President Trump signed a bill on July 30 declaring the United States has been in a state of war since Dec. 7, 1941.

The American Legion sought the declaration as a way to honor approximately 1,600 U.S. service members who were killed or wounded during previously undeclared periods of war, according to Wayne Bowen, American Legion Post 8 commander.

The Legion Act (Let Everyone Get Involved In Opportunities for National Service Act) opens the door for approximately 6,000,000 veterans to access American Legion programs and benefits for which they previously had not been eligible.

“The American Legion is proud to welcome any of the 6,000,000 living veterans from the previously unrecognized periods into our organization and call them Legionnaires,” Bowen said.

The American Legion eligibility criteria is for anyone who served since Dec. 7, 1941 to a time later determined by the federal government and was honorably discharged and can present his or her DD214 or are still serving.

The Legion Act also opens eligibility for family members in the Sons of the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary, Bowen explained.

Presently three American Legion Posts are located in Halifax County: Post 8, 1710 Jeffress Blvd., South Boston, VA 24592, 434-572-2297; Post 99, 1035 Mallard Lane, Halifax, VA 24558, 434-476-1268; and Post 342, 3021 Boxwood Road, Nathalie, VA 24577, 434-446-9613.