The Four Pillars of the American Legion
- Support for the Troops
U.S. troops deployed in the Middle East and throughout the world need to know they have support at home. The American Legion is asking its nearly 2.8 million members to reach out to their communities and provide leadership when millions of Americans ask, “What can I do to show my support?”
Our Service Men and Women Depend on Us as We Depend on Them Fly the U.S. Flag
“For our soldiers stationed abroad, there is no sight more reassuring than seeing Old Glory wave above their station.” National Commander Ronald F. Conley U.S. Flags are available in a wide variety at discounted prices, from The American Legion’s Emblem Sales division. (888) 453-4466 OR WWW.EMBLEM.LEGION.ORG
Family Support Network
“Thank you for helping with my wife. You just don’t know how appreciative we are. This will help her out very much. She is going through a rough time right now and needs all the help she can get. There is not much I can do for her while I am over here, except reassure her that I am OK.” Brian Harrison, deployed with the U.S. Air Force in the Persian Gulf, and receiving Family Support Network help through Midwest City, Okla., Post 170 The Family Support Network connects local volunteers with families that need help at home after a loved one has been called into active duty. To learn more or to help a family: (800) 504-4098 OR WWW.LEGION.ORG
E-mail the Troops Through the Department of Defense, you can send an e-mail to servicemembers, thanking them for the job they’re doing. WWW.DEFENDAMERICA.MIL/NMAM.HTML
“Not knowing the full extent of the injuries, we immediately asked for blood. Within hours, Legionnaires were lined up at Red Cross collection centers across the country.” Past National Commander Richard J. “Ric” Santos Legionnaires donated more than 93,000 pints of blood in the months that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. As war continues, so does the need for blood. (800) 448-3543 OR WWW.REDCROSS.ORG
‘Support Our Troops’ Lawn Signs
“The Department of Indiana helped raise $12,000 in less than five hours during a troop-support rally in Indianapolis where American Flags and ‘Support Our Troops’ lawn signs were distributed. Funds were used to support the Legion’s September 11 Memorial Scholarship Fund.” Department of Indiana Double-sided “Support Our Troops” lawn signs are available from The American Legion’s Emblem Sales division. (888) 453-4466 OR WWW.EMBLEM.LEGION.ORG
Temporary Financial Assistance
“Kevin makes a good living but took a pay cut when his Alabama National Guard unit was called to active duty. Due to high gas prices, Kevin’s wife and children faced having their heat turned off. With children at home, the family qualified for Temporary Financial Assistance. A grant application was processed and approved through the Department of Alabama, and the gas bill was paid. Disconnection was averted.” Applications for the TFA grant program, which has been helping military and veteran families since 1925, are available at all American Legion Department Headquarters.
Blue Star Banners
“My biggest concern is about Americans forgetting about our troops. I don’t want that to happen, and I told the people in my church we’re not going to let that happen.” Jack Wallace, pastor of the Van Alstyne, Texas, United Methodist Church, who is working with James Jones Post 376 to provide 12 Blue Star Banners for families in his congregation and a Blue Star Corporate Banner to hang in front of the church. The American Legion reintroduced the Blue Star Banner program to windows throughout the nation in 2001, to recognize servicemembers’ homes and businesses that support our troops. Household banners, corporate banners and Gold Star Banners are available from the Legion’s Emblem Sales division. (888) 453-4466 OR WWW.EMBLEM.LEGION.ORG
Adopt a National Guard or Reserve Unit
“The American Legion has had a tremendous effect on our morale. Their support is second to none. They have been there almost every day.” 1st Lt. Terry Huffstickler, executive officer of the South Carolina National Guard’s 114th Signal Company, whose battalion was adopted by Larry Jeffers Post 195, Lugoff, S.C. The 114th has since been deployed. American Legion Posts throughout the country are encouraged to connect with their local National Guard and Reserve Units to see the many ways volunteers can assist. THE AMERICAN LEGION INTERNAL AFFAIRS DIVISION: (317) 630-1321
Community Troop Support Initiatives
“The Yellow Ribbon Campaign has been around for a number of years and has been used as a way of showing national support for our troops who are in harm’s way. The campaign has been used during wartimes for soldiers who fought in Korea, Vietnam and Iraq.” Department of Pennsylvania Commander Gerald “Jerry” Zorn Troop-support rallies and yellow-ribbon campaigns give local communities the opportunity to express support for the troops. When news of such efforts reaches the front, it gives servicemembers encouragement and inspiration. Legionnaires are urged to partner with other local organizations, schools, government and the media to coordinate such events. THE AMERICAN LEGION INTERNAL AFFAIRS DIVISION: (317) 630-1321
Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency
OUR VISION: A world-class workforce fulfills our nation’s obligation by maximizing the number of missing personnel accounted for while ensuring timely, accurate information is provided to their families.
OUR MISSION: Provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation.
- Operation Comfort Warriors
Operation Comfort Warriors is a program dedicated to meeting the needs of wounded, injured or ill military personnel by providing them with comfort items not usually supplied by the government. OCW ensures that patients at U.S. military hospitals and warrior transition units are given items like sweat suits, DVDs, puzzles, electronic devices, books, calling cards and more. OCW also provides larger items such as ping pong tables, entertainment centers, computers, kayaks and other recreational goods for use by wounded warriors in common areas.