Skip to comments.Is it worth joining the American Legion?
Posted on 01/14/2011 8:09:52 AM PST by Oshkalaboomboom
I received a form letter inviting me to join the American Legion. Interestingly enough, doing a Google search on "is it worth it to join the American Legion" brings up discussions on left-wing sites like DU saying to avoid it because it's dominated by right wingers. So far so good :-) The next question would be is it worth it? How is it different from the VFW? I meet the AL eligibility by being in Lebanon, not sure if that qualifies me for VFW.
From what I see in their literature they offer a lot of insurance benefits, sort of like AARP but maybe without all of the Socialist leanings. I refuse to join AARP but maybe this organization would be better for me. Comments?
It’s better than joining the PEACE CORPS.
Unless you like being raped.
Maybe youre looking at this wrong. Maybe its not what they can do for you but what you can do for them. I joined not for what I can get out of it, but to help the quickly aging veterans in my local community. And getting to know these old guys and their stores, at the local post, has been priceless.
I’m junior vice commander of our local Legion post. If you’re looking to joint for the benefits your reap, well...
Our post serves as a service organization to the community. We look for those who have served in our military and want to contribute back to the community in which they live. We encourage our members to attend meetings and functions, and participate in our community events. It makes membership a rewarding experience beyond the “bennies.
As for the VFW, one must have served in a recognized theater of war to be a member. I served during Vietnam, but not IN Vietnam. Thus, I don’t qualify.
I belong to both the Legion and VFW. I don’t like the VFW, too many welfare types (around here at least), too many liberals, and everyone there claims to have been a tunnel-rat in Vietnam who was an inch away from the CMH (yes, I’m exaggerating).
Also, too many drunks at our VFW, who sit around all day at the bar feeling sorry for themselves.
Legion, completely different. Tons of business owners, they have a very positive “can-do” attitude. They do tons for the community (we spend a ton of time going to visit WW2 vets who are stuck at home), they do a great funeral service, and they have tons of activities for vets and widows.
The comparison between the two (here in Chicago-land) is like night and day.
My wife says the VFW is depressing, its like going to the welfare office, while she really enjoys the Legion (just as much as our Eagles or Moose, if not more).
It is definitely a different base of people.
Now, I don’t frequent the VFW much anymore, but I have heard from some friends that it is changing because of the new group of vets from the SandBox that are coming in. So, in all fairness, I have to head over there and see for myself (I haven’t been there in a couple of years).
That’s my synopsis from NW Illinois.
If you have both a VFW and an AL near you - visit and see which one you’d like to be a member of - or both! You don’t have to choose one or the other....
Ask questions about what charities and volunteer work they are involved with - parade, memorial ceremonies, etc.
“Our post serves as a service organization to the community. We look for those who have served in our military and want to contribute back to the community in which they live.”
That right there is the difference. I always feel the VFW is full of folks wanting an organization that does things for them, while my Legion is an organization that is looking for folks to contribute to the community.
It is a totally different attitude.
You put it in words better than I could have.
Our VFW here in North-Central Illinois is different. They're the ones who do the burial ceremonies. And the membership is fairly conservative. But then again, we're a relatively small community.
Our AL post, of which I'm a member, is small yet community minded. Much of that comes from the fact that a preponderance of members are also members of my Kiwanis club, and have been active as members or officers in both organizations.
“Our VFW here in North-Central Illinois is different”
I’m in Kane Co., just a couple miles from the Cook border, and I know its different here.
I have been to VFW posts up in northern WI, Minn, Iowa and even one in DeKalb Il that were great, and were completely different than the one we have here.
I am thinking that just the proximity we have to Chicago makes our VFW the way it is.
The Mrs. told me once that she would rather sit in bowling alley tavern than go to our VFW. And she hates bowling alleys and taverns...
LOL! Loved the part about the VFW. I heard the same thing and I am not ex-military. Any fake former SEALs hanging around with the former tunnel rats? ;-)
I joined in memory of Grandpa Schulz.
We’re in Rochelle, IL, about 18 miles West of DeKalb. I have friends who are members of the DeKalb organization, and of the Sycamore organization as well. I agree, they’re pretty good organizations.
The DeKalb VFW does the burial ceremonies as well. I attended one last Summer for a good friend’s brother who passed away. They did a superb job in that ceremony. But, again, we’re talking two fairly conservative areas, especially here in Rochelle where we don’t have the university influence...
I did that years ago, but eventually dropped my membership. There wasn't any meaning to it, so why continue. It was our local post's then Commander, and my mentor in the Kiwanis, who kept on me about "reupping". So, I did and have been happy ever since. I suggest you inquire into posts around you, and visit them. See what they have to offer. You may well find it very worthwhile.
lol, I don’t recall for sure, but yeah, I’m sure there are a dis-proportionate number of them....
Our VFW had no common grunts who drove trucks or bulldozers, no dental assistants, nothing like that, just war heroes with a million stories to tell to anyone willing to pay for their next round of Budweiser.
Our VFW has more M65 jackets than the local army surplus. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a guy in the Legion wear a field jacket or combat boots to spaghetti dinner or casino night.
Not trying to knock it, but I gave up wearing that stuff the day I got home. I will humbly wear a dress uniform for a parade or a wake/funeral if required, but I’m not the type to sit at a bar and wear fatigues, which seems to be the required dress code at our VFW (that or a leather biker vest is a close 2nd).
My whole family is in the American Legion family.
Dad is a Legion member,
2 Brothers and Hubby- members of Legion, Sons of the American legion and the American Legion Riders,
My son is in the SAL,
I am a member of the Legion Auxillary.
Heck my 5 yr old daughter is in the Junior Auxillary.
the American Legion is very much about service to community and veterans. They do color guard duty on Memorial day, at parades, Veterans day events. They have a transportation service for veterans who cannot drive. They help out with yard work, clean up after storms, make sure our veterans are okay when bad weather hits.
It is my opinion the American Legion is one of the greatest organizations you can be involved with.
It sounds encouraging. We have a local post that meets in a National Guard armory, I think I’ll check out their next meeting to see what it’s like.
I’d have to ask them, but I’ve not seen any of our AL members in uniform. The caps, yes. I too have one. We wear them at our meetings (those of us who hold office), and all members wear them for public events, or at post special functions such as our installation and Christmas banquets.
Even at our installation banquet last year, the division and state officials who attended did not wear uniforms.
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