Ever since our founding in 1919, the Four Pillars have symbolized our commitment to the ideals of The American Legion and how we incorporate those ideals into actions. Each pillar represents our programs that support Veteran Affairs and Rehabilitation, National Security, Americanism, and Children & Youth. The Veteran, our Community, and the Children & Youth all benefit from Post 626 programs.
Our VA&R Committee is active in supporting local veterans in need of temporary assistance, assisting with VA medical care and benefit claims, making donations to Missouri Veterans Homes in Cameron and Warrensburg, as well as Volunteering at and making bi-annual donations to the Kansas City VA Medical Center and area CBOC's. We do have a service Officer who can assist with filing claims for benefits and getting registered for care at the VA.
All of the funds raised in our bi-annual Poppy Donation Drives goes into these programs. These drives are held on or near Veterans Day and Memorial Day at the Walmart Superstore on the corner of 72nd St. and N. Prospect. Come on by and get your poppy! (See calendar for details)
You may think of National Security as big picture issues overseas, defending our borders, adequate spending on our Armed Forces and so on. And it is important to The American Legion as a whole, and we do work on that as a body. But here at home we also work locally to support our First Responders. If we as a community are not safe at home, if a deployed military members family is not safe at home, that adversely affects our National Security.
To that end, Post 626 makes annual donations to the Surviving Spouse And Family Endowment Fund (SAFE) which supports the family's of fallen First Responders in our area. We also recognize the service of our First Responders through our Firefighter/EMT and Law Enforcement Awards, recently recognizing two firefighters at the state level.
To serve Americanism is to promote an understanding and appreciation of American government, the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship, and activity in the American way of life through youth activities, community service, instruction of prospective citizens and legal immigrants, education and educational facilities, and protection of the U.S. flag from physical desecration.
There are many programs in The American Legion that promote Americanism. Post 626 is involved in Boys and Girls States, High School Oratorical Contests, School Awards, and Vets in the classroom. Post members also participate in local schools Veterans Day programs, promote the US Flag Code, host a Memorial Day Ceremony, and log thousands of hours of community service every year.
We have the capacity to participate in many more programs, like Cadet Patrol and Junior Shooting, we just need your participation!
The American Legion's Children & Youth programs are designed to assure care and protection for the children of veterans; improve conditions for all children and youth with due concern for maintaining the integrity of the family home; prevent social and physical ills of children and youth where possible, utilizing services of and cooperating with sound organizations and agencies for children and youth; maintain a balanced program that provides for their physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs.
Post members have logged many hours of community service hours at events like the North Kansas City School Districts "Stuff the Bus" (above) and Gladstones Friday Fright Night. We also contribute to programs that promote child welfare, participate in Temporary Financial Assistance to help keep the children of Legionnaires in the family home, and contribute to local scholarships by participating in their fund drives and through donations.
To provide the comfort of financial support for the surviving spouses and dependents or, in their absence, the parents of sworn law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency services personnel who lose their life in the performance of their duties. The employing agency, at the time of death of said public safety officers, must be headquartered within the geographic boundaries of the SAFE program as defined in the current by-laws.
The American Legion Boys State of Missouri is an eight-day hands on experience in the operation and fundamentals of government. Missouri Boys State draws together the best and brightest high school juniors to help lead them down the path of individual success and leadership through "doing," not just learning.
Girls State is a program run by The American Legion Auxiliary in the week immediately following Boys State.
Because Post 626 does not currently have an Auxiliary Unit, we help sponsor students from our schools through the Units in Kansas City (61) and Smithville (58).
The American Legion Oratorical Contest exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students. Since 1938, the program has presented participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation’s laws, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship
Post 626 is proud to have sponsored the J&J Owls Baseball Team since 2016.
American Legion Baseball has taught hundreds of thousands of young Americans the importance of sportsmanship, good health and active citizenship since it's founding in 1925. The program is also a promoter of equality, making teammates out of young athletes regardless of their income levels or social standings. American Legion Baseball has been, and continues to be, a stepping stone to manhood for millions of young men who have gone on to serve their country or community, raise families or play the sport at the highest level.
Not currently active - Put your mark here!
The program provides first-hand experiences and insight into the operations of law enforcement agencies. The program also affords these highly motivated young people an opportunity to consider law enforcement as a potential career choice. Recruitment of high school students, both male and female, representing all communities and backgrounds in the state, is one goal of the program. Once these young people have been selected to attend the program, the law enforcement community is challenged to present a program that will instill an understanding and respect for law enforcement professionals and their techniques.