American Legion Department of Indiana Commander Allen Connelly thanks Washington for their support of student veterans by passing the Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6322). Commander Connelly released this statement: “We are thankful to see Washington take action on student veterans issues. With this, student veterans can feel safe that they have secure food and housing during the COVID-19 pandemic and can focus on staying healthy.”
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and House Armed Services Committee, co-sponsered the bill and released the following statement: “The spirit of the GI Bill is clear. If you serve your country, the United States will repay you with an education. During COVID-19, we need to ensure our student veterans don’t have to worry about housing costs as they complete their studies,” said Rep. Banks.
A summary of the bill:
This bill addresses education programs and assistance for veterans during the covered period from March 1-December 21, 2020.
Specifically, the bill authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to continue paying work-study allowances during emergency periods.
The VA is also authorized to continue paying educational assistance and subsistence allowances for a specified amount of time for programs of education that are suspended due to an emergency situation.
An educational assistance payment shall not be charged against an individual's entitlement to educational assistance if an individual was unable to complete a course or program due to the temporary closure of an educational institution or the temporary termination of a program by reason of an emergency situation. This includes assistance related to training and rehabilitation programs for veterans with service-connected disabilities.
The bill extends the time limitation for using educational assistance under the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill when institutions are closed due to an emergency situation or executive order. The bill also extends the time limitation for participation in a vocational rehabilitation program when such participation is prevented due to an emergency situation or executive order.
The bill authorizes the VA to pay a subsistence allowance for two additional months to a veteran following a program of employment services during the covered period for full-time training for the type of program the veteran was pursuing.
See HERE for more information on H.R. 6322
Download the full resolution (PDF) here.
The Depmartent received the following message from 10th District Commander Ron Patterson about a recent IVETS success story. Commander Patterson writes:
A note received from the servicemember:
"My landlord got her money and she thanked me, as it helped her and I out of a tough place, I told her that I owed it to my Legion brothers and sisters. She cried happy tears for the first time in a long time. We both want you and your members to know you are in our prayers and in our hearts.
Thank you so much for what you have done for me. I cannot explain how much of a prayer you have answered for me."
Take care and remember YOU ALL CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!"
A veteran in need, helped by your membership.
By Josh Marshall
While the sight and sound of eight motorcycles roaring down the road - some with American Flags waving in the wind - would grab most people’s attention, these motorcycles were being eyed for another reason. They were delivering twenty assorted pies from Faye’s Northside Café, to IU Tipton Hospital for the staff, nurses, and doctors to enjoy. American Legion Riders Chapter 341 from Cicero called ahead to ensure they followed proper procedures for delivering to the hospital. "That way the nurses could enjoy the pies, but also we weren’t bringing any contamination to the hospital." said Jody Brown, Director of Riders Chapter 341. "We met at the backside of the hospital on the loading dock and we didn’t go inside. We exchanged everything with the hospital staff who was wearing all the proper safety equipment and we did it how their procedures dictated them to do it.”
Staying active in their community is important to the chapter. Last winter, 40-50 Legion Family members arrived on motorcycles and delivered Christmas gifts to 33 foster children. Giving back and serving others is important to 341 and they call on other Legionnaires to do the same. “I think it’s important for Legionnaires to volunteer in this time because, as a veteran, as a serviceman, we are dedicated to our country, and community - what better time to show that dedication than during this pandemic,” says Brown.
Doug Crouch was one of the employees who received the pies on the dock Wednesday. He appreciated that the pies were purchased locally in support of the Tipton community. But what touched him the most was seeing the eight veterans stepping up to support the hospital staff. “We really appreciate what the veterans have done for us,” says Crouch. For him, seeing the veterans show their support of the hospital was fitting, because IU Health Tipton Hospital used to be called Tipton County Memorial Hospital “and we have a long tie with veterans.” Crouch is the third generation in his family that has worked at the hospital. “So it goes way back for me, and it’s heartwarming and very gratifying to know that the veterans appreciate what we’re doing.”
Right now, the scheduled events for Chapter 341 have been put on hold as they follow Governor Halcomb’s orders to stay home. But they hope to ride again soon so they can continue to serve their community.
Legion Rider Chapter 341 on Facebook
The MFRF is now available to more veterans, as well as active-duty members, and the grant is being made available to those who may have received it before. The MFRF COVID-19 grant may be used for up to two months of household needs, such as food, housing, utilities, medical services, child care and other essential family support that has become difficult to afford.
Indiana resident veterans who received an honorable or under honorable conditions discharge may be eligible, as well as active-duty members with at least 12 months' active service. Dependents may also be eligible if the criteria listed above are met.
The normal grant amount is $2,500, but larger amounts may be authorized if great need is proven.
Check out the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs website for more information.
Information from INDIANA LEGAL SERVICES, INC.
Through a grant from the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs, Indiana Legal Services Military Assistance Project is launching a Veteran Eviction Avoidance Project. This project covers not only Marion County as ILS's current EAP project, but also the donut counties (Boone, Hamilton, Madison, Hancock, Shelby, Johnson, Morgan, and Hendricks).
While there is a moratorium on evictions right now, some landlords may attempt to ignore it. Additionally, our veterans in this service area may be concerned about being evicted. The earlier they contact us, the better -- especially to prevent an eviction or a dismissed eviction on their record.
The attached documents are the Referral Form and the FAQs regarding the project. If you are working with a veteran who is facing eviction or may face eviction or even fears eviction once this public health crisis has subsided, please complete the referral form with the veteran and email or fax to us (information is on the form).
1.) Download FAQ's here.
2.) Referring organizations - complete an abbreviated online referral at:
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