Things have been growing and shaking at the American Legion Post 3. The veterans organization enjoyed a revitalization just a few years ago, as they continue their work and camaraderie in Milford.
Chartered in 1924, the Milford group has seen highs and lows. The energy was flowing as Post 3 moved into their new Route 113 space in mid-2020.
The Legion support veterans in many ways: helping people fill out their benefits paperwork; providing local disaster relief funds; and supporting legislation that aids, protects and makes veterans whole. Post 3 also helps the community: providing holiday meals and gifts to families in need; cooking holiday meals for first responders; helping provide housing for someone experiencing homelessness.
“Otherwise, it’s just a place for them get together and socialize,” said Rebecca Crouser, Finance Officer and wearer of many hats. “We’re open 365 day a year,” from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. most days.
So what is it like to visit? Guests are welcome to check it out! The Post 3 mission is “to create an atmosphere of camaraderie for veterans and their families to ensure all members and their guests feel welcomed, appreciated and a value to their community.”
“You walk in for the first time, and if you’re not a member, you sign in as a guest. We have a full-service bar, a full-service kitchen that’s open until about 8 p.m., we have three pool tables, seating and then we have the charitable gambling and lottery,” Crouser said.
Nightly specials are posted, from pasta to pot roast, double cheeseburgers to crab cakes, Mexican to meatballs, plus cold drinks and tall cocktails.
Fun flows at nighttime events: paint parties, weekly trivia, live musicians or a DJ to crank up the tunes, and always a raffle happening. American Legion Post 3 was recently planning several big events, from a Keno game night to a special visit from the National leadership. In addition to partnering with other local groups, Post 3 is on the lookout for its next big project.
“Then we’ve got a hall area that we can rent out for different functions, celebrations of life, a wedding, a retirement party, birthday, pre-celebration of life — she wanted to get the family together before she went into hospice. She wanted to get the family together to tell stories and have a happy time,” Crouser said.
Venue rentals are available to the general public (and members get a discount).
Curious about the Legion, but not sure if you’d qualify? Just stop by. Guests are welcome to visit, and the staff can help with paperwork if needed. Many people today don’t even realize their eligible—but just consider how many people fought in World War II. “I help a lot of the people find the … discharge papers for their grandparents,” said Crouser, finding military records on Ancestry.com.
“Everyone’s welcome,” Crouser emphasized. “Some people think it’s just old white guys. No! … We’ve got a lot of female veterans … everybody needs to feel welcome.” That’s what the American Legion can offer.
Crouser joined the Legion while still in the military: “For young active duty members, an American Legion post is a good place to get [credit] for doing volunteer time in the community.”
Anyone can find purpose at the Legion. Volunteer tasks even include telephoning to check on members who are widowed or home alone. It’s all part of the Legion’s outreach program: “Just making sure people don’t think they’ve been forgotten,” Crouser said. “That’s one of the main reasons we put out flags on Memorial Day at the cemeteries—so people don’t forget the people who have given their lives for this country. They drive by the cemetery, and they remember.”
The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness, today focusing on veterans, youth and community. Membership is based on anyone serving at least one day of active federal military duty (from April 6, 1917, to Nov. 11, 1918, or anytime since World War II to today) either honorably discharged or still serving.
• American Legion: at least one day on active duty since America (for the U.S. or as a U.S. citizen for an allied military force).
• American Legion Auxiliary: male and female spouses, grandmothers, mothers, sisters and direct and adopted female descendants of a veteran. (Women veterans can also choose to join.)
• Sons of The American Legion: direct and adopted male descendants of a veteran.
• Legion Riders: motorcycle owners who are also members of any above the above groups.
“They feel like we’re a safe location, and people understand them. They know who’s gonna be there: military or a military family,” Crouser said. “There’s not racism, not sexism—it’s not tolerated! They all fought for the same thing, did the same work, it will not be tolerated.”
The Post is nonpartisan. “We do not watch news, no talk shows at the post.” Mostly the building is no-smoking, but there is a smoking designated section with seating and a fan.
American Legion Post 3 is located at 664 N DuPont Boulevard, Milford, DE in The Plaza at Milford shopping center (behind Applebee’s).
Call (302) 632-5460 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Find the “Milford American Legion Post 3” on facebook.com/milfordpost3.