The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Bonita Dickinson
American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 17 Secretary Treasurer 

American Legion Auxiliary Celebrating Century of Service


November 6, 2019

Courtesy Photo

American Legion Auxiliary Unit #17. with 10 Centerpieces and 100 tray favors presented to Western Nebraska Veteran's Home in Scottsbluff in October. Pictured from left are: Unit 17 Vice President, Marge Surber, Activities Director Mrs Oliverious, and Unit 17 Sec/Treas Bonita Dickinson

Sidney American Legion Unit No. 17 is celebrating the national Auxiliary's milestone, a century of service in 2019-2020.

The Sidney American Legion Unit No. 17 is part of The American Legion Family, which includes not only The American Legion, but the American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of The American Legion, and American Legion Riders. None of these organizations would exist without The American Legion. All were created as veterans support organizations.

The American Legion Auxiliary was founded Nov. 10, 1919, just a few months after The American Legion. The American Legion was formed following World War I by combat troops of the American Expeditionary Forces in Paris, France, in 1919. The Legion was later chartered by Congress. The Legion served as a support group, a social club, and an extended family for former servicemen. After its formation, several women's organizations wanted to become the official affiliation of The American Legion. However, after taking this into consideration, members of The American Legion decided that a new organization should be formed. The Legionnaires wanted this new organization to be made up of the women most closely associated with the men of the Legion.

It was then that the American Legion Auxiliary was established. In less than one year, more than 1,300 local units were organized in more than 45 states. Today, the American Legion Auxiliary is the world's largest patriotic service organization. The ALA has more than 600,000 members nationwide.

The mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and serve veterans, military, and their families ... a mission that has remained unchanged for 100 years. ALA members can be found across the country helping military families cope with the effects of multiple deployments. Members show compassion to injured and homeless veterans by providing resources in their communities.

The ALA co-sponsors the annual National Veterans Creative Arts Festival with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This nationwide program at VA medical facilities is a form of rehabilitative treatment to help veterans with physical and emotional disabilities.

American Legion Auxiliary programs teach our youth how to be good citizens. Units across the country conduct Junior Activities programs to help younger members develop leadership skills. Our children and youth program recognizes kids who perform a heroic act of physical bravery with the Youth Hero Award. The ALA's Good Deed Award recognizes those who contributed in a special way to society through community service.

High school juniors learn how to become leaders at ALA Girls State programs and at ALA Girls Nation.

American Legion Auxiliary members volunteer more than 12 million hours each year. The estimated value of volunteer service is $1.1 billion.

The public is welcome to join as a member, volunteer for events or serve as an advocate for the American Legion Auxiliary and its mission. You can help the Auxiliary move forward into its next century of "Service, Not Self." Look up the American Legion Auxiliary at or call 308-249-3787 or 308-249-4027.


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