In 2017, the documentary “Arizona Heroes of World War I” began screening throughout the state. It told multiple stories: of Arizona residents who had fought, and sometimes died, during the Great War; and of The American Legion, which was formed in the wake of that war. A Facebook promotion around the film garnered more than 43,000 views and 70,000 posts.
The project had gotten its start in 2015, when Steve Aguirre – then Department of Arizona membership director – approached a pair of filmmakers with Legion Family connections. Today, Aguirre is 2018-2019 department commander, and under his leadership the department is sponsoring what filmmaker Thomas Perry calls “Phase 2 of our ongoing social media and branding campaign”: a new documentary, “American Legion Heroes,” which will tell the stories of Arizona residents’ service during more recent conflicts, from World War II to Iraq/Afghanistan.
As with the first film, the format is that of a collection of self-contained chapters that can also be played by themselves, each with tags promoting The American Legion. Aguirre comments, “The documentary and its segments shall be utilized as a promotional and marketing tool to advance important American Legion issues such as membership expansion and retention, preserving the memory and honoring the sacrifices of our veterans. As Arizona department commander, I know that communication and education is the key to any organization.”
“American Legion Heroes” is now in production.