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American Legion: By the numbers

September 21, 2012 • Vol. 23 No. 1 NATIONAL CONVENTION Wong: Make your voice heard

As his year as national commander came to a close, Fang A. Wong asked Legion members to perform their civic duty of voting on Nov. 6.

By Steve B. Brooks As he stood before thousands

of delegates to the 94th Ameri- can Legion National Conven- tion in Indianapolis, outgoing National Commander Fang A. Wong made one last request of the organization’s membership: make it to the polls on Nov. 6. “As American citizens, and

especially as Legionnaires, we have a duty to vote,” Wong said. “Many men and women – in- deed, our comrades – have died to protect this right. “We choose no sides, endorse

no candidates and support no political parties. We have Republicans, Democrats and Independents in our ranks and in our leadership. Our founders – including the son of President T eodore Roosevelt – were adamant that T e American Legion be nonpartisan. Our agenda is simple: take care of veterans, national defense, our youth and America.” T e national convention gave

both presidential candidates the opportunity to campaign in front of thousands of Legion- naires. President Barack Obama did so through a taped address, while Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke in person.

P.O. BOX 1055 • INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46206 National Commander Fang A. Wong wrapped up his year by imploring Legionnaires to cast their ballots in November. Photo by Eldon Lindsay Obama said caring for the

country’s veterans will continue to be a priority for his adminis- tration. “Even as we end today’s wars,

we need to keep upholding that sacred trust to take care of you, our veterans, as well as you’ve taken care of us,” he told the Legion. “I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together. Historic increases in the VA budget. Advanced appropria- tions to protect veterans health care. New support for our wounded warriors and their

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caregivers. New commitments to tackle the claims backlog. Confront the epidemic of suicide among our troops and veterans. And end the tragedy of homelessness among veterans. And for all you Vietnam veterans, we secured billions of dollars in disability pay for your exposure to Agent Orange.” T at care needs to continue

for the newest generation of veterans, the president said. “Now, as our newest veterans

come home, we have an obliga- tion to help them realize the

American dream they fought to protect,” Obama said. “And so we’re giving our departing servicemembers more help as they prepare for their civilian careers. We’ve made the Post-9/11 GI Bill a priority, and we’re pulling out all the stops to help our veterans fi nd jobs – in- cluding more than 125,000 jobs for veterans and their spouses... through our Joining Forces initiative – because no one who has fought for America should

See WONG on Page 4 A National Headquarters Publication American Legion posts

around the world donated millions of hours, raised millions of dollars and infl uenced millions of lives in 2011 and 2012. T e newest American Legion Consolidated Post Report (CPR), released in August, attaches numbers to the Legion’s acts of advocacy and outreach. T e number of posts

reporting their performance jumped by 485 this year, which means that a little over 60 percent of Legion posts collected data and submitted reports. “It is nice to see an increase in

the number of reports compared to the previous year, but we can do better than that,” American Legion National Commander James E. Koutz said. “If even 10 percent more of our posts submitted reports, we would make it clearer to veterans, communities and the federal government the important role T e American Legion fulfi lls across the land. It would be great if every post submitted their CPRs.” In addition to traditional

paper reporting, posts can fi ll out and submit their forms online through, the members-only area of the national website. Here is a snapshot of the

activities performed by Legion posts nationwide, according to the 2011-2012 American Legion Consolidated Post Report:

Service 

 

3,917,943: Hours of volunteer community service logged by Legion posts

$4,621,777: Money spent on community services by posts

140,978: Veterans benefi ts cases handled by American Legion post service offi cers $2,258,893: Money posts

See NUMBERS on Page 3

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