The American Legion is turning 100 and American Legion Fort Owen Post #94 in Stevensville is planning to celebrate.
The post, located in Stevensville, was charted on June 15, 1940. The organization as a whole traces its roots to March 15-17, 1919, in Paris, France, in the aftermath of World War I. The American Legion was federally chartered on
September l6, 1919, and quickly became an influential force at the national, state and local levels, dedicated to service to veterans, strong national defense, youth and patriotism.
A year after it was formed, The American Legion had chartered more than 5,400 local posts that continue to operate today. Since then it has grown to more than 13,000 posts around the world, and more than 2.2 million wartime-veteran
members. Throughout its first century, The American Legion built a legacy on such accomplishments as leading the way to create U.S. Flag Code, helping start the Veterans Administration, drafting and getting passed the Servicemen’s
Readjustment Act of 1944 – the GI Bill – which transformed America in the second half of the 20th century, and helping veterans receive benefits for health conditions based on their honorable service, including acceptance of Agent Orange exposure as service-connected. Today, the American Legion has nearly 3,000 accredited service officers worldwide who assist veterans with their benefits claims and other concerns.
Post #94, named for the local, historical Fort Owen, currently numbers over 230 members plus over 60 in the affiliated American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of The American Legion. Among those whose lives have been touched by Post #94 are Boys State Alum and former Bitterroot Bucs baseball players.
“The American Legion Family of Stevensville is excited to share both the legacy and the vision of our organization,” Post #94 Commander Brad Smith said. “We’ve done a lot of good, and intend to keep it up for a second century.”
Post #94 will hold a celebration on Saturday, March 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the post home, 754 Middle Burnt Fork Road, Stevensville. Members will be serving steak burgers, hot dogs, salads, chips and soft drinks. There will be special activities with games, entertainment, door prizes, and birthday cake will be served. Everyone is welcome.