INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The American Legion is celebrating 100 years of serving America’s veterans.
This year, Legionnaires are having their annual convention in Indianapolis. About 10,000 people are expected from all over the country to celebrate the century milestone. It’s the fourth time the city has been home to the national convention.
“It is just a liberating feeling and it just makes you feel really proud to be an American,” said Legionnaire Desiree Guerra of Denver.
The Legion prides itself on supporting veterans and providing resources to them, even in Washington.
“The first GI Bill was written by one of our past national commanders, and I would argue that that has changed the lives of generations of Americans and generations to come as well,” said Mackenzie Wolf, a media relations representative with the Legion.
Veterans use their convention as an opportunity to see what work the different groups within the Legion have been working on throughout the year.
“We are here to strengthen America. We are here to serve America and to continue serving. We all joined the military for one reason or another,” Guerra said.
Many also use their convention as an opportunity to catch up with old friends.
“It’s a brotherhood, so you can walk up to any veteran and strike up a conversation because they are not a stranger, because they are a veteran and you are a brother,” said Paul Romanelli, a Navy veteran.
The convention often serves as the veterans’ opportunity to share their concerns and discuss what issues they want advocacy groups to tackle next.
“I think it is so important to give veterans especially a voice,” Wolf said.
“Everyone has a story to tell about some of their experiences and some better than others, naturally. But it is good, you get to meet so many people,” said Steve Souza, an Army veteran.
The conference will run through Thursday. Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to speak at the convention Wednesday.