The American Legion is a 501 (c) 19 Not for Profit, Community Based, Non-Partisan, Patriotic, Veterans Service Organization that was founded in March of 1919 and Chartered by the United States Congress in September of 1919.
We are comprised of some 13,000 American Legion Posts located in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, France, Mexico, the Philippines and Puerto Rico; hence, the term Department”, rather than “State”, is used as a more descriptive term.
In The American Legion, Department of Maryland we have a total of 137 active American Legion Posts located within each of the 23 Counties and in Baltimore City, with a Post presence in virtually every community of the State. In both membership and number of Posts, we are by far the largest veteran’s service organization in Maryland.
For more than 90 years, The American Legion had stood on four great pillars or principles: (1) Taking care of veterans and their families; (2) Supporting a strong national and domestic security posture for America and its Allies, including adequate staffing and funding for the U.S. Departments of Defense, Labor, Homeland Security, State and Veterans Affairs; (3) Educating and caring for our Children and Youth; and (4) Participating in and furthering Americanism and patriotic holidays, such as, but not limited to Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Armed Forces Day and Flag Day. Our advocacy revolves around these four pillars, and we remain non-partisan in the furtherance of our mission.
Our American Legion Family spans more than 100,000 households, the members of which live, work, purchase goods and services, pay taxes and vote in the State of Maryland...all of which further contributes to the economic well-being within their respective communities, counties, Baltimore City, and the State of Maryland.
The American Legion of Maryland (Posts, Squadrons, Auxiliary and Headquarters offices) contributes materially to the economic well-being of the State of Maryland by employing more than 1,300 tax-paying employees living in the state of Maryland. Our employee payroll is estimated to exceed $30,000,000 annually.
During the past year, our Charitable Contributions to needy families, churches, government programs supporting the four pillars, and a host of other State recognized not-for profit charitable organizations exceeded $2.3 million, and these donations and grants continue year after year. In addition, our members make cash and in-kind donations to and contribute tens of thousands of volunteer man-hours each year to many worthy charitable causes, including Special Olympics, VA Medical Centers and Clinics, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Other Maryland Military Treatment Facilities and Out-Patient Clinics, Fisher Houses, Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Children’s Miracle Network, Maryland State Veterans Cemeteries and the Charlotte Hall Maryland State Veterans Home... a few examples worthy of your attention follows:
- The American Legion is the largest identifiable Blood Donor organization in America and in Maryland. For 2015,
The American legion Family in Maryland reported 2,395 pints of blood collected by our Legion Family during sponsored blood drives.
- The American Legion, since our founding, has been a strong sponsor and supporter of Boy and Girl Scout Troops in
America and in Maryland. Legion Posts sponsor 52 Scout Units and expended over $100,000 in support of these
- In Maryland, The American Legion scholarship donations to deserving college and pre-college level students ranks
second to none. Total scholarships given in 2015 exceeded $220,000.
- The Department Service Office annually assists and represents over 1,000 Veterans with VA Benefits paperwork, and is responsible for nearly $18,000,000 in awards for various VA benefits.
- The Maryland American Legion owns two Youth Camps, one on the Frederick-Washington County line operated by
the Frederick County YMCA for the benefit of our community, and the other in Prince George’s County which is operated by the Southern Maryland District Council. These camps including all facilities that are available for one day or longer (but not to exceed a period contrary to established rules and regulations of each camp) for use by youth groups, churches, and others on a first come-first served basis, at minimal cost. These youth camps allow over 6,000 Maryland youth and many more Marylanders to enjoy the outdoors and learn values that last a lifetime.
- Many Maryland American Legion Posts are available during emergencies for use as National and Local Civil Defense Shelters, Disaster Relief and Homeland Security Training Facilities and to temporarily shelter, feed and cloth families during natural and/or man-made disasters and riots. Located in every County and in most communities around the State they are an available resource in time of need.
- Maryland American Legion Youth Programs include: (1) Boys and Girls State Programs which consist of a one-week
concentrated study of the U. S. Constitution and an intense interactive learning experience pertaining to the legislative process and operations of local, state and national governmental entities; (2) American Legion Baseball; (3) American Legion Oratorical Contests, (4) Junior Shooting Sports, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Youth recreation leagues, and college scholarship awards. We are leaders in every aspect of community involvement.
- Under the Legion’s Worldwide Family Support Network we provide both labor and financial support to spouses and family members left behind while the military service-member is deployed in harms way. Typical support includes lawn maintenance (shoveling snow, mowing grass, trimming shrubbery), making minor household repairs, providing free transportation and drivers, purchasing needed clothing and food and helping with emergency financial problems.
- The Department of Maryland Heroes to Hometown/Wounded Warrior fund has provided grants totaling over
$200,000 for Veterans of the current conflicts struggling with transition or in need in other areas including adaptive
technologies. The goal of this fund is to quickly assess the needs and provide assistance, and we have an impact
throughout the State. This program is completely funded by donation from the Legion Family and a few supporters.
- Department of MD, Veteran Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission annually makes donations of nearly $30,000,
mostly to Veteran Affairs facilities to support Veteran needs. The total value of donations and volunteer hours to the
VA and Rehabilitation efforts by MD American Legion Family exceeds $500,000 annually. Annual volunteer service
to VA includes thousands of hours in facilities around MD.
- The Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) for needy children of Veterans, operated by The American Legion,
provides aid for areas of basic needs to Veteran families with children in the household. Grants in Maryland vary
depending upon the level of need and number received. Grants provided in 2015 exceeded $75,000
“Get Out The Vote” has been a major program at all levels (National, Department/State and Post/Community) of The
American Legion since our very beginning in 1919. By Congressional Charter we are non-partisan, we do not endorse, raise money for or give preference to any person seeking public office; however, we do strongly advocate for a wide range of LEGISLATIVE ISSUES germane to the Aims and Purposes for which The American Legion was founded and work to ensure these issues are before the elected officials, at all levels (city, county, state and national), and we ask for their support and votes.
*totals last updated January 2017