Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Programs
Homeless Veteran Outreach
The American Legion supports the efforts of public and private sector agencies and organizations that aid homeless veterans and their families. Additionally, the Legion supports legislative proposals to provide medical, rehabilitative and employment assistance to homeless veterans and their families.
The Legion recognizes that aiding homeless veterans requires a sustained coordinated effort, which should provide secure housing and nutritious meals; essential physical health care, substance abuse aftercare and mental-health counseling; as well as personal development and empowerment. Homeless veterans also need job assessment, training and placement assistance. The ultimate goal is total self-management for the homeless veteran.
The American Legion has stepped up its support for homeless veterans, coordinating a Homeless Veterans Task Force among its departments to augment homeless service providers and fill in the gaps where no assistance programs are available. All departments have a Homeless Veterans Task Force chairperson and an Employment chairperson who are capable of providing assistance to any homeless or financially destitute veteran who contacts them. The two chairpersons also can coordinate activities with posts in their departments to aid homeless veterans and their families and prevent future homelessness among veterans.
Women veterans face remarkably different experiences than their male counterparts when they transition out of the military. While VA has made significant advancements in women veterans health care throughout the VA health-care system, there is still room for improvements.
The American Legion wants every woman veteran who walks through the doors of a VA medical facility to feel that it was designed with them in mind and no longer has the looks of a “For Male” only building. As a result of the increase in the number of women veterans, The American Legion National Executive Committee passed Resolution 14, in September 2016, which calls for VA to ensure that all women veterans receive gender-specific quality health care.
The American Legion continues to track and monitor all issues related to Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Every day, servicewomen and men experience MST, which includes any sexual activity against one’s will, or during a time when one is unable to consent to sexual activities while serving in the military.
The American Legion is deeply concerned with the plight of survivors of MST and continues to work with Congress to find the right treatment for every patient, while urging VA to be flexible to ensure these veterans receive the care they need.
The American Legion will work to ensure those who have become victims are treated, all while encouraging the U.S. Armed Forces to take steps to eradicate MST.
Veteran Benefits Assistance
Accredited American Legion service officers are specially trained to provide expert assistance, free of charge, to veterans and their families. While the majority of a service officer’s work involves application for VA disability benefits, these compassionate professionals also provide information, referrals and resources on education, employment and business, death benefits and other important topics.