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American Legion Auxiliary
Department of Illinois


Julia Moore

It won’t be long before scholarship applications will be coming in. Last year was no exception; we were not able to award scholarships to all qualified applicants. Some of the students did not follow all the rules, so they were disqualified: this is always upsetting to the committee. However, the big reason was lack of funds. The committee would like to ask Units to do special fundraising for the Education scholarships to increase donations. This seems to be very successful for the Past Presidents’ Parley scholarships and we hope that Units will try something new to help us award more scholarships this year.

We have been asked about what to do if a DD214 is not available or attainable for scholarship applicants. The following information was given to me by the Central Division Education Chairman. The committee hopes this information will be helpful to your applicants.

Proof of Service Documentation

· Form DD214 (Official discharge certificate)
· Official “Honorable Discharge” certificate
· Form DD1300 (Official military death certificate)
· Official record of burial in a military cemetery issued by the National Cemetery Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs
· Current or former military ID card
· Current or former LES (Leave and Earnings Statement)
· Official logbook entries from a military unit
· ANY OTHER DOCUMENT LISTED ON THE “Military Service Verification Documents List” (Linked below)

· Any otherwise “acceptable” document that is illegible
· Obituaries
· Pictures of military headstones
· Pictures of service members in uniform
· Entries in non-military and/or non-official records or books
· Membership cards from veterans organizations
· VA Healthcare Cards

The following locations may be of assistance.
· Many certificates of discharge prior to 1979 do not appear to be "official" documents as many were typed onto a sheet of paper. If you are unsure if it is an official document, please ask your American Legion service officer. Department Service Officers are listed by state at or download The American Legion Claims Coach Mobile App through Google Play or ITunes App Store.

· The National Archives and Records Administration:

· The County Clerk and Recorders Office where the veteran resided.

· The funeral home may have kept a copy if military honors were provided.

· Monument company if VA headstone or marker was ordered.

· If the veteran had utilized a VA Home Loan there may be a copy of the DD214 with the title documentation.

· Veterans who have signed up for EBENEFITS through the Veterans Administration may be able to obtain a printable copy from

· The State Director of Veterans Affairs may have received a copy of the veterans DD214 at the time of discharge from military service. This will be specific to the state in which the veterans home of record.

As always, the Education Committee of Julia Moore, Pat Kranzow and Teri Miller are always here to help you or answer questions

“Get an Education, It's A Jungle Out There”

The Education Program promotes the American Legion Auxiliary’s role in providing quality education for children and adults through classroom activities, literacy programs, scholarship promotion and support of education beyond high school, with a special emphasis on children of veterans and service members.

What Can We Do?
1. Enhance respect for the sacrifices of our military heroes among school children by scheduling Veterans in Schools programs at local schools.
• Join forces with The American Legion posts to present Veterans in Schools within your Community.
• Promote these events through local media and on your own social media accounts.

2. Award American Legion Auxiliary scholarships, at both the Unit and Department levels.
• Inform the schools in your community about National, Department and Unit American Legion Auxiliary scholarship opportunities offered, use the matrix it will assist you in the remittance of scholarship applications.
• Make sure the scholarship applications are provided to local schools.
• Make a donation to the Department American Legion Auxiliary Education fund.
• Publicize the winners of Auxiliary scholarships.

3. Support Give 10 to Education, American Education Week and Teachers Appreciation Week.
• Participate in the “Give 10 to Education” by collecting donations or purchasing items to distribute to schools in multiples of 10.
• “Give 10 to Education” participation certificates will be available on the Department website for Units to print off.
• Participate in American Education Week November 12-16, 2018; remember to recognize all school personnel, not just teachers.
• Promote Teacher Appreciation Week May 5-11, 2019.
• Cards for both American Education Week and Teachers Appreciation Week will be on our website for Units to print and distribute.

4. Assist and support veterans pursuing higher education.
• Collaborate with a Student Veterans of America Chapter or other campus student veterans group at colleges and universities in your area.
• Promote the National American Legion Auxiliary Non-traditional Student Scholarship and the Department Mildred R. Knoles Scholarship.
• Arrange for a Post Home to be available for off-campus events/chapter meetings.

5. Assist and support military children with educational opportunities.
• Promote the Children of Warriors National President’s Scholarship
• Organize a classroom recognition event for military children to share the accomplishments of a relative who is serving.

We will be collecting statistics/data on:
• Give 10 to Education, number of certificates printed
• Veterans in Schools
• American Education Week / Teacher Appreciation Week Number of cards sent
• Student Veterans of America Groups
• Scholarships - number of applications received from students for National Scholarships

All ALA scholarships should be submitted by March 1, 2019 to a local American Legion Auxiliary Unit. Scholarship applications are available for download on both the Department and National websites.

The four National Scholarships that are available are:

National Scholarships available: applications available on the website
Children of Warriors National President’s Scholarship--
• Awarded to children of veterans who served in the armed forces during the eligibility dates for The American Legion
• Three $5,000 scholarships will be awarded in each division.
• The applicant must complete 50 hours of community service during his/her high school years to be eligible for one of these scholarships.
• Deadline: March 1, 2019

Spirit of Youth Scholarship for Junior Members--
• One Junior member in each division will receive a $5,000 scholarship.
• The applicant must have held membership in the American Legion Auxiliary for the immediate past three years, hold a current membership card continue her membership in the American Legion Auxiliary during the four-year scholarship period.
• Deadline: March 1, 2019
Non-Traditional Student Scholarship, Illinois had a winner this year--
• One scholarship in the amount of $2,000 will be awarded in each American Legion Auxiliary division.
• Applicant must be a member of The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary or Sons of The American Legion and shall have paid dues for the two preceding years and for the calendar year in which the application is made.
• Deadline: March 1, 2019

James H. Parke Memorial Scholarship – encourage youth volunteers (junior members or not) to pursue this scholarship with local VA personnel (
• Candidates must have completed 100 hours of regularly scheduled VAVS volunteer service during the calendar year prior to September 1st.
• A Student in the 10th grade or above, and have not reached their 19th birthday. Does not have to belong to The Legion Family
• Scholastic activity, dependability, fulfillment and acceptance of responsibility, personality and pleasantness to patients and staff, leadership capability, inspiration to patients through service performed and appearance.
• Contact the Medical Center Director if you have a youth volunteer who may qualify.
• Medical Center Director nominates a candidate for this scholarship.

Illinois Scholarships include: (applications will be in the October mailing and available from the Unit President)

• Illinois Scholarship for Junior Members

• Applicants for this scholarship shall be/shall have been a Junior member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Illinois.
• Said Junior to have held membership in the American Legion Auxiliary for the past three years and currently holds a 2019 membership card.

Ada Mucklestone Memorial Scholarship—
• Applicants for this scholarship shall be children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren of veterans who served in the Armed Forces during the eligibility dates for membership in the American Legion.
• This scholarship is for students finishing their senior year of high school or are graduates of an accredited high school, but who have not attended an institution of higher learning.
• Applicant must be a resident of the State of Illinois or a member in good standing of the American Legion Family, Department of Illinois.

• Mildred R. Knoles Scholarship--

• Is an opportunity for students continuing their education.
• Students who have received an Education Scholarship in the past may apply for the Mildred R. Knoles scholarship for their Sophomore, Junior and Senior years in college along with graduate studies.
• Applicants for this scholarship shall be veterans, children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren of veterans who have served during the eligibility dates, who are in need of financial assistance to continue their college/university education.
• Applicant must be a resident of the State of Illinois or a member in good standing of the American Legion Family, Department of Illinois.
• Those pursuing a Nursing career are not eligible to apply for these scholarships.
• This application should not be given to high school counselors!

*Note – for the Ada Mucklestone and the Mildred R. Knoles Scholarship the eligibility includes through present day service

Students who have received an Education Scholarship in the past may again apply for the Mildred R. Knoles scholarship for their Sophomore, Junior and Senior years in college and graduate work.

Illinois Scholarships: All Illinois scholarships remain at $1,000 each, and we will award as many scholarships as “funds permit”; this will depend on the amount of contributions to the Education Fund. In order for Units to submit an application, Units must make a contribution to the Education fund by March 15, 2019. Memorial gifts may be designated for the Department Education Fund. Please consider making an initial contribution and consider fund raisers for additional contributions as a later date.

Included in this packet is the Scholarship Matrix that explains all of the American Legion Auxiliary Scholarships available, both National and Department Scholarships with requirements, along with deadline dates and who the application is to be submitted to. Please feel free to make copies of this matrix and distribute.

We will continue to include the Scholarship Announcement Press Release with the congratulatory award letter to the recipient with a copy also going to the Unit President. It is the responsibility of the recipient and/or the Unit to send the press release to the media for publication in your area.

Units may submit an application for the following:
• One Department Scholarship (Ada Mucklestone OR Illinois Scholarship for Junior Members OR the Mildred R. Knoles). If you have more than one applicant please contact another Unit and ask if they would sponsor the other applicant.
• One application for EACH of the National Scholarships (Children of Warriors National President’s, Non-Traditional Student and the Spirit of Youth for Junior members).
• There are three other Illinois Scholarships available; please check out the Past Presidents Scholarship for Nursing Students, The Edna Unfer Scholarship and the Children and Youth Scholarship.

If you have questions or concerns about the Education program, please contact one of the committee members or the Department Office for assistance. If an application has missing pieces or other problems and has been submitted prior to the deadline date we will contact the Unit for further information to prevent the application from being disqualified.

For additional education resources check out

National Awards:
Most Outstanding Unit Education Program
• Award: Citation plaque
• Presented to: One unit in each division (5)
• Materials and guidelines
o Awarded to the unit in each division with the most outstanding Education program
o Narrative not to exceed 1,000 words. Include specific examples of how your Unit worked the Education program, including Veterans in Community Schools.
o May include pictures, news articles, news releases, etc.
o Deadline is June 1, 2019
o Send to Central Division Education Chairman Jeanne Haas, 600 Arrowhead Drive, New Strawn, KS 66839 postmarked or emailed by 5 p.m. EST. (4 p.m. Illinois time)

• Give 10 to Education – printable recognition certificates are available to download and print at or on the Education Program webpage.

Department Awards:
Ruby’s Canteen Dancers Plaque – to the Unit for the best overall participation in the Education program.

Personal Awards:
• $10.00 runner-up to the Ruby’s Canteen Dancers Plaque
• Certificate of Appreciation- to all Units contributing a full scholarship of $1,000 or more.

Resources from National

Log into the National website to access these items

Department Resources