To the editor:
I was drafted in 1957 and served two years in the Army, spending 18 months of that time in Germany. After those two years, I was on active reserve for two more years and inactive reserve for another two years. I joined the American Legion Post No. 23 of Beaver Springs in 1959, was Post Commander four times and held numerous other positions in the Legion.
In 2009, I spoke to another veteran to ask if he wouldn't join the Legion and was informed by him that he didn't qualify because of the years he was in the service. I did some research and, much to my surprise, found my years in the service did not qualify me to be a member of the Legion.
I wrote to the national headquarters about this subject and was told it would take an act of Congress in order to change the eligible dates, and this change would not generate enough new members to make it worthwhile.
I was then informed, after 51 years of membership and paying my dues to the Legion, I was no longer a member.
The nonqualifying dates for membership and benefits are:
Why does an organization like the American Legion not recognize all who served their country, whether in war or peace? How many other veterans have been told, in effect, their service does not count?
John E. "Jack" Kaufman