The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic, mutual-help, war-time veterans organization. A community-service organization which now numbers nearly 3 million members -- men and women -- in nearly 15,000 American Legion Posts worldwide. These Posts are organized into 55 Departments -- one each for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico, and the Philippines.
The American Legion's national headquarters is in Indianapolis, Indiana, with additional offices in Washington, DC. In addition to thousands of volunteers serving in leadership and program implementation capacities in local communities to the Legion's standing national commissions and committees, the national organization has a regular full-time staff of about 300 employees
Preamble to the Constitution of The American Legion
For God and Country we associate ourselves together for the following purposes:
to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America; to maintain law and order; to foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism; to preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in all wars; to inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation; to combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses; to make right the master of might; to promote peace and goodwill on earth; to safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy; to consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.
What We Do
American Legion Boys State is among the most respect
ed and selective educational programs of government instruction for high school students. It is a participatory program where each participant becomes a part of the operation of his local, county and state government.
Boys State has been a program of The American Legion since 1935 when it organized to counter the Fascist inspired Young Pioneer Camps. The program was the idea of two Illinois Legionnaires, Hayes Kennedy and Harold Card, who organized the first Boys State at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.
The American Legion Auxiliary sponsors a similar program for young ladies called
At American Legion Boys State, participants are exposed to the rights and privileges, the duties and the responsibilities of a franchised citizen. The training is objective and practical with city, county and state governments operated by the students elected to the various offices. Activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, chorus and recreational programs.
High school juniors are selected by local American Legion Posts to attend the program.
Support for the Boy Scout movement came at The American Legion's first National Convention in 1919. Today, there are more than 2,500 Boy Scout units sponsored by Legion Posts throughout the country. Supporting Boy Scout activities is natural for Legionnaires, who bring their service-learned skills and experiences as veterans to bear to help build character and positive traits in "Young America". Few other Post activities generate more goodwill from the community.
Post 202 sponsors Boy Scout Troop 202 in Topsham. In addition to providing a place for them to meet and to store items, we assist in fund raisers, suppers and breakfasts put on by the Scouts at the Post and provide financial aid for summer camps.
High School Oratorical Contest
The purpose of The American Legion’s National High School Oratorical Contest is to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the Constitution of the United States on the part of high school students. Other objectives of the contest include the development of leadership qualities, the ability to think and speak clearly and intelligently, and the preparation for acceptance of the duties and responsibilities, the rights and privileges of American citizenship.
In a significant legislative victory for The American Legion, President Trump signed a bill July 30 that declares the United States has been in a state of war since Dec. 7, 1941.
The American Legion sought the declaration as a way to honor approximately 1,600 U.S. servicemembers who were killed or wounded during previously undeclared periods of war.
The LEGION Act (Let Everyone Get Involved In Opportunities for National Service Act) also opens the door for approximately 6 million veterans to access American Legion programs and benefits for which they previously had not been eligible.
“Recognizing the service of these wartime veterans is the right thing do and it is long overdue,” National Commander Brett Reistad said. “The families of those who were killed or wounded during these wartime acts should take pride in knowing that we recognize their sacrifice and service. Moreover, we are proud to welcome any of the six million living veterans from the previously unrecognized periods into our organization and call them ‘Legionnaires.’”
Now that the legislation has been signed, The American Legion’s eligibility criteria immediately changes from seven war eras to two: April 6, 1917, to Nov. 11, 1918, and Dec. 7, 1941 to a time later determined by the federal government. No other restrictions to American Legion membership are changed.
The law’s journey began on Feb. 14 when Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., introduced S. 504, along with Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C. A companion measure, H.R. 1641, was introduced in the House by Reps. Lou Correa, D-Calif., and Ben Cline, R-Va.
Reistad expressed gratitude to the bipartisan members of Congress for passing the legislation. All Veterans with an Honorable discharge from service quallifies for membership with the American Legion.
Post 202 has several programs which provide support for Veterans throughout the local community, State of Maine and the Nation. The Post contributes to the National and State Emergency Funds which provide help in times of emergency such as hurricanes, floods and natural disasters. These funds provide loans and grants to assist people to get through these times. We support Togus through contributions to VAVS and through the many volunteer hours provided by members of the Post and Auxiliary. We have provided benefit dinners to raise money to help our veterans and their families with medical bills in their time of need. Whenever possible we assist families in their time of mourning, providing Military Honors and Memorial Services for deceased members and assist their families with benefits when necessary.
and so much more............