-whether Active Duty, Retired, National Guard, or Reserve,
Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine-
is someone who,
at one point in his or her life,
signed a blank check made payable to
"The United States of America"
for an amount
"up to, and including, my life."
That is HONOR.
And there are way too many people in this country
who no longer understand it.
There is no real standard legal definition of "military veteran" in the United States. Veteran benefits weren't created all at one time. As they were added one-by-one for over 200 years by Congress, Congress included eligibility requirements for that particular benefit. Whether or not one is considered a "veteran" by the federal government depends entirely upon which veteran program or benefit one is applying for.
Some programs require 90 days or 24 months of continuous service, some require specific dates of service, and definitions are a little different for those who served in a Reserve Component.
For the American Legion, orders to service under Title 10, subsection 672 or 12301 and a DD214 showing dates for eligibility, not length of service, are the standards for qualification as a member. For services we can provide to those who need them, the larger definition at the top of this page applies.
The Old Veteran spoke to the Young Recruit and said,
"Now that you are in the service, you are a Veteran.
As a Veteran, there are 3 things to remember.
First, honor those who came before you.
Second, respect those who serve beside you.
Third, take care of the ones who will follow behind you."
THIS, then, is the basic premise on whichThe American Legion was founded.
(stolen and paraphrased from someone else's comments on facebook)