The ALA Stories blog series showcases positive American Legion Auxiliary experiences, thoughts, and ideas of ALA members. We hope these blog posts will inspire and encourage all who read them.
Sisters Hope and Faith Flores, Junior members of the American Legion Auxiliary, recognize and appreciate the sacrifices made by veterans, servicemembers, and military families to protect and defend the United States. With that, these Texas teens say they are proud to be part of the ALA — a community of volunteers serving veterans, military, and their families.
“We [ALA members and non-member volunteers] are those who help veterans in need. We are the ones who spend and use our time to help them as much as we can,” said 15-year-old Faith.
“I am a part of an organization which wants to help those who helped our country. I choose to take time out of my life for those who have done the same for me and you,” added 17-year-old Hope. Hope served at the national level as the 2018-2019 Honorary National Junior Southern Division Vice President and helped lead a national Junior meeting in Charlotte, N.C., that year.
The Flores sisters were signed up for American Legion Auxiliary membership by family members when they were babies; they grew up in the Auxiliary. Each shared one of their memorable moments from their ALA experiences.
“I was 9 when the Juniors from my ALA unit went to the Vietnam wall tour, and that memory really sticks out because I saw all of the names of people who fought for us,” Hope said. The two-paneled “wall” contains more than 58,000 names of U.S. servicemembers who died in the Vietnam War. The wall is part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
There were some carefree childhood memories as well. Faith recalls the fun she and the other kids had during a car wash fundraiser years ago at the unit to which they belong.
“I think I was about 7. It sticks out to me because we were all having fun playing with the water and bubbles. After, we ate pizza in the meeting room and talked,” Faith added.
As they became the young adults they are today, the Flores sisters remain committed to the ALA’s mission of selfless service to veterans, military, and their families.
Both said they would like to become adult members of the ALA once they are no longer eligible to be part of the Auxiliary’s Junior members program.
The Flores sisters understand what their ALA membership means, even if they cannot attend every Auxiliary unit meeting or participate in all of the unit and post home activities. They know their dues money will be used to help veterans, military, and their families, and mentor youth and promote patriotism. They realize that being counted among the hundreds of thousands of ALA members — and the entire American Legion Family of organizations — bolsters the impact of advocacy done by Legion supporters before the U.S. Congress on behalf of veterans, servicemembers, and their families.
“The American Legion Auxiliary [and The American Legion] have been around for 101 years. The purpose of the ALA [and the Legion] is to help veterans and their families. Without us, veterans and their families would have a harder time if they needed help,” Faith said.
More about Hope and Faith Flores
In addition to participating in the ALA’s Junior members program, the Flores sisters’ extracurricular activities include participating in the JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) program at their high school.
The American Legion Auxiliary is a community of volunteers serving veterans, military, and their families. Our mission statement:
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.
Interested in becoming an American Legion Auxiliary member or volunteer? To learn more, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org or contact an American Legion Auxiliary unit near you.