Dear American Legion Family members and friends,
I have taken the first steps on a 100-mile journey in support of our nation’s veterans and children. The unique challenge — 100 Miles for Hope — was created to help drive resources toward our Veterans & Children Foundation.
In a show of American Legion Family solidarity, Sons of The American Legion Commander Clint Bolt and American Legion Auxiliary President Nicole Clapp have committed to their own 100-mile challenges.
We’re asking for support from our American Legion Family members to put on their walking or running shoes, get on their bikes or rev up their motorcycles for 100 miles today through Veterans Day, which is 100 days from now. And I am issuing a special challenge to department commanders to join me, if they are physically able, in the 100-mile quest.
For a $30 registration fee, 100 Miles for Hope participants receive a slick tech shirt (available in men’s, women’s and children's sizes), a sign to display and a certificate of accomplishment when they finish. Roughly 50 percent of the $30 fee will go toward V&CF after figuring in costs for the shirts, shipping, etc.
Posts can also participate by creating their own events for members while keeping local social distancing rules in mind. This is a great opportunity to safely celebrate Patriot Day, American Legion Day and Veterans Day later on.
One hundred miles may seem like a long way. But it was chosen with a purpose. The 100-day time frame was selected so that walkers could break it down to a mile day. That’s roughly 20 to 30 minutes a day, which is the activity level many health experts recommend.
I’ll be walking 100 miles and riding my bike for another 100 miles to support our veterans and children. I’m sure my health will benefit from the increased activity, after being sheltered in place for so long. But the real beneficiaries are veterans and children in need who receive vital assistance from The American Legion Veterans & Children Foundation, formerly known as the American Legion Endowment Fund.
The foundation provides necessary funds to train and support The American Legion’s network of more than 3,000 accredited service officers who represent veterans, free of charge, with their benefits claims and other needs. Additionally, military families facing financial crises are eligible to receive Temporary Financial Assistance, which is funded by American Legion Veterans & Children Foundation donations.
It’s up to you how you cross that 100-mile threshold (and when you do, share your journey on our Legiontown web page). On days when you lack the motivation to put in a mile or two, just remember who we are doing this for.
Join me in keeping this important foundation strong to ensure we honor our commitments to all veterans, military families and children in need.