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American Legion in Lake Tomahawk hopes to grow following passage of membership expansion actSubmitted: 08/18/2019
Stephen Goin
Stephen Goin
Reporter/Anchor
sgoin@wjfw.com

American Legion in Lake Tomahawk hopes to grow following passage of membership expansion act
LAKE TOMAHAWK - With nearly 140 dues-paying Legionnaires, American Legion Post 318 in Lake Tomahawk already surpassed its membership goals for 2020.

The post hopes to welcome even more members soon following the passage of a new law that expands the definition of who can join.

"This act was probably the greatest thing that's happened in a long time," said Gary Madden, Legion Post 318 commander.

President Trump signed the LEGION Act in July, which opened Legion membership to all veterans who served from Pearl Harbor to the president day.

When the Legion was established in 1919, only soldiers, sailors and marines who served during World War 1 and six other officially declared periods of war were allowed to join.

Servicemen who fought during periods of "police action" were denied membership.

Once the LEGION Act took effect, 6 million previously ineligible veterans were granted access to the organization.

Post 318 in Lake Tomahawk held an open house Saturday to accept newly eligible members and celebrate the rule change.

"I think a lot of the veterans that weren't eligible made noise about it, a lot of the legion members made noise about it," said Madden. "Finally the congress decided to act and say hey maybe we're doing this wrong and correct it."

The legion connects its members to a variety of veteran's benefits and a society of fellow servicemen locally and around the country.

Legion Post 318 also supports the community through various fundraising efforts like monthly meat raffles.

Madden says newly eligible veterans are welcome to attend Legion meetings and social nights on the first and third Thursday of every month, respectively.

New members will also be able to participate in social activities like the Legion's pool league.

For more information, visit the website for Legion Post 318.


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