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American Legion: Senate praises American Legion, other VSOs for pandemic efforts

Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., introduced a resolution in the U.S. Senate honoring veteran service organizations (VSOs) that provided relief to the country during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. S.Res.143 — “A resolution to honor and recognize the patriotism and service to the United States provided by Veterans Service Organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic” passed the Senate by unanimous consent on April 21.

“The response of American Legion departments and posts to the COVID-19 pandemic has been truly inspirational. From donating scarce PPE early on to conducting virtual buddy checks, hosting vaccine and COVID testing clinics, and many other services to their communities, American Legion Family members have played a vital role in our nation’s efforts to defeat this horrific virus,” said American Legion National Commander James W. "Bill" Oxford. “We are humbled yet not surprised that Congress wishes to recognize these efforts and those of other VSOs. I would like to thank Sen. Hassan for honoring these actions through this resolution.”

Legionnaires across the world have worked tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The efforts are documented in a book, “COVID Operations: The American Legion Family’s Response to the Global Pandemic.” The American Legion sent each member of Congress a copy. 

“Veterans have faced immense challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, and The American Legion and additional VSOs have been quick to adapt to continue providing the essential support that veterans count on them for,” Hassan said. “I am deeply grateful for your efforts, and am proud to recognize your service to our country with a Senate resolution in your honor.”

Hassan was appointed at the beginning of the 117th Congress to the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and has already proven to be a passionate ally for the veterans. She is an original sponsor of the Buddy Check bill and has been extremely proactive working to get the legislation passed.

Additionally, Hassan — along with Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Reps. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., and Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa — introduced The Improving VA Accountability to Prevent Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Act of 2021. The bipartisan, bicameral legislation would make numerous policy changes within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to address and prevent sexual harassment at VA. Hassan is also an original co-sponsor of the GWOT Memorial Location Act, which is another of The American Legion’s legislative priorities.