The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation's largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.
The American Legion is the nation's largest and most powerful organization of U.S. wartime veterans and their families. Today, it counts 2.2 million members who operate through more than 13,000 posts across the United States and beyond. Since its inception by Congress in 1919, The American Legion has delivered substantial improvements for veterans, families and communities. The Legion ushered in the modern VA. The Legion drafted and drove home passage of the GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The Legion has brought into existence dozens of health-care benefits for veterans and programs designed to provide civilian careers after discharge. The Legion works every day on behalf of U.S. servicemen and women. It is recognized as a leader in transition assistance from military to civilian life, providing resources for careers, education, child care and more. The Legion is active every day.
Hundreds of local American Legion programs and activities strengthen the nation one community at a time. American Legion Baseball is one of the nation's most successful amateur athletic programs, educating young people about the importance of sportsmanship, citizenship and fitness. The Operation Comfort Warriors program supports recovering wounded warriors and their families, providing them with "comfort items" and the kind of support that makes a hospital feel a little bit more like home. The Legion also raises millions of dollars in donations at the local, state and national levels to help veterans and their families during times of need and to provide college scholarship opportunities.
The American Legion is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization with great political influence perpetuated by its grass-roots involvement in the legislation process from local districts to Capitol Hill. Legionnaires’ sense of obligation to community, state and nation drives an honest advocacy for veterans in Washington. The Legion stands behind the issues most important to the nation's veterans community, backed by resolutions passed by volunteer leadership.
There seems to be a mistaken perception that the American Legion is for older retirees. In reality, the services offered can benefit any service member, young or old, who needs help in multitude of areas or just to enjoy the camaraderie of fellow veterans.
The American Legion's success depends entirely on active membership, participation and volunteerism. The organization belongs to the people it serves and the communities in which it thrives.