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American Legion Auxiliary Unit 77 - Auxiliary History

American Legion Auxiliary Unit 77 - Houston, TX

American Legion Auxiliary History

In this world of ours, the American Legion Auxiliary shines as an example of unselfish giving. With almost a million members from all walks of life, the Auxiliary administers hundreds of volunteer programs, gives tens of thousands of hours to its communities and to veterans, and raises millions of dollars to support its own programs as well as other worthwhile charities familiar to most Americans. It is all accomplished with volunteers. The Auxiliary, organized in 1919 to assist The American Legion, is much more than the name implies. The organization has achieved its own unique identity while working side-by-side with the veterans who belong to The American Legion. Like the Legion, the Auxiliary's interests have broadened to encompass the entire community.

The American Legion Auxiliary is the world's largest women's patriotic service organization. Through its 10,500 Units located in every state and some foreign countries, the Auxiliary embodies the spirit of America that has prevailed through war and peace. Along with the American Legion, it solidly stands behind America and her ideals.

PURPOSE

Patriotism is a personal commitment for American Legion Auxiliary members. We place great importance on community involvement and responsible citizenship.

The Auxiliary has conceived and implemented hundreds of programs for veterans, their families, young people and the community at large. Many programs have been expanded and now are commonly accepted institutions within the community and nation. So deeply ingrained are such programs that the subtle guiding hand of the Auxiliary is often not recognized.

Few people realize that:

-The Auxiliary and the Legion are often centers for community and civic activities in mid-America, and provide a focal point for citizens' involvement. The Auxiliary raises more than $18 million every year and reinvests those funds in VA medical centers and community programs.

-Thousands of hours are devoted to crime prevention programs, instructing children, the elderly and the general public on safety, crime prevention and protection within the community.

-Auxiliary volunteers are the backbone of assistance in the 171 VA Medical Centers.

-They not only provide diversion and entertainment for patients but also assist the hospital staff in physical and psychological therapy, clerical and many other duties that would otherwise cost American taxpayers millions of dollars.

-The Auxiliary deals with issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, missing and abused children, teen suicide and teen pregnancy. Its services touch the lives of all Americans directly or indirectly. More than 20 nationwide programs receive support and financial aid from the American Legion Auxiliary.

HISTORY

A Timeline celebrating 80 years of achievements:

1919 The American Legion Auxiliary is first established to support the American Legion

1921 The First National Convention convenes in Kansas City, Mo. The Poppy of Flanders Field becomes the memorial flower of the Auxiliary

1925 Auxiliary moves it's National Headquarters to the War Memorial Plaza in Indianapolis, IN.

1927 It is decided that only veteran-made poppies will be distributed by the Auxiliary

1934 The Auxiliary establishes Junior membership

1936 The American Legion Auxiliary's Bulletin becomes the National News

1937 The Girls State program is created

1944 The Auxiliary's program for the rehabilitation of disabled veterans is crated

1947 The first Girls Nation is held in Washington, DC

1950 The first Golden Press/Golden Mike media awards are presented

1953 The first Women's Forum on National Security convenes in Washington

1970 The Auxiliary Emergency Fund is established

1972 Cavalcade of Memories is established at National Headquarters

1979 President Carter signs a bill extending Legion eligibility to Vietnam-era veterans

1980 The first Awareness Assembly is held in Washington, DC, replacing the Women's Forum

1988 Heart of America Awards are initiated, replacing the Golden Press/Golden Mike Awards

1990 Eligibility is extended to veterans of Grenada Lebanon and Panama

1992 Eligibility is extended to veterans of the Persian Gulf hostilities

1995 The 50th session of Girls Nation is celebrated

2000 The American Legion Auxiliary celebrates its 80th year

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission statement of the American Legion Auxiliary:

To support the American Legion programs for Veterans Children, and Community.

To provide for today's needs, while being advocates for a brighter future.

To advance the understanding of patriotism and responsibility of citizenship.

To promote individual integrity and family values.

To ensure that, as volunteers, we continue to be the leaders in all that is good in this nation today, tomorrow, and for generations to come, through serving others, not self.

-reprinted from www.alaunit200.alpost200.org/