PEORIA, Ill. – Representatives passed a bill Tuesday which extends eligibility for American Legion membership, which means local American Legion posts could be accepting new members.
The national veterans organization currently only grants membership to veterans who served in active duty during wartime.
The LEGION Act would extend eligibility to honorably discharged veterans and those not directly involved in combat.
Bill Davies, the Commander of Peoria’s American Legion Post #2 says this change has been long-awaited. He’s seen a lot of veterans who have wanted to join, but didn’t meet the organization’s requirements.
“I’ve got a lot of people who want to join but they can’t do it because of our time eligibilities,” Davies said.
Currently, the American Legion only accepts membership for those who served within specific dates. Davies said this leaves out quite a few people – particularly those from the Korean War era.
Once the bill is signed into law by President Trump, Davies says he’ll have some fellow veterans to call.
“As soon as this occurs,” Davies said, “I’m gonna drive over to their house with an application and get them signed up right away.”