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Commanders Message

Mark Cloutier
Vermont - Dept. Commander
2023 - 2024

Department Commander Mark Cloutier March Bulletin

Greetings fellow Legionnaires,

It looks like we are now on the downside of winter. While it hasn’t been a terribly rough winter, I know that I am ready for the warm months, longer days and just about everything that goes with spring and summer.

March is The American Legion’s Birthday. This year The Legion is 105 years old. In those 105 years there were lots of accomplishments. All of these were significant milestones.

On May 15, 1919, members of the American Expeditionary forces convened in Paris, France for the first American Legion caucus.

Key Historical Events

• September 16, 1919, Congress charters the American Legion

• November 10-12, 1919, the First National Convention convenes in Minneapolis where the Constitution and preamble are adopted.

• On August 9, 2021, the US Veterans Bureau was created. Today we know it as the Veterans Administration

• On July 17, 1925, the American Legion Baseball program was created.
• December 15, 1943, PNC Harry W. Colmery wrote the first draft of what later would become the “GI Bill of Rights.”

• June 22, 1944, President Franklin D Roosevelt signed into law the Original GI Bill or Servicemen’s Readjustment Act.

• September 1, 1966, The Legion voices great concern over the fate of prisoners of war in Vietnam. Today, the Legion urges a full accounting of all POWs and troops missing in action.

• Aug. 26, 1982, The Legion presents a $1 million check to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund for the construction of the Wall in Washington, becoming the largest single contributor to the project.

• Aug. 2, 1990, The Legion files suit against the federal government for failure to conduct a Congress-mandated study about the effects of Agent Orange on veterans who served in Vietnam.

• Oct. 1, 1995, The Legion forms the Persian Gulf Task Force to enhance service for the newest generation of wartime veterans, thousands of whom suffer from illnesses linked to their service in the region.

• Oct. 10-11, 2001, The American Legion creates the American Legacy Scholarship Fund for children of military members killed on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001.

• August 8, 2022: With the American Legion lobbying efforts President Biden signed into law the PACT Act to increase health care and benefits for veterans exposed to “Burn Pits” and other” toxic exposures”. Veterans who were exposed to toxins during the Vietnam War, Gulf War, and post-9/11 operations now have expanded eligibility for health care through the VA. Furthermore, the Act adds over 20 presumptive conditions for exposure to burn pits and other toxins; it also adds additional “presumptive-exposure locations” for Agent Orange, including Thailand and Laos.

It is because of your dues and continued membership of the American Legion Family, that gives us strength in numbers and allows the American Legion to have the strength to lobby for veterans' rights.
The Department Convention will be upon us before you know it. This means that Department Officer nominations and elections are forthcoming.

If you plan on running for an office, please be sure to have your endorsements from your Post to Adjutant Markwell at Department Headquarters. I can be reached by email at post7adj@gmail.com

Stay safe, Stay Healthy!

Mark Cloutier, Department Commander

The American Legion
Department of Vermont HQ
126 State Street, P.O. Box 396
Montpelier, Vermont 05601-0396
Fax: (802)223-0318

Service Officer Information
Larry Thompson - DSO
American Legion Service Office
215 No. Main St.
White River Jct., VT 05009
Phone: (802)296-5166
Office: (802)295-9363 X5166 OR 5266 Email:Lawrence.thompson@va.gov

Residents Of NH
Michael Hartt - (603)222-5786


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