Who are the S.A.L.
Founded in 1932, Sons of The American Legion exists to honor the service and sacrifice of Legionnaires.
S.A.L. members include males of all ages whose parents or grandparents served in the U.S. military and were eligible for American Legion membership. Members of The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of The American Legion comprise the Legion Family, which has a combined membership of nearly 4.2 million.
Recently, the Sons attained an all-time high national membership of over 287,000.
Just as each Legion post determines the extent of its service to the community, state, and nation, each S.A.L. squadron is permitted flexibility in planning programs and activities to meet its own needs. The S.A.L. has study programs recommended for younger members. One such program, called “The Ten Ideals”, teaches the elements of patriotism, health, knowledge, training, honor, faith, helpfulness, courtesy, reverence, and comradeship. If a member completes the Ten Ideals program, he is eligible to continue with another program called the “Five-Point Program of Service”. This program covers patriotism, citizenship, discipline, leadership, and more.
Sons focus on much more than just membership. At all levels, Sons support The American Legion in promoting a wide variety of programs. Sons assist their posts in other activities such as veterans programs, Veterans Administration home, and hospital volunteerism, youth projects, and fundraising.
In just the past ten years, Sons have raised more than a million dollars for The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation. In 2004, S.A.L. members volunteered over 211,150 hours in 2004 in Veterans Hospitals throughout the country and raised over $1,454,000 that has gone directly to VA hospitals and VA homes for a variety of items including TVs, radios, medical equipment, and clothing for the patients.
There are many men who are members of, both, The American Legion and the Sons of The American Legion. Often, these individuals started out as young members of the Sons, then when they were old enough to serve the military, they also became eligible to join The Legion. Such individuals are known within our organization as “dual members.”
The Sons of The American Legion is one of many organizations that sponsors and supports the Citizens Flag Alliance, a coalition formed to secure flag protection legislation through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. S.A.L. volunteers work to establish local networks by having petitions available and handing out informational material. They alert their communities to the importance of respect for the flag and they encourage flag education programs in schools and other local organizations.