American Legion History
The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic, mutual-help, and community service organization which now numbers 2.4 million – men and women – in more than 14,000 American Legion Posts worldwide. These Posts are organized into 55 Departments – one each for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico, and the Philippines. The American Legion has its headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana, with offices in Washington, D.C. In addition to thousands of volunteers, serving in leadership and program implementation capacities from the communities to the Legion’s standing national commissions and committees, the national organization has a professional staff of about 250 employees. Membership eligibility in The American Legion is based on honorable service within the U.S. Armed Forces between April 6, 1917 and November 11, 1918 (World War I); December 7, 1941, and December 31, 1946 (World War II); June 25, 1950, and January 31, 1955 (Korean war); December 22, 1961, and May 7, 1975 (Vietnam War); August 24, 1982, and July 31, 1984 (Lebanon/Grenada); December 20, 1989, and January 31, 1990 (Operation Just Cause – Panama); or August 2, 1990, until the date of the end of hostilities as determined by the government of the United States.
Charles E. Arnold Post 284 American Legion History
There were 30 members on the charter when it was issued in 1919. Charles E. Ames, Charles E. Arnold’s brother-in-law was the first commander for Post 284.Post 284 was named for Lt Charles E. Arnold, who was killed in the battle of Argonne, France. Charles was a football star at Bryan High School before entering the service.The first meetings of Post 284 were held in the G.A.R. Hall on the south side of the square, then from 1920-28 over Cy Demas Candy Kitchen, from 1928-34 over the post office on the east side of the square. In the fall of 1935 ground was broken for the current building at the corner of East Butler and South Emmett Streets. Taking part in the groundbreaking were George Hamet (a Civil War Veteran), Arthur Spangler (Spanish American War), and Seldon Brannon (WWI). As of 2014 Post 284 in Bryan has been in existence for 95 years.