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Who We Are


Division ivision


Who We Are and What We Do T e American Legion is the nation’s largest and most inf luential wartime veterans


organization. With a membership of 2.4 million, and nearly 14,000 local posts around the world, the Legion touches the lives of veterans, troops, families and communities every day. On Capitol Hill, the Legion’s voice resonates not only as that of the American veteran, but also of the American conscience. From urban neighborhoods to small towns, and every place in between, the Legion epitomizes patriotism, pride, mentorship and service. Founded in 1919, the Legion stays true to its original values and mission. T e commitment


began when a compassionate group of World War I soldiers gathered in Paris to plan a way to care for their comrades, many of whom were sick, wounded or shell-shocked aſt er the war. T at included help for spouses and children of the war – many widowed, orphaned or otherwise suffering. T e Legion promised them “a square deal” and went to work providing it. Legion founders also believed that both a well-resourced military and a commitment to diplomacy are essential to lasting world peace. T ey believed in the nation under whose banner they had fought. T us were born the four pillars of T e American Legion: Veterans, Youth, Defense and Americanism. T rough the decades, the Legion’s accomplishments are many: the modern VA; the


original GI Bill; the U.S. Flag Code; benefi ts for veterans exposed to Agent Orange, post- traumatic stress disorder and a number of other conditions; the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; and unwavering support for those who have served in the global war on terrorism. Today, the Legion continues to stand by its core values on behalf of the veteran, the servicemember, families, communities, God and country.


This year in The American Legion  Provided leadership and guidance to pass the Veteran Skills to Jobs Act, which helps veterans convert their military experiences into federal job licenses and credentials


 Logged more than 4 million hours of volunteer community service nationwide  United with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to promote Hiring Our Heroes job fairs  Argued in Washington to protect the DoD budget from severe defi cit-driven cuts


 Conducted fi eld research and produced a comprehensive report for VA and Congress addressing the health-care needs of veterans living in rural areas


2012 | T e American Legion Annual Report


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