The American Legion Department of Minnesota launches a successful 15-month $1 million fundraising campaign to establish a University of Minnesota brain research chair at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center, which is dedicated in 1991, and has been pioneering health-care treatments for veterans and others ever since. With matching funds, the effort leads to the establishment of the Brain Sciences Center, which accomplishes multiple medical breakthroughs now in use for veterans suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder, Gulf War Illness, Alzheimer’s Disease and other conditions.

The $1 million goal is achieved in January 1989, and on June 21, 1991, a plaque is installed at the center, which reads: “In recognition of the cooperative effort between The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, University of Minnesota and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in establishing the Chair for services, research and education in the Brain Sciences Center located in this building.” The chair would be filled by renowned Johns Hopkins medical researcher Dr. Apostolos P. Georgopoulos, who would lead the program for more than 25 years and, in 2017, receive The American Legion’s prestigious Distinguished Service Medal.

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