Family Support Network ready to help

Despite a steady decline of activations and deployments of National Guard and reservists, more than 50,000 are currently on federal active duty around the world.

The American Legion’s Family Support Network stands ready to assist those families that face special challenges due to activation and deployments.

Concerned citizens, families and military personnel can request assistance through the Family Support Network by calling the toll-free hotline 800-504-4098 or via the web at

There are currently 39,711 on active duty representing the Army National Guard and Army Reserve; while the Navy Reserve has 4,996; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 6,946; Marine Corps Reserve, 2,066; and the Coast Guard Reserve, 557.

In other news:

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals: Donations of pennies can add up for kids at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Legion posts are encouraged to get a "Miracle Pennies by the Year" kit today and start gathering change. To order a "Miracle Penny" kit, go to:

Four Chaplains’ Sunday: Four Chaplains’ Sunday will be observed Feb. 3. Information about Four Chaplains’ Sunday may be obtained by referencing The American Legion Chaplain’s manual or by contacting the Americanism and Children & Youth Division via email at or by phone at 317-630-1212.

American Legion Baseball: Since Jan. 1, more than 300 teams have registered to play American Legion Baseball for the 2013 season.

National Emergency Fund: During the week of Jan. 11-17, nearly $70,000 was processed and distributed to 72 recipients. A special thanks goes to Post 283 in Pacific Palisades, Calif., which donated $10,000. The post will receive a mounted certificate of appreciation from National Commander Jim Koutz for its donation.

American Legion Extension Institute: As of Jan. 17, a total of 2,249 licenses have been purchased for a fee of $4.95 for current American Legion and Sons of The American Legion members and $9.95 for nonmembers. Those purchasing licenses for the course will continue to have access to this resource as long as they continue as a member in good standing.

Operation Comfort Warriors: During the month of January, about $30,000 worth of donations are being distributed to warrior transition units in Kentucky and Georgia. Additionally, cases of donated DVDs from the Department of Michigan were shipped to Afghanistan and to the WTBs at Forts Knox and Campbell.

Sons of The American Legion: The Sons of The American Legion achieved 63.6 percent for the fifth Sons membership target goal for the 2013 membership year. Son’s membership currently stands at 224,586 members and is 21,383 ahead of this same date last year. At present, 31 detachments achieved the 60 percent membership target goal. The next SAL membership target date is Feb. 13, which will be the 75 percent membership target goal.

Membership and DMS program: The current 2013 traditional membership total is 1,721,306, which is 86.3 percent of the 2013 goal. Fifty-one departments met the 80 percent target date.

DMS program: The 2013 membership year began on July 1, 2012. The next DMS mailing is scheduled for Jan. 31.

DMS acquires: Prospects 81,768; Expires 49,067; TOTAL: 130,835

Goal: 210,000; percentage of goal: 62.3 percent

Current renewal rate for 2012 DMS members: 42.5 percent (80,500 of 189,685 new 2012 members)

On-line renewal activity: 2013 membership year on-Line renewals (since July 1, 2012): 153,775