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American Legion Auxiliary marks centennial

Centennial logo for the American Legion Auxiliary, which Congress chartered 100 years ago in 1919.

In honor of the American Legion Auxiliary, which Congress chartered 100 years ago in 1919, Pequot Lakes Mayor James Tayloe declared Nov. 10 as American Legion Auxiliary Centennial Day.

The auxiliary was founded Nov. 10, 1919, only months after the founding of the Legion itself. The Legion was founded following World War I by combat troops of the American Expeditionary Forces in Paris. It was later chartered by Congress. Later, women's groups wanted to be considered. The American Legion decided that women should have their own organization.

In less than one year, more than 1,300 units were organized across 45 states. Today, the auxiliary is the world's largest patriotic service organization with more than 600,000 members spending millions of volunteer hours serving the organization's mission each year.

The auxiliary exists to support and advocate for veterans, military and their families by supporting initiatives and programs of the American Legion, fostering patriotism and responsible citizenship, awarding scholarships and promoting quality education and literacy, providing educational and leadership opportunities, and upholding the ideals of freedom and democracy.

Chartered units in the area include:

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  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #49 of Pequot Lakes, founded in 1921.
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #255 of Brainerd, founded in 1922.
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #202 of Hackensack, founded in 1931.
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #368 of Backus, founded in 1936.
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #627 of Nisswa, founded in 1948.
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #613 of Pine River, founded in 1948.
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #500 of Crosslake-Fifty Lakes, founded in 1980.

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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