The value of a post service officer increases with length of service. As the service officer’s reputation grows, so will the value of the organization in the veteran community. The job requires a competent, dedicated and organized person, preferably one is readily available to provide assistance. The post service officer is responsible for bringing awareness to all veterans and their dependents the rights and benefits granted them by law.
The post service officer also must know how to access and utilize the expert services available through The American Legion, state and federal government agencies, and local community agencies. The job requires timely submission of information to full-time professionals, so veterans and their dependents are adequately represented. The service officer’s report should be a standard part of every meeting.
The American Legion maintains a full staff of appeals representatives in the Washington, D.C., and Indianapolis headquarters offices. A small mobile staff of field representatives provides a constant flow of information concerning conditions in VA hospitals, domiciles and regional offices. Other American Legion representatives assist veterans who petition DoD boards for review of less than fully honorable discharges or dismissal from the military. They also assist veterans in obtaining deserved decorations and medals.
Department service officers are certified and can provide necessary claims forms. Additional information comes through department publications, National Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation bulletins, memorandums and VA pamphlets. Many departments conduct training for post service officers to gain knowledge and contacts, and all have trained and certified service officers in VA regional offices and hospitals.
With most of today’s veteran population composed of those who served during the Vietnam War era and after, the work of the post service officer continues to be vital. These former servicemembers are likely to not be fully versed in veterans benefits and programs. Meanwhile, older veterans need advice on how to integrate possible benefits into their retirement plans. Dependents should be contacted as soon as feasible after a veteran’s death.
Every Congress considers legislative matters of importance to veterans and to The American Legion. Working in cooperation with the post legislative committee, the post service officer can aid the national organization’s legislative efforts.
LOS ALAMITOS POST 716 | THE AMERICAN LEGION
3252 Florista Street, Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Los Alamitos Post 716 is a 501 (C) (19) Veterans Service Organization
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