By Jim Patterson, Commander, S.A.L. Squadron #49, Warsaw
As Commander of the Sons of the American Legion Squadron #49, I want to take this opportunity to introduce you to who we are, what we stand for and our mission. First of all, the SAL is not a “Social Club” open only to veterans. On the contrary, our membership is open to any “son” whose father, grandfather, Ect. (living or deceased) was honorably discharged from military service. We are the men’s auxiliary branch of our American Legion Post 49 in Warsaw.
Sons squadrons place an emphasis on preserving America traditions and values, improving the quality of life for our nation’s children, caring for veterans and their families and teaching the fundamentals of good citizenship.
Our mission is to support and assist The American Legion in promoting a wide variety of programs such as Veterans programs, Indiana Veterans Home and Hospital volunteerism, Children’s Youth projects, fundraising and contributing to local charities servicing needy families, the elderly and the homeless. Since 1988, The Sons have raised more than $6.9 million for the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation alone. Members have volunteered over 1.3 million hours to date in Veterans Hospitals throughout the country and contributed over $2,500,000 to VA hospitals and VA homes for items such as TVs, radios, medical equipment and clothing. Squadron 49 has been an active participant in these programs and hope to continue in the future.
Let’s not forget the ladies. Founded in 1919 during the first National Convention of the American Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary has grown to be the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, contributing $293 million to support youth, scholarships and community. Its mission states that patriotism and veterans advocacy are so important that since its founding, they have served educated and given to America’s finest — our servicemen and women. They have answered the call of “service not self” with three-quarters of a million wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, granddaughters and direct descendants of veterans who served our great country during times of war. Some are veterans themselves. 12.2 million hours annually are volunteered to serve veterans, the military and hometown.