Veterans in Community Schools, an American Legion Family program embraced by members of the American Legion Auxiliary, brings history to life as local veterans tell students about their experiences in the military. Students gain firsthand knowledge from the one who lived the story they are telling.
This open forum of learning from those who fought for our country instills patriotism and an appreciation for their freedom in America. They learn about the horrors of war, life in the military, and how service affected their lives and the lives of others. Veterans sharing their stories help students learn from and appreciate the sacrifices the individuals and their families have made.
In addition to sharing their personal stories, veterans may also discuss a wide range of topics, including how to:
The Veterans in Community Schools program also can benefit veterans. Sharing their military story with an appreciative audience can help them heal from psychological wounds from combat, deployment, or family separation. Veterans who have spoken to students generally describe the experience as rewarding.
"I remember going down to the Legion post with my grandfather [World War II U.S. Army veteran Howard Schlitter], and hearing him say things like, “You’ve got to take care of the veterans. You’ve got to be there for them and help them out.” None of that really resonated with me until after he was gone. Then, I realized I have to be his voice."
- Mike Monserud, ALA member of Auxiliary Unit 37 in Ames, Iowa