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THE DEPARTMENT OF WASHINGTON

DEPARTMENT MESSAGES

April 2022

DEPARTMENT NEWS

There is a lot going on here at Department these days! Now that Spring Conferences are done, we're gearing up for Department Convention.

We have just mailed out the 2023 Post Officer Certification forms. Thank you to all of the Posts who have already sent them in. If you haven't done so, please be sure to complete them as soon as your Post elections are over.If you did not receive your forms, please contact Department to verify that we have your correct mailing address. There is a copy of the form and instructions at the end of this Bulletin. They are also available on the Department website here.

DEPARTMENT CONVENTION

We are preparing for our 103rd Department Convention to be held at the Red Lion Hotel & Conference Center in Pasco July 20-24th, 2022. Forms and information can be found on the Department website here.

 DEPARTMENT CONVENTION DELEGATE SELECTION

Our Adjutant must certify Post Delegates to the upcoming Department Convention. Delegate Certification forms can be found on the Department Website here

EVERGREEN BOYS AND GIRLS STATE

The Evergreen Boys State and Evergreen Girls State programs are looking for young people to attend these events. Below are the flyers for both events, and both have websites where you can find more information: evergreenboysstate.org and evergreengirlsstate.com.


Keith Hughes, Commander Post 160, received West Seattle Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year Award for all his work in that community. Congratulations Keith. Keep up the good work you do!  


 

MEMBERSHIP TARGET DATE

The 100% Target Date is May 13th.

MEMBERSHIP CHAIRMAN'S REPORT

Well, the 2022 year is almost over and it’s time to begin 2023. We have had a lot of changes over the course of the past year, and it’s been bumpy more than a few times, but I see the road leveling off and good things are within reach. In preparation for next year, which starts 1 Jul, I need each and every Post to do a total scrub from 1 Jul 2020 to now. During the integration of membership data from the OLD My Legion to the NEW My Legion did you lose anyone? That’s why I’m asking you to go back to 2020. If you have, send Dept an email with whatever info you have, the more the better, full name, membership number, etc. I would like the Dept to start the 2023 year with correct numbers of members, in other words, we took a census. I do hope that you are still pushing to get those last 2021 renewals in and maybe a few of those expired members to. In Mid-Sep you will get your new goals. Now is the time to review your numbers based on your goal. Because in early Sep, Natl will be giving the Dept their goal, and then comes the division amongst everyone. If I had to put a mark on the wall, I would put this year goal as bare minimum, plus 1-2 members as doable, and 3-5 as exceptional.

Don’t forget National Training Tuesday. The last Tuesday of each month American Legion National Headquarters staff will present 60 to 90-minute sessions on topics aimed at post commanders and adjutants. Each session will be recorded and made available for later viewing. Just go to The American Legion website and search for Training Tuesdays and follow the links.

Here are some questions that I get ask a lot, so here is the National verbiage.

If I join online or submit a membership application to National Headquarters, will I belong to a local Post?

When you first join The American Legion, through National Headquarters, your membership will be assigned to the department (state) Headquarters (HQ) post in your state of residence. (For the state of Washington that is Post 110). The HQ posts are basically administrative posts only and there are no meetings or activities, although you're entitled to the same membership benefits, and can visit the local posts as a guest. You can choose to remain in the HQ Post, but it is recommended that you visit posts in your area and if you find one you like, you're free to transfer. It's a great way to get involved with your local community.

I belong to a local post and renewed my membership online. When will I get my membership card?

National Headquarters usually updates the records within 24 to 48 hours to reflect the dues payment. Your Department Headquarters is also notified, and your post Adjutant receives notification through the post officer's version of the myLegion.org website. Your pre-printed annual membership card is at your post, and it should be forwarded to you after they review the notification of your renewal. If you don't receive it in a timely manner, contact your post Adjutant for assistance.

I received a membership invitation in the mail, and it says I can also join online at a special website shown on the application. If I join online, will I still get my membership card and the free gift mentioned in the letter?

Yes, you'll get your membership card and any free gifts mentioned in the letter, as long as you apply from that special website. You should receive your new member packet, including your membership card and free gift, approximately 4-6 weeks after you submit your application online. However, if you decide to mail your application, it will take about 4-6 weeks after we receive your application at National Headquarters. (Applies only to new members who join through National.) (Joining online causes you to go to Post 110, join at a Post.)

When does my membership expire?

Your membership actually expires on Dec. 31 of the paid year shown on your card. It can be a little confusing because your annual dues are supposed to be paid by Jan. 1 each year so National starts accepting dues for the upcoming year on July 1. The goal is to have everyone renewed for the New Year by Jan. 1 when it begins.

If dues are not paid by Jan. 1 of each calendar year, the member becomes delinquent. Feb. 1, the member is suspended, June 30, the member is dropped from the membership rolls. (This is in Dept Bylaws)

I paid my dues a while ago so why did I get another renewal notice?

Renewal notices are mailed from National Headquarters based on the information in our records at the time the notices are printed. Although you may have paid your dues, the National portion of your dues may not have reached our offices yet. When you pay your dues to the Post, they process your payment and keep a portion for the Post; the balance is sent to your Department Headquarters with your membership card; and finally, the Department deducts its portion of your dues and then forwards the remaining balance and your membership card to National. Once National receives your dues and card they are usually processed within 48 hours.

On the renewal notice, you'll see there is an "AS OF" date which is when the notice was printed. If you paid your dues sometime around that date, your dues and the renewal probably just crossed in the mail, and you shouldn't receive another one for that membership year. However, if you paid well in advance of that "as of" date, then you should contact your post adjutant to verify the status of your renewal payment.

 

April 2022

On April 7, 2022 the Department of Washington's Past Department Commander Robert W Schwartz passed at the age of 74 due to cancer. A retired Vietnam War Navy Veteran with 30 years of continuous membership.  

Sunday May 1, 2022, at noon
Mountain View Funeral Home, Aspen Chapel
4100 Steilacoom Blvd S.W.
Lakewood WA98499
Continuing Celebration of Life in Willow Room, next to Chapel.

Monday May 2, 2022, at 2:30 pm
Tahoma National Cemetery
Need to line up by 2:00PM

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The American Legion go to mylegion.org click on donate, Veterans and Children’s Foundation (click donate now, you can dedicate in Bob’s name) or PanCAN.org–Pancreatic Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network – Research, Patient Support, Resources (pancan.org) in memory of Bob Schwartz.


November 2021

DEPARTMENT NEWS

VA VOLUNTEER AWARD 

The American Legion VA Volunteer Award program is designed to recognize those Legionnaires providing exceptional VA Volunteer Service. The Department will present an award to the most outstanding candidate from each District based upon the information submitted. The entry forms can be found on the Department Website and it must be postmarked by December 31st.
 
E-mail or Mail To:
The American Legion Department of Washington
PO BOX 3917 Lacey, WA 98509
adjutant@walegion.org

MEMBERSHIP TARGET DATE
The 65% Target Date is December 11.

OFFICE CLOSURE
The Department Headquarters Office in Lacey will be closed on Thursday, November 25th and Friday, November 26th for the Thanksgiving Holiday. 

MID-WINTER CONFERENCE
The Department of Washington Mid-Winter Conference will be held on Friday, February 4th and Saturday, February 5th, 2022.  The DEC will meet on Friday, and Legion College will be held on Saturday at the Windrow Hotel in Ellensburg, and Sunday morning at Ellensburg Post 8.  An Agenda will be distributed soon. Please see the Registration Form below. 

MISSION BLUE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

It’s been a year since The American Legion’s Mission Blue Post Assistance Program went into effect following the adoption of Resolution No. 36 by the National Executive Committee during the 2020 Fall Meetings. The program provides eligible American Legion posts financially affected by COVID-19 government restrictions with $1,000 grants. These funds are to pay current or past due rent, mortgage, utilities and insurance premiums.
However, of the more than 12,400 American Legion posts, only 465 have applied for, and received, this grant.  
In looking at the eligibly requirements for the Mission Blue Post Assistance grant, it was identified that a possible deterrent for posts to apply is the insurance requirement. Therefore, to ensure posts in need apply for and receive this grant, the following eligibility requirements for the grant application are now in effect.
1.  Any post that does not have insurance that names the national organization as an additional insured and/or has not filed a 2021 Consolidated Post Report but meets the other grant qualifications identified in Resolution No. 36, may receive up to $1,000.
2.  Any post that has met the insurance requirement and has a 2021 Consolidated Post Report on file and meets the other grant qualifications identified in Resolution No. 36, may receive up to $2,000. Posts that previously applied for and received a $1,000 grant, can reapply to receive another $1,000.
Please contact Department for more information and the application.  

More information is available on the National website:

https://www.legion.org/membership/253851/legion-posts-financial-assistance-here-you

 

 

 

 

 

 


Department Legion College

Please see the attached Department of Washington Legion College Information Letter, Hotel Registration form and Application. Legion College will be held Saturday and Sunday- 5&6 FEB 2022 at Hotel Windrow in Ellensburg, WA (following the Legion's Mid-Winter Conference). All Legion, SAL and Auxiliary members are welcome to attend. The Department College will pay for a one-night hotel stay and lunch for Saturday. There is a $25 Registration fee, however. 

It is also recommended that all participants take The American Legion Basic Training course prior to their attendance to the Department Legion College. Follow the link:  https://www.legion.org/alei

All DEC Members need to be in attendance and is highly recommended that all District Vice-Commanders also attend. 

Please have all forms returned back to the Department no later than 1 Jan 2022.

 

 


ID Resolve Mailing

We have received several phone calls at Department regarding a mailing from ID Resolve offering a program to protect your credit.
ID Resolve is a new, separate program offered through Legion Insurance Trust.  This program is approved by the Department  of Washington.
If you have any questions, please call ID Resolve directly at (877) 475-5482.


October 2021

DEPARTMENT NEWS

ORATORICAL CONTEST REMINDER

All Posts are reminded that the Department Oratorical Contest is fast approaching. The contest will be held March 11-12, 2022 in Ephrata, WA. Contact your District or Department Oratorical Chairman. Information about the contest can be found on the Department of Washington Contest Website at www.waconstitutionalspeechcontest.org

MEMBERSHIP TARGET DATE
The 65% Target Date is November 13.


EMPLOYER AWARDS
NATIONAL EMPLOYER AWARDS

The Department Deadline for entry of all employer awards is November 5th. Entries received after this date will not be included. The American Legion National Economic Commission Awards recognize individuals across the country who had established outstanding records in the employment and retention of workers with disabilities. There are currently nine awards. pg. 8 1. Employer of the Year Award - (Small) 2. Employer of the Year Award - (Medium) 3. Employer of the Year Award - (Large) 4. Employment Service Award - (DVOP) 5. Employment Service Award - (LVER) 6. Employment Service Award - (Local Office) 7. Employer of Older Workers Award 8. Enhance the Lives of Disabled Persons Award 9. Homeless Veteran Outreach Award To be considered for the National Award, the Departments deadline for submittals to the National Economic Commission in Washington, DC is January 15, of the following year. All entries must be accompanied by an official nomination form and must not be longer than two pages of narrative. Supporting documents, which may also be submitted with the nomination, must not exceed ten pages.

THE EMPLOYER OF VETERANS AWARD

Posts may submit a total of 3 nominations for this category for Department consideration. One nomination for a small company with 50 or fewer employees. One nomination for a medium sized company with 51 - 200 employees One nomination for a large company with 201 or more employees These awards, one in each of the three employers of veteran’s size categories, are presented at the Department/National Convention. In order to be eligible for the Employer of Veterans Awards, nominees must meet the following criteria: At least 10 percent of the nominee’s work force must be veterans. The nominee must have been in business for at least five years. The nominee cannot restrict employment to veterans only. The nominee must be a private sector employer. In other words, the nominee cannot be a city, state or federal employer.

EMPLOYMENT SERVICE AWARDS

The ES awards program is to confer national recognition annually on one outstanding Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER), one Disabled Veterans Outreach Program specialist (DVOP), and one local Employment Service (ES) office. LVERs, DVOPs, and ES provide job counseling, testing and placement assistance to unemployed and underemployed veterans. pg. 9 Nominations from Posts, ES employees or other sources must be sent to Department Headquarters. The Department then selects one nominee each in the LVER, DVOP, and ES Office categories, and sends the winning nominations with their supporting information to the National Economic Commission. Nominations that arrive without supporting information will not be eligible for the national awards.

EMPLOYER OF OLDER WORKERS AWARD

The National Economic Commission created an award for employers of older workers. Because the commission saw older workers as a valuable economic resource of proven skills, stability and experience, it wanted to encourage employers to hire and retain older workers in the work force. Nominations from Posts, or other sources must be sent to Department Headquarters. The Department then selects one nominee and sends the winning nominations with their supporting information to the National Economic Commission. Nominations that arrive without supporting information will not be eligible for the national awards.

AWARD TO ENHANCE THE LIVES OF DISABLED PERSONS

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) Awards competition is to confer national recognition on organizations, such as The American Legion, for their involvement in enhancing the lives of disabled persons by providing opportunities for their participation in community activities. Any Legion project or program that improves the quality of life for disabled persons will be considered. All entries must be accompanied by an official nomination form and must not be longer than two pages of narrative. Supporting documents, which may also be submitted with the nomination, must not exceed ten pages. Nominations from Posts, or other sources must be sent to Department Headquarters. The Department then selects one nominee and sends the winning nominations with their supporting information to the National Economic Commission. Nominations that arrive without supporting information will not be eligible for the national awards.

The Department deadline for all Employer Awards is November 5th. Entries received after this date will not be included.  E-mail or Mail To:

The American Legion
Department of Washington
PO BOX 3917 
Lacey, WA 98509

adjutant@walegion.org


MISSION BLUE POST ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

It’s been a year since The American Legion’s Mission Blue Post Assistance Program went into effect following the adoption of Resolution No. 36 by the National Executive Committee during the 2020 Fall Meetings. The program provides eligible American Legion posts financially affected by COVID-19 government restrictions with $1,000 grants. These funds are to pay current or past due rent, mortgage, utilities and insurance premiums.
However, of the more than 12,400 American Legion posts, only 465 have applied for, and received, this grant.  
In looking at the eligibly requirements for the Mission Blue Post Assistance grant, it was identified that a possible deterrent for posts to apply is the insurance requirement. Therefore, to ensure posts in need apply for and receive this grant, the following eligibility requirements for the grant application are now in effect.

1.  Any post that does not have insurance that names the national organization as an additional insured and/or has not filed a 2021 Consolidated Post Report but meets the other grant qualifications identified in Resolution No. 36, may receive up to $1,000.
2.  Any post that has met the insurance requirement and has a 2021 Consolidated Post Report on file and meets the other grant qualifications identified in Resolution No. 36, may receive up to $2,000. Posts that previously applied for and received a $1,000 grant, can reapply to receive another $1,000.

Please contact Department for more information and the application.

MEMBERSHIP

There is often confusion about The American Legion membership year. Does the year run from July to June or from January to December?

A member’s membership card is valid from the time of issue until December 31 of the calendar year printed on the card. After December 31, the member is considered delinquent. Posts begin collecting dues in July for the following calendar year.
Think of it like a magazine subscription. With a magazine subscription, you pay in advance so that you do not miss an issue. With The American Legion, we attempt to collect all dues between July and December for the coming year so the member remains in good standing, and does not become delinquent or suspended, and will not miss out on any benefits.
But why do I care about paying dues?  Well, let’s take a quick look at some significant events in the history of The American Legion. On Sept. 16, 1919, The U.S. Congress charters The American Legion. The American Legion begins collecting dues and starts investing money and manpower and begins developing programs to heal our service members after the war. Remember your dues and time are not for today but for the future. You are investing in the future of The American Legion and this country. So, let’s look at what The American Legion has done for our military, and you. How many of these programs have you taken advantage of because your forefathers invested their dues and volunteered their time for you to enjoy?
August 9, 1921 - U.S. Veterans Bureau, forerunner of the Veterans Administration, is created because of efforts by The American Legion.
Dec. 15, 1943 - Harry W. Colmery, past national commander of The American Legion, writes in longhand on hotel stationery the first draft of what will become the “GI Bill of Rights.”
Oct. 16,1989 - Longstanding objective of The American Legion is achieved as the U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals begins operations.
Oct. 11, 1990 - The Family Support Network of The American Legion is formed to assist the families of military personnel deployed during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
Oct. 1, 1995 - The American Legion forms a Persian Gulf Task Force to enhance the organization’s service to these veterans.
Oct. 17, 2003 - American Legion efforts on Capitol Hill break the deadlock on the Disabled Veterans Tax when Congress creates a 10-year phase-in for service-connected disabled retirees to receive military retired pay and VA disability compensation without subtraction from either. Legion efforts also result in passage of the Military Family Tax Relief Act.
Sept. 3,2004 - American Legion lobbying leads to more progress in elimination of the Disabled Veterans Tax with passage of PL 108-375 that eliminates the 10-year phase-in for 100 percent service- connected retirees, allowing them to immediately begin receiving both retired pay and VA disability payments.
June 30, 2008 - President George W. Bush signs the Post-911 Veterans Education Assistance Act, a modern GI Bill strongly supported by The American Legion, which lobbied on its behalf.
Without your dues these and many more programs would have never happened. What does the future holds? I don’t know but one thing I do know is – I want The American Legion to have the best chance of succeeding with my dues. I urge you to pay in a timely fashion to avoid being placed in a delinquent/suspended status and lose you post privileges.
Yes, I’m a Paid Up For Life, PUFL, and Yes, it does seem expensive and even at my age yearly dues may have been cheaper in the long run. But I looked at what The American Legion has done for me with my VA Disability and my retirement check and I am very grateful. The extra cost of the PUFL was small compared to what I would have lost had The American Legion not lobbied for the passage of Military Family Tax Relief Tax and elimination of the Disabled Veterans Tax. I don’t know what’s on the horizon, but I am forever thankful for those Legionnaires before me. They fought for my family peace and comfort today. Thank you TAL.

R. John Clark
Robert.j.clark.ret@gmail.com
256-453-8222
Dept WA - Membership Chairman
Det WA - SAL NEC

Additional Information:

National Commander's (Nov 1-4) Itinerary in Washington

Oratorical Contest Quick Info Document

Boys State / Oratorical / Girls State Flyer

Boys State Quick Info Document

Employer Awards forms

Mission Blue grant application form

Membership Per-Capita Cheat Sheet

Membership Info


NATIONAL FALL MEETING REPORT

National Fall Meetings were held at the National Headquarters in Indianapolis from October 1-7, 2021.

National Commission/ Committee meetings were held as well as, Department Adjutant Training, Department Adjutant and Department Commander Meetings and the National Executive Committee met in Fall Session on October 6 and 7. 

Department Adjutant training consisted of Human Resources, PersonifyGo, mylegion, Legal and American Legion trademark updates. 

Department Commanders and Department Adjutants also met in joint sessions. The Commander and I attended the followin meetings:
National Commander's Visit to Department Procedures, Legal Awareness, and the Big 12 Roll Call (Membership).

The Department of Washington Delegation was also fortunate to meet the leading candidate for National Commander for 2022-2023, Jim Troiola, from the Department of NY and the trailing candidate for National Commander 2022-2023, Daniel Seehafer of the Department of Wisconsin.  

Attached are the message points of the National Commission/Committees and the Nation Executive Committee meetings for your reading pleasure and the NEC Report. 

National Message Points 2021-2022

NEC Fall Meeting 2021 Report

 

SEPTEMBER 2021

Department News
Hello, my name is Shelli Sterrett and I am proud and excited to be your new Department Executive Assistant. I will be supporting our Department Adjutant, Bookkeeper, and Membership Chair.
 
You may already know me from my time working with the Auxiliary. I am very much looking forward to working with all of our Legion Areas, Districts, and Posts as we move forward supporting our veterans.
 
No problem is so big that we cannot overcome it and succeed in our mission so long as we work together and stay focused. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your problems and concerns. I promise to direct you to the correct resource for a solution or, when necessary, push it up the chain.
 
I can be reached at (360) 491-4373, Ext 102, and/or exassistant@walegion.org.

For God and Country,
 
Shelli Sterrett
exassistant@walegion.org
(360) 491-4373 X102
Dept WA – Executive Assistant

Membership
Greetings, Department Leadership and Members,
One of National Commander Paul Dillard’s priorities for membership is to engage our members. Whether they are current members, expired members, or potential members, we need to engage these individuals and show them the value of being a member of The American Legion. One of the ways that Commander Dillard has discussed in engaging members is to contact those 2020 members and offer them the ability to continue their continuous years on their membership. This offer is only for those members who were last paid in 2020 and did not renew for 2021 – they can continue their continuous years if they pay for 2022. With COVID affecting many aspects of daily life over the last year and half, this is an easy way to talk with those 2020 members and show them some good will.
 
Here is how it would work: Someone contacts a member who was last paid for 2020 (only ones eligible for this offer) and they had 5 years continuous membership at the time. If they were to pay for 2022 – their continuous years would now be 6 years. If they would like to also have 2021 as well, the offer would be as normal, and they would have to pay for the 2021 year. If they do not care or do not want to get back 2021, but pay for 2022, then the adjustment on the continuous years would have to be made at the post by filling out a Member Data Form (MDF) to correct the years or the department can correct it within Personify.
 
Things to remember – when transmitting the dues, unless the member is paying for 2021 and 2022, do not select 2021 as part of the payment. If 2021 is selected, the payment will come out for that portion of the per capita and it will be deducted as part of the eCheck payment processing.
* For this, only 2022 needs to be selected and then the adjustment should be made that members record in Personify or send in the MDF to be processed at National Headquarters. If the member wants both years to be added to their continuous years, then accept payment from them for both 2021 and 2022 membership years, and then process both years through PGO.
Please let us know if you have any questions. Thanks!
 
R. John Clark
Robert.j.clark.ret@gmail.com
256-453-8222
Dept WA - Membership Chairman
Det WA - SAL NEC 

Information regarding upcoming Americanism programs:

Boys State Info

Oratorical Info