For nearly 100 years, American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) members have remained steadfast in their commitment to the men and women who served our country as part of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Every day, the women of this organization unite to send messages of encouragement and care packages to troops, visit veterans in facilities, advocate for legislation on behalf of veterans, and raise millions of dollars to meet the needs of veterans and servicemembers. No matter which generation — whether it was in the wake of World War I or in the aftermath of 9/11 — our ALA members demonstrate that, as part of The American Legion Family, we are committed to supporting our military.
The ALA mission has always been to support The American Legion, and honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families — both at home and abroad.
To understand the importance of strengthening our Auxiliary family, it is critical that we look back to the mission of our organization. ALA was created as a support program of The American Legion. https://www.legion.org/ We are part of The American Legion Family. And family supports family!
The American Legion was founded because of a desire among veterans to stay connected after their military service. After fighting in life-and-death situations, many of the soldiers who served in World War I developed deep bonds and loyalty to one another. The idea for an organization of veterans was proposed by Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt Jr., one of 20 American Expeditionary Forces officers who were asked for ideas on how to improve troop morale. Upon his recommendation, The American Legion was established to “preserve the memories and incidence of our association in the Great War.”
In the beginning, the primary mission of the Legion was to help troops who had served in foreign wars reintegrate into civilian life but still remain connected with their comrades with whom they served overseas. According to American Legion historical documents, the organization served as “a support group, a social club, and an extended family for former servicemen.”
Shortly after the Legion was founded, several women’s organizations that served at home during the war vied to be recognized as the official affiliate of the organization. During the Great War, many of these American women had been devoted to relief efforts for the war-torn countries in Europe, even before the United States officially entered the war in April 1917. The women, who represented all different socioeconomic classes, raised money and held drives to support the war efforts.
However, the organizing committee for the Legion decided to bypass selecting from among the existing women’s organizations; it proposed a new organization made up of the women who were most closely related to Legion members, and in 1919, the American Legion Auxiliary was formed.
Within one year, 1,342 local Auxiliary units had been chartered in more than 45 states. The Auxiliary established its Constitution, which begins by stating the ALA’s purpose to support The American Legion, mirroring the Legion’s aims and purposes. The Preamble to the ALA Constitution is recited often still today. The ALA mission has always been to support The American Legion, and honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families — both at home and abroad.