Chartered by Congress 98 years ago, here are 5 notable accomplishments by a great organization that helps our military veterans.
by Edie Melson — Posted in Military Families on Mar 17, 2017
March marks the 98th year since the founding of the American Legion. Most of us are only familiar with the organization because we pass by a local post or see them marching in a parade. Before our son joined the military I had no idea why they even existed.
But for those with a loved one who’s served, the American Legion is much more. Many benefits that our veterans receive are due to their untiring efforts. In honor of this great organization, I’d like to share a few of the things they’ve accomplished over the years:
1. The American Legion was begun in 1919 by a group of battle-weary soldiers. They banned together and quickly became a driving force in helping combat veterans receive the assistance they so desperately needed after they returned home.
2. In 1921 they created the U.S. Veterans Bureau that quickly became the Veterans Administration. They continue to fight for veterans’ rights in regard to medical, disability and education.
3. In 1923 they drafted the first “Flag Code” which Congress adopted in 1942. They continue to work toward a constitutional amendment preventing desecration of the flag.
4. In 1925 they created the American Legion Baseball program, and today more than 50% of Major League Baseball players are graduates of this program.
5. In 1943, National Commander Harry W. Colmery began a draft of the G.I. Bill of Rights. When it was signed into law in 1944, it was—and still is—considered to be one of the greatest legislative achievements.
The organization went on to pioneer and fund efforts to address issues from heart disease to mental illness to child welfare. It is non-partisan and not-for-profit and exists to ensure our veterans are never forgotten.
Every time I drive by an American Legion post or see them marching in a parade, I’m challenged by the deep sense of service that veterans still feel to one another and to their country. Do you know anyone in the American Legion? You might thank them for all that they do.