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Current Membership Report

Current Membership Report

National commander leads veterans walk in California

By Michael Hjelmstad

American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt led members of the Department of California Legion family on a chilly, yet enthusiastic, second annual Walk for Veterans in Sacramento, Calif., Dec. 16.

The walk kicked off with a wreath laying ceremony at the California State Vietnam Veterans War Memorial, located on the grounds of the Capitol Park. Department leadership and Legion family members from across the state walked with the national commander around the park to engage the community and raise awareness about the Legion and issues facing America’s veterans.

Read the complete story HERE

97-year-old veteran plays national anthem on harmonica 97-year-old Peter Dupre,
who served as a medic treating the wounded during the Battle of the Bulge,
plays the national anthem with his harmonica before the start of the
Pearl Harbor Invitational between California and Seton Hall.

2015-2016 "By The Numbers"


The Consolidated Post Report shows the many ways Legionnaires are making differences in their communities and beyond.

American Legion posts around the world gave millions of hours, raised millions of dollars and influenced millions of lives in 2014 and 2015. The newest American Legion Consolidated Post Report, released in August, attaches numbers to the Legion's acts of advocacy and outreach.

In addition to traditional paper reporting, posts can fill out and submit their forms online through myLegion.org.



CALVAR Foundation

CALVAR.org Foundation web site

CAVaR FoundationThe California Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Foundation (CALVAR) is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit corporation, established to help fund the good work of our Veterans Service Officers. You can visit their web site for more details about the foundation.

District 16 has been looking for new ways to help CALVAR raise the funds needed for our VA&R programs. Fortunately, some years ago CALVAR set the foundation up as one of the charities in the AmazonSmiles Program. It is listed as:

The American Legion CA Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Foundation


The AmazonSmile Program

smile.amazon.com  |  AmazonSmile "How To" Instructions

"What is AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support."

The AmazonSmile program is rather simple to use. Once you set up your AmazonSmile account and select The American Legion CA Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Foundation as your charity, just use smile.amazon.com web site to buy what you would normally buy and the 0.5% donation of your purchase takes place automatically.



The AmazonSmile program costs those making the purchases via AmazonSmile


Amazon uses 0.5% of your purchase (their profits) to fund
the donations made from your purchases.

When you select the CALVAR Foundation as your charity,

100% of your donation
goes to the foundation.

Select this as your charity. Then 100% of the donations from your purchases, on the smile.amazon.com web site (Easily found with your BOOKMARK.), will go to the VA&R Foundation.

This is NOT your normal Amazon account web site!

Recently a local Legionnaire reported earning over $50 in donations to the CALVAR Foundation through the AmazonSmile program. That is just one Legionnaire having 0.05% of his AmazonSmile purchases generating $50. It does not take much to realize that the more Legionnaires who use the AmazonSmile program for their online purchases, the more donations we can generate for the VA&R.

If one Legionnaire can generate $50 in donations, 1,000 Legionnaires could generate $50,000 in donations, or more. Many people making small donations produce big results. The trick for us, is to get everyone we can to use smile.amazon.com with the VA&R Foundation as their charity. It is the sum total of all the small donations that will tell us how successful this campaign will become.

The process is automatic and is basically transparent, yet the donations continue each time a purchase is made, year after year. The individual donations are small, but when a lot of people make enough small donations over a long period we can generate a lot of money to support our veterans!

There are 460 Posts in the Department of California. If the Legion Families in each of our posts started using the Amazon Smiles Program and asked all the good people they know, to do the same, we could make this into an impressive fundraising effort to help serve our veterans. Will you please, help spread the word?


Call to Action!

Post Commanders, Squadron Commanders and Chapter Presidents, please ask all your members to support our VA&R Programs by using the AmazonSmiles Program. Then ask them to ask all the good people they know, even their Facebook friends, to select the AmazonSmiles Program and select California VA&R Foundation (CALVAR) as their charity.

The more people we can get involved in using the AmazonSmile Program and selecting the California VA&R Foundation (CALVAR) as their charity the greater our success will be. Success in such things is good, it makes one smile.

For God and Country.

Janice Somers,
District16, 2nd. Vice Commander

Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation

The Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation (VA&R) pillar of service in The American Legion was established in 1919, as one of our Four Pillars of Service. It is the foundation of our service to veterans.

This is a big job and it takes a dedicated and well trained staff of Veteran Service Officers (VSO) and others to do the job well. We have three offices in California staffed with Veterans Service Officers and support staff, to handle the rather large and growing case load of work veteran claims our VSO's process each year. The offices are in Los Angeles, Oakland and San Diego. These offices and staff account for many hundreds of thousands of dollars in the Department budget.

To help you better understand how our VA&R Commission serves, in the 2015-2016 Department of California, “Book of Reports” our Department Service Officer, Scott McKee provides an account of the good work our VA&R Program does to support our veterans.

“The demand for our services is continuing to be greater than it has been in the past. Our returning veterans are using the Post 9/11 GI Bill for their education in the hopes of obtaining employment and/or better employment. Additionally, we are seeing that our returning veterans are now seeking out VA medical services and the compensation/pension benefits, which go with it. Unlike the claims filed from our previous wars and conflicts, which would, average a few disabilities and/or issues, today’s claims filed average 8 issues or more. The disabilities and/or issues are more complicated today, with the signature claims of these wars and conflicts being PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).”

The complete "Service Officer Report" by Scott McKee, it is well worth reading and can be found on page 19 of the

2015-2016 Department of California, Book of Reports

Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation (VA&R) Commission

Automatic Online Pau,emt of Annual Dues

When members use the online renewal feature on The American Legion national web site, members can set their account for automatic renewal using their credit/debit card.

Automatic Online Payment

Many consider the Automatic Online Payment of Annual Membership Dues to be a “Best Practice” in the dues payment process, however the option is not widely known by most members of The American Legion. This is simply an online payment that is automatically processed each year, early in the month of July after the new Legion year begins, using the members debit/credit card. It eliminates the need to send dues renewal notices to members and eliminates the need for members to remember to pay their annual dues, the payment takes place automatically.  The automatic payment option is selected when a member pays their dues online.

This is such a good idea, we encourage our local posts to make all their members aware of the benefits of Automatic Online Payment of Annual Membership Dues. This would be a good topic for post newsletters, web sites and other communications with your post members. We have developed a simple flier to help you get the word out to your members that can be printed out and put on your post bulletin board. This may help to remind members of this important method of paying their annual membership dues.  Flier

Automatic Online Dues Payment

Member Benefits

  • Dues are paid automatically every year!
  • No More Duplicate Dues Notices or Payments: 
    Online dues payments are recorded immediately. No more notices from the national office asking members to pay their dues.
  • No More Waiting for Dues to be Processed: Members no longer need to wait for their local post to process their dues payment and issue a current membership card. When a member pays their dues online the National office posts a report of their payment in MyLegion.org to notify local posts. This report authorizes a post to issue a membership card for the current year.

Post Benefits

  • No Transmittal Needed: When members pay their annual membership dues online the post does not need to submit the member's name on a transmittal form.
  • No membership dues checks to deposit. 
  • No checks need to be written: to the Department for per capita tax
  • Membership Retention:  When post members select Automatic Online Payment of their annual dues membership retention improves.
When members renew their annual membership dues online, it takes about 30-60 days for the national office to send the local post their portion of the member’s dues. The posts receive their funds from national in the same time frame as they would from members who pay their dues by check to the post in September. Most believe this is acceptable, in light of all the benefits Online Membership Renewal provides both the member and the post. 

Automatic Online Payment of Annual Membership Dues is a District 16 Post Best Practice.

To activate the Automatic Online Payment of Annual Membership Dues visit Automatic Online Membership Dues Payment

JUMP #105 at 90 YEARS OLD!

Recently Al "Abbey" Ramirez, of Vandenberg Post 125 in Lompoc, jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, on his 90th birthday. Impressive!

This was Abbey's 105th.and final jump. The jumps started as a member of the Army Airborne during WWII. He later served in the US Navy.

Abbey is thought of by many Legionnaires as an "Elder Statesman" of Post 125 and District 16. He has served as Commander of Post 125 and as District 16 Sgt-at-Arms. Many know him as an Assistant Sgt-at-Arms for District 16, where he has faithfully served for many years.

Published on Jul 20, 2015

Featuring the voice of renowned actor Mr. Sam Elliott, this video is a tribute to the 7.2 million living veterans and the 9 million families of all who served from February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975.

Thank you for your Service and Sacrifice!

Search District 16 Web Site



Friday, December 16
Walk for Veterans - Sacramento
Walk with
The American Legion,
National Commander,
Charlie Schmidt

Please print out the

Walk for Veterans Waiver

sign it and bring it with you to the
Walk for Veterans Event.

Walk for Veterans
Registration web site

Saturday, January 28, 2017
Post Revitalizations

- Ventura County - Post 48
- Santa Barbara County - Post 56
- San Luis Obispo County - Post 66

Sunday, February 26, 2017: 10 a.m.
District Meeting
Post 482 Ojai, 843 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai

Friday-Sunday, March 10 - 12

Spring DEC, Department Executive Committee
West Covina Post 790
330 N. Azusa Ave., West Covina

Tuesday, March 14

Saturday, March 18, 2017
Area 6 Caucus
Post 741 Camarillo,
7 Veterans Way, Camarillo

June 1-4, 2017, 5th Annual ROMP
American Legion Riders 
Sponsored by Chapter 66
2017 ROMP Flier

Sunday, June 4, 2017: 10 a.m.
District Meeting
Post 56, Veterans Memorial Building, 501 N. Pine Street, Santa Maria



California Veteran Resources

Member Muster Software
Free Download for posts in
Department of California

Facebook Links

District 16

Department of California

Post 48 - Oxnard

Post 56 - Santa Maria

Post 66 - San Luis Obispo

Post 125 - Lompoc

Post 211 - Lompoc

Post 339 - Ventura

Post 432 - Cambria

Post 502 - Moorpark

Post 534 - Orcutt

Post 741 - Camarillo

The American Legion

Online Update

Sons of the American Legion

American Legion Riders

American Legion Riders California

Legion National Convention

American Legion Flags

District 12

Post 43 Hollywood

Post 132

Cal Poly Student Veterans of America

Centennial Celebration



National Member Benefits

American Legion Extension Institute flier


National Emergency Fund

NEF Application


Child Welfare Foundation


District Sixteen is an important part of Area 6 in the Department of California. It serves The American Legion Posts in the counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura.

Contact Information