The newly posted 2020 American Legion Annual Report offers an illustrated snapshot of the organization’s service, advocacy and active relief efforts in a year disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Legion, in communities large and small, have stepped forward with Buddy Checks to make sure veterans and their families are not forgotten in a time of social distancing and stay-at-home rules. American Legion Family members have raised money to feed schoolchildren. They have conducted virtual meetings. They have saluted World War II veterans on their birthdays, from the backs of motorcycles. They have delivered groceries and stocked food pantries and more.
Meanwhile, The American Legion pressed on with national priorities, including legislative efforts to improve access to VA health care, extend benefits to veterans exposed to Agent Orange and support government efforts to prevent veteran suicide. The organization welcomed personnel from the newest branch of service – U.S. Space Force – and fought to protect the paychecks of U.S. Coast Guard members in the event of any future government shutdown.
And while such youth programs as the National Oratorical Contest, Junior Shooting Sports Championships and American Legion Baseball were suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of dollars in American Legion scholarships were awarded during the year to qualified young people pursuing their dreams.
Hundreds of local posts participated and received credit through The American Legion Emblem Sales Flag Rewards program, and a new national podcast – Tango Alpha Lima – debuted in April in the national Media & Communications Division.