Our influence outside the United States

You may be aware that there are nearly 14,000 American Legion posts in the United States that are actively involved with veterans, youth and their community. But did you know that outside of the United States there are 250 posts that are also actively promoting the good of the organization?

More than 15,000 Legionnaires belong to Foreign and Outlying Departments and Posts of The American Legion (FODPAL). FODPAL posts can be found in Canada, Ireland, Greece, Germany, Costa Rica, Panama and beyond. There is even China Post 1, the only Legion post currently operating in exile (it was chartered in 1920 in Shanghai, but evacuated in 1948 in the midst of the civil war that ended with communist control of mainland China). Although it has no post home in China, the members still remain active.

Recently, China Post 1 helped raise nearly $4,000 to purchase Job Access With Speech (JAWS) for children attending the Northern Luzon Association for the Blind (NLAB) school in the Philippines. JAWS is a computer screen reader program that allows blind and visually impaired users to read the screen by text-to-speech or by Braille. The screen reading software was added to the NLAB’s five computers, which China Post 1 also helped purchase through fundraising.

John Keller, commander of China Post 1, said the JAWS software "will allow NLAB children an opportunity to merge into the digital age of communication, education and socialization. I believe that the simple keystroke action of asking another human being thousands of miles away a question of science, culture or friendship can put these children on a track that will rival Helen Keller in her accomplishments in life."

Meanwhile, in honor of the Legion’s 95th birthday last month, Paris Post 1 Commander Carl W. Hale led a ceremony celebrating the birth of The American Legion from where it all began at 14 Rue Ernest Psichari. And just like Legionnaires in the states, FODPAL members conduct membership drives, host honor and remembrance events, participate in youth programs and more.

I encourage you to visit the FODPAL web page to read more about the Legion’s place and influence outside of the United States.


  1. With over 75pct. or better Vietnam Veterans who have hypertension the numbers are unreal and should be included as a result of exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicide on the VA list also and all the veterans organization should be pushing very hard to try and get the VA and the Secretary to approve hypertension because there is a connection some where as all you guys know and we must insist that our leadership of all the veterans organization push hard to get this done. Thanks.

  2. “There is the guilt all soldiers feel for having broken the taboo against killing, a guilt as old as war itself. Add to this the soldier’s sense of shame for having fought in actions that resulted, indirectly or directly, in the deaths of civilians. Then pile on top of that an attitude of social opprobrium, an attitude that made the fighting man feel personally, morally responsible for the war, and you get your proverbial walking time bomb.”
    — Philip Caputo

    PTSD (the current name) has been with us (men and women who've survived combat) since two cave men met and threw rocks at each other. I've made it my life's mission--after 28 years of military service, wearing the uniforms of the Coast Guard, Army, and Navy--to try and explain this to the civilians who served in their own heroic fashion by loving, and supporting their service men and women, for, they too, in their own way, give much. In honor of the upcoming Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, I'd like to share an excerpt from my, hopefully, soon to be published book: The SADM Project:

    .His skin the color of old leather, attesting to years of operating in jungles from Bolivia to Cambodia and back again, the man in the faded Army fatigue jacket sat on the bench, the regulation duffle bag containing all his worldly possessions at his feet, his Thousand Meter Stare focused on the windows of the apartments across the street, at the strange race of civilians who still had the promise of hope his fallen comrades had secured for them.

    As their station wagon passed the man on the bench, Holt looked back and then tapped Gilmartin on the shoulder. “Jake, pull over — now.”
    As soon as the vehicle came to a stop, Holt opened the door, got out, and walked toward the man. “Sergeant Tyler, is that you?”
    The man continued to sit and stare, as though he hadn’t heard.
    Holt now stood in front of the man, blocking his view of the apartment houses. Still, the man did not acknowledge his presence in any way.
    “Sergeant Tyler, it’s Captain Holt — remember me?”
    The man looked up. “Captain Holt?”
    “You remember? We were in the Q course together, at McCall.”
    “Yes, yes, I remember you now. How’ve you been, Captain?”
    “I’ve been well. The last time I saw you, you were on a stretcher in the cargo bay of a Dust-Off chopper, headed for Cam Ranh Bay. I’m glad to see you made it back.”
    “It’s hard to come back when you want to stay and do your part, you know — for your buddies. But I wasn’t in the Army anymore, so I couldn’t go back. Sure didn’t mean to let the guys down.”
    Holt swallowed twice to get rid of the lump in his throat before he trusted himself to speak. “Eight Purple Hearts and five Silver Stars say you never let anyone down, including saving my sorry ass, more than once.”

    Thank you, my brothers and sisters in arms, for your service and your sacrifice, and thank the rest of you, for your compassion and understanding.

    Milton, wrote: "They also serve, who only stand and wait."

    The following quote, explains Milton's quote, better than I ever could hope:

    "I do the things I know to do (learned by experience, skills practiced to be as good as I can make them) to serve my country and to stand and wait to assist those who are on active duty - or have been in the past.

    While the appearance to many people may be that I am "only" standing and waiting - I know that the truth is that I also am serving. That truth comforts me in my distress."