The American Legion
The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. There are nearly 2 million members of The American Legion, making it the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization. The American Legion has more than 12,000 posts in communities throughout the United States. In addition to posts in every state, The American Legion has posts in the District of Columbia, France, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.
On Aug. 9, 1921, a Legion-led effort resulted in the creation of the U.S. Veterans Bureau, which later became the Veterans Administration.
In 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the original GI Bill, or Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, ushering in monumental changes in U.S. society. Six months earlier, The American Legion wrote the first draft of what later became the “GI Bill of Rights” – considered The American Legion’s single greatest legislative achievement. Higher education becomes democratized after 8 million veterans go to school on the GI Bill, get better jobs, buy houses in the suburbs and raise families.
The American Legion donated $1 million to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund for construction of the Wall in Washington, becoming the largest single contributor to the project.
The American Legion provides free, professional assistance — for any veteran — in filing and pursuing benefits claims before the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In 2019 The American Legion celebrated it’s 100th birthday. It continues to provide assistance to veterans to combat homelessness, suicide and champion the veterans’ rights.