The Story of The American Legion Part 20

_3. Protection of the Uniform._

WHEREAS, it is recognized that the uniform of the United States is as much a symbol as the flag itself, and thereby entitled to fitting respect, and, Whereas, certain unscrupulous firms and individuals have taken nefarious advantage of popular sentiment by utilizing men in uniforms as peddlers and sales-agents, and,

WHEREAS, certain discharged men have so far forgotten the respect due the uniform they wear, as to use it as an aid in peddling goods; therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED: That this national caucus go on record as being unalterably opposed to such practices, and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That each state and local organization here represented be urged to do all in its power to put an end to this misuse of the uniform, which has always been worn with honor and for noble purposes.

_4. Reclamation of Arid, Swamp, and Cut-Over Timber Lands._

WHEREAS, the reclamation of arid, swamp, and cut-over timber lands is one of the great constructive problems of immediate interest to the nation; and,

WHEREAS, one of the questions for immediate consideration is that of presenting to discharged soldiers and sailors an opportunity to establish homes and create for themselves a place in the field of constructive effort; and,

WHEREAS, one of the purposes for which the formation of the American Legion is contemplated is to take an energetic interest in all constructive measures designed to promote the happiness and contentment of the people, and to actively encourage all proper movements of a general nature to assist the men of the Army and Navy in solving the problems of wholesome existence; and,

WHEREAS, the Department of the Interior and the Reclamation Service have been engaged in formulating and presenting to the country broad, constructive plans for the reclamation of arid, swamp and cut-over timber lands;

Now, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: By the caucus of delegates of the American Legion in Convention assembled, in the City of Saint Louis, Missouri, that we endorse the efforts heretofore made for the reclamation of lands, and we respectfully urge upon the Congress of the United States the adoption at an early date of broad and comprehensive legislation for economic reclamation of all lands susceptible of reclamation and production.

_5. Reemployment of Ex-Service Men._

WHEREAS, one of the most important questions of Readjustment and Reconstruction, is the question of employment of the returning and returned soldiers and sailors, and,

WHEREAS, no principle is more sound than that growing out of the general patriotic attitude toward the returning soldier vouchsafing to him return to his former employment, or a better job;

BE IT RESOLVED, That the American Legion in national caucus assembled, declares to the people of the United States that no act can be more unpatriotic in these most serious days of Readjustment and Reconstruction than the violation of the principle announced, which pledges immediate reemployment to the returned soldier; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That the American Legion in its National Caucus assembled does hereby declare itself as supporting in every proper way, the efforts of the ex-service men to secure reemployment, and recommends that simple patriotism requires that ex-soldiers, sailors, or marines be given preference whenever additional men are to be employed in any private or public enterprise; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That the American Legion recommends to Congress the prompt enactment of a program for internal improvement, having in view the necessity therefor, and as an incident the absorption of the surplus labor of the country, giving preference to discharged ex-service men.

_6. Disability Pay._

Whereas, under the provisions of the existing law an obvious injustice is done to the civilian who entered the military service, and as an incident to that service is disabled; therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED: That this Caucus urge upon Congress the enactment of legislation, which will place upon an equal basis as to retirement for disability incurred in active service during the War with the Central Powers of Europe, all officers and enlisted men who served in the Military and Naval forces of the United States during the War, irrespective of whether they happened to serve in the Regular Army, or in the National Guard or National Army.

_7. War Risk Insurance._

WHEREAS, one of the purposes of this organization is: "To protect, assist, and promote the general welfare of all persons in the Military and Naval service of the United States, and those dependent upon them," and,

WHEREAS, owing to the speedy demobilization of the men in the service, who have not had their rights, privileges and benefits under the War Risk Insurance Act fully explained to them, and these men, therefore, are losing daily, such rights, privileges and benefits, which may never again be restored; and,

WHEREAS, it is desirable that every means be pursued to acquaint the men of their full rights, privileges, and benefits under the said Act, and to prevent the loss of the said rights, benefits and privileges; therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED: That the American Legion pledges its most energetic support to a campaign of sound education and widespread activity, to the end that the rights, privileges and benefits under the War Risk Insurance Act be conserved, and that the men discharged from the service, be made to realize what are their rights under this act; and that the Executive Committee be empowered and directed to confer with the War Risk Insurance Bureau, that it may carry out the purposes herein expressed; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That it is the sense of this Caucus that the War Risk Insurance Act be amended to provide that the insured, under the Act, may be allowed to elect whether his insurance, upon maturity, shall be paid as an annuity, or in one payment; and that he may select his beneficiaries regardless of family relationship.

_8. Alien Slackers._

WHEREAS, there was a law passed by the Congress of these United States in July, 1918, known as an Amendment to Selective Service Act, giving persons within the draft age, who had taken out first papers for American citizenship, the privilege of turning in said first papers to their local exemption board and thereby become exempt from service, and,

WHEREAS, thousands of men within draft age who had been in this country for many years and had signified their intention to become citizens, took advantage of this law and thereby became exempted from military service, or were discharged from military service by reason thereof, and have taken lucrative positions in the mills, shipyards and factories; and,

WHEREAS, in the great world war for democracy the rank and file of the best of our American manhood have suffered and sacrificed itself in order to uphold the principles upon which this country was founded, and for which they were willing to give up their life's blood; and,

WHEREAS, these counterfeit Americans who revoked their citizenship in our opinion would contaminate the 100 per cent. true American soldier, sailor, or marine who will shortly return to again engage in the gainful pursuits of life; therefore, be it

RESOLVED: That we, the American Legion, do demand the Congress of these United States to immediately enact a law to send these aliens, who withdrew their first papers, back to the country from which they came. The country in which we live, and for which we are willing to fight is good enough for us; but this country in which they have lived and prospered, yet for which they were unwilling to fight, is too good for them, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That we demand the immediate deportation of every alien enemy who was interned during the war, whether the said alien enemy be now interned or has been paroled.

_9. Disabled Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines._

BE IT RESOLVED: That the delegates from the several states shall instruct their respective organizations to see that every disabled soldier, sailor and marine be brought into contact with the Rehabilitation Department of the Federal Board at Washington, D.C., and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That the secretaries of the various states be instructed to write to the Federal Board for literature as to what it offers to disabled men, and that the members of the Legion be instructed to distribute this literature and to aid the wounded soldiers, sailors and marines, to take advantage of governmental assistance and that every effort be made by the American Legion in the several states to stop any attempt to pauperize disabled men.

_10. Espionage Act._

RESOLVED: That every naturalized citizen convicted under the Espionage Act shall have his citizenship papers vacated, and when they shall have served their sentence they shall be deported to the country from which they came.

_11. Resolutions._

BE IT RESOLVED: That copies of these resolutions be forwarded to every member of the United States Senate and to each Representative in Congress.


What has gone before is the story of the American Legion in the making. Now it is a going, growing institution.

Because it will be of vital interest and importance to every one of the four million Americans who wore the uniform, the following information concerning the American Legion, in the form of questions and answers, is here given, as follows:

(1) _What is the American Legion_?

(a) It is the organization of American veterans of the World War.

(2) _Who is eligible_?

(a) Any soldier, sailor or marine who served honorably between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918.

(3) _Are women eligible_?

Chapter end

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