“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also, by the men it honors . . .” John F. Kennedy

We know its name – The American Legion. And, many of us know that its members distribute red poppies on National Poppy Day. The red poppy is a symbol of the sacrifices of Americans since World War I.

Being interested in The American Legion, I sat down with Ed Davis, past Commander of the Oro Valley American Legion, and his wife, Onita, to learn more about the organization. I learned that it is more than just distributing red poppies! In fact, The Oro Valley American Legion is involved in so many projects that they cannot be listed herein. But here is a short recap of our meeting.

Pre-Vietnam, Ed was an engineer, then served in the U.S. Navy and carried out aerial reconnaissance in Vietnam. After serving, he worked 30-years in telecommunications. He has served six-terms as the Post Commander of the Legion and, in fact, was one of its founding members. The passion for the Legion that both Ed and Onita (who is a member of the Auxiliary) have is palpable. And it was exciting to hear everything that the Legion does.

What is the mission of The American Legion Post 132? The short answer: To care for veterans. However, tucked behind these four words is a plethora of things the Legion does, starting with its four pillars:

  • Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation
  • Strong National Security
  • Americanism and
  • Children and Youth

But the broader answer is that the Legion: gives grants to youth, provides emergency assistance to veterans and their families, visits veterans in Hospice and nursing homes, lends help to homeless veterans, takes veterans on Honor Flights, supports the Boulder Crest Retreat for veterans suffering from PTSD, participates in the Flowing Wells High School JROTC program, helps the families of First Responders, provides turkeys to Troops and backpacks for military children, has an annual Oratorial High School Scholarship Contest, places wreaths on veterans’ internments sites, collects unserviceable American flags, provides American flags for Eagle Scouts, and provides support and emergency assistance to the National Guard and Reserves, especially during periods of deployment. And much, much more!

A few other points: The American Legion of Oro Valley has no out-of-pocket business expenses, as it does not have a brick-and-mortar building. Hence, all donations go to support our veterans.

The Legion has received numerous awards, including being honored by the Tucson Veterans Serving Veterans Alliance as being the GO TO Veterans Service Organization in Tucson, receiving the Community Partner of the Year by the Arizona National Guard Western Army Aviation Training Site in Marana, and the Post and the Auxiliary received the U.S. National Guard Washington Bureau’s Outstanding Partner of the Year Award, among other awards.

If you wish to know more about, get involved with, or contribute to The American Legion of Oro Valley go to ovamericanlegion132.com.

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