The American Legion is a social and mutual-aid veterans' organization including members of the United States armed forces. The organization was founded in 1919 by veterans returning from Europe after World War I, and was later chartered as an official American patriotic society under Title 36 of the United States Code. The organization is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, and also has offices in Washington, DC. The group has nearly 3 million members in over 14,000 Posts worldwide. In addition to organizing commemorative events and volunteer veteran support activities, the American Legion is active in issue oriented U.S. politics. Its primary political activity is lobbying on behalf of the interests of veterans and service members, including support for veterans benefits such as pensions and the Veterans Affairs hospital system. The Legion has also been involved as a conservative voice in more general political and cultural issues. The aftermath of two American wars in the second half of the 19th Century had seen the formation of several ex-soldiers' organizations. Following the American Civil War of 1861-65 former Union soldiers had established an organization called the
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