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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 servicemembers and veterans.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.
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.
Today over 425 American Legion Riders programs, organized by chapters, districts, or departments, support Americanism and Children and Youth programs in virtually every state in the nation, and more are organizing each month. One of the fastest growing and most highly visible of the many programs offered by The American Legion, The American Legion Riders are a very diverse group, and so are the programs that they support. What do American Legion Riders do? The activities are far too many to mention in this space, but here are a few examples:
American Legion Riders chapters and districts, nationally have become some of the most generous donors for the American Legacy Scholarship Fund, raising as much as $5,000 or more in a single event.
Legion Riders participate in the annual POW/MIA Rally held each Memorial weekend in Washington D.C. known as "Rolling Thunder".
Legion Riders sponsor or participate in local and national charity events in support of the sponsoring American Legion Post.
Legion Riders ride to raise money for such organizations as local VA Hospitals, Battered Women and Children's Centers, Varied Children and Youth Programs, a School for Blind Children, Veterans Relief, Needy Families and many, many others.
Legion Riders founded a national movement called "Patriot Guard" (www.patriotguard.org) that honors and protects the sanctity of military funerals and memorial services.
Legion Riders have formed special motorcycle Honor Guards and ceremonial teams highlighting the special bonds formed in military service and the motorcycling community.
Legion Riders have also begun to teach motorcycle and driver safety in the community and in schools in co-operation with ABATE and other national motorcycling organizations.
Remember: American Legion Riders are a very dedicated group of Legion Family members. When your Post or district sponsors a new Riders organization, you create a win/win situation for your Post, District, and Department!
- Arthur Haeussler
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