Posted on Jun 7, 2016
PV2 Jon Anderson
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Posted in these groups: Amerlegion color emblem The American Legion
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SGT James Colwell
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Very interesting question. I was able to join the Legion only because I served during the Grenada time period. I did not serve IN Grenada, although my unit was put on alert. When I saw Grenada vets come into my unit sporting CIB's, it was offensive, especially to the Vietnam vets I was serving with, as none of the Grenada vets met the requirements for a CIB. My time in service was also during the latter stages of the Cold War. I take more pride in THAT service than the service that entitles me to be a member of the Legion. Lots of Cold War vets who don't meet the requirements for either VFW or the Legion.
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Cpl Alan Mackin
Cpl Alan Mackin
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Yep. I checked last year to see if I was eligible. ( '79-83 and '85-88 ) Both time frames I served are not eligible. I'm just S.O.L....
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CDR Terry Boles
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There are a lot of veteran organizations that are congressionally chartered and out of touch with today. Some organizations recognize they are out of step with today and fudge a little bit to include those vets and then there are organizations that are pretty rigid based on their charter.

I would like to think that all veterans are welcome to the American Legion. I do remember the application had defined dates of conflict and there are those vets whose service may fall outside of those dates. I enjoy mu local post of the American Legion, and I would welcome and support a broadening definition of membership to include all honorably discharged veterans. I am sure it is quite a process to change the congressional charter, but I am equally sure it can be done with the support of the veteran community.
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SFC J Fullerton
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Edited 8 y ago
I say yes. But there is going to be resistance to changing the by-laws to open up previous periods because its a congressional charter. I think the AL recognized this issue which is why they never closed the eligibility dates after Desert Storm. Aug 1990 to the present represents the longest eligibility period ever in the AL, but has the lowest representation in membership per eligible population. Opening up the late 70's and the 80's is probably not going to reverse the decline in membership.
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