Legion logs 916,000 volunteer hours with VA

Members of The American Legion who volunteer their time at VA medical centers and related facilities logged more milestones in fiscal 2009. They added 202 new volunteers – increasing their ranks to 6,307 – and donated about 7,000 more hours over last fiscal year, for a grand total of 916,598.

Based on an independent-sector volunteer rate of $20.25 per hour, all those hours saved VA about $18.5 million.

Since 1946, The American Legion has actively supported the Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS). Not only do Legionnaires help out at VA medical centers, they also lend a hand at community-based outpatient clinics, domiciliaries, vet centers, Fisher Houses and state veterans homes.

Members of American Legion posts volunteer at VA “welcome-home” celebrations to assist returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with their benefits and claims, and to encourage them to volunteer some of their own time. Legionnaires also help with nationwide “stand-downs” that provide health care and other services to homeless veterans.

VAVS is the largest volunteer program in the federal government, providing over 63 years of service to U.S. veterans in VA health-care facilities.

The American Legion is dedicated to improving support for active-duty servicemembers and veterans during their time of transition and rehabilitation, and will continue to provide members with volunteer opportunities to support events on the national, state and local levels.

For more information, go to www.legion.org and visit the Volunteer Services page, or register as a VA volunteer by visiting www.volunteer.va.gov.