Sons of The American Legion member Tucker Wagoner
Throughout the country, we know American Legion Family members work the mission together well — but so do the kids!
One of the best examples of Family involvement at the youth level is the ALA Junior Activities Patch Program, which is geared toward Junior members and school-aged Sons of The American Legion members. Many families have children involved in both organizations, working alongside each other to earn patches.
The Wagoner family in Ohio is one of those families. About three years ago, the Wagoner girls were earning patches, and their brother, Tucker, was doing the work, but not getting the recognition because like many, his mom, Lisa, didn’t know that as a Sons member, Tucker was also eligible to earn patches.
Before I even knew it would count for him, he was doing it and enjoying it, and it was an activity for our family to do,” Lisa said.
Another member told Lisa that boys could participate too — she knew Tucker was involved the same amount as his sisters.
“That’s when I started him on his patches,” Lisa said. “It kind of flourished from there.”
Tucker, now 9, remembers it felt good when he found out he could also earn patches.
“It’s fun, and you get to do different things and meet new people,” he said.
At first, Tucker, as well as his sisters, needed assistance with the program, but as they got older, they’ve been able to do a little more on their own — with continued guidance from Mom, of course.
Since beginning the Patch Program a couple of years ago, Tucker has earned all 11 patches in Level 1 (kindergarten through third grade): Children of Warriors National Presidents’, Americanism, Community & Family Safety, Community Service, Education, Leadership, Membership, Physical Fitness, Poppy, Technology, and Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation.
Tucker is currently working on his Level 2 patches. In school, he’s learning about the U.S. Constitution, which will help him earn his Americanism and Star Spangled Kids patches for that level.
From his own experiences, he encourages other Sons of The American Legion members to take part in the Patch Program.
“I’m just happy the Patch Program is here,” he said. “I also get to give back to the veterans for what they did for us and help them out.”
Participating in the Patch Program is a terrific way to be involved in and learn about the Auxiliary and Legion Family, volunteer in the community, and serve our country’s veterans.
To see complete information for all the patches for each grade level, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org. For additional information about the Patch Program, contact the national Junior Activities Committee at junioractivities@ALAforVeterans.org or (317) 569-4500.
Are you a Junior Activities mentor who wants to learn more about the Patch Program?
The Junior Mentor Training Series: Junior Patch Program
will be presented through a live virtual webinar at 7 p.m. Jan. 28 and 9 p.m. Feb. 2 (all times Eastern).
As mentors, our Junior Activities leaders need to know how the program works and how to engage Juniors in earning patches. For groups without Junior Activities, this is the easiest way to engage Junior members.
This course addresses questions leaders have and will help them feel confident in managing the Patch Program.
Register online here