The American Legion veterans organization has been around since 1919 when members of the American Expeditionary Force founded it in Paris, France at the end of the First World War.
American Legion, Towry Post 42, located on the Wilson Parkway here in Fayetteville, is named in honor of Private John Hosea Towry, a U.S. Army Infantryman killed in France in 1918. Pvt. Towry was the first soldier from Lincoln County to be killed in WWI.
The years following the two World Wars saw the most interest in the American Legion, when war veterans banded together to fight for veterans’ benefits.
The veterans who came home from Korea and Vietnam benefited from these efforts.
Today, the American Legion is still working to help the veterans of the most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. American Legion Service Officers are located at all Veterans Hospitals to assist veterans with disability claims and other benefits.
The American Legion, which is the largest veterans’ organization in America, supports the Boy Scouts, Boys State, college scholarships and baseball leagues and has a financial assistance program for veterans in need.
Wives and other female relatives of eligible veterans can join the American Legion Auxiliary. The Auxiliary also has many assistance programs to help veterans and their families, and they also sponsor the Girls State program at the high school level.
To join the American Legion, a veteran must have an Honorable Discharge and had to have served during a time of hostility. All veterans who have served since 1990 to the present are eligible for membership.
Any veteran who would like information about joining the Post and becoming a member of the American Legion may call Chaplain James Armitage at 433-2555.