An open house on Nov. 5 at the American Legion Hall will celebrate the centennial years of the founding of the Legion and the Legion Auxiliary — and will kick off new ways of qualifying potential members of the organizations.

The new membership changes allow male spouses of veterans and service members to become members of the Legion Auxiliary, which otherwise is limited to female relatives of Legion members and female veterans. And at the American Legion National Conventions, held in August in Indianapolis, delegates from American Legion posts voted to change the word “wife” to “spouse” in their constitution and bylaws.

Both the American Legion and Auxiliary were founded in 1919, the year after World War I was concluded. In Tracy and elsewhere, 2019 has been declared “the year of the American Legion and Auxiliary,” reported Anne Marie Fuller, president of the James McDermott Legion Post’s Auxiliary.

“This is truly an exciting time to be part of the American Legion and Auxiliary with the celebration of the centennial year for both organizations and the new membership rules allowing male spouses to be members,” she declared.

Vaughn Gates, commander of the James McDermott Legion Post, pointed out that anyone who has served federal active duty in the Armed Forces is eligible for membership in the American Legion.

“The local American Legion programs and activities strengthen the recovery of wounded warriors and their families,” he noted. “On local state and national levels, we help veterans and their families during times of need and provide college-scholarship opportunities.”

The Nov. 5 open house will begin at noon and continue to 2 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 1960 N. Tracy Blvd. Lunch and birthday cake will be served.

For information: Anne Marie Fuller, 401-6401, or Vaughn Gates, 835-7404.

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