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American Legion News

Arizona Legion post helps distribute 250,000 pounds of fresh produce over 12-month span

Source: July 18, 2024

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Around the same time that he was checking out getting involved with a local food redistribution program, John J. Morris Post 62 Historian Dwight Amery came across an article in The American Legion Magazine about food insecurity.

The combination of the two helped the Peoria, Ariz., post on the way to passing out nearly a quarter of a million pounds of fresh produce over the past year for pennies per pound.

For the past 12 months, Post 62 has teamed with Borderlands Produce On Wheels With-Out Waste for monthly distributions of fresh fruit and vegetables. Borderlands is Arizona's largest food redistribution program and teams with dozens of nonprofits throughout the state to provide the produce to be distributed in local communities.

Amery said he saw Borderlands posting on Facebook the different locations where its produce would be distributed, which caused him to reach out to the organization to get more information about the post possibly becoming involved with its efforts.

He brought it up with the post membership, which he said had "a lot of interest, because it was doing community outreach. And it was right around the time (immediate Past National Commander Jim) Troiola talked in (The American Legion Magazine) about food insecurity. So when I brought it up, I was holding the magazine up – ‘Right here, the national commander says we should be helping address food insecurity.'"

Amery and then-Post 62 Commander Tom McClain then attended an orientation put on by Borderlands, paving the way for the post to begin distributions.

A semi-truck delivers the food to the post, usually between 3 and 4 a.m. on the day of the distribution. Legion Family volunteers show up after that and began setting up tables and prepping the produce for pick-up.   

The distribution is done via a drive-thru line, with recipients never leaving their cars. Some will pre-buy ahead of time; others had food delivered through DoorDash. Those who receive the produce pay just $15 for up to 70 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables.

"After the first one we did, we all went inside (the post) and collapsed," Amery said. "We said, I've never been so sore, and I've never had this much fun, helping all those people. (The recipients) were like, ‘God bless you. Thank you.'"

More than 250,000 pounds of food distributed over the course of 12 months, with approximately 250-350 cars going through the line each time, some coming from as far away as 40 miles. The post's last distribution effort, on June 29, drew more than 400 vehicles and resulted in traffic into the post being backed up more than two miles.

Amery said the post also would also fill a few tables within the post with boxes of produce for local veterans to pick up. "It's funny. You can tell these guys (are veterans)," he said. "They'd walk over and take three tomatoes and a watermelon. And we'd say, ‘You can take more.' And it was, ‘No, I need to leave some for the next guy to walk in.' It's the brotherhood."

Next article: Riders chapter delivers recognition, RED shirts to aging veterans in retirement home

Riders chapter delivers recognition, RED shirts to aging veterans in retirement home

Source: July 18, 2024

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On Fridays, Ohio American Legion Rider Mike Schrull and his fellow members of ALR Chapter 211 in Avon Lake wear their RED shirts in order to "Remember Everyone Deployed" in the military.

Schrull, the director of Chapter 62 and adjutant of the same post, said his Aunt Vivian saw pictures of he and his wife, Patricia, and others wearing the RED shirts on Facebook and told Mike she'd like to have one of the shirts.

Mike obliged, buying her one of the shirts so she could wear it at Rose Senior Living Retirement Home, where she lives. Vivian began wearing the shirt on Fridays. And now, thanks to Chapter 211, she's not alone in wearing the shirts there.

Recently, the chapter's Legion Riders made a delivery of RED shirts to the more than dozen veterans living at the facility. A contingent of Riders rode to the home, presenting the shirts and saluting those veterans receiving them. The veterans also were presented challenge coins by the chapter.

"When (Vivian) said a lot of people were asking her about (the shirts) and that they'd like to buy them, we just came up with the idea: ‘Why don't we just go over there to honor all the vets and give them shirts,'" Schrull said. "It just kind of blossomed from there. I asked my aunt if she could give us the names and shirt sizes of all the veterans there, and she did.

"We ordered shirts, the Riders paid for them, and the rest is history. Those are the kind of things we really enjoy doing."

When the Riders delivered the shirts, they did so with a message. "When we said we were giving them out, we said, ‘We wanted you to remember that you're not forgotten. We thank you for what you did'," Schrull said. "One of the Marines even yelled out ‘We can still kick a$$.'

"They were so excited. Right away they were putting (the shirts) on. Any time you do something like that … the veteran just so appreciates it. I think it just brings back their excitement that they're remembered."

Vietnam War veteran and Purple Heart recipient Dennis Reikowski was one of the residents on the receiving end of the shirts and recognition. "Anytime now that we're acknowledged — it's touching," he said. "It means a lot to us, not just me, but every Vietnam vet."

But the impact of the shirts has spread beyond the veterans at the home. Women whose husbands were veterans also have asked to order shirts, as have other non-veteran residents.

Chapter 211 stays busy, having recently sent care packages to a deployed United States Air Force unit. In the past the chapter also has provided a Santa Claus and gifts to nursing home residents.  

"I think that the reason that I enjoy (serving as chapter director) so much is that we do have a chapter where everybody is excited about doing these things," Schrull said. "It's just such a joy to not have to prod people. I'm honored to lead the group that I have. They are who we are.

"I have a catchphrase that I end every one of our missions with: You can have been anywhere, but you were here. That's what I tell every one of my Riders when we end something."

Next article: VA projects $15B shortfall driven by costs for veterans benefits, prescription drugs and a bigger workforce

VA projects $15B shortfall driven by costs for veterans benefits, prescription drugs and a bigger workforce

Source: July 18, 2024

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The Department of Veterans Affairs is anticipating a $3 billion budget shortfall through fiscal 2024 from an increase in veterans benefits, and a $12 billion spending gap in 2025 driven by higher costs for prescription drugs and the hiring of more workers.

VA chief financial officers from the Veterans Benefits Administration and Veterans Health Administration informed the House Veterans' Affairs Committee on Monday of budget shortfalls projected through fiscal 2025.

Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., chairman of the House VA Committee, blasted VA Secretary Denis McDonough and other VA leaders on Wednesday, accusing them of mismanaging the VA budget and misleading lawmakers in testimony at budget hearings in the spring.

"This represents by far the largest budget shortfall that VA has experienced under any administration," Bost said, referring to the total $15 billion. "This is not just fiscal mismanagement. It is strategic whiplash."

Terrence Hayes, the VA press secretary, described the miscalculations as a result of historic demand for veterans benefits and health care services that has exceeded projections. He said the monthly average disability compensation payment for veterans has increased by nearly 8% since the start of fiscal 2024.

"These results are life-changing for veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors, and VA will continue push to make sure that they get the care and benefits they deserve," Hayes said.

He said the agency is working closely with lawmakers and the Office of Management and Budget to close the spending gaps without creating any "adverse impacts on veterans."

But Bost sent a letter Wednesday to McDonough, citing statements the VA secretary made at budget hearings saying the agency was able to adequately cover the surge in claims for VA disability compensation and had plans to reduce its workforce by 10,000.

McDonough previously described the VA's 2025 proposed spending plan, which totals $370 billion, as a "maintenance budget." It represents a $33 billion increase from the VA's budget for fiscal 2024, which ends Sept. 30.

Bost said the VA should have estimated more accurately increased costs to deliver health care services and disability under the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act, known as the PACT Act, which offers disability compensation to tens of thousands of veterans exposed to hazardous substances while on active duty. About 1.5 million claims for toxic exposure have been filed since the PACT Act was signed into law in August 2022. More than 694,000 veterans and survivors have been awarded benefits, according to the VA.

Bost criticized the VA for promoting the PACT Act without effectively budgeting for its costs.

"I question how VA could have failed to budget for increased health care and benefits costs resulting from the PACT Act that we all knew were coming, and I have major doubts about some of the department's excuses," he wrote in the letter.

The PACT Act provides medical care and monthly disability compensation to veterans diagnosed with diseases connected to toxic exposures from burn pits, radiation at weapons testing sites, and aerial spraying of Agent Orange and other herbicides.

Bost wrote in the letter that he felt McDonough misled lawmakers when he testified the VA planned to impose hiring restrictions and reduce the full-time workforce after increasing the ranks to help process a windfall of claims from veterans seeking benefits.

The VA employes more than 400,000 workers. The agency now projects an increase of more than 22,000 full-time employees to its workforce through 2025.

Bost also criticized VA leaders for not calculating higher costs for community care as more veterans seek referrals to see private doctors close to home when VA care is not available in a timely manner. He also accused the VA of shifting expenses into different funds rather than being transparent about rising expenses in some budget areas, an accusation he first made at a budget hearing earlier this year.

Bost said it appears the VA is shifting dollars from regular VA expenses to the toxic exposures fund that compensates disabled veterans under the PACT Act. The fund is projected to provide $24.5 billion in benefits in 2025, up $4 billion from this year.

The congressman also sought clarity for the reasons for higher drug costs, saying "speculation" from VA leaders about greater demand for Ozempic and other popular prescription diet drugs does not hold weight with lawmakers. Bost requested McDonough respond to his letter by July 26 and more fully explain the budget shortfall.

He also indicated the committee could subpoena the VA secretary if the panel does not receive a complete response by the requested deadline.

Next article: INDYCAR heads back to street course this weekend

INDYCAR heads back to street course this weekend

Source: July 18, 2024

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After an ovals doubleheader last weekend, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES heads back to a street course this weekend with the Ontario Honda Dealers Indy Toronto. It's one of just two remaining non-oval races in the series.

 Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) driver Linus Lundqvist, driving the No. 8 American Legion Honda featuring the Be the One message, is coming off one of his best finishes of the season. His 12th place in the Hy-Vee One Step 250 tied for his second-best showing in his rookie year with CGR.

Lundqvist led three laps of the race in pushing his Rookie of the Year lead to 31 points over teammate Kyffin Simpson.

And defending series champ Alex Palou, driving the No. 10 DHL Honda featuring American Legion branding, rallied from a 23rd-place finish last Saturday after hitting the wall to earn a P2 on Sunday, finishing just .39 seconds behind Will Power. Palou led a race-high 103 laps and heads into this weekend with a 35-point lead over Power in the points race.

The Indy Toronto's tight 11-turn, 1.786-mile Exhibition Place street circuit offers great views of downtown Toronto and often leads to cars attempting to squeeze past each other in turns. Many times, only one car makes it out unscathed. The long frontstretch leading into the Princes' Gate at Turn 1 and the Lakeshore Boulevard straight leading into a hard 90-degree right-hander at Turn 3 are the best places for overtaking.

This weekend's broadcast schedule:

·       Friday, July 19 – NTT INDYCAR SERIES Practice 1, 3-4:15 p.m.

·       Saturday, July 20 – NTT INDYCAR SERIES Practice 2, 10:30-11:30 a.m.; NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifications, 2:45-4:15 p.m. (All Peacock).

·       Sunday, July 21  NTT INDYCAR SERIES warmup, 10-10:30 a.m.; Ontario Honda Dealers Indy Toronto, 1-4 p.m. (both Peacock).

Ontario Honda Dealers Indy Toronto notes:

·       The Ontario Honda Dealers Indy Toronto will be the 12th race of the 2024 season. There have been six different winners in 11 NTT INDYCAR SERIES races this season. Pato O'Ward (Streets of St. Petersburg and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course), Scott Dixon (Streets of Long Beach and Streets of Detroit), Scott McLaughlin (Barber Motorsports Park and Iowa Speedway-1), Alex Palou (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca), Will Power (Road America and Iowa Speedway-2) and Josef Newgarden (Indianapolis 500) have all won in 2024.

·       The Ontario Honda Dealers Indy Toronto will be the 38th INDYCAR SERIES race held on the streets of Toronto's Exhibition Place. Christian Lundgaard earned his first INDYCAR SERIES win in 2023 on the streets of Toronto.

·       Scott Dixon is the winningest active INDYCAR SERIES driver at Toronto with four victories (Dixon won both races in 2013, the 2018 race and the 2022 race). Michael Andretti has the most wins at the track with seven. Dixon, three-time Toronto winner Will Power (2007, 2010, 2016), Josef Newgarden (2015, 2017) and Christian Lundgaard (2023) are previous race winners entered this year.

·       Drivers who have won poles at Toronto entered in this year's race are Will Power (2011, 2015), Scott Dixon (2013 Race 2, 2016), Josef Newgarden (2018), Colton Herta (2022) and Christian Lundgaard (2023). The polesitter has won the race eight times since the first race in 1986, most recently by Lundgaard last season.

·       From 2009-19, the eventual NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion won the Toronto race six times. Dario Franchitti won in 2009 and in 2011. Ryan Hunter-Reay won in 2012, Scott Dixon swept both races in 2013 and won the single race in 2018, and Josef Newgarden won in 2017. Seven other drivers have claimed the INDYCAR SERIES championship in the same season they won at Toronto: Bobby Rahal (1986), Al Unser Jr. (1990), Michael Andretti (1991), Alex Zanardi (1998), Cristiano da Matta (2002), Paul Tracy (2003) and Sebastien Bourdais (2004).

·       Twenty drivers entered in the event have competed in past INDYCAR SERIES races at Exhibition Place. Scott Dixon and Will Power (17) have made the most starts at Toronto among the entered drivers. Eleven entered drivers have led laps at the track (Dixon 242, Power 162, Josef Newgarden 120, Christian Lundgaard 54, Graham Rahal 29, Scott McLaughlin 28, Rinus VeeKay 18, Colton Herta 17, Pato O'Ward 3, Marcus Ericsson 1 and Felix Rosenqvist 1).

·       Chip Ganassi Racing has won eight times at Toronto: Michael Andretti (1994), Alex Zanardi (1998), Dario Franchitti (2009, 2011) and Scott Dixon (2013 both races, 2018, 2022). Team Penske has five wins at the track: Paul Tracy (1993), Will Power (2010, 2016), Josef Newgarden (2017) and Simon Pagenaud (2019). Team Penske has 10 pole positions at the track: Danny Sullivan (1988, 1990), Emerson Fittipaldi (1993), Helio Castroneves (2000), Gil de Ferran (2001), Will Power (2011, 2015), Simon Pagenaud (2017, 2019) and Josef Newgarden (2018).

·       Scott Dixon has finished on the podium in six of his last 13 starts at Toronto and has 11 consecutive top-10 finishes. He has 11 top-five finishes in his 17 Toronto races … Will Power has finished on the podium in five of his 17 Toronto starts.

·       Milestones: Scott Dixon will attempt to make his 334th consecutive start, extending his record streak.

To learn more about The American Legion's Be the One veteran suicide prevention program, click here.

Next article: Legion Family invited to NFL showdown during national convention

Legion Family invited to NFL showdown during national convention

Source: July 18, 2024

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The New Orleans Saints have extended a discounted ticket offer to American Legion Family members, family and friends in town for the 105th National Convention. They will battle the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, Aug. 25, at 1 p.m. at the downtown Caesars Superdome. Current ticket prices start at $35 for the lowest level (Plaza), and $70 for the highest level (Terrace). Tickets are limited; find more details, and contact information, here

Make plans to have fun The official website of New Orleans & Company, neworleans.com, is a one-stop shop to find food, music, culture, attractions and more while attending the national convention. One notable feature includes "itineraries by interest." 

 

Next article: Follow live scoring of Legion air rifle championship

Follow live scoring of Legion air rifle championship

Source: July 18, 2024

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Live scoring of The American Legion's 33rd Junior 3-Position Air Rifle National Championships will be available through the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). Follow along at this link.

The Legion's air rifle championships get underway Thursday in Hillsdale, Mich., on the campus of Hillsdale College. The 15 competitors in both the precision and sporter categories will compete July 18-19 by shooting a .177 caliber rifle in three positions – prone, standing and kneeling – twice each day. The top eight in both precision and sporter will advance to the finals on Saturday, July 20, at 9 a.m. Eastern time where each shooter will fire 10 shots in standing position. A champion from each category will be named. Scores for each competition will be available through the CMP link

See the top 15 competitors in both precision and sporter here

Next article: Gift tax not the greatest surprise

Gift tax not the greatest surprise

Source: July 17, 2024

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LEARN HOW YOUR PLANNED GIFT CAN HELP THE AMERICAN LEGION

Bill*: "Every year I pay income tax. And when I pass away, my estate will owe tax. But I was absolutely stunned today to hear that I might even have to pay a gift tax! Do you mean that if I give this land to my children, there is yet another tax?"

CPA Carol: "Yes, Bill, there could be. You can make small gifts, like birthday gifts, without tax. But if you give a large property to your children during your lifetime, there could be a gift tax. And it may be as much as 40% of the value."

Why Did Congress Pass a Gift Tax? Following the passage of the estate tax, Congress realized that a gift tax is also necessary. If there were none, creative CPAs and estate attorneys would urge their clients to make deathbed gifts; the transfer tax could be entirely avoided.

As a result, Congress determined that it needed to pass a gift tax to make the estate tax effective. Now, even if a person makes gifts on their deathbed, the tax will be payable on the transfer to children.

How Does Gift Tax Work? A person who makes gifts to children, grandchildren or other heirs will be taxed on the fair market value of the gift. The first part of the gift is allocated to the annual exclusion. But if it is more than that amount, the cumulative gifts over the donor's lifetime are added up and compared with the lifetime gift exemption. If your total gifts (over annual exclusions) during your lifetime exceed the gift exemption, you must pay gift tax.

What is the Annual Exclusion? When the gift tax was first created, Congress understood that parents give birthday and other small gifts to children, grandchildren and other heirs. As a result, the body decided that there would need to be an exclusion for these smaller gifts. The exclusion was $3,000 for many years, then $10,000 and now has increased in value to $18,000. It is adjusted up for inflation about every three years by another $1,000.

How Many Annual Exclusions Can I Use? First, the annual exclusion must be a present interest gift. This means that the child or other recipient must be able to use the property or spend the money.

Each person is permitted one gift exclusion per recipient per year. For example, a mother could give her daughter $18,000 under the gift exclusion in 2024. A mother and father could give a son and daughter-in-law $72,000, because there are two donors, times two recipients, times the $18,000 exclusion.

A grandmother and grandfather with 10 grandchildren could make quite large gifts. If each gives $18,000 to the 10, the total gifts under the exclusion amounts would be $360,000 in one year. Assume they made that same gift every year for 10 years, for a total of $3.6 million. If the grandchildren retain and invest the gifts, at the end of 10 years the appreciated value could be over $4 million – and all with zero gift tax and no use of their lifetime gift exemption.

How Much is the Lifetime Exemption? Donors will typically first use their available annual exclusions. However, large gifts such as the ranch Bill contemplates giving to his children may involve use of the gift exemption. The exemption is $13.61 million per person in 2024. After making use of the $18,000 annual exclusion, Bill and his wife, Helen, can each then give $13.61 million in value ($27.22 million total) to children using their lifetime gift exemption.

While there is no tax cost now for using the exemption, it does affect the estate. In future years, there will be a reduced estate exemption. If Bill uses $1 million of his gift exemption, that reduces the future available estate exemption by $1 million.

Are There Gift Deductions? There are potential gift deductions for marital gifts, charitable gifts, and gifts for medical expenses and tuition.

There is an unlimited gift exclusion for transfers to a spouse. The gifts could be outright or in a qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trust. This is a special marital deduction trust. The spouse receives all the income from the trust, and the trust principal can be invaded only for the benefit of the spouse.

A second deduction is for gifts to charity. The donor receives an income tax deduction, but there is also a gift tax deduction, so the donor does not have to pay any gift tax on the transfer to charity. Once again, this deduction is unlimited.

A transfer to charity also may be a qualified split-interest transfer. A donor may create a charitable remainder unitrust, charitable remainder annuity trust or pooled income fund gift. The charitable deduction value qualifies for both the income and the gift tax deduction.

Parents and grandparents, on occasion, will pay the medical bills of a child or grandchild. These gifts are not subject to the gift tax provided the payment is made directly to the medical institution.

Finally, if a parent or grandparent makes tuition payments for a student, those amounts are also not subject to the gift tax.

*Please note: The name and image above are representative of a typical donor and may or may not be an actual donor to our organization. Since your unitrust benefits may be different, you may want to click here to view a color example of your benefits.

The American Legion's Planned Giving program is a way of establishing your legacy of support for the organization while providing for your current financial needs. Learn more about the process, and the variety of charitable programs you can benefit, at legion.org/plannedgiving. Clicking on "Learn more" will bring up an "E-newsletter" button, where you can sign up for regular information from Planned Giving.

Next article: Protect our Afghan allies, Legion tells Senate

Protect our Afghan allies, Legion tells Senate

Source: July 17, 2024

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Senators must include an amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2025 that would protect America's Afghanistan allies who have fled or are fleeing the Taliban, according to The American Legion.

Two years ago, U.S. servicemembers led the evacuation of tens of thousands of Afghan interpreters, soldiers and other allies who fought with us against the Taliban. Since then, more than 70,000 at-risk Afghans have been relocated to the United States, where they have been in legal limbo.

However, the Afghanistan allies have no direct pathway to lawful permanent residency in the U.S.  Congress can change that with pending legislation. Visit our Grassroots Action Alert and tell your members of Congress to establish a path to permanent legal residency for Afghan allies who supported American troops during the war in Afghanistan.

Last week, American Legion National Commander Daniel Seehafer weighed in, sending a letter to Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

"As a nation that values loyalty and honor, the United States has a moral obligation to protect those who fought by our side," Seehafer wrote in part. "We made a promise to stand by the Afghan men and women who risked their lives for our mission; it is up to Congress to uphold this commitment."

American Legion Resolution No. 16, approved by the National Executive Committee in 2018, supports this initiative.

The American Legion has long supported providing a safe harbor for our Afghanistan allies.

Just over six months ago, The American Legion and other veterans service organizations (VSOs) held a press conference calling on senators to forge a solution to protect up to 15,000 Afghan allies.

"The American Legion stands firmly, shoulder to shoulder with Sen. Klobuchar, Sen. Moran, Sen. Coons and Sen. Blumenthal, calling on their congressional colleagues to pass legislation that would right a wrong, and bring our Afghan allies to the United States today," American Legion National Security Commission Chairman Matthew Shuman said during the press conference.

 

Next article: Two years since launch of Dial 988 then Press 1, the Veterans Crisis Line has answered more than 1.6 million calls

Two years since launch of Dial 988 then Press 1, the Veterans Crisis Line has answered more than 1.6 million calls

Source: July 16, 2024

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Two years ago, the launch of Dial 988 then Press 1 made it easier than ever for veterans and their loved ones to access lifesaving support via the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Veterans Crisis Line. In these past two years, VCL has answered more than 1,638,138 calls, representing a 22.7% increase in calls per day since the launch.

Dial 988 then Press 1 provides an easy-to-remember number to quickly connect veterans, servicemembers, and their loved ones to the Veterans Crisis Line's lifesaving services. Since the launch of the shortened number, VCL has maintained an average speed to answer of 9.17 seconds. In addition to the increase in calls answered, VCL has also received a 76.7% increase in texts and 27.5% increase in chats per day over the same two years.

"Our Veterans Crisis Line has been providing veteran-centered support for nearly two decades, and two years ago we made it even easier for veterans in crisis and their loved ones to reach out for help by launching Dial 988 then Press 1," said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. "One veteran lost to suicide is one too many. We're supporting more veterans than ever through the 988 initiative and will not rest in our continued efforts to spread the word that this resource is available and saves lives."

Since launching in July 2022, more than 10 million total calls, texts, and chats to 988 have been answered, including 1,179,129 calls answered by VCL via Dial 988 then Press 1.

This year, the two-year anniversary of Dial 988 then Press 1 coincides with the 2024 VA/DOD Suicide Prevention Conference in Portland, Oregon. This biannual event — a major platform for advancing the Biden-Harris Administration's Reducing Military and Veteran Suicide public health strategy — will bring together over 2,000 VA and DoD care team members, leaders, allies and subject matter experts from across the country to share leading-edge research, evidence-based clinical and community approaches, and improved data methods.

Ensuring every veteran and their loved ones know how to reach VCL in their time of need, as well as continuing to advance broader efforts to prevent veteran suicide, are top VA priorities. Today, more than 1,000 responders — many of whom are veterans themselves — ensure that every veteran has somebody to call for support in time of crisis.

If you're a veteran in crisis or concerned about one, contact the Veterans Crisis Line to receive 24/7 confidential support. You don't have to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care to connect. To reach responders, Dial 988 then Press 1, chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat, or text 838255

Next article: Watch Legion alums Leyland, Mauer join Hall of Fame

Watch Legion alums Leyland, Mauer join Hall of Fame

Source: July 16, 2024

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Jim Leyland and Joe Mauer will become the newest American Legion Baseball alumni enshrined in Cooperstown when the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2024 is inducted July 21.

Leyland and Mauer will bring the total number of former Legion Baseball players in the Hall of Fame to 87. Leyland played for Post 183 in Pemberville, Ohio, while Mauer played for Post 606 in St. Paul, Minn.

The induction ceremony for the Class of 2024, which also includes Adrian Beltre and Todd Helton, will begin at 1:30 p.m. ET Sunday. The event will air live on MLB Network and stream on MLB.com.

Mauer became just the third catcher to be selected to the Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot, joining Johnny Bench and Ivan Rodriguez. They played Legion Baseball as well — Bench in Anadarko, Okla., and Rodriguez for Post Vega Baja in Puerto Rico.

Mauer spent his entire 15-year career with the Minnesota Twins, winning batting titles in 2006, 2008 and 2009. He was also American League MVP in 2009.

Mauer becomes the third player with ties to Post 606 to reach the Baseball Hall of Fame, joining Paul Molitor and Dave Winfield.

Leyland won 1,769 games in 22 seasons as a manager with the Pirates, Marlins, Rockies and Tigers, winning the 1997 World Series in the Marlins' fifth year of existence. He also managed Team USA to the 2017 World Baseball Classic title — four years after retiring from major league managing. Leyland was a three-time Manager of the Year, with Pittsburgh in 1990 and 1992 and with Detroit in 2006.

Next article: Arizona Legion post helps distribute 250,000 pounds of fresh produce over 12-month span