Royal Canadian Legion Branch #265 in Aldergrove serves not only veterans and their dependents but also others in the community.
To learn more about the local legion and its services, Langley Advance Times reached out to Doug Hadley, past president and current service officer to assist veterans.
But first, it is important to know about the mission and vision of the Royal Canadian Legion, Hadley emphasized.
“The mission of Royal Canadian Legion is to support veterans, promote remembrance, and act in service of Canada and its communities,” he complained.
Here in Aldergrove, about 265 members contribute towards this mission.
The legion, located at 26607 Fraser Hwy., has its own building and offers a variety of in-house sports as well as entertainment options. Members can enjoy karaoke, live bands, stand-up comedy, darts, TV, and more. In addition, there is a licensed lounge with “very competitive” drink prices and a small patio for those who wish to smoke.
The legion is also involved with international level competitions in quidditch, pool, curling, darts, and more.
“We also support the national sports campaign for the annual track meet that is held in Canada every year,” Hadley added.
Members also get opportunities to participate in community parades.
Aldergrove legion also helps veterans dealing with PTSD through its buddy coffee program. Veterans can drop in and share their stories with peers. For further assistance, the legion can also connect them with Veterans Affairs Canada.
“They can come anytime,” Hadley said.
“We are there to support,” he continued.
The Aldergrove legion also has a national benefits package for its members. Hadley said the benefits package is a “major expense,” but legions at the provincial and national level have been able to assist in the past.
But, the “big thing” at all the legions is to promote the remembrance of veterans who participated in the First and Second World Wars, the Korean war, the Afghanistan war, and various peacekeeping missions.
“We honour the sacrifices and acknowledge the courage of those who served and still serve today,” he said.
The families of Canadian veterans can also obtain services at no cost. The legion also assists veterans with applications to Veterans Affairs, the federal government department.
Members include all service personnel, those in Canadian Armed Forces, and the police. Hadley said his branch is actively advocating for the benefit of all who served regardless of when and where.
The legion and its members also support the community, especially the youth and elderly, through fundraisers.
“We support young people and veterans as need be through our fundraising,” Hadley explained. “We donate to hospitals and other charitable institutions.”
In 2021 Aldergrove legion donated more than $47,000 to various charity organizations.
For more information on services, people can visit www.aldergrovelegion.ca.
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