History of the Auxiliary For nearly every man in World War I who endured the dangers and hardships of camp, shore and battlefront, there was a woman serving at home to help make possible
The war was won, and the men and women of the armed forces banded together in The American Legion to carry forward their services to the country in peacetime. It was only natural that the women of their families should desire to continue to serve with them. The result was the American Legion Auxiliary, the largest and most influential women’s organization of its kind in the world today.
The establishment of an Auxiliary to The American Legion was provided for by the first National Convention of The American Legion in 1919. By the time of the 1920 National Convention, 1,342 local Units of this Auxiliary had been formed; intensive organizational efforts were authorized. The first National Convention of the Auxiliary was held in Kansas City,
The Auxiliary grew from a first year enrollment of 121,000 to approximately 500,000 at the beginning of World War II. After the women of World War II families became eligible, the enrollment rose rapidly to a record of 1,001,545 in 1955, and since has remained well above the 900,000 mark. The number of local Units of the Auxiliary is approximately 10,000. The Auxiliary organization, i.e., local, state and national, parallels that of The American Legion. Auxiliary National Headquarters is located in
The American Legion Auxiliary was founded on the following purposes:
Rehabilitation of Veterans One of the major activities of the American Legion Auxiliary is caring for disabled veterans of all wars and conflicts and assisting thousands of other veterans to regain a place in civilian life. Women, who themselves have experienced the sufferings of war; can offer that warmth and understanding which no agency can.
The Auxiliary for the benefit of veterans expends over four million dollars each year. An inestimable amount of personal attention is also given. Our personal contact program seeks to bring happiness and contentment to the veteran and the veteran’s family, especially during his/her period of hospitalization. The Auxiliary assists the families of hospitalized veterans or those who are unable to work. It aids disabled veterans in finding employment and helps to market articles made by them in the hospital workshops. Our special Gift Shop Program in many hospitals during the Christmas season is a source of cheer and happiness for veterans and their families.
Children and Youth Activities
Our Children and Youth Program is built upon the pledge to maintain the integrity of the American family. Not a child living, and certainly no veteran’s child, should be without the necessities of life required to make a good citizen. Assistance is given to veterans and their spouses to keep their families together. Nurseries for children of the disabled are sponsored at government hospitals; material relief is provided for needy children; educational assistance and spiritual guidance are offered in an effort to curb delinquency, in addition to adequate housing and cooperation with local child welfare agencies and organizations.
Serving the Local Community
Auxiliary Units work in conjunction with their Posts for the betterment of their local communities. Activities include: conducting safety campaigns providing playgrounds, beautifying parks and public buildings, sponsoring Girl Scout troops, aiding Boy Scout troops, sponsoring the establishment of libraries and night schools, conducting health clinics, aiding hospitals in securing equipment, cooperating with safety councils, curbing juvenile delinquency and aiding the homeless. The extensive nature and scope of this work is widely recognized and has national significance. Through the development of their communities, Auxiliary Units and their Posts are truly making
Disaster Relief Activities
Service in time of disaster has always been a tradition in the American Legion Auxiliary. Through natural disasters the Auxiliary has worked side by side with The American Legion to feed, shelter and clothe victims and to help them restore their homes. Wherever disaster strikes, there are American Legion Auxiliary Units and American Legion Posts organized and ready to go into immediate action to hold the line against chaos and suffering until other relief can be mobilized and sent into the area.
Peace and Security
From the very beginning, the American Legion Auxiliary saw clearly that the security of
No organization of women in
Auxiliary Ideals and Principles
The Auxiliary believes that the principles and ideals upon which the American republic was founded, and for which American blood has been shed, are still the cornerstones of our democracy and, as such, should be safeguarded for the welfare of future generations.
The Auxiliary is working to keep patriotism a part of the education of every child, a patriotism which teaches love of
The American Legion Auxiliary’s program is one of Americanism. What constitutes this program of Americanism? The concern for veterans of all wars and conflicts; the education and welfare of the children of veterans who have given of their lives for our country; the securement of adequate national security against all possible enemies; the betterment and beautification of the communities in which we live; and service through a true spirit of fellowship and cooperation with all people for world development.
Mission and Purposes
The National Executive Committee adopted the present
In support of our
• To support The American Legion programs for veterans, young people, 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 as volunteers, that Auxiliary members continue to be the leaders in all that is good in this nation today, tomorrow and for generations to come through serving others first and not self
The American Legion Auxiliary has one great purpose - "to contribute to the accomplishment of the aims and purposes of The American Legion." Except for the addition of those words, the Preamble to its National Constitution is nearly the same as that of The American Legion. The American Legion Auxiliary does not establish any policy that conflicts with those of The American Legion. Its activities are designed to enhance The American Legion's programs. Although often working independently on projects of its own, the Auxiliary has no purposes, which are apart from the aims of The American Legion. It is in every sense an "Auxiliary" to The American Legion. Its members serve side by side with the members of The American Legion in a spirit of unselfish devotion to the well being of the American republic.