A brief history of the organization formed to help veterans of World War I

America’s boldest veterans advocate celebrates 103 years of service.

Congress officially chartered the American Legion on September 16, 1919 to serve veterans, service members, and communities after World War I.

The group quickly grew from “war-weary” veterans to “one of the most influential nonprofit groups in the United States,” according to the American Legion’s website.

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American Legion spokesman John Raughter told Fox News Digital that the organization’s lasting legacy has been remarkable but tireless, as legionnaires across the country continued their service “long after they hung up their military uniforms”.

Mitch Laing des American Legion Riders tient un drapeau avec d'autres membres du groupe à l'extérieur du Performing Arts Center avant un service commémoratif pour Christine Loeber, Dr Jennifer Gray Golick et Jennifer Gonzales Shushereba, le 19 mars 2018, à Yountville, Californie. <classe étendue=Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/A9KvIgVNrP_FtcCKXB3IuA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTM5Nw–/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/ NNTjwVe15OotkVxfdFmHxw–~B/aD03MjA7dz0xMjgwO2FwcGlkPXl0YWNoeW9u/https://media.zenfs.com/en/fox_news_text_979/42406f5790da2e2d656134169a1635d8″/>

“From the drafting of the original GI Bill in 1944 to the passage of the Honoring Our PACT Act in 2022, the American Legion’s 103-year history is one of significant accomplishment and service,” it said. he declares.

Raughter also said via email, “With current issues such as veteran suicide and the transition challenges facing veterans of the Global War on Terror, the American Legion will continue to be the primary advocate for men and women in the armed forces over the next 103 years and beyond.”

Here is a brief history of the outstanding accomplishments of the American Legion over the past century, according to the Legion itself.

The first Legion Convention was held on November 10, 1919 in Minneapolis. There, delegates voted to have their national headquarters in Indianapolis.

As membership grew rapidly, local chapters sprung up across the country, allowing more veterans to get involved.

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On August 9, 1921, the Legion’s efforts led to the U.S. Veterans Bureau, which preceded the Veterans Administration.

The organization continues to lobby for funds to cover veterans’ benefits, including medical, disability and education benefits, through these agencies today.

L'équipe masculine de baseball d'Oakland, en Californie, a battu l'équipe masculine de Worcester, dans le Massachusetts, 4-0, lors du match d'ouverture des Séries mondiales juniors de la Légion américaine à Oomiskey Park le 1er août 1928. <span class=George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/NzxC70u0sqeG7PC3VeAFrQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTM5Nw–/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/ ZIjNRUAt1EoBa.mjcgaM1A–~B/aD03MjA7dz0xMjgwO2FwcGlkPXl0YWNoeW9u/https://media.zenfs.com/en/fox_news_text_979/0934608e68a6c9e8a972fae448eb19ac”/>

On July 17, 1925, the American Legion Baseball program was established for youth; it graduates about 50% of Major League Baseball players.

In the midst of World War II, the American Legion changed the verbiage of the preamble to its constitution from “war” to “wars” for the first and only time in September 1942.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the original GI bill on June 22, 1944, providing veterans with better educational, career, and financial opportunities in the United States.

In 1950, the American Legion voted to help fund mental health fields, which was a catalyst for the launch of the National Association for Mental Health.

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The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation was established on July 9, 1954. Today, more than $11 million has been awarded to youth organizations and projects to help American children.

The organization became heavily involved in the outcry over the Vietnam War in the 1960s – and today it still requires a full count of POWs and missing troops.

A check for $1 million was given by the Legion to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund to build the wall in Washington in 1982.

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After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the American Legion responded by reactivating the Family Support Network and creating the American Legacy Scholarship Fund for children of service members killed on or after September 11.

Des dizaines de jeunes de plus de 120 écoles de la région ont défilé dans le centre-ville de Denver, Colorado, avec des drapeaux le 12 juin 1976. Le défilé du jour du drapeau a été parrainé par Leyden-Chiles-Wickersham Post.  N° 1, Légion américaine.  <classe étendue=Ira Gay Sealy/The Denver Post via Getty Images” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/T0Uoe8jQwCn9G52CiPDZqw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTM5Nw–/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/ RbCJBltgaGkc3tGWCkLKOg–~B/aD03MjA7dz0xMjgwO2FwcGlkPXl0YWNoeW9u/https://media.zenfs.com/en/fox_news_text_979/4a26dc479a55525e1c05645b3ad71520″/>

Today, the American Legion has nearly two million members in more than 13,000 posts, including international and American chapters in Puerto Rico, France, Mexico and the Philippines.

Richard Pecci, a Vietnam veteran and the current commander of his local American Legion — Admiral Farrugut Post 1195 in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY — opened up about his membership in comments to Fox News Digital.

“The American Legion means so much to me,” he said.

“They gave me the opportunity to serve other veterans in my community and help others, going into classrooms to educate and mentor young people.”

He added, “We raise money for all kinds of causes, such as scholarships for young people and veterans’ aid programs.”

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“Most importantly,” said Pecci of the Legion, “we have a place for other veterans to go where they feel safe and know there’s someone else out there who’s lived what they did.”