American Legion Auxiliary
Department of Wisconsin
Serving Veterans, their Families and their Communities
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What is the American Legion Auxiliary?
In this world of ours, the American Legion Auxiliary shines as an example of unselfish giving. With almost a million members from all walks of life, the Auxiliary administers hundreds of volunteer programs, gives tens of thousands of hours to its communities and to veterans, and raises millions of dollars to support its own programs as well as other worthwhile charities familiar to most Americans. It is all accomplished with volunteers.
History & Facts:
The Auxiliary, organized in 1919 to assist The American Legion, is much more than the name implies. The organization has achieved its own unique identity while working side-by-side with the veterans who belong to The American Legion. Like the Legion, the Auxiliary's interests have broadened to encompass the entire community.
Through its nearly 12,000 Units located in every state and some foreign countries, the Auxiliary embodies the spirit of America that has prevailed through war and peace. It is solidly behind America today as it was when it was founded.
Patriotism is a personal commitment for American Legion Auxiliary members. We place great importance on community involvement and responsible citizenship.
The Auxiliary has conceived and implemented hundreds of programs for veterans, their families, young people and the community at large. Many programs have been expanded and now are commonly accepted institutions within the community and nation. So deeply ingrained are such programs as the Girls State program, that the subtle guiding hand of the Auxiliary is often not recognized.
Badger Girls State:
Girls State began in 1937 and takes place every summer for more than 25,000 high school girls in 49 states. It has given more than a million girls "hands on" experience in state government.
The Girls State program targets young women interested in the government process and emphasizes the role of responsible citizenship in good government. As a result of their training in this valuable Auxiliary program, many young women will take responsible positions in business and government. This is just a small part of the Auxiliary's contribution to life in the community and the nation.
Volunteers not only provide diversion and entertainment for patients, but assist the hospital staff in physical and psychological therapy, clerical and many other duties that would otherwise cost American taxpayers millions of dollars.
What else does the Auxiliary do?
The Auxiliary deals with the issues as drug and alcohol abuse, missing and abused children, teen suicide and teen pregnancy. Its services touch the lives of all Americans directly or indirectly. More than 20 nationwide programs received support and financial aid from the American Legion Auxiliary.
Initially, the Auxiliary was organized by concerned women who took on the day-to-day responsibilities of life when their men went to Europe in World War I. Aware of the plight of fatherless families and the needs of returning veterans, these women vowed to continue their supportive role when the veterans of World War I founded the American Legion in 1919.
Through the years, the organization has expanded to include succeeding generations of veterans who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Granada, Lebanon, The Panama Canal, and most recently, in the Persian Gulf.
Auxiliary members are wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters of these courageous veterans. Some members are veterans themselves who now work in civilian life in hundreds of volunteer programs.
Someday, there may be permanent peace and no further need for veterans' organizations life the Auxiliary. Meanwhile, Auxiliary women who care about their community and their fellow man will continue to work for God and Country.
Few people realize that:
The Auxiliary and the Legion are often centers for community and civic activities in mid-America, and provide a focal point for citizens' involvement.
The Auxiliary raises more than $18 million every year and reinvests those funds in VA medical centers and community programs.
Thousands of hours are devoted to crime prevention program, instructing children, the elderly and the general public and safety, crime prevention and protection within the community.
Auxiliary volunteers are the backbone of assistance in the 171 VA Medical Centers.