War veterans from around the world and across the nation begin arriving next week for activities surrounding the 94th National Convention of The American Legion, the nation's largest organization of wartime veterans.
"We expect nearly 10,000 members of The American Legion Family to take part in convention activities between Aug. 24 and Aug. 30," said Michael E. Walton, chairman of The American Legion National Convention Commission. "Legionnaires and their families will actually be attending three different, but simultaneous, conventions – The American Legion convention, the American Legion Auxiliary convention and the Sons of the American Legion convention."
Blue-capped Legionnaires will be seen primarily in the downtown area where they will be housed in a number of hotels consuming 20,000 room nights as they meet in business sessions at the Indiana Convention Center. They are expected to contribute between $17 million and $22 million to the city economy through shopping, dining and tourism during their stay.
"We are delighted to be back to our national headquarters city," Walton said. "As home to the headquarters of The American Legion, this is the third time we have convened in Indianapolis. In fact, we are looking forward to returning again for our centennial in 2019. Legionnaires truly enjoy the outstanding hospitality extended by everyone in this beautiful city."
Previous conventions were held in Indianapolis in 1990 and 1995.
Job-seeking veterans, National Guardsmen, reservists and their spouses in the Midwest are encouraged to attend a "Hiring Our Heroes Transition and Benefits Career Fair" during the convention. The hiring event is set for Saturday, Aug. 25 at the Indiana Convention Center, Rooms 107-110, 100 South Capitol Avenue, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
About 100 employers are tentatively expected to be represented at the job fair. They will be from a variety of industries, ranging from insurance firms and government agencies to high-tech companies. Pre-registration information is available at http://www.uschamber.com/hiringourheroes/indianapolis-in . Admission is free.
A free Veterans Transition Workshop hosted by General Electric will have two sessions on Friday, August 24 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Indianapolis Marriott, 350 West Maryland St. in the Indiana Ballroom, section F. Pre-registration is required at www.regonline.com/GE_indianapolis .
Additionally, two free business development workshops for veterans will be held Monday, Aug. 27 starting at 9 a.m. at the Indianapolis Marriott, Marriott Ballroom, 2nd floor, sections 9 & 10 and section 7 respectively.
Veterans of all five branches of military service who have served in uniform during wartime, or are currently serving, are invited to join The American Legion and participate in the convention activities. Just stop by the national headquarters offices at the Indiana Convention Center, Hall B, street level anytime from Aug. 21 through Aug. 30 or join online at www.legion.org .
With a current membership of 2.4million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.
Contact: Joe March, (Cell) 317-748-1926.