American Legion Emblem


Q: What is the main purpose of the Sons?
A: The mission of the Sons is to support veterans and their families and the policies of our parent organization, The American Legion. Virtually everything that involves the Sons could be grouped under three areas: 1) support for veterans and their families, 2) promoting patriotism and Americanism and 3) promoting programs which benefit the youth of our country.
Q: Who runs the Sons?
A: The governing legislative body of the Sons is its National Convention. Detachments (states) send representatives to the National Convention each year to elect national officers and conduct the business of the organization. Between conventions, authority is vested in the National Executive Committee, also made up of elected representatives from each Detachment. The N.E.C. meets twice annually. Nationally elected officers include the National Commander, five National Vice Commanders (responsible for Detachments in their own regions), the National Chaplain and the National Sergeant at-Arms.
Q: When was the Sons Founded
A: The American Legion established the Sons of The American Legion in 1932.
Q: How large is the Sons of The American Legion?
A Each year since 1982, the Sons of The American Legion has set a new all-time high in membership. Currently, there are more than 300,000 members of the Sons in this country and abroad.
Q: Are girls or women eligible to join the Sons?
A: No. Only males are eligible to join the Sons. Women who are veterans and are eligible to join The American Legion are welcome and encouraged to do so. The American Legion Auxiliary was established to provide Legion Family membership for female relatives of Legionnaires.
Q: I am a member of The American Legion. Can I also belong to the Sons?
A: Yes! Many veterans who are eligible for membership in The American Legion are also eligible to join the Sons. They are very much welcome to belong to both organizations. We call these individuals dual members. They are quite often an important link between the Sons and The Legion Post in their home towns.
Q: How do I correct wrong Memberhsip Years?
A: Your Squadron membership chairman should be taking care of this by submitting the change on a Member Data Form and send it in to Albany HQ before the May cutoff date for pre-printed cards. This is the same form you use for name changes, change of address, transfers etc.
Q: I am moving to a new town and want to transfer my membership there. How do I get a new card?
A: Be sure to report your new address. You can do that in person through your new Squadron Adjutant, or you can do it electronically by going to The Legion's Web site and filling out an electronic form.
Q: Were there ever any movies, tv shows about the Sons?
A: Well, believe it or not in 1938 Paramount Pictures made a movie called "Sons of The Legion". It Starred Tim Holt and William Frawley ("I Love Lucy" - Fred Mertz).
Q: Why should I join?
A: Different people have different reasons for belonging to organizations. For many, membership in the Sons has allowed them to become involved in American Legion programs alongside their fathers. Others belong out of respect for their Parents' and grandparents' service to our country in the military. Many younger members get involved and learn valuable leadership skills involving organization, public speaking, negotiating, budgeting and fundraising skills. Membership in our organization also provides individuals with opportunities to forge lifelong friendships with people who share a common bond.
Q: How do I know if I am Eligible?
A: All male descendants, adopted sons and step sons of members of the American Legion, and such male descendants of veterans who died in service during:
  • World War I(April 6,1917 - Nov. 11, 1918)
  • World War II (Dec. 7 1941 - Dec. 31, 1946)
  • Korean War (Jun.25, 1950 - Jan.31, 1955)
  • Vietnam War (Feb.28, 1961 - May 7, 1975)
  • Lebanon / Grenada (Aug. 24,1982 - July 31, 1984)
  • Operation Just Cause - Panama (Dec.20,1989 - Jan.31, 1990)
  • Operation Desert Shield/Storm (*Aug.2,1990 - A date to be determined by the U.S. Government)
  • US Merchant Marines eligible only from Dec. 7, 1941 to Aug. 16, 1945

or who died subsequent to their honorable discharge from such service, shall be eligible for membership in the Sons of the American Legion.

* Because eligibility dates remain open, all members of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible to join the American Legion at this time, until the date of the end of hostilities as determined by the government of the United States.

Proof of eligibility (a copy of the sponsor Veterans DD-214, and/or American Legion Membership Card) will be requested at time of application. If you cannot get a copy of the Veterans DD-214, we will be able to help you retrieve it.

Q: What is the Cost of Membership?
A: Dues in the Sons of The American Legion varies by Squadron. We like to say, "It's not the price you pay for's the price your forefathers paid to make you eligible!
Q: Ok I'm Eligible. How do I become a Member of The Sons of The American Legion?
A: If you meet the eligibilty requirements, all you need to do is find a squadron closest to you. Then then either call, email, write or come down during a meeting.


Q: What Donations and Hours Can I Put on the Annual Americanism Report?

A: 1. (9) You can claim any boys that you sponsor for Boys State, (10) the cost of that sponsorship, or any donations that help to send a boy to Boys State. (11) You can claim any girls that you sponsor for Girls State, (12) the cost of that sponsorship, or any donations that help to send a girl to Girls State. (Volunteer hours should be claimed under Community Service)

2. (13) If any squadron members took any of the 5 Star/10 Ideals tests, you may claim the number of participants and the (14) cost of those tests and awards under the Education Category.

3. (15) You may claim all 3’x5’flags that you presented to any schools, organizations, or individuals in your communities, (16) and the cost of those flags that you replaced. (17) You may claim credit for each smaller flag that you placed on a veteran’s grave, or gave out at parades or other events (18) and the cost of those flags, (19) and the number of hours spent giving out or placing those flags.

4. (20) Your squadron may claim the amount of money that they donate to scholarship funds, individual scholarships, or Legion and/or Legion Auxiliary Sponsored scholarships (if your squadron doesn’t sponsor its own scholarships) If you sponsor a scholarship you may count the amount of money spent on those sponsorships. (Any volunteer hours should be claimed under the remarks or other sponsorships section). (21) Your squadron can claim the number of hours that its members spend on fundraisers for scholarships, all hours that members volunteer at schools in the community, or any and all educational programs that they put on at schools in the community, such as Veterans Day programs, Tutoring students, Etc.

5. (22) You may claim any Squadron sponsored Oratorical Contest, (23) the number of contestants that you sponsored, (24) and the cost of the contest and (25)any hours spent putting on the contest.

6. (26) Your squadron may claim any donations to help sponsor a Color Guard or any Color Guard teams that you sponsored. (27) the number of appearances that the Color Guard made, and (28) the cost, to your squadron, of those appearances, or any supplies that your squadron paid for.

7. (29) Your squadron may claim any donations that they made to the National Emergency Fund (N.E.F.).

8. (30) You may claim the number of Flag Etiquette and Flag Education Programs (31) and their costs (32) and the number of hours spent on this program. (33) You may claim the number of Flag Retirement Ceremonies that your Squadron performs and (34) the number of hours spent performing these flag retirements.

9. (35) The following items should be classified under Community Service: a). Volunteer hours spent as a Coach for any sports teams ` in your community (baseball, basketball, football, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling, softball, etc. as long as you don’t receive payment for your services.) b). Volunteer hours spent as a scouting leader. c). Volunteer hours spent as a firefighter, paramedic, rescue personnel, volunteer policeman, etc. as long as you don’t receive compensation for your services. d). Volunteer hours performed for your Post and/or Unit such as repairs to/or for the Post and/or Unit, volunteer hours helping with fundraisers for the Post and/or Unit, assistance with Legion/Legion Auxiliary Programs. e). Volunteer hours spent raising money for Medical Research such as MD, MS, Epilepsy, AHA, ACS, UCP, Casey Cares, MD Special Olympics, etc. f). Volunteer hours spent as a hospital volunteer, nursing facility volunteer or any health care facility volunteer. g). (36) All costs/donations to any of the above mentioned programs such as sports teams not mentioned before, donations to fire departments, rescue squads, police departments, police athletic organizations, donations to your Posts and Legion Auxiliaries, donations to any veterans organizations, donations to all medical research programs or hospice and hospital programs, donations made to schools in your community or head start programs, donations to any community food cellars, community shelters or charitable organizations.

10. (37) You may claim the number of scouting units (Boys or Girls) that your squadron sponsors, (38) the number of youths involved in your sponsorship, (39) and the total cost of those sponsored.

11. (40) Your squadron may claim the total number of youths sponsored for the Junior Shooting Program and Gun Safety Program. (41)Your squadron may claim the total number of hours that were spent on Junior Shooting Sports and Gun Safety Courses taught by squadron members. (42)Your squadron may claim the cost of these courses and/or sponsorships or any donations that were used to help fund these courses.

12. (43) Your squadron may claim the number of American Legion Baseball Teams that they sponsored (44) and the cost of those sponsorships. (Volunteer Hours should be claimed under Community Service). (45) Your squadron may claim any other Baseball teams, that they sponsor, other than American Legion teams, and the cost of those sponsorships. (All other sports teams other than baseball should be claimed under Community Service). Remarks or Other Sponsorships: You may claim any donations and hours, in this section that you haven’t claimed before, in the sections listed above. If you have any doubts as to what you may claim, ask yourself this question. “Does the program that you spent time and/or money on pertain to the good of the Community, State, or Nation?” You may, also, list any donations to the National Emergency Fund (N.E.F.) Program, Toys for Tots or similar programs, in your communities. You may not claim money or time spent on attending meetings or conventions or supplies to run your squadron, money spent on hosting meetings, gifts for distinguished guests or money spent on sending members to or attending classes, as these expenses are considered normal operating expenses.


Q: What is Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation (VA&R)?
A: VA&R is a service of helping with the needs of our veterans. This can be done in a hospitalized setting, assisted living center or at home. Needs of our veterans range from companionship, providing financial assistance, donations of products to make our veteran’s life more comfortable to helping with tasks such as home repairs to arraigning transportation to take the veteran shopping or to medical appointments.
Q: What can the Sons of The American Legion do for Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation?
A: In New York State we have countless opportunities to give back to our veterans and their families our thanks and appreciation for their service to our nation. We have thirteen Veterans Administration Medical Centers (VAMC’s), five New York State Veterans Homes and the Fisher House located on the campus of the Albany VAMC. All these facilities need volunteers and of course donations either monetary or products to make life more comfortable during there stay. Our Squadrons can be involved in their communities with helping the homeless veterans, Heroes to Hometowns program, Wounded Warrior Project, USO and many other programs that enhance the life of either a new returning veteran either man or woman or a veteran who has served our country in past conflicts.
Q: The Fisher House was mentioned, what exactly is the Fisher House?
A: The Fisher House is a home located on the Campus of the Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany, NY. It is a home similar to the Ronald McDonald Houses set up across the United States. There are forty Fisher Houses across the country located on VAMC Campus’s or on Military Installations across the country. The Fisher House offers Families of veterans a no cost place to stay while visiting family Member’s who are in the hospital
Q: How can a Squadron find out more about the Son’s of The American Legion Veterans Affair’s and Rehabilitation programs?
A: They can contact any of the members of the Detachment VA&R Commission. The names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses are listed in our Detachment Directory. The directory can be found on line at Also updates on what the commission is doing can be found on the web-site to. Follow the links to the National web-site of the Son’s of The American Legion and look at the link for the National VA&R Commission and you will find out more about all the programs that the Sons promote for VA&R.
Q: Should a Squadron set up a committee for Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation?
A: Yes. The members of this committee can enlist members of their Squadron to volunteer at our local VA Hospitals, New York State Veterans Homes or work with veterans at your own Post Home to ensure the rights of all veterans are getting what was promised them when they entered our armed services.
Q: What is The Liberty?
A: The Liberty is the official newsletter of the Sons of The American Legion State of New York. It is emailed to members five times a year, and made available in print at our major Detachment meetings. The newsletter contains information of interest and importance to members at the State level, while also including National events. Each issue of the newsletter contains feature stories, news articles, messages from Detachment Officers, updates from Detachment Commissions and Committees. There are also pictures and news clips from Squadrons and Districts around the State.
Q: Can I submit information about my Squadron/Detachment for publication?
A: Yes! Anyone is welcome to submit ideas, stories, newspaper clippings, photos, etc for consideration. We can never guarantee that everything sent in will get published, but we do our best to include information from as many sources as possible. We want to spread the word about what individuals, Squadrons, Districts are doing to further the work of The American Legion and the Sons. If you have something you think should be included in an upcoming issue of The Liberty, e-mail it to the Chairperson or any member of the Public Relations Committee.
Q: Why am I not getting my newsletter?
A: There are many reasons why people might not be receiving a copy of the newsletter via email. The most common reason is that the member has not subscribed to the Detachment's Website email or has changed email and not notified the Detachment. Notify the Detachment Webmaster with changes or use the Online Subscription feature to update your records.


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