Community service is at the very heart of The American Legion’s core beliefs and an integral part of the Preamble to the Constitution of the Legion, the Sons and the Auxiliary, "…to inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation…"
The American Legion recognizes that the community is an important part of our American way of life and in many communities, the Legion post takes a leadership role in community betterment.
Many Americanism programs start at the community level, engaging youth in such programs as American Legion Baseball, Scouting, Shooting Sports and flag education. Other examples of local programs may include teen center and park district activities such as hiking, concerts, street dances, festivals, fishing tournaments, ice skating, sledding, craft projects and bicycle safety programs.
Other Legion programs flourish at the community level with programs such as the "Service to God and Country," which has a threefold goal: encouragement of regular attendance at church or synagogue; daily family prayer and devotion; and religious training of children. Another widely active Legion program is "Get Out the Vote." Other examples of community betterment could be installing and maintaining playground equipment, building and maintaining memorials, putting on holiday programs for Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day, and let’s not forget a program started by the Sons, National Veterans Assistance Day in May. All of these are programs are carried out in our communities for the betterment of the community and its neighbors.
There is no greater way for any post, unit, squadron or chapter to ensure its success and sustain its longevity than being in service to the community. Many programs have a high success rate when properly planed and when the local American Legion post is actively involved. If your post is not an active force in your community, it only takes one person to spark the movement and I encourage all members of the Legion family to gather information, ask questions and get involved.
More information on community involvement programs can be found in the Legion’s "Americanism Manual." I encourage you to download a copy up online, read it, and take the initiative to get involved!
Detachment of Illinois