American Legion News
The number of American Legion Baseball alumni enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame will increase to 86 — at least — when Jim Leyland joins the Hall next July.
Leyland, who played Legion Baseball for Post 183 in Pemberville, Ohio, was the sole selection to the Hall of Fame by the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee for the Class of 2024. Leyland's selection was announced Dec. 3 at Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn.
Leyland could be joined by two more Legion Baseball alumni in the Class of 2024 if Matt Holliday (Stillwater, Okla.) and Gary Sheffield (Post 248/Tampa, Fla.) are selected by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) on their ballot. Voting results for the writers' ballot will be announced Jan. 23, with the induction ceremony taking place during Hall of Fame Weekend in Cooperstown, N.Y., July 21, 2024.
Leyland was one of eight former managers, executives and umpires on the ballot for consideration by the 16-member Contemporary Baseball Era Committee. Leyland appeared on 15 of the 16 ballots; 12 votes were needed for enshrinement.
Another Legion Baseball alumnus, Lou Piniella (West Tampa), came up one vote shy of joining Leyland in the Hall of Fame. Former National League President Bill White was the only other candidate to receive double-digit votes, with 10.
Also on the ballot were managers Cito Gaston and Davey Johnson; umpires Ed Montague and Joe West; and former general manager Hank Peters.
The eight candidates were selected by the BBWAA-appointed Historical Overview Committee from a pool of eligible candidates whose most significant career impact occurred after 1980.
Leyland told MLB Network, "It's the highest honor you can get in our business, and I'm just thrilled, excited, surprised, flattered. All those words come into play when you're thinking about this."
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.
1. Three commercial ships came under attack Sunday four times by drones and missiles in the Red Sea, and a U.S. warship there responded to the distress calls as part of an hourslong assault claimed by Yemen's Houthi rebels, officials said. The attack potentially marked a major escalation in a series of maritime attacks in the Mideast linked to the Israel-Hamas war as multiple vessels found themselves in the crosshairs of a single Houthi assault for the first time in the conflict.
2. U.S. and Japanese divers have discovered wreckage and remains of crew members from a U.S. Air Force Osprey aircraft that crashed last week off southwestern Japan, the Air Force announced Monday. The CV-22 Osprey carrying eight American crew crashed last Wednesday off Yakushima island during a training mission. The body of one victim was recovered and identified earlier, while seven others remained missing.
3. The Biden administration on Monday sent Congress an urgent warning about the need to approve tens of billions of dollars in military and economic assistance to Ukraine, saying Kyiv's war effort to defend itself from Russia's invasion may grind to a halt without it. In a letter to House and Senate leaders and also released publicly, Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young warned the U.S. will run out of funding to send weapons and assistance to Ukraine by the end of the year, saying that would "kneecap" Ukraine on the battlefield.
4. Seoul test-fired a U.S.-built ship-to-air missile in South Korean waters for the first time on Friday. The destroyer ROKS Gang Gam-chan fired the Standard Missile-2 in the East Sea, or Sea of Japan, and hit an inbound unmanned aerial vehicle, South Korea's navy said in a news release Sunday. The SM-2 was tracked from Samcheok Marine Research Center on Gangwon Province's eastern coast. The 65-acre facility opened in 2021 and provides a host of analytical services, including underwater noise and infrared testing.
5. Israel's military renewed calls Monday for mass evacuations from the southern town of Khan Younis, where tens of thousands of displaced Palestinians have sought refuge in recent weeks, as it widened its ground offensive and bombarded targets across the Gaza Strip. The expanded operations, following the expiration of a weeklong cease-fire, are aimed at eliminating Gaza's Hamas rulers, whose Oct. 7 attack into Israel triggered the deadliest Israeli-Palestinian violence in decades. The war has already killed thousands of Palestinians and displaced over three-fourths of the territory's population of 2.3 million people, who are running out of safe places to go.
Robert E. Coulter Jr. American Legion Post 1941 in La Grange, Ill., collected over 600 toys and over 200 coats at the post's annual Toys for Tots and Coat Drive.
The post has hosted a collection drive for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program each year since 2018, and added a coat collection component for The Salvation Army in 2021.
"We are fortunate to have a post with member volunteers that come out and make our Toy and Coat Drive a success each year," said Post 1941 senior vice commander Bill Kiddon, who noted that volunteers for the four-hour drive-through collection effort on Nov. 25 included Legionnaires, Sons and Auxiliary and family members.
"Our post commander, Mike Maher, and his wife, Patti Maher, greet cars in their Santa and Mrs. Claus attire (and) Marines in dress blues thank those who stop," Kiddon said.
In addition to the annual toy drive, Post 1941 hosts a monthly blood drive for the Red Cross, earning recognition as a Premier Partner for those efforts, and has donated over $60,000 in 2023 to help organizations that help others, according to finance officer Charlie Anderson.
Share your efforts
Legion Family nationwide participate each year in Toys for Tots drives. American Legion Riders Chapter 169 in Wichita Falls, Texas, reinvigorated their area's Toys for Tots program two years ago.
If your post, squadron or unit is conducting or has already held a Toys for Tots drive this holiday season, let us know. Share your efforts on legiontown.org as we highlight how the American Legion Family is delivering holiday cheer and assistance this season.
Eliminate the yearly hassle of remembering to renew your American Legion membership by taking advantage of the new multiyear membership available to current and potential members. Legionnaires needing to renew for 2024 or veterans joining the organization for the first time can lock-in a three-year membership by visiting legion.org/renew or legion.org/join.
A multiyear membership was approved by the National Executive Committee of The American Legion during the organization's Spring Meetings last May. Resolution 1: Purchase of Multiple Years of Membership approves "a five-year pilot program offering the purchase of three consecutive 12-month member terms at the then current dues rate."
Here is what you need to know about the three-year membership:
- Multiyear membership sign-up is only available on the national American Legion website. Current or potential members cannot renew or join for a three-year membership at the post level or through MyLegion.org.
- Renew now with a three-year membership by visiting legion.org/renew.
- Join now with a three-year membership by visiting legion.org/join.
- Legionnaires already renewed for 2024 will soon be able to renew under the multi-year membership starting with the 2025 membership year.
- Payment for the three-year membership will be upfront.
- There is not a discounted rate with the three-year membership.
- Membership cards will still be sent annually by Legion posts.
- Those who sign up for a multiyear membership will not receive a renewal notice during the time they have signed up for the multiyear membership.
Please note that the multiyear membership will work just like PUFL. Whatever rate the member renews at is the what the post/department/national will receive for the duration of that timeframe. For example, if a member renews today (before national per-capita $5 dues increase come July 1, 2024), National will receive $18.50 for the next three years. Let's say the department's per capita is currently $10 and is going to raise to $15 come July 1, 2024. The department will receive the $10 for the next three years. Once the member renews after the three year renewal is up, the renewal rate will adjust to the rate at that time.
In the spirit of the season, here are some ideas for gifts to help loved ones achieve healthier outcomes, mental wellness and improved fitness:
WHOOP ($239 annual subscription, with monthly payment options). A wearable tracking device that calculates overall recovery based on recent exercise, heart rate and sleep quality. With a paid membership, you receive a free WHOOP 4.0 with a lifetime warranty, access to the app for personalized insights, built-in coaching features, and weekly and monthly performance reports. whoop.com
Oura Ring (from $299, $5.99 for a monthly membership). Provides tracking and metrics in fitness, stress, sleep and health through an app. Available in five finishes. ouraring.com
Pique Sun Goddess Matcha Green Tea ($58). 100% organic, ceremonial-grade and quadruple toxin-screened. It contains epigallocatechin gallate, chlorophyll, L-theanine, catechins and caffeine for radiant skin, healthy metabolism and calm energy. Available in individual sachets or a 35-serving tin. piquelife.com
AG1 ($79 monthly subscription or $99 per bag). A powdered supplement with 75 high-quality vitamins, minerals and whole-food-sourced nutrients. drinkag1.com
ARMRA Colostrum supplement ($39.99). Colostrum's immune-boosting properties can strengthen hair, skin, lung and gut barriers; rebuild your microbiome; and activate cellular health and performance. tryarmra.com
Naked Grass Fed Whey Protein ($75.99 per 5 lb. bag). Sourced from small Northern California and Idaho dairy farms with cows that are grass-fed, free-roaming and raised without growth hormones, this protein supplement is free of additives and artificial sweeteners. nakednutrition.com
Bulletproof MCT Oil (16 oz. $15.50, 32 oz. $29.95). Made from 100% coconut oil, MCT oil rapidly converts into ketones to give you long-lasting energy, boost metabolism and fuel your brain. bulletproof.com
Danger Coffee ($24.95). Uses a "remineralizing" process to deliver more than 50 trace minerals and electrolytes to your cells. Choose whole-bean or ground bags in medium, dark roast and decaf. dangercoffee.com
Don't miss the December issue of The American Legion Magazine, with a cover story on the opportunities and threats posed by artificial intelligence, a Q&A with VA Secretary Denis McDonough and more. The clickable digi-mag is available through MyLegion.org.
• In "Eye on AI," Andrew Hoehn and Thom Shanker argue that America at risk of losing its advantage in artificial intelligence to China – and becoming more vulnerable to a spectrum of AI-enabled threats from a host of state and non-state actors. "The problems are coming at us at light speed, 186,000 miles per second," they write. "We need a national security system that can move at that speed too."
• In an exclusive interview, VA Secretary Denis McDonough talks about VA initiatives to reduce veteran suicide, The American Legion's Be the One mission, implementation of the PACT Act, improving access to health care for women veterans and more.
• Task Force Movement (TFM) has added health care to trucking and cybersecurity in its mission to fast-track veteran certification in specialized fields and close critical gaps in the U.S. economy. "We're facing a persistent shortage in medical personnel in the U.S. health system, which the COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated," TFM Chairman Patrick Murphy said. "We, as a country, should be able to easily transform those coming out of the military with these skills to health-care positions we need to fill, by supporting the education, training and licensure of those who want to pursue much-needed positions."
• On Dec. 16, American Legion Family members will participate in the 31st National Wreaths Across America (WAA) Day, supporting and even leading WAA events at some 4,000 locations. In Wisconsin, for example, American Legion Riders from District 8 annually raise enough money to purchase a wreath for every grave – more than 7,200 – at the Central Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery. Meeting that goal has been "a dream come true," say local coordinators Ray and Evelyn McSherry, Riders from the Palmer-Ritchie-Thomas Post 153 Legion Family.
• Over the past decade, The American Legion has provided more than $6 million in Temporary Financial Assistance to military and veteran families in need, with one-time grants made possible through the Legion's Veterans & Children Foundation (VCF). Contributions to VCF also provide funding to train the Legion's 3,000-plus service officers. "Benefits offered do little good if claims are lost to the bureaucracy," says American Legion National Commander Dan Seehafer. "This is why a corps of trained service officers is so essential." Make a donation to VCF here.
Members can click here to access the digital magazine.
To join The American Legion and enjoy monthly digital issues of The American Legion Magazine, visit legion.org/join.
Army veteran Adam Marr has been on the front lines of helping to organize, operationalize and advocate for innovative solutions to the veteran mental health and suicide crisis since 2015. He co-founded Warrior Angels Foundation, a 501(c)3, with his brother in 2015 to help veterans who had sustained a traumatic brain injury.
Marr is this month's guest on The American Legion's Be the One podcast. Through this series, The American Legion aims to continue to raise awareness about its mission to reduce the rate of veteran suicide through Be the One.
As an Apache helicopter pilot, Marr deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where he flew more than 400 combat hours and was awarded the combat action badge. In 2017, Marr co-authored the best-selling book, "Tales from the Blast Factory." The book shared perspective on the intimate challenges his brother, a Green Beret, faced transitioning out of the Army because of his TBI and PTSD injuries sustained in combat. This book was the inspiration for the Academy Award-qualified documentary film Quiet Explosions: Healing the Brain (2020).
"We're talking about an elite Special Forces performer who could run through walls, learn foreign languages, a charismatic person who loved his family that ultimately is getting lost on the way home from post to his house, who is forgetting the names of his children," Marr said of his brother.
His brother was prescribed medications to deal with his TBI, PTSD and related issues. Marr's observation led him to the conclusion that his brother's experience was "the recipe for the suicide crisis we're facing now."
The family was able to get Marr's brother into an alternative therapy that helped him avoid being a statistic. In 2018, Marr confronted his own trauma, describing it as a "constant state of fight or flight." He knew how to reach out and was able to link up with other nonprofits and try psychedelics that helped him overcome his trauma.
That was the solution for him and sent him on his path.
"What just happened to me and how do I move forward in life? How do I serve people better?"
Now, Marr — a member of American Legion Post 12 in Dothan, Ala., — is director of operations for the Veteran Mental Health Leadership Coalition (VMHLC). The 501(c)19 coalition is led by retired Marine Lt. Gen. Martin R. Steele, along with more than 45 organizations that advocate for increased research and safe, affordable access to psychedelic medicine and assisted therapies for veterans and their family members. In 2023, the VMHLC helped unlock $12 million in state funding across four states for these programs.
This episode is the fourth in the Be the One series. The others:
Part one: Marine Corps veteran Waco Hoover, who oversees the Be the One strategy, talks about its next phase. "We're doing an extensive amount of research and also looking for suggestions from our community about who we should be aligned with," he said. "We have to have a conversation about this issue, this topic."
Part two: Air Force veteran Dr. Regan Stiegmann discusses how lifestyle medicine can play a role in the reduction of veterans who die by suicide.
Part three: Dr. Ruth Moore is a survivor of suicide, which she attempted after leaving the Navy in 1987 following Military Sexual Trauma assaults. After earning her Ph.D. in Mind-Body Medicine, she now helps veterans and others dealing with trauma and related issues.
There are more than 210 Tango Alpha Lima episodes for veterans, servicemembers and others.
The next Be the One episode will drop Jan. 1. All episodes are available in both audio and video formats here as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and other major podcast-hosting sites. The video version is available at the Legion's YouTube channel.
Julie Flynn from the Department of Maine is a 2023 National American Legion College (NALC) graduate. She attended the 2023 NALC session Nov. 12-14 in Indianapolis at American Legion National Headquarters.
I first learned about NALC at a state conference, the latest graduate was asked to stand up and give us a brief of his experience. I did some research on the college, and I was impressed by the syllabus. They called it a syllabus and not just an agenda, so it was a good start.
The courses sounded interesting, and to be honest it made me yearn for the days I was in uniform. I miss the challenge of being a leader and being part of a team with a similar mission. It has been a while, but not so long that I did not have the memories flood back. I was interested enough now that I was determined to go some day. When an instructor from our state Legion College approached me to attend, I was thrilled. I was looking forward to helping with the state in training and education.
I was excited to receive the email stating I had in fact been accepted to attend the 2023 National American Legion College. Then I started to panic! I thought back on all I had read and the research I had done and thought "what have I gotten myself into!" The work started soon after, I received a welcome letter then an assignment. Actually, it was three assignments. I had committed to this experience, so I went for it. I worked on the assignments and made sure to get my work in on time. My first indication of what to expect came via email. It was a note from the dean of the NALC (Past National Commander Dave Rehbein). A few people had not submitted their assignments on time and without going into details I can just say my eyes were opened. He made it known this was a premier opportunity for Legion members, and he expected his students to abide by the rules. Recurring theme I thought to myself "what have I gotten into!"
I excitedly packed remembering my cover, packing for both business casual and business, and I headed off to Indianapolis. I have been to Indianapolis before, but I had forgotten how pretty it was. The hotel check-in was easy, and we had a meet and greet that night. Looking back on that night I did not realize how quickly those other Legionnaires sitting around me would become my dear friends. We started right off developing our team. What seems like an innocent game to break the ice turns into a great foundation for building your team. We built a strong bond through shared experiences but also by being completely different. We were from different states, we all had various positions in our Legion departments, our ages varied, our political affiliations differed but we were a team!
The speakers we had were amazing, I mean seriously we got to hear from National Adjutant Daniel Wheeler, National Treasurer Shawn Long and especially National Commander Daniel Seehafer. It was all about what we are experiencing and how we can do things better. We learned tools of leadership we could bring back home and use to improve our posts, districts and departments. We said the Pledge of Allegiance each day and conducted classes in a room of great historical meaning to The American Legion, the National Executive Committee Room. We were surrounded by the history of the Legion as we walked through the halls with pictures of past commanders and other dignitaries, to the documents which all played a part of forming The American Legion. The American Legion Headquarters was exceptional, but so was the outside known as the Veterans Memorial Plaza. Each night after class was dismissed, we would walk through the plaza with its grand memorials to all the wars and conflicts. It was a true dedication to those who came before us.
We had a "tater," a fun nickname given to our facilitator assigned to our team for the week. He was quite an unassuming man who of course we later learned had been a police officer, a deputy district attorney, a Legion post commander and a California American Legion department commander. He did not stop there, and he still hasn't. He is a member of several national committees and continues to work veteran issues. He was an inspiration to those of us in class who were looking for the way forward. He nudged us when we needed it and let us flounder when necessary. We spent many hours either sitting in class or working in our breakout room or studying after class back at the hotel, and we became a team. On our last night of studying, we all shared our story of what we thought of the NALC before we arrived and now after we had been here.
My fellow teammates' stories were fascinating. The way the states conduct Legion College varies tremendously from state to state. Some had been waiting years to attend this college and others were simply in the right place at the right time. One thing we all agreed on was what a wonderful experience it had been. The caliber of fellow classmates was the highest I have ever experienced. One of my classmates said it best when he said, "This is the first training and team experience where there wasn't one slacker." I thought this was funny at first until I realized how right he was. Every single one of us worked hard, did not complain, and we did the work together. We were eager to learn and proud to be there.
I thought back on our Welcome Letter and the knowledge I was part of a premiere opportunity, and I would not have missed it for the world! I was glad I didn't know what I had gotten into and glad I got in it! I know The American Legion is going to be better because of the men and women I had the privilege to meet. They are going to do remarkable things, and it can be attributed to the NALC. For myself, I have been given a wider perspective of The American Legion and my devotion to The American Legion has been solidified.
Can you recommend medical transportation services that help patients get home after a medical procedure?
Finding "door-through-door" medical transportation services for outpatient screenings and procedures involving anesthesia can be challenging, especially for patients without nearby family or friends to rely on.
Most clinics require door-through-door transportation as a safety measure. With a colonoscopy, for example, patients often receive an anesthetic or narcotic, combined with anti-anxiety medication. Often this combination of medication can cause mild amnesia and can also remain in the system anywhere between four to six hours. Thus, it is essential to have someone accompany you as you leave the premises, ensure you safely return home and escort you inside.
While there is no simple solution to this medical transportation problem, there are a wide variety of local service providers, nonprofits and home-care companies that may be able to assist you. However, what is available will depend on where you live.
Finding Help A good first step is to talk to the health-care provider performing the procedure. Their clinic may offer transportation services or can refer you to a local medical transportation service. If there are no viable transportation arrangements available, another option is to remain in the clinic for an extended period of time until the medications wear off and you can safely drive yourself home or hail a rideshare or taxi.
If these options are not available, here are some other resources you should check into.
Area Agency on Aging (AAA): Your local AAA is a great resource for locating transportation services and should be able to refer you to medical transportation services available in your community. To find your AAA, call the Eldercare Locater at 800-677-1116 or visit Eldercare.acl.gov.
Local nonprofit groups: The National Volunteer Caregiving Network (NVCNetwork.org) connects about 700 community organizations nationwide, most of which provide door-through-door transportation without charge.
Home-care companies: You may also want to consider hiring a medical transportation service through a home-care agency. Although Medicare does not cover medical transportation, in some states Medicaid will. If you choose this option, be sure to verify the requirements, and give plenty of notice before your appointment to ensure there is availability.
"Savvy Living" is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to NBC's "Today Show." The column, and others like it, is available to read via The American Legion's Planned Giving program, 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.
A Colorado Legionnaire got the opportunity to rekindle a lifelong interest in hunting in October, thanks to his post, an area ranch and a nonprofit organization.
Matthew Dominguez, a member of Stanley Hardman Post 11 in Trinidad, Colo., is a Marine Corps veteran who served in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. During the latter, in early February 2007, he lost most of his right leg to an IED and suffered a traumatic brain injury. He is active in post events, as well as helping oversee a youth wrestling club that runs from September to May.
For these reasons and more, Post 11 Commander John Mochel recommended Dominguez to God's Country For Our Heroes, a nonprofit that according to its website "provides outdoor experiences to outstanding individuals." Dominguez was surprised with the news at a dinner in his honor in July, attended by more than 120 people. He was selected because he "is a worthy individual who gave so much for his country, as many young Americans have during the OIF and OEF campaigns," Mochel said. The hunt itself took place on the Alce Toro Ranch near Trinidad.
Mochel continued that the veteran community tends to be attracted to hunting, and not just for the hunt itself: "Most fellow veterans I know have a mutual interest in firearms and the outdoors. It is a natural commonality based upon our experiences, and possibly how we were raised … from my experience, many of my veteran friends love the adventure of the outdoors, the adrenaline rush of seeing a large game animal in the wild, the commitment to waking up every morning to hike mile after mile glassing for deer or elk, and enjoying the serenity and solitude to reflect upon life while being in the woods."
This was not entirely new territory for Dominguez: "I grew up hunting with my father and brothers, but [the trophy hunt] was truly a first for me," he said. "The whole experience was very enjoyable, and the outfitters and staff were beyond amazing." Echoing Mochel's thoughts on the pull of veterans toward hunting, he concluded, "I find peace in the outdoors."