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      American Legion commanders work to get more money locally

      Military veterans in Southwest Georgia have been showing up March 6-8 at the Tifton American Legion for several reasons.

      American Legion 12th District Commander Jerome Loving says they are trying to revitalize every post in the 15-county district. Loving says they are having this event to get those veterans who are signed up for the Post 400, a national post, to also sign up locally.

      "What that does is make our local post stronger, and some of the money that goes into the membership comes back into our communities," Loving said.

      National, state, district, and local commanders have been on location to meet with veterans to discuss membership benefits, claims, and service to the community. The event is centrally located in Tifton and is to help veterans in the following counties: Tift, Turner, Worth, Colquitt, Brooks, Cook, Lowndes, Echols, Clinch, Lanier, Berrien, Atkinson, Coffee, Irwin, and Ben Hill.

      Loving says they are reaching out to all military members. Any veteran who has served during a wartime period is eligible to join American Legion.

      Loving says to take a copy of DD Form 214 and if requesting help through the VA, he says to bring proof of membership.

      Wayne Duffell, Post 21 commander in Tifton, says they are making phone calls and knocking on doors of past members to get them active again in his post..

      Duffell says joining the American Legion benefits not just the veterans but the communities.

      "We do a lot of things in this community," Duffell said. "Every year we host the Coastal Plains Agricultural Fair which helps fund scholarships to ABAC and support the FFA and 4-H Program."

      There will be an open house at Tifton American Legion Saturday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.

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