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AM97 800 2Local veterans at the American Legion Post 111 in Dallas were given a surprise party to celebrate the 97th birthday of the American Legion.  At their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 6, 2016, the Sons of the American Legion (SAL) Commander, Gary Hicks, asked to speak before the Legionnaires.  He proceeded to tell the assembly that in recognition of the founding of the Legion and the many contributions of the Legionnaires at the Post, that a special meal was prepared for them.  The SAL, assisted by members of the Ladies Auxiliary and the American Legion Riders, had prepared a full course meal including a flag inspired birthday cake.  The Commander of the American Legion Post 111, John Black, was then presented with several checks from the affiliate organizations to be used to further the Legion's charitable works for veterans, service members and the local community.AM97 800Pictured above from left to right are President, American Legion Riders, John Cagle; Commander, 5th District, Samuel Perry; President, American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, Unit 111, Wanda Callahan; Commander, American Legion Post 111, John Black and Commander, Sons of the American Legion, Squadron 111, Gary Hicks.
The American Legion, the largest wartime veteran's organization in the United States, focuses on service to veterans, service members and the communities in which they live.  Federally chartered and incorporated by Congress, its origins can be traced back to Paris, France where war weary members of the American Expeditionary Forces first convened on March 15, 1919. Over the years the organization, currently with over 2.4 million members worldwide, has influenced considerable change in America by gaining hundreds of benefits for veterans and producing many important programs for children all across the United States.  Specifically, the Legion was instrumental in creating the U.S. Veterans Bureau, which today is known as the Veterans Administration (VA).  Further, in 1943, the American Legion National Commander, Harry W. Colmery, created the first draft of the G.I. Bill, that later signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944.  When it was a small, struggling organization in 1946, the American Heart Association received a $50,000 grant from the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary which inaugurated a nationwide program for the study and prevention of rheumatic heart disease.  Further, the American Legion has supported children and youth throughout the years not only via financial contributions but also through a variety of educational, safety and sporting programs. The American Legion has continued to champion service to veterans, thus becoming one of the most influential nonprofit groups in the United States.  From humble beginnings at the end of World War I much as been accomplished for the good of our veterans and the communities in which they live.
Post 111, in Dallas, at 2587 Scoggins Road, continues to carry forth the aims and purposes of the American Legion here in our local community.  Membership in the American Legion is open to eligible war era veterans and their family members.  To learn more about Post 111, check out their Facebook page: American Legion Post 111 or you may call the Post at: (770)445-2759.