Enhancing the Lives of Military Veterans

Special to the Marlin Democrat

“Rotary International’s masterpiece is The Rotary Foundation. It transforms our dreams into splendid realities…it is the most generous expression of Rotarian generosity a generosity that not only brings benefits but also brings help and cooperation to solve the problems that affect mankind. The Rotary Foundation achieves the best that mankind can possibly achieve. Thank you for supporting The Rotary Foundation and its work.” (Paul Costa, Past President of Rotary International, 1990-1991)

Thus began last week’s Rotary Club of Marlin meeting, read by Rotarian Roger Nutt. But, focus quickly shifted to another exemplary organization, the American Legion, as Falls County American Legion Post 31 Post Commander Fred Ormsby was given the floor by Wednesday’s Program Host, Rockney Terry. 

Commander Fred Ormsby expounded on the American Legion’s century-old history, dedicated to enhancing the lives of military veterans. The American Legion provides life-changing assistance and guidance for veterans, military personnel, their families and communities in thousands of ways every day around the world. Help comes in the form of personal assistance, cash grants, donated goods, disaster relief, labor, networking, volunteerism and advocacy.

We are here to help with “what is most important to our veterans and their families,” explained Commander Ormsby.  Local American Legion Post 31 loans medical mobility aids, such as crutches, walkers and wheelchairs, to help American veterans or their family members get around more easily. Experienced with the Veterans Administration, many Post 31 veterans can provide contact information and help navigate through the numerous veterans programs. “It’s an education process for veteran’s benefits. I firstly care for American Legionnaires, but we assist any veteran who comes to us,” stated Commander Ormsby.

Commander Ormsby stressed the need to stay aware of current events that can have an impact on former military members.

The Falls County American Legion Post 31 is continuing to gather names of active-duty military personnel from Falls County. Additional banners, such as were displayed along Uptown Marlin last month, will be raised soon.

American Legion Riders, motorcyclists a part of the American Legion, manages its programs at the post level where the best ideas are born. They participate in local memorial services. They ride to honor the deceased military men and women and to protect the sanctity of their funerals from those who would dishonor their memory. American Legion Riders also participate in motorcycle runs in memory of deceased members and sometimes to benefit charities.

Thanks to the LEGION Act (Let Everyone Get Involved In Opportunities for National Service Act), Congress expanded the current eligibility period to cover Dec. 7, 1941, to the present, and includes the current war campaigns. Previously, there were seven declared war periods. Now there are two, the current war period dating back to World War II and another war era covering World War I. No other restrictions to American Legion membership changed.

Frequently asked questions are: 1) I'm currently on active duty. Am I eligible? Yes, you are a veteran. All current active duty military are eligible for membership. 2) I didn't retire from the military, but was on active duty during one of the qualifying time periods. Am I eligible? Yes, you are a veteran. As long as you have served at least one day of federal active duty during any qualifying period, you are eligible for membership. 3) I served during one of the qualifying periods, but was never in a combat zone. Am I eligible? Yes, you are a veteran. Location of active duty service is not a consideration for membership. 4) I'm currently in the National Guard/Reserve. My unit was activated under Title 10 orders during a qualifying time period. Am I eligible? Yes, you are a veteran. Title 10 orders are issued by the Secretary of Defense and therefore are federal orders.

Are you eligible? For any eligibility questions regarding American Legion, please reach out to Falls County American Legion Post 31 (Marlin, TX) Commander Fred Ormsby at (361) 219-4036 or membership@legion.org.

The Marlin Democrat

251 Live Oak St
Marlin, TX 76661
Phone: (254) 883-2554
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