Huntington Post celebrates 100th anniversary of American Legion

April 7, 2019

HUNTINGTON — The American Legion Huntington Post 16 joined American Legion posts across the nation in celebrating the war veterans organization’s 100th birthday during a dinner Saturday evening at the post.

Post 16 is also celebrating its centennial anniversary this year. The post, though it has gone through a couple of building changes, was founded in October 1919. This comes seven months after the American Legion was founded March 15, 1919, at the American Club in Paris by members of the American Expeditionary Forces. It was chartered by Congress on Sept. 16, 1919.

“How many organizations are around for 100 years consecutively?” said Fred Buchanan, adjutant at Post 16.

The American Legion’s national accomplishments include drafting what would become the GI Bill in 1943 and playing a major part in creating the new GI Bill in 2008. The Legion also offers financial assistance for veterans experiencing hardship.

Veteran Affairs and Rehabilitation is just one of the Legion’s four pillars and only covers a portion of its 100 years of accomplishments. The other three pillars are Americanism, Children and Youth, and National Security. The list of services the Legion provides for the community includes the Girls State and Boys State programs, American Legion baseball, shooting sports and the American Legion Oratorical Contest. It also provides thousands of dollars in annual scholarships.

“It’s not a small undertaking,” Buchanan said.

The keynote speaker at Post 16′s celebration was William “Bill” Combs, the 2018-19 commander of the American Legion Department of West Virginia. Combs has held several positions within the state American Legion and has served on the Aerospace Committee for the American Legion on the national level, to name a few highlights of his many accomplishments.

Follow reporter Megan Osborne on Twitter and Facebook @megosborneHD.