What is the American Legion?
First, let’s start out with what the Legion is not. For the most part the public impression is that the American Legion is a drinking establishment, a place for cheap beer and war stories.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The American Legion is one of the Nation's oldest Veterans organizations. Founded in France in 1919 by members of the Allied Expeditionary Force (including Colonel Francis Appleton Jr.) it has grown into one of the Nations largest Veterans organizations, with over 2.4 million members.
The American Legion focuses on four “Pillars” which encapsulate all the organization stands for, they are:
3. National Defense
The Legion ensures that all Veterans who served our nation have a voice in the Nation's capitol, are receiving assistance if they need it and have a support network to go to within their community. Recognizing that our youth are the future of not only our community, but a part of the future of our Nation, the American Legion invests in youth through many programs involving athletics and academics.
The American Legion is actively involved with Department of Defense activities, ensuring that our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines have what they need in order to accomplish whatever mission they may be faced with, is paramount to the American Legion. The American Legion believes in and advocates Americanism. The American Legion defines Americanism as “An unfailing love of country, loyalty to its institutions and ideals, eagerness to defend it against all enemies, individual allegiance to the flag, and a desire to secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity”.
We encourage those in our community and beyond who are eligible for membership within the American Legion to join. Eligibility requirements are as follows:
If you are currently on active duty, serving the United States honorably, anywhere in the world, or have served honorably during any of the following eligible war eras, we invite you to become a member of The American Legion.
- Dec. 7, 1941 to Dec. 31, 1946 (World War II)
- June 25, 1950 to Jan. 31, 1955 (Korean War)
- Feb. 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975 (Vietnam War)
- Aug. 24, 1982 to July 31, 1984 (Lebanon / Grenada)
- Dec. 20, 1989 to Jan. 31, 1990 (Panama)
- Aug. 2, 1990 to today (Gulf War / War On Terrorism)
Further, individuals who meet the eligibility requirements for the Ladies Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion are encouraged to join and become an active member. Mission statement and eligibility requirements are as follows:
Ladies Auxiliary Mission: In the spirit of service, not self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.
Ladies Auxiliary eligibility: Women are eligible for membership in the Auxiliary if they are themselves a veteran who served honorably or if they fall into one of the following categories:
- great granddaughter
- great grandmother
of an active duty service member or veteran who served honorably during any of the eligible war eras listed in the table at right. Step-relatives in the categories above, such as step-mother, step-sister, step-daughter, are also eligible.
Sons of the American Legion Mission:
Founded in 1932, Sons of The American Legion exists to honor the service and sacrifice of Legionnaires.
SAL members include males of all ages whose parents or grandparents served in the U.S. military and were eligible for American Legion membership. Members of The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of The American Legion comprise the Legion family, which has a combined membership of nearly 4.2 million.
Sons of the American Legion Eligibility:
Must be a male descendant (includes stepsons and adopted sons) of a member of The American Legion.
If you are the male descendant (stepsons and adopted sons included) of a veteran who died in service during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, or the Persian Gulf War (see specific time periods for service during these conflicts).
If you are the male descendant (stepsons and adopted sons included) of a veteran who died subsequent to his or her honorable discharge from service in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, or the Persian Gulf War (the same eligibility periods apply as above).
For these reasons and many more, we invite you to take a closer look at and take an active part in the A.P. Gardner American Legion Post in Hamilton. Take a walk through our hall, you will see much more than war souvenirs, black and white photographs and model aircraft. You will be able to meet the members of the Post who put their lives on hold in order to ensure that our Nation was safeguarded against those who would seek to do us harm. You will learn of those who paid the highest price four our country, most of whom are laid to rest in foreign lands.
Take a drive past Patton Park, where you will see not only the Sherman tank the Legion coordinated to be put in place, but the swimming pool the Legion raised money for and built for the youth of the town.
See all of this, and you will have only scratched the surface as to what the American Legion, and the A.P. Gardner Post #194 truly is.
You can read more about the American Legion and the Augustus Peabody Gardner Post by visiting our web-site at: www.apgardnerpost194.org and you can find us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com//American-Legion-Post-194-Hamilton-MA