American Legion Emblem

VA & R Service to Veterans

VA&R Service to Veterans

Kathy Wilkerson - Chairman

9326 Hwy 99

Wapello, IA   52653

Mobile: 563-607-0339

Work: 563-288-5015



What is VA&R Service to Veterans?

The Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation program promotes the ALA mission to enhance the lives of veterans, military and their families.  Service to Veterans are volunteers who provide service to veterans, servicemembers and their families outside a VA Medical Center.


How can you serve veterans, servicemembers and their families?

As an individual member or as a group such as your Unit or County.  Here a few ideas:

«  Supply postage for local veterans in rest homes or assisted living facilities

{  Visit and remember them on special occasions

{  Take a veteran on a Sunday drive, picnic or to see one of their friends

«  Offer to stay with a veteran while their primary caregivers go shopping or out for a break.

«  Organize a clothing drive

«  Organize transportation for veterans to assist them with essential errands

«  A Unit or County could provide hospitality for a job fair for veterans

«  Coordinate with local quilt shops to sponsor a quilting event in support of Quilts of Valor®

«  Help with yardwork – mow; weed flower beds and gardens; trim shrubs, bushes or trees

«  Scoop snow

«  Do home repairs

Help homeless veterans:

«  Crochet or knit hats, scarves or mittens to be distributed

«  Assemble and deliver hygiene kits or buddy baskets

At risk veterans:

«  Short on time, but have some cash?  Make payments of overdue rent, utility payments or deposits and security deposits

«  Meal preparation and serving


How do you determine who needs assistance?

Start with your post home.  Some Legionnaires are aged, infirmed, or confined due to illness or inability to drive.  Reach out to leaders in your community.  Contact government officials, religious leaders and social service offices to ask about different programs in the community serving veterans.  Once you have contact information, reach out to the organization(s) and ask them to identify their needs.  With needs identified in your community, run free with your ideas to meet the needs of those who served our Country.   To complete bigger projects, utilize your Unit and/or American Legion Family. 


In addition to serving our veterans, servicemembers and their families, it is IMPORTANT to TRACK & REPORT YOUR HOURS and EXPENSES.  Services to a volunteer’s family or relative cannot be counted.  The tracking period runs from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018.  Your hours and expenses must be certified by your unit and sent to me by April 30, 2018.  Volunteers will earn “hour bars” when reaching specific hour milestones of 50, 100, 300, 500 and 1000 hours after which they will earn bars in 1000 hour increments.  The hours are cumulative from year to year.  Pins on which to attach your bars can be ordered from Emblem Sales at your expense.  It is essential when reporting your activities to me that you include your ALA membership number on all reports and communications.  Why do we report our volunteer hours?  If we do the work and don’t report it, no one will ever know the support Iowa volunteers have for those who served and are serving America.  Reporting is important to let our communities and legislators know we support our veterans, servicemembers and their families and they need to support them too.  Please submit a short narrative to me by snail mail or email of your unit’s VA&R Service to Veterans activities by December 31, 2017, so I can prepare and submit my Mid-Year report to the Central Division Chairman.  The annual report deadline is April 30, 2018.  Narratives must be submitted to me along with a listing of your unit members, their membership numbers, their hours and expenses.  Include a brief description of how the hour bars were earned.  Include in your narrative what you or your Unit did.  What went well with a project and what you learned to make future projects easier.  Who and how many were served by your service. 


So, run free with your ideas on how you or your Legion Family can be of service to veterans, servicemembers and their families.  Accomplish those ideas to the best of your ability and you will make a difference in the lives of others.  And remember to report hours and expenses to me by the deadlines with all the required information.  I cannot report what I do not know.  But I do know Iowa has awesome volunteers and EVERYONE needs to report!


Department and National Awards

Outstanding Unit VA&R Program Award:  Awarded to unit chairman who conducted the best overall promotion of the VA&R program.  1000 words or less, typed in narrative format, include pictures, clippings, scrapbooks, folders, etc. Entries must include the national award cover sheet that is found on the Department’s Home Page and in the National Programs Action Plan.


Service to Veterans Volunteer Hours Award:  An award will be presented to a junior and a senior member for reporting the greatest number of hours from April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018, as certified by the unit.  Entries must include the award cover sheet.


Additional details, information and resources may be found on the National American Legion Auxiliary website in the members only section.





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