More than 150 American Legion accredited service officers attended a virtual meeting Feb. 8 when they learned of policy changes, new technology to speed up service delivery and more. This is the first of four quarterly Nationwide American Legion Service Officer Meetings planned for 2024.
“This momentous event not only showcased the commitment of The American Legion to veterans' welfare but also featured insights from esteemed guest speakers,” said Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Commission Chairman Autrey James, whose commission oversees the work of service officers. “Our service officers play an indispensable role, day in and day out, in championing for veterans and ensuring they receive the benefits they are entitled to through their service to our nation.”
Among the speakers were Glenn Bergmann, managing partner of Bergmann and Moore, LLC; Paul Sullivan, director of Veterans Outreach of Bergmann and Moore; and Tony De Falco, the vice president of International Operations at Veterans Evaluation Services (VES).”
De Falco shared insights into the evolving landscape of veterans' compensation and pension (C&P) exam, providing crucial updates on VES’ operations and shedding light as one of the biggest VA contractors in the veterans benefits claims process.
Bergmann addressed timely issues within the veterans advocacy landscape, especially on unaccredited claims companies. His insights into legal aspects and navigating complex procedures added a valuable dimension to the discussions, empowering service officers with practical knowledge to better assist veterans.
The service officers also engaged in interactive sessions on topics like the PACT Act implementation, board appeals, VA claims process and accreditations. American Legion national staff moderated these discussions, offering a broader perspective on the challenges and opportunities within the veterans' support ecosystem.
The event also featured success stories from American Legion service officers who have made a tangible impact in their communities, showcasing the positive outcomes achievable through dedication and collaboration. The webinar facilitated interaction, allowing attendees to participate in real-time Q&A sessions, fostering a sense of camaraderie and strengthening the nationwide network of service officers.
“This virtual session was incredibly successful,” James said. “It reflects the adaptability of The American Legion in leveraging technology to unite its members and reaffirms its commitment to providing exceptional service to veterans. As The American Legion continues to evolve, the inclusion of distinguished speakers from VES and Bergmann & Moore at this event highlights the organization's commitment to bringing diverse perspectives and expertise to its membership. The American Legion team of service officers ensure that all veterans receive the support and benefits they rightly deserve.”