An ALA Stories blog
The ALA Stories blog series showcases positive American Legion Auxiliary experiences, thoughts, and ideas of ALA members. We hope these blog posts will inspire and encourage all who read them.
Don’t discount what people in small cities and towns across America have to offer. The American Legion Auxiliary never has and never will. The ALA is a community of volunteers serving veterans, military, and their families. That diverse community includes eligible individuals from small towns, big cities, and just about everywhere in between.
Our members are from various races, religions, ages, cultures, and backgrounds. The ALA appreciates and recognizes the different perspectives and talents which usually come with membership diversity — while connecting through our shared value of patriotism, and a passion for helping and honoring those we serve.
ALA member Kim Carmickle of Auxiliary Unit 67 in Versailles, Ky. — a city of about 9,800 people — illustrates this point. Her commitment to aiding and appreciating veterans, servicemembers, and military families, is unwavering. She explains why she joined the ALA eight years ago.
“I wanted to be involved in the community to help people and to help our veterans. I just want to give back something to veterans for what they have done for us. If it wasn’t for the veterans, we might not be a free country today. I think a lot about the veterans: the ones who are serving now or are retired, or are no longer in the military. In the ALA, we try to reach out to them. We just do whatever we can in our organization to make their lives easier,” Carmickle said. “I feel like ALA members are leaders in trying to help people.”
One of her most memorable moments as an Auxiliary member was when Unit 67 assisted American Legion Post 67 a few years ago in honoring five veterans who were the among the oldest Legionnaires at their post. The unit held a dinner in their honor and presented each veteran with a plaque. The town’s mayor gave each veteran a key to the city.
“A lot of the veterans just teared up. They said, ‘We didn’t go into the service to get recognition. We did it because serving our country was the right thing to do.’ It was emotional. I cried, too. But mine weren’t sad tears; they were tears of gratitude. We had to recognize them,” Carmickle said.
Carmickle has been president of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 67 in Versailles for the past six years. Her ALA membership eligibility is based on the military service of her grandfather, U.S. Navy veteran Porter Wilson. She has other relatives, uncles and cousins, who have served in the military.
The American Legion Auxiliary is a community of volunteers serving veterans, military, and their families. Our mission statement:
In the spirit of Service Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is 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. For God and country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace, and security.
Interested in becoming an American Legion Auxiliary member or volunteer? To learn more, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org or contact an American Legion Auxiliary unit near you.
To learn more about The American Legion, visit www.legion.org or contact an American Legion Post near you.