‘We change lives’: January magazine highlights work of American Legion appeals reps

‘We change lives’: January magazine highlights work of American Legion appeals reps

The January issue of The American Legion Magazine is now online, with feature stories on the difference American Legion representation makes for veterans and their families, the Israel-Hamas war and more. The clickable digi-mag is available through MyLegion.org.

• At a special event Oct. 3 at The American Legion’s John H. Geiger Operations Center (GOC) in Indianapolis, veterans shared stories of life-changing assistance from Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation (VA&R) staff in successfully filing or appealing VA disability claims. Since 2018, the GOC service office has delivered more than $195 million for veterans and their families, free of charge. “If it hadn’t been for (Indy-based VA&R team lead Tony Cross), I wouldn’t have ended up with any benefits,” says Marine Corps veteran Bill Clarke, who for decades dealt with medical and mental health issues related to his Vietnam service. “I love this country, and I love The American Legion.” 

• In “The Road to Catastrophe,” Alan W. Dowd traces the roots of the conflict between Israel and Hamas to Arab rejection of the U.N.’s two-state blueprint in 1947, and the inability of subsequent Palestinian leaders to follow Washington’s roadmap to peace. What was a low-grade war changed Oct. 7, when Hamas launched 7,000 rockets and the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, transforming what Israel saw as a manageable security issue “into an existential crisis,” Dowd writes.

• In fiscal 2023, American Legion appeals representatives secured more than $76 million in retroactive compensation for veterans whose claims were incorrectly denied. Couple that success with assistance provided by more than 3,000 accredited Legion service officers across the country, “and the results are jaw-dropping: more than $16.8 billion in VA disability compensation in 2023,” National Commander Dan Seehafer writes. “That is no typo. Billion with a B. Membership in The American Legion ensures this kind of help for disabled veterans and their families. Donations to the Legion’s Veterans & Children Foundation provide training needed for service officers and appeals reps to do all they do, at no cost to the veteran.”

Members can click here to access the digital magazine.

To join The American Legion and enjoy monthly digital issues of The American Legion Magazine, visit legion.org/join.