Senate Passes Hoeven-Cosponsored Legislation to Expand American Legion Membership, Recognize Veterans Who Served Outside of Established War Eras

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement after the Senate passed legislation he cosponsored to expand membership eligibility for the American Legion to honorably discharged veterans who have served in unrecognized times of war since World War II. Under the Legion’s current charter, membership is limited to those who have served at least one day on active duty during specific “war era” dates.

However, more than 1,600 veterans have been injured or killed in conflict that took place outside of these dates, making them ineligible for membership. The legislation passed this week would amend the American Legion’s charter, which requires an act of Congress, to honor those whose service fell in gaps between established war eras and allow the organization to establish its own membership criteria.

“The value of a veteran’s service to our nation doesn’t diminish due to the date on which they served,” said Hoeven. “Our legislation makes an important change to the American Legion’s charter to ensure we properly honor all of our veterans, whether or not the conflict they faced was in an official period of war.”