Nearly 1,000 members and delegates of The American Legion (TAL), the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) and the Sons of the American Legion (SAL) traveled across Texas to gather in Irving this week for the 95th annual TAL and the 93rdannual ALA State Conventions.
 
Both conventions run from July 10 – 14. TAL meets at the Westin DFW Airport and ALA at Sheraton DFW Airport Hotel. Members of all three organizations share the same mission to serve and meet the needs of veterans, their families, and the community.                                                     
 
Notable guest speakers include Texas Gov. Rick Perry, TAL National Commander James E. Koutz of Boonville, Ind., SAL National Commander Chris Huntzinger of Harrisburg, Pa., and Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne. Gov. Perry is slated to speak on Friday, July 12 at 1:30 p.m. during TAL’s first business session of the convention located at Westin DFW Airport, 4545 W. John Carpenter Freeway, 75063.
 
Presiding over the TAL state convention is American Legion State Commander Dan Corbin of Killeen.
 
Corbin’s theme for 2013 has been “Spread the Word,” stressing the relevance of TAL to younger veterans; and focusing on expanding the Legion Baseball program, the constitutional speech Oratorical Program and the well-known Boys State.
 
Meanwhile, ALA president Marty Peters of Cleburne rallies the 21,000 Texas members to “Serve with a Song in their Hearts as their Hearts Grow in Harmony.”  Her service project raises funds to award scholarships to students and support cancer research at M.D. Anderson in Houston.  Fundraising efforts for the project are included in the convention program.
 
State officers for 2013-2014 will be elected during the convention.  TLA, ALA and SAL Texas department headquarters are located in Austin. The state convention is hosted in a different Texas city each year.
 
Together, membership of The American Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion, referred to by members as the “Legion family,” have a combined membership of nearly 4.2 million worldwide.
 
For convention updates, connect with TAL and ALA Texas departments on Facebook at facebook.com/txlegion and facebook.com/American-Legion-Auxiliary-Department-of-Texas.
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