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.
One of the programs of Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation is that of Service to Veterans. Service to Veterans is the combination of both the Field Service and Home Service Programs it is in part a volunteer program similar to that of the Hospital Volunteer program, but conducted in community nursing homes and non-VA facilities. It will also includes the hours, cost of materials and supplies of work done for veterans, such as sewing, knitting, cooking, teaching the Internet, shopping for materials and supplies and other services preformed by the volunteer in her own home. Service to Veterans 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. There are both National and State Directors for the Service to Veterans program.
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.
- Department Code – VA&R
- VA&R National Program Action Plan
- Gift Shop Patient Rememberence Expense Sheet (Word) (PDF)
- Guide for Volunteers
- Temporary Funds Assistance
- Tracking Worksheets (in MS Excel Format)
- Wish Lists
- Making a donation
- Mid-Year Report Forms
- Year-End Report Forms