American Legion now open to all honorably discharged veterans

SOUTH BRUNSWICK – With President Donald Trump’s signature on the LEGION Act (Let Everyone Get Involved in Opportunities for National Service) on July 30, the ongoing declared period of war was extended back to Dec. 7, 1941, making all honorably discharged veterans eligible for membership in the American Legion.

The Congressionally-approved act is a way to honor thousands of veterans who were killed or wounded on duty during periods not previously considered a time of war.

“We think it’s about time the service, sacrifice and commitment of these veterans who served during previously undeclared war eras was finally acknowledged,” Gary Cooper, commander of American Legion Post 401 in South Brunswick, said in a statement provided by Post 401. “They stood at the ready, just like the rest of us. This will enable them to receive all the American Legion benefits they have earned through their service.”

The LEGION Act redefines the American Legion’s membership eligibility dates. The eligibility now spans from Dec. 7, 1941, until a time when the U.S. is no longer at war, as determined by Congress.

“Many South Brunswick veterans were disappointed they couldn’t join the post, and it was frustrating that I couldn’t welcome them to our membership. Now I can. We in the American Legion believe a veteran is a veteran, no matter when they served,” Cooper said in the statement.

Veterans interested in joining Post 401 may request an application by emailing, or by stopping by the post at 148 Major Road, Monmouth Junction section of South Brunswick, any day after 4 p.m.