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Legion Commander: Pass the Coast Guard Authorization Act
On a daily basis our brave Coast Guard personnel carry out missions that are vital to our national security, yet they are the only military branch working without pay during a government shutdown. This is unacceptable. The repeated, and all too common, threat of government shutdowns bring severe hardship on our Coast Guard men, women, and their families. No member of our military service should ever live in fear of not being paid. 

This is why The American Legion supports Section 221 of S. 2297, Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2019. This provision, known as the “Pay Our Coast Guard” provision, would ensure Coast Guard pay in the event of another government shutdown. 

Please use the prepared message to contact your Senators and ask them to encourage Senate leadership to bring the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2019 to the floor for a vote, and promise to support Section 221 the “Pay Our Coast Guard” provision within the authorization act. 

Last year, the longest government shutdown in our nation’s history came to an end, stopping what had been more than a three-week gap since more than 41,000 active-duty members of the U.S. Coast Guard had been paid. The American Legion’s Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) program was able to provide more than $1 million in non-repayable grants to approximately 1,713 Coast Guard families with 3,170 children. 

TFA grants, like the ones distributed to Coast Guard families affected by the shutdown, are made possible through donations to The American Legion Veterans and Children Foundation at www.legion.org/donate. The foundation supports veterans and military families in need, as well as American Legion service officers who provide free VA benefits and health care assistance to veterans.  

Contact your Senator today to tell them to pay the Coast Guard!

"The brave members of our Coast Guard risk their lives defending us daily, just like their sister services in the Department of Defense…. Whether they are performing rescues during a hurricane or stopping drug traffickers at sea, members of the Coast Guard regularly perform heroic and lifesaving tasks on our behalf. They should not have to worry about bills and living expenses just because Congress and the White House cannot agree on a budget."  

- Brett P. Reistad, National Commander (2018-2019)

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