VA&R means the complete restoration of the veteran and his or her family
to normal function and adjustment, physically, mentally, socially,
and vocationally for the fullest possible life, compatible with his or her abilities and disabilities.|
The VA&R work of the American Legion Auxiliary includes bringing
physical comfort and mental cheer to veterans in hospitals, aiding the disabled to earn money
for the support of themselves and their families, and helping them to reestablish themselves in
life. The American Legion Auxiliary cooperates with The American Legion in ALL its endeavors
on behalf of veterans.|
To carry out the VA&R work effectively, a complete organization extending
from the Unit to the National organization is necessary. Years of experience in rehabilitation
have brought about systematizing of the activities which has proven to be the most efficient way
to aid the different classes of disabled veterans. Unit VA&R workers
should become familiar with the Department and National VA&R
organizations and be able to use the services of theses groups when necessary. Units
should work closely with the VA&R Committees of their American
Legion Posts and with other agencies in the community from which aid for the disabled is available.
The National VA&R Committee|
The National VA&R Committee shall contact the
Department VA&R Chairmen in carrying out a uniform program in
the various Departments. The National Chairman is assisted by three members of the
committee and five Divisional Chairmen who are appointed each year by the National President.
The National Organization requires an annual report form to be sent out from the National
VA&R Committee to the Departments covering Unit, Department,
and National programs. Information is to be furnished to the Department by Units and
returned to the National Chairman. The National News and bulletins are the media in
which educational information of the National VA&R Committee
will be found. Every Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Chairman should become thoroughly
familiar with the program of the National VA&R Committee.
VA&R in the Departments
It is the duty of the Department VA&R Chairman to promote the Department's plan of rehabilitation work and see that it
is successfully carried out. Informational bulletins from the Department should be sent
to the Units at regular intervals. The Department VA&R Chairman should receive reports from the Unit Chairmen showing the amount work done.
The Department Chairman should, in turn, send a composite report to the National Veterans
Affairs and Rehabilitation Chairman. Department VA&R Chairmen
should be responsible for seeing that Units participate in the Department and National work,
and conform to rules adopted by the Department and National organizations.
The general plan of Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) programs and aid for the hospitalized
veterans within the state is set up by the National Organization. This becomes the responsibility
of the Department VA&R Chairman , and she should work very closely
with The American Legion Committee. Local hospital program's should conform with national
rules. In localities where there are a number of Units supplying hospitals needs and
where there are other organizations interested in doing these same things, there may be a duplication
of effort, and if these conditions prevail, coordination is necessary for best results.
The Unit VA&R Chairman
Each Unit should have a Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Chairman. The work of this program is confined to service for veterans in the hospitals, attention to veterans returning from the hospitals, in securing necessary hospitalization for disabled veterans, and such other aid as may be needed.
Each Unit VA&R Chairman should be familiar with the Department and National
programs, making sure that her Unit contributes its part to the carrying out of these programs.
Close contact should be maintained with the Department VA&R Chairman in order that the Unit may function effectively in the Department and National rehabilitation
work and may receive assistance when needed from either of theses groups. Each
unit should contribute to its Department Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Fund in the manner
prescribed by the Department, and to the National VA&R Fund through
the Department. All money should be sent to Department Headquarters; never directly from
the Unit to the National Organization.
Purpose and use of VA&R Funds
The VA&R Fund in the Unit, Department, and National organizations
must be used for this work only, and should be kept in a separate fund. Since the
public has usually contributed generously to this fund because of the nature of its use ,
we are obligated to keep faith with the public in the expenditure of this money. The
special National VA&R Fund is made up from annual contributions of
fifteen cents per Senior member. A part of this fund is donated to The American Legion
to assist in the work of The American Legion's National VA&R Commission in Washington, D.C. and the balance is used as VA&R and Children and Youth budgets of the American Legion Auxiliary.
Suggestions for Unit Workers
1. Units should contact the well established and recognized
social agencies whenever possible in dealing with issues related to assistance to veterans.
2. Units should recognize the efficient structure established
by the National American Legion Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission, and the capability
of its Service officers in various states. Questions regarding the rights of the veterans,
compensation, insurance, and other questions of a technical nature should be referred to
the American Legion for advice and guidance.
3. Units wishing information about special projects such as orientation
for Hospital Volunteers, work shops, Gifts Shops, sale of veteran-made goods, operation of exchanges,
or any other special activity conducted through the rehabilitation program, can secure definite
information by writing to the Department Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Chairman through
Department Headquarters .
Guide for Volunteers
The "Guide for Volunteers" contains rules, regulations , and duties for all volunteer
groups in rehabilitation, and may be obtained through your Department Headquarters.
Every volunteer should have a copy available to her.
Hospital Volunteer Orientation
Unit VA&R Chairmen should be aware of the need for a Medical
Center Volunteers' Orientation if there is a VA Medical Center in the community or adjacent
area. Under the Department Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Chairman and /or the Director
of Hospital Volunteers, awards and recognition's are outlined in the "Guide for Volunteers."
After satisfactory completion of the prescribed training courses, the Hospital Volunteers of
the American Legion Auxiliary will be qualified to service and aid the Medical Center Staff
in caring for the hospitalized veteran.
The national Organization has a VAVS representative and two deputies as liaison
from the organization to the VA and serving on the National VAVS level. Information
from this representative is sent to all Departments periodically.
Field Service Program
One of the programs of Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation is that of Field
Service; a volunteer program similar to that of the Hospital Volunteer program, but conducted
in community nursing homes and non-VA facilities. There are both National and State Directors
for the Field Service program, and there are identification pins and hour bars for the volunteers
which are similar to that of the Hospital Volunteer Program. Please refer to the "Guide for
Volunteers" for detailed information on this program.
In 1974, a new method of reporting the number of volunteers, hours, and the cost
of materials and supplies was initiated to record service for the veterans by our volunteers in
their own homes. Home Service completes a true record of service given by all American
Legion Auxiliary volunteers for reporting to the Congress of the United States, and also
recognizes all volunteer hours of service by our National organization.
Home service hours include time spent sewing, knitting, cooking, shopping for materials and supplies,
and other services performed by the volunteer IN HER OWN HOME. Hospital Gift Shop items made
at home are classified as Home Service.
Home Service pins and hour bars are available for the Volunteers. Please refer to the "Guide
for Volunteers" for detailed information on this program.
America's Veterans Video
Designed for students and educators. It helps to answer the question, "What does Veteran's Day
mean to you?" After viewing this video, students will be able describe who veterans are, what
they have done, and why they should be honored.
Resources Available from
National Emblem Sales
The American Legion
P 0 Box 1050
Indianapolis, Indiana 46206
Preamble to the American Legion Auxiliary
Policies and Procedures Manual
Parliamentary Points is now included in the Unit handbook
Robert's Rules of Order Scott, Foresman Publisher
JAMES H. PARKE MEMORIAL YOUTH SCHOLARSHIP
In addition to the cash award offered to teen volunteers by the American Legion Auxiliary,
the James H. Parke Memorial Youth Scholarship offers a scholarship. Go to above link for details.