Top 5: the price of freedom, a moment of silence, pay the Coast Guard
1. The price of freedom remembered
Memorial Day is a special yet solemn day as it reminds veterans and civilians alike of the immense price we pay for freedom. As Americans, we owe a debt of gratitude for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The American Legion wants to honor those who you will be remembering this Memorial Day. Visit our Legiontown web page and select the Memorial Day category to share a story, photo or even upload a video about whom you will be thinking about and honoring on this sacred day.
Find your veteran: The National Cemetery Administration announced Monday an expansion to its Veterans Legacy Memorial (VLM) – 27 Department of Defense managed cemeteries, including Arlington National Cemetery, are now added to the VLM. This is an addition of 300,000 veteran pages on the platform for family members of veterans to remember their loved one. Find your veteran on VLM and submit memories at va.gov/remember.
2. Help ensure our Coast Guard gets paid
U.S. Coast Guard personnel are vital to national security, but they serve in the only military branch working without pay during government shutdowns. A bill in Congress would ensure that Coast Guard members receive their pay during a government shutdown, a key legislative priority of The American Legion.
“Coast Guard members are part of the military, just like those serving in the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Space Force,” National Commander Vincent J. “Jim” Troiola said. “They should be paid whether or not their funding comes from DoD. It’s a national security issue. We must take care of our servicemembers and their families. This bill is a necessary step to do so.” Support Troiola’s message by contacting your member of Congress today to call for passage of the Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act.
Make your voice heard: The American Legion’s Grassroots Action Center offers information to stay informed on the issues and tools to communicate online with lawmakers and the media about the organization’s priorities.
3. A moment of silence on June 2
Two years ago, Major League Baseball began an annual tradition of observing Lou Gehrig Day on June 2 to raise awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and those afflicted with the debilitating disease that affects the nervous system. Gehrig, a Hall of Fame first baseman with the New York Yankees died on June 2, 1941 — his 37th birthday — from ALS. MLB will celebrate Gehrig with special events on June 2, and American Legion Baseball programs are encouraged to do likewise. A speech is available for American Legion Baseball teams to use for Lou Gehrig Day events. The speech is available here.
Did you know? Over 80 American Legion Baseball alumni have made it to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. See notable Legion Baseball alumni and Hall of Famers.
4. Mental health at the forefront
This week’s episode of The American Legion Tango Alpha Lima podcast welcomes Terri Tanielian, special assistant to the president for Veterans Affairs. Tanielian discusses the Legion’s Be the One veteran suicide prevention initiative, how the White House is supporting servicemembers, veterans and their caregivers when it comes to mental health, and the death by suicide of her father, a Navy veteran. In her role at the White House, Tanielian’s number one priority is the veteran suicide issue. “I’m really grateful for the work The American Legion is doing through this (Be the One) program,” she said. “I think it’s going to be the game changer we need.”
Go deeper: There are nearly 180 Tango Alpha Lima podcasts available in both audio and video formats here. You can also download episodes on iTunes, Google Play or other major podcast-hosting sites.
5. Tune in next Tuesday
The American Legion Internal Affairs and Membership Division's Training Tuesday session on May 30 at 7 p.m. Eastern time will welcome Brian Mohlman of Post 257 in Battle Creek, Mich. Mohlman will discuss how posts can make an impact in their community by engaging with creative solutions and adapting to changing circumstances. Don't miss this opportunity to gain valuable insight on how to increase membership in your post. Click here to register and join the Training Tuesday session.
Read an example of success: American Legion Department of Puerto Rico has surpassed its membership goal for 2023 at over 103% with 3,324 members and a 94% renewal rate. How did they do it? By sharing the good work of the Legion on a radio and news station.