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January 2023 eNews

A Community of Volunteers Serving Veterans, Military, and their Families

National Headquarters announces new executive director

ALA National Headquarters has named Sara Riegel as its executive director. Riegel had been serving in the role of interim executive director for the past several months. 

Riegel has been with National Headquarters since 2011 and has served in several positions, including ALA national treasurer, compliance officer, and managerial roles within the Finance Division. Riegel previously held financial and compliance roles with for-profit and non-profit organizations and owned her own business. She attended Marian University in Indianapolis.

The executive director’s responsibilities include management of National Headquarters staff and operations, fiscal management of assets, working with the governing board and its chair (national president), and building external relationships.

Riegel is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Indiana eUnit 438 in Indianapolis. Her eligibility is through her grandfather Russell R. Byer, a captain in the U.S. Army serving during World War I and II.

Spend Martin Luther King Jr. Day in service to others

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service is Jan. 16 — a great opportunity for ALA members to serve their communities. Service on this day focuses on empowering individuals, strengthening communities, and creating solutions to social problems.

While making a difference on this day, make sure you’re wearing ALA branded clothing and tag us on social media @ALAforVeterans. Tell us more! Auxiliary magazine would love to hear how your unit served: Email us at [email protected]. Be sure to include pictures!

It’s not too late to take advantage of this valuable training

You can still sign up for ALA Mission Training 101 and national Junior meetings in Nashville (Jan. 28) and Las Vegas (Feb. 4). 

Exciting news for the Las Vegas training – register by Jan. 16 for a $10 discount when you use code ALA10 at registration.

Every member is invited to attend these fun, interactive trainings. They are beneficial for members at every level in our organization! You will have a great time interacting with other ALA members while learning new ways to work the ALA’s mission and programs. Some of the highlights include learning about the importance of National Security, the 2022-2023 focus on POW/MIA awareness, informative details on the new ALA brandmarks and how to use them, and much more! 

Register now:

And don’t forget your Juniors! The national Junior meetings will be held at the same time and location. These events are a great way for Juniors to spend a Saturday having fun bonding with their peers. Members will learn leadership development skills while also gaining knowledge of the POW/MIA ceremony. Juniors who attend will receive a free ALA branded T-shirt, as well as the book America’s White Table about the POW/MIA ceremony.

Register now:

*Junior members who have celebrated their 8th birthday or older may attend. 

The Friday before Memorial Day is National Poppy Day

It’s never too early to start planning! ALA National Headquarters is already making preparations! We’d love to hear from you and make your unit/post home a part of our ALA media coverage. Send us an email and tell us about any of the following:

  • What are your plans for National Poppy Day?
  • How have you used poppy funds to help veterans, military, and their families?
  • Share a success story about how poppy funds helped someone in your community.

Fundraising 4-1-1

Save the date for this event honoring women

On March 8, the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation will Celebrate Women in Service in honor of International Women’s Day. Be sure to mark your calendar and make a gift to the ALA Foundation in honor of an ALA member who inspires you. This 24-hour nationwide fundraising appeal will bring together our incredible community of volunteers and veterans to sustain the ALA’s mission of service. Every gift received on March 8 will go to the ALA Foundation’s Mission Endowment Fund. Examples of what will benefit include ALA Girls Nation, National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, and the ALA Foundation’s Mission in Action grants.

Seeking ALA Foundation Board of Directors nominations

The ALA Foundation Board of Directors is looking for you! Are you interested in using your leadership and fundraising experience to serve veterans, military, and their families?

The ALA Foundation is looking for talented and passionate individuals to serve for a three-year term on its board of directors. This group builds, promotes, and sustains the ALA Foundation by connecting with supporters and volunteers, all while raising funds to support the programs and services of the American Legion Auxiliary.

Apply here by March 31! 

Good to know

Are you going back to school, pursuing a trade, or did you take a gap year? We know not everyone strives for a degree or attends a trade school right after their high school graduation. Some of you may have worked to save up money or started a family. If you are a member of The American Legion Family, you may qualify for a $2,000 Non-Traditional Student Scholarship available from the American Legion Auxiliary. This scholarship is open to all ages for those pursuing training in a certified, trade, professional, or technical program, or a two-year or four-year degree program. Applications are due to your local ALA unit March 1. Apply today!

A new course is coming soon in the ALA Academy. ALA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion was created to: help our members recognize biased language and performance bias and implement strategies to overcome them; identify and properly use interrupters to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all; and demonstrate the ability to coach others on the importance of inclusion and equity within ALA. Watch our social media for updates on when the course is ready. ​

Has your membership expired? You can still renew for 2023 and continue serving veterans, military, and their families. You can renew your membership in three easy ways: by phone, online, or mail. Go to, call (317) 569-4570, or mail in your renewal notice.

Need American Legion Family membership applications? We have two versions available – color and black-and-white available for download. We created the black-and-white version to be printer friendly from your home office. The traditional brochures are still available from your department.

Help us increase our following on InstagramYou may be familiar with our social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter, but did you know we are on Instagram too? Join us for fun, unique content you won’t see anywhere else! Just search for @ALAforVeterans.

Request to join the official ALA program and committee groups on Facebook

Discover what your fellow ALA members are saying in the committee Facebook groups! These easy-to-access forums provide an arena for organic discussion about your local programs or services and present the opportunity to cultivate brand awareness. Find the list of groups here.
On the ALA Blog

Wreaths Across America epitomizes Americanism

National ALA Junior meetings provide fun and learning

Americanism is alive and well in the USA! I saw it myself when I joined Wreaths Across America (WAA) for their annual caravan bringing wreaths from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery, complete with a police escort, special guests in 12 SUVs and a bus, and 12 semitractor-trailers filled with wreaths. All nearly 3 miles long! I made some amazing friends as I smiled from ear to ear all week long with tears in my eyes. I was deeply moved and forever changed by being a very small part of this event. Read more on the blog about 2022-2023 National Vice President Lisa Williamson’s experience with Wreaths Across America.

Looking for a way to break up the winter blahs?

Register your Junior for a national Junior meeting! Spend a Saturday learning about the ALA and our mission, interacting with peers, and having fun throughout the entire experience. 


“I would totally recommend going to one of these events,” said Samantha Stai, 2022-2023 Northwestern Division honorary national Junior division vice president. “It will give you a better understanding of the American Legion Auxiliary and just a fun time to see other Juniors.” 

Save the date!

Jan. 16 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Jan. 21 – Indianapolis ALA Mission Training 101 and national Junior meeting

Jan. 27 – International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Jan. 28 – Nashville ALA Mission Training 101 and national Junior meeting

February – Black History Month

Feb. 2 – Groundhog Day

Feb. 3 – Four Chaplains Day

Feb. 4 – Las Vegas ALA Mission Training 101 and national Junior meeting

Quote of the month

“I’ve seen firsthand how something so simple as a card or coloring page can put a smile on a veteran’s face — the smallest things really make a difference. Anything you can do, they will appreciate it. Just let them know we remember them and they haven’t been forgotten.”

— Lisa Garrett, Indiana

Legion Family News

Submit your TALMA entries

The annual American Legion Media Alliance (TALMA) contest is now open for submissions in seven categories: websites, publications, visual media, social media campaigns, editorial/news writing, editorial/informational writing, and public relations/community outreach.

Deadline for submissions is April 15. The time period for eligible entries to be published for the contest is Jan. 1, 2022, through Dec. 31, 2022. 

Please visit to review the contest rules and submit your entries electronically.

American Legion Family Day

American Legion Family Day is Saturday, April 29. On this date, American Legion posts throughout the nation will open their doors to their members and the members of their local communities with the intent of celebrating all great deeds and works of The American Legion Family with the intent to educate, recruit, recognize, and to give back to those members who continually support the gift of giving. The day will also place special emphasis and awareness on the Legion’s “Be The One” program.

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In the spirit of Service Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace, and security.
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