The American Legion Department of Indiana kicked off its centennial celebration on Aug. 12 with Legion Family Day at Victory Field in downtown Indianapolis, the home of the Indianapolis Indians Minor League Baseball team. The Indians organization provided the department with a discounted suite and box seats. There was a meet-and-greet, where Legion Family members could get their picture taken with VIPs. And, of course, there was baseball as the Indians took on the Pawtucket (R.I.) Red Sox. 

According to department communications director Tim Sproles, the event served two purposes. The first was to give the Indiana Legion Family the chance to spend time together outside the context of business meetings: “We have always been one team, one fight when it comes to working for the Indiana veteran community,” he commented, “but some say they rarely ever get the chance to just enjoy each other’s company.”

But the department was also not going to pass up the opportunity to get the word out to the other attendees about the Legion and what it does, especially on the approach of the centennial. Department Commander Rodney Strong threw out the first pitch, was interviewed in the broadcast booth during the game, and made a speech on the field where he extolled the department’s accomplishments on behalf of veterans and their families, and encouraged anyone interested to join the Legion Family.“The crowd at the game was extremely supportive,” Sproles said.  “Lots of ‘Thank you for your service,’ and thunderous applause when the commander and color guard came out to the field.”

Other centennial plans in process include a Department Legion Day at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center in Edinburgh, and placing a time capsule on the grounds of department headquarters in Indianapolis to accompany the installation of a new sign. 

See more photos of the day at