National Park Service director talks stewardship, military service and more in July magazine

National Park Service director talks stewardship, military service and more in July magazine

Don’t miss the July issue of The American Legion Magazine, featuring a Q&A with National Park Service (NPS) Director Charles “Chuck” Sams III, a look at Harley-Davidson’s wartime production, a commentary on how America and its flag inspire freedom-seekers the world over, and more. The clickable digi-mag is available through

• In an exclusive interview, meet Chuck Sams, the 19th director of the National Park Service and the first Native American to head the agency. A Gulf War Navy veteran and Legionnaire, Sams talks about his priorities as NPS director and our shared responsibility to care for America’s natural treasures. “If we are to continue to be America’s best idea, we must be the stewards of those things, not just for ourselves but for seven generations down the road,” he says.

• Polls show that younger generations of Americans tend to view the U.S. flag as a symbol of imperialism and greed rather than liberty. Yet looking overseas – from Kyiv to Kosovo, from Hong Kong to Havana – freedom-hungry people around the globe remind us that it’s OK to love America. “The world’s friendless and forgotten may not know that America has invested uncounted trillions serving as civilization’s first responder and last line of defense,” Alan W. Dowd writes. “But Americans should.”

• This month, Harley-Davidson celebrates 120 years in business – and a proud legacy of military service. In “War on Two Wheels,” Cameran Richardson traces the iconic American brand’s contributions, from 24 bikes with sidecar carriages during the Mexican Border Campaign in 1916 to nearly 90,000 military vehicles and even more parts during World War II.

• INDYCAR champ Alex Palou is bringing national attention to the Legion’s Be the One initiative to reduce veteran suicide, with a GMR Grand Prix win and fourth-place Indy 500 finish in May. “It just makes me feel different winning a race when people tell me they’ve had family that’s been helped by The American Legion because of what we do,” says the driver of Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 10 American Legion Honda. “We’ll keep on trying to help veterans.” 

• National Commander Vincent J. “Jim” Troiola talks about the Legion’s Base Assessment and Servicemember Experience (BASE) program, designed to strengthen connections with the Department of Defense, active-duty installations, National Guard armories and reserve centers worldwide. “Our members … know the rigors, hazards and uncertainties of service, as well as issues that can affect health, quality of life, family stability and economic outlook after discharge,” he writes. BASE is built on that experience – “specifically, to improve it where needed – and assist in whatever form that may take, from support for commissaries to military spouse employment to understanding VA benefits for those about to separate.”

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