Tifton Gazette


March 5, 2014

Legion districts team up to help Ga. vets

TIFTON — Military veterans in and around the 12th District areas are invited next week through March 6-8 for a special service session at the Tifton American Legion Post 21.

National and state headquarters staff from the American Legion will be in town to discuss veterans benefits and service to the community.  A veteran service officer will also be available all three days from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. to assist veterans with claims or other veteran-related questions.  An open house will be held Saturday from 1-4 p.m. at the post, and refreshment will be provided.         

All active cut, National Guard, reserve and wartime veterans in the area are invited to learn more about the American Legion and veterans benefits. Counties identified for this session are:  Ben Hill, Turner, Irwin, Coffee, Worth, Tift, Berrien, Atkinson, Colquitt, Cook, Lanier, Clinch, Brooks, Lowndes and Echols.

The 12th District Commander and representatives from Post 13, Valdosta; Post 18, Douglas; Post 21, Tifton; Post 91, Adel; Post 98, Ashburn; Post 99, Fitzgerald; Post 100, Ocilla; Post 115, Nashville; Post 173, Pearson; Post 218, Hahira; Post 243, Doerun; Post 324, Moultrie; Post 503, Valdosta; Post 515, Douglas; and Post 536, Fitzgerald are expected to be present during this event.  Post members will also be contacting by telephone and visiting veterans in the local post hometown.         

Since its inception in 1919, the American Legion has been a key advocate for veterans benefits, children and youth, patriotic American values, a strong national defense and quality of life issues for those serving in today’s armed forces. The organization, which spearheaded the original GI Bill, has been advocating reform of the veterans health care system under its GI Bill of Health.  The American Legion was also instrumental in the establishment of the veterans home loan, veterans hiring preference and just compensation to veterans suffering from illnesses related to their military service, including those whose ailments stem from exposure to Agent Orange and mysterious Persian Gulf origins.         

Equally aggressive are the American Legion’s efforts to instill values in young people through numerous programs, including American Legion Boys State, American Legion Boys Nation, junior shooting sports, the National High School Oratorical Contest, American Legion baseball, teenage suicide prevention, child health and the McGruff Safe Kids program.  The American Legion has supported Scouting since 1919.  Many American Legion Posts also support Junior ROTC high school units, fundraising for handicapped children and partnerships with other nonprofit organizations such as Special Olympics.

For more information, call Jerome Loving, 12th District commander, at 912-592-6413 or e-mail at jlove173abn@yahoo.com.

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John Gamble (right) is joined by John Reid at the Tiftarea YMCA Saturday.

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