In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to 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.
The vision of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion while becoming the premier service organization and foundation of every community providing support for our veterans, our military, and their families by shaping a positive future in an atmosphere of fellowship, patriotism, peace and security.
In fulfillment of our Mission, the American Legion Auxiliary adheres to the following purposes:
- To support and advocate for veterans, active military and their families
- To support the initiatives and programs of The American Legion
- To foster patriotism and responsible citizenship
- To award scholarships and promote quality education and literacy
- To provide educational and leadership opportunities that uphold the ideals of freedom and democracy and encourage good citizenship and patriotism in government
- To increase our capacity to deliver our Mission by providing meaningful volunteer opportunities within our communities
- To empower our membership to achieve personal fulfillment through Service Not Self
Our statement of values is predicated on the founding purposes:
- Commitment to the four founding principles: Justice, Freedom, Democracy, Loyalty
- Service to God, our country, its veterans and their families
- Tradition of patriotism and citizenship
- Personal integrity and family values
- Respect for the uniqueness of individual members
- Truthful open communication in dealing with the public and our members
- Adherence to the adopted policies and rules
The first National Convention of the American Legion, in 1919, established an Auxiliary to the American Legion. The national Auxiliary had formed 1342 local Units by the time of the 1920 National Convention. There comprehensive organizational efforts were authorized.
In Kansas City, Missouri, the first National Convention of the Auxiliary was held in 1921. The name “American Legion Auxiliary” was adopted and the election of the first national officers took place at this time.
In June of 1920 in Allentown, PA at the Pennsylvania’s first formal American Legion Convention, the American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Pennsylvania was established. Their charter was granted from the temporary National Headquarters in New York.
It worked hand-in-hand with the Legion. In 1929 it purchased drums for the Legion’s Drum and Bugle Corp. In 1938, along with the Legion, 1 million poppies were distributed. They could be seen in every town, borough, and city.
The first Keystone Girls’ Camp (later to be known as Keystone Girls State), was held June 22 to July 2, 1949. It was held in Gettysburg with 150 girls in attendance.
1943-44 during the presidency of Mrs. Harry W. Piper, membership was at 53,800. The activities of the ALA were very significant and wide ranged. The efforts of the ALA included: Child Welfare work, lobbying Congress for the G.I. Bill and hundreds of blood drives. The American Legion Auxiliary was able to donate $1600 towards the Junior Baseball program.
Since the beginning of the American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Pennsylvania, the women have worked side-by-side with their counterparts from the American Legion promoting the welfare of the veterans, the military, the youth and their communities. Countless hours of volunteer work in one fashion or another have been implemented, documented and recorded.
(Information from “The History of the American Legion” by Terry Radtke)