Now that a second government shutdown has been averted, The American Legion is calling on Congress to pass and the President to sign H.R. 367 – The Pay Our Coast Guard Act – so the U.S. Coast Guard will not be affected again in future budget showdowns.
“The men and women of the United States Coast Guard and their families should not have to wonder whether they will be paid or not,” said Brett Reistad, national commander of The American Legion. “Congress should immediately pass this legislation so that these men and women, who are on guard protecting us, are not held hostage by lawmakers and administrations who cannot agree in the future.”
During the first shutdown, The American Legion distributed more than $1 million in non-repayable temporary financial assistance to the minor children of active-duty Coast Guard personnel. The onslaught of requests substantially depleted our Veterans and Children Foundation, which funds our Temporary Financial Assistance program. The American Legion is calling on all Americans to make a gift so that additional requests can be supported throughout the year.
“Temporary Financial Assistance is an essential program of The American Legion,” Reistad said. “We must replenish this fund because we know that in any given year, we are called upon to help the minor children of active-duty servicemembers and Legionnaires to the tune of approximately $280,000 and that’s without an emergency like a government shutdown.”
The American Legion distributes one-time cash grants of up to $1,500 to the minor children of eligible active-duty military and American Legion members in need. These grants help families in need meet the cost of shelter, food, utilities and health expenses, thereby keeping the child or children in a more stable environment during times of temporary financial distress.
The American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance program is funded through the generosity of donations made by American Legion members and the public to The American Legion Veterans and Children Foundation. All donations are tax deductible and can be made online at legion.org/TFA.