About Indiana Legion
The American Legion, Department of Indiana, stands as a support for veterans and their families within the state of Indiana. Established in 1919, this organization has been at the forefront of championing the rights and welfare of American veterans, fostering a strong sense of patriotism, and providing essential services to those who have served their country. Through a network of local posts and a passionate membership, the Department of Indiana offers a wide range of programs, including veterans' benefits assistance, educational scholarships, youth-oriented programs, and community engagement endeavors. At its core, this department is dedicated to ensuring that veterans receive the recognition, care, and advocacy they deserve, honoring their sacrifices while working tirelessly to improve their quality of life.
History of the program
The Boys State program was originally a concept created by Hayes Kennedy and Harold Card. In 1935, Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Card were concerned about a project underway at the time called "Young Pioneer Camps." The Young Pioneer Camp was promoted by the Communist Party as a way to show the uselessness of Democracy and advocate the virtues of Communism. Kennedy and Card felt that a counter-movement should be started among the ranks of the nation's youth to stress the importance and value of our democracy form of government and maintain an effort to preserve it.
The Illinois Department of The American Legion approved their project and in June of 1935, the first "Boys State" in the nation was held at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The Indiana Department of The American Legion soon followed their Illinois neighbors and had their first "Hoosier Boys State" program in 1937 in the field house at Butler University. The program originally started with over 500 delegates in attendance and elected Lloyd Wampler as the first Hoosier Boys State Governor.
The program swiftly spread among other American Legion Departments and by 1941, 34 states were running a Boys state program. Currently 49 states and Washington, D.C. conduct an American Legion Boys State program with a total class of about 20,000 delegates annually.
Indiana American Legion Foundation
Our purpose: To fund the programs of The American Legion, Department of Indiana so that veterans may receive assistance and representation, and, Indiana youth may participate in programs that build leadership skills, civic involvement, and physical fitness.
Who we are: We help veterans and their family members through assistance programs, homeless veteran shelters, provide representation with disability claims and create future leaders through well-known youth programs. America's largest veterans service organization works every day to uphold time-honored values and will continue to do so for years to come through our Legacy Foundation.
Why we do it: The American Legion is built on a promise from those who swore with their lives to defend and protect the United States through military service. The promise begins at enlistment, grows through training and discipline in the U.S. Armed Forces and continues after discharge, as veterans in service to community, state and nation.