers, family members, and survivors in our communities.
What can you do under the VA&R Program?
• Support rehabilitation and healing of veterans through arts, crafts, and hobbies.
• Enroll Auxiliary members as VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) volunteers at VA health care facilities.
• If there is not a VA hospital close to your community, find opportunities for Auxiliary members to serve veterans in your area such as serving the homeless.
• Help The American Legion, State Department of Veterans Affairs and Chamber of Commerce promote job fairs for veterans and their families.
Capture the number of veterans you serve, your volunteer hours, mileage and monetary or in-kind donations, along with your unit’s events and activities. Mid-year reports are due December 1, 2023; and year-end reports are due by April 15, 2024.
Donations for VA&R Special Project – please address checks to ALA Department of VA and mail to 1708 Commonwealth Avenue, Richard VA 232230. Write VA&R Project or designate a specific VA Medical Center on the memo line.
I look forward to serving as your VA& Chairman for the incoming year. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me.