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Welcome to California!
 The American Legion Department of California
 San Francisco Headquarters

   205 13TH Street, Suite 3300, San Francisco, CA 94103--2461
   Phone: 415-431-2400  Fax: 415-255-1571   E-mail:
   Contact the San Francisco HQ Staff
Contact the SFHQ Staff
   E-mail Commander Janet Wilson:
   E-mail Editor of the “California Legionnaire”;

Best wishes for a wonderful Holiday Season and a
New Year filled with Prosperity, Peace and Happiness

Commander Janet Wilson on tour.
Commander Janet Wilson in red dress!

Commander Janet Wilson travels the state with National Commander Michael Helm!



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  Special articles submitted to the “California Legionnaire”
  1.  Now Accepting Nominations
           for 2015 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award
  2.  The American Legion Launches New Fundraising and Awareness Campaign
          by Daniel S. Wheeler, National Adjutant

  3. Survey:  Veteran Perceptions on Help-Seeking Activities
          shared by Hugh E. Crooks Jr, CA NECman

  4.  Youth Environmental Leadership Conference
          by Barbara Ross, Coordinator
  5.  ON-LINE Enrollment is Now Available for LIT No Cost AD&D
          by Howard Bender
  6. Califiornia’s Eagle Scout of the Year
          James McDaniels, BSA Troop 7050, Yuba City, CA
  7. Posts now have a guaranteed way to raise big money playing Bingo
         Jesse James, Area 5 Finance Commissioner

Now Accepting Nominations for
2015 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award

National Guard and Reserve Members
Nominate Your Exceptional Civilian Employer for Nation’s Top Honor

     WASHINGTON – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is the Nation’s highest honor presented to civilian employers for exceptional support of their National Guard and Reserve employees. ESGR encourages Guardsmen, Reservists, or family members acting on their behalf, to submit nominations at:  by Jan. 19, 2015.

     Guard and Reserve members comprise nearly one-half of our nation’s military force. They provide essential services to maintain national security and conduct humanitarian efforts at home and abroad. The unwavering commitment of their employers helps keep our military prepared and our Nation protected.
    “Every day, employers large and small work to ease the burden on those who serve by providing workplace flexibility, career opportunities and dedicated support,” said Paul Mock, ESGR National Chair. "The Freedom Award is one way we can thank the employers that stand behind our Guardsmen, Reservists and their families.”
     A Freedom Award ceremony is held in Washington, D.C. for up to 15 deserving employers each year. The Freedom Award recognizes employers who go above and beyond in supporting members of the Guard and Reserve – from continuing benefits and healthcare during deployments, to helping with home maintenance and sponsoring veteran hiring initiatives. Service members can thank employers for their exemplary support by submitting a Freedom Award nomination today.

About ESGR and the Freedom Award:
     ESGR is a Department of Defense office that develops and promotes supportive work environments for service members in the Reserve Components through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities. We encourage the employment of Guardsmen and Reservists, who bring integrity, global perspective, and proven leadership to the civilian workforce. On behalf of the Secretary of Defense, ESGR runs the annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award program. The Freedom Award has been presented to 205 employers since it began in 1996.

CONTACT:  S.J. Brown 571-372-0692;

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The American Legion
Launches New Fundraising and Awareness Campaign

   by Daniel S. Wheeler, National Adjutant

     The American Legion is launching a national awareness campaign to raise funds to help our organization assist veterans, their families, young people and communities. The first installment of that campaign will focus on the mental health needs of veterans, particularly those who are battling the signature wounds of today’s war era: PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
     Because these messages will air nationally and before audiences that may be unfamiliar with The American Legion and its services, you may receive calls, visits and other correspondences from veterans in need,or their families. If the request is routine, please handle as you usually would, as being a service organization. If the need is urgent, refer the veteran or family member to a VA emergency support service, such as:

     • Suicide prevention hotline: 800-273-8255, press 1.
     • Texting service: 838255
     • Online chat service:

     If a veteran comes to you or your post as a result of the message, please be welcoming and helpful. Offer him or her the services of the nearest accredited American Legion service officer, who can easily be found online at  or connect the veteran to local resources through your post service officer or other members.
     Please feel free to contact Chuck Krupa, Managing Director of Non-Member Fundraising at 317-860-3030 or  if you have any further questions.
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California’s Premier Youth Program

Youth Environmental Leadership Conference

 by Barbara Ross, Coordinator   (916) 798-3317

     Well, we’re off to a flying start for our 2015 conference, scheduled for May 15-19, 2015.  The Dept. JA is working with the USFS to put a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in place which will hopefully cover the program for several years.  When the Forest Supervisor (Eldorado National Forest Big Guy) visited us in May he was so impressed he wants to participate in next year’s program.  His specialty is trying to see how many species of bugs they can find in a designated area.  Amazingly, this is something the students love, so it should be an interesting addition to our already-crowded agenda.
     A fee increase of $50 was approved by the Convention  Committee due to the spike in transportation fees.  The bus fee for students traveling on the bus into Rio Linda will not change.
     All forms are available on the Department website under the Agriculture Commission section.  PLEASE throw away any forms you have from past years, since there are some important changes on the new forms - mailing addresses, alternate paperwork, etc.  Make sure all forms are complete before sending them to the coordinator…signatures, some type of insurance information, LEGIBLE names for both the student and parents, and contact numbers.   If you are sponsoring a student who will be 18 by the date of the conference please contact the coordinator.  This does happen, and the student will be an adult and must sign their own consent paperwork.  We had a young man who missed 2 years of school waiting for a kidney transplant.  He was nearly 20 when completing his junior year. 
     We’re aiming for a total of 46 students again this year which fills up our bus!! 
     About 10 days prior to the conference each family will receive a letter providing them with information about the conference site, emergency contact information, etc.  Bus information is not available until about a week before we leave so we have the most current itinerary information.   Please make sure the students have a complete address on their form which would include apartment or other designation information.
     If your Post doesn't sponsor a student, when you're writing a check for the Auxiliary’s Junior Conference tickets, how about writing a check to the Legion YELC program.  Mailing address is P.O. Box 60494, Sacramento, CA  95860-0494.
     Looking forward to another exciting, successful conference.
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ON-LINE Enrollment is Now Available for LIT No Cost AD&D

  by Howard Bender

The Legionnaire Insurance Trust is pleased to announce that online enrollment is now available for the LegionCare No Cost Accidental Death benefit. Please be sure to let your Department know about this one-of-a-kind benefit offered exclusively to Legionnaires.
LegionCare provides all Legionnaires with:
     •  $5,000 in Accidental Death Coverage for covered accidents that occur if you are traveling on official Legion business.
     •  $1,000 for all other covered accidents.
     •  24/7 protection that covers Legionnaires at home, at work and while they are traveling away from home available for all Legionnaires in your Department.
To learn more or to sign up, please visit
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Survey: Veteran Perceptions on Help-Seeking Activities
shared by Hugh E. Crooks Jr, CA NECman

Please tell everyone this:

Dr Wendy Ashley and Dr Jodi Brown are studying veteran attitudes toward help seeking. How veterans feel about seeking help for themselves and other veterans may impact their willingness and/or ability to access available services. Because veterans are at substantial risk for PTSD, depression and traumatic brain injury, we want to identify as many potential barriers to effective treatment as possible. 

We hope you will be willing to fill out our survey (link below). Everything is completely anonymous.

Many, many thanks... Wendy Ashley, Psy.D, LCSW
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American Legion Posts
Now have a guaranteed way to raise big money playing Bingo

by Jesse James, Area 5 Finance Commissioner

     Taking something old and making it new again….bingo…or in 2014 we like to call it Remote Caller Bingo or Linked Bingo. This new method of playing traditional bingo provides a way for American Legion bingo halls to make guaranteed money on their paper and allows players to win much greater prize money.  This works because all American Legion Posts are playing the same game at the same time as if they were in the same room—thanks to a new innovative technology that broadcasts the ball calling of the game to everyone at precisely the same moment.
     For the participants, the bingo game is played in the traditional manner with paper and bingo markers (aka daubers).  The biggest difference for the players is the amount of prize money that can be won by a single player. Where charities playing traditional bingo are limited to paying out a couple hundred dollars on a single game, Bingo Innovations of California, Inc. can help their participating charities payout an unlimited amount of prize money, potentially reaching thousands of dollars on a single game.
     The great advantage for the charity bingo hall is how much easier it is to attract players when large prize money is at stake. In addition, the new California law that allows Remote Caller Bingo was designed to insure that the charities receive no less than 43% of the games gross receipts. This is the highest legislative mandated payout for any charity bingo in the entire United States.
     Because the game is pari-mutual, there is no risk of any kind for each American Legion post. There is a profit for the charity bingo hall in every game played. For those locations that already play a traditional bingo game, you know that having a guaranteed 43% revenue of your card sales is unheard of.  What’s even better…the American Legion Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Foundation now has a statewide license—so individual American Legion posts no longer have to deal with the state’s “red-tape” of becoming licensed, they can play under the statewide license already issued. 
     To get more information on how your post can link in with other American Legion Posts statewide and start raising much needed funds, please contact Bingo Innovations of California, Inc. (909) 948-2033 or Email: or visit www.
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