1. Give us a brief history of your organization.
American Legion (National) was founded 103 years ago. Post 69 Lafayette received its Charter on Surrey St. in August 1920, 102 years ago. (Our technical name is Stanley Martin – Felix Ducrest Post 69, Inc. American Legion, named after the first WWI veteran and WWII veteran from Acadiana to lay down their lives for our country.)
We are not only one of the nation’s leading and largest veteran organizations, but our focus is committed to Children & Youth, Defense, the Community that surrounds us, and Americanism. We have, and still, assist veterans and their families with their benefits or in time of need, provide comradery that they no longer get being out of the military, assist the community after natural disasters, provide scholarships and programs to area youth, and teach/support patriotism in our schools and the community (pre-Covid).
2. What would you tell the rest of Acadiana makes you special?
We are comprised of 100% veterans. While our enlistment is over, we are still serving. Also, we have been in Acadiana on Surrey Street for 102 years and plan to be there for another 100 years
3. What are you most proud of?
We are most proud of our selfless service and our voice on Capitol Hill for the military and veterans’ benefits. American Legion has always been a leading voice in DC, as well as support throughout our country. Locally, we are extremely proud to be getting back active on our community, after being quiet for so long.
4. Where do you see your organization in 10 years? What are your plans for the future?
We are currently revising our programs to be more effective and beneficial to our veterans, the area students, and the community that surrounds us. We hope to expand into a full disaster relief/support location so that we are ready to assist whenever emergencies happen in Acadiana. We are also bringing conferences back to Lafayette and hope to be a prominent resource again, like we were years ago.
5. 1A is making an impact as we take an active role in improving the community we live in. Our members are making an impact, too! – What does impact mean to you? How is your company making an impact?
Impact for our Legionnaires is simply giving back to the community that surrounds us and making a difference in the lives of everyone that we encounter. Post 69 has collected donations for SWLA hurricane victims and carried them out to Lake Charles and Cameron, LA after Hurricane Laura. We are currently working on community clean-up days where we assist veterans’ families with working around their properties. We are also working more with the local students, by sending Juniors to Boys & Girls State Leadership Camps.