When the founders of The American Legion first came together, they had a mission: to create an organization that would improve not only the lives of World War I veterans coming home in 1919, but those of veterans in years to come. They made a commitment that went far beyond their own lifetimes.
Whether you know it or not, when you joined the Legion, you made a similar commitment. By paying your dues, you were making possible the continuation of the mission and the many programs of The American Legion. By renewing your membership, you extended that commitment for at least another year.
But our 200,000-plus Paid-Up-For-Life members have taken that commitment a step further. Many years further, in fact. By getting a PUFL membership, they've said, "I believe in what this organization is doing, and I'm all in." Being a PUFL member carries with it a badge of honor, distinction and commitment. It's recognized throughout the organization.
Some posts reward active and longtime members and past post commanders with PUFL memberships. It's a way of saying, "Thanks for what you've done for the Legion all these years. We're going to make it easier for you to keep doing it." Others encourage their members to become PUFLs. And at the end of the day, any Paid-Up-For-Life member is one less member a post needs to renew each year. Get 50 PUFL members in a post of 100, and you're automatically at 50 percent at the beginning of the membership year, without making a single call or knocking on any doors.
Getting a PUFL membership is a financial commitment. I know that. And I know that in these unsteady financial times, that's asking a lot. But look at it in terms larger than dollars and cents. You're not just buying a lifetime membership. You're making a lifetime commitment to the principles and programs upon which this organization was founded. You're committing funds to programs that make a difference in communities across America, for veterans, servicemembers, their families and the youth of our country.
The dues from your PUFL membership support the hundreds of thousands of young people who participate in American Legion Baseball, Oratoricals, Boys State and Boys Nation each year. They provide the means for Legion staff to go before Congress and lobby for your benefits, and the benefits of our men and women in uniform. They make it possible for Legion representatives to make site visits at VA medical facilities across the country, ensuring that our veterans are getting the best care possible.
A PUFL membership is an investment in The American Legion, but what the Legion does every day makes it an investment that pays priceless dividends. Those who have stood in harm's way, from France to Fallujah - along with their families, children and communities everywhere - directly benefit from the strength of our membership. To become a PUFL member secures that strength for a lifetime.