May 18, 2017

Sens. Young, Donnelly Lead Bipartisan Coalition to Honor American Legion 100th Anniversary

Washington D.C. - Senators Todd Young and Joe Donnelly of Indiana led a bipartisan group of Senators in honoring the 100th anniversary of the American Legion by introducing legislation to create a variety of commemorative coins.

The special, limited edition commemorative coins would be available for purchase starting in 2019, marking the centennial of the organization which was originally chartered by Congress in September of 1919. The Legion has been instrumental in providing support, programs, and advocacy for our nation's veterans, including influential work to help secure the passage of the G.I. Bill.

Proceeds from the sale of the commemorative coins will go toward supporting American Legion programs and efforts to continue their invaluable work on behalf of our nation's veterans and their families.

A companion version of this legislation is being introduced in the House of Representatives under the leadership of Representatives Tim Walz and Phil Roe.

Senator Donnelly said, "This commemorative coin will honor the 100th anniversary of the founding of the American Legion and their good works for generations to come. I'm proud to join with Senator Young on this effort to highlight the Indianapolis-based American Legion, which does so much for our country's veterans."

"The American Legion's long track record of successful advocacy speaks for itself," Young said. "This commemorative coin will honor those achievements along with helping to continue advocacy work that improves the lives of veterans."

"The American Legion is honored that the Congress of the United States introduced legislation to commemorate The American Legion's century of selfless service and great fidelity to our Nation. Since 1919, The American Legion has been committed to defending the Constitution, remembering our fallen, and promoting American values. This coin will memorialize the legacy of millions of veterans across the generations. Thanks to Ranking Member Tim Walz, Chairman Phil Roe, Senator Todd Young and Senator Joe Donnelly for their leadership on this important issue." -- Charles E. Schmidt, National Commander, American Legion

A full list of original cosponsors: Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Tom Carper (D-DE), Angus King (I-ME), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), John Boozman (R-AR), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Gary Peters (D-MI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Steve Daines (R-MT), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA).

Text of the Dear Colleague Letter sent by Senators Young and Donnelly, and Representatives Roe and Walz is below:

Dear Colleague,

We invite you to serve as an original cosponsor of The American Legion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act. The American Legion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act honors the Legion for its 100 years of service by directing the U.S. Mint to issue a variety of special limited edition commemorative coins available for purchase during 2019.

The American Legion, America's largest veterans' organization, will celebrate its centennial in 2019. Founded in Paris following World War I, the American Legion was officially chartered by Congress on September 16, 1919. Since its founding, the Legion has served with pride, honor, and distinction on behalf of our country, our communities, and our veterans.

The American Legion was instrumental in crafting our country's first flag code, helped secure passage of the G.I. Bill, and successfully advocated on behalf of other landmark legislation that improved the lives of our veterans, including the Veterans Reassurance Act and the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act. The Legion continues to provide support, programs, and advocacy for our veterans and their families.

The Legion's commitment to its Four Pillars of Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, National Security, Americanism, and Children and Youth assist our veterans while also instilling core values of patriotism, duty, and honor in future generations. We believe that the Four Pillars are worthy of the support of Congress, and our bill accordingly directs that the proceeds from the sales of coins minted under the Act will benefit the American Legion's Four Pillars programs.

The American Legion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act provides Congress with a valuable way to thank the Legion for its service to our nation, and to invest in our shared values.

We hope that you will join with us to support this legislation.

Sincerely,

Todd Young Joe Donnelly

U.S. Senator U.S. Senator