Veteran Service Organizations

Mission: The American Legion is a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness.

History: The American Legion was formed in Paris, France, in March 1919 by officers and men from the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) and chartered by the US Congress in September 1919.

Membership: Eligibility criteria require that an applicant has served in the US Armed Forces since December 7, 1941 and has been honorably discharged or is still serving in any of five branches of the US Armed Forces. US Merchant Marines who served from December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946 are also eligible.

The nonpartisan, not-for profit American Legion, largest wartime veterans service organization, has nearly 2 million members and more than 13,000 posts worldwide. The Legion is committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting national security, and continued devotion to its service members and veterans.

The Legion was instrumental in getting the original GI Bill through Congress and also in the creation of the Department of Veterans Affairs. American Legion Baseball is one of the nation’s most successful amateur athletic programs.

Related Links:

Contact Information
700 Adams St
Bay City, MI 48708
(989) 895-5131


Mission: To enhance and safeguard the entitlements for all American veterans who have served honorably and to improve the quality of life for them, their families, and the communities where they live through leadership, advocacy, and services.

History: American Veterans (AMVETS) traces back to 1944 when veteran volunteers began helping veterans of World War II to obtain benefits promised by the federal government. Leaders of nine veterans groups met in Kansas City, Missouri, and founded The American Veterans of World War II on December 10, 1944. In 1947, AMVETS became the first World War II organization to be chartered by Congress. 

Membership: Membership in AMVETS is open to anyone who honorably served, or is currently serving, in the US Armed Forces, including the National Guard and reserves.

AMVETS is a volunteer-run organization and the nation’s most inclusive Congressionally chartered veterans service organization that represents the interests of 20 million veterans. AMVETS membership includes about 250,000 nationwide—“veterans serving veterans.” 

AMVETS National Service Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit is the fund-raising arm of AMVETS that funds a variety of programs benefiting veterans and their communities. Programs include the National Service Officer (NSO) Program that trains officers to assist veterans with compensation claims at no charge; the Memorial Carillon Program; the Americanism Program; AMVETS scholarships; youth programs; Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS); hospital projects; veteran honor awards; and military funeral honors. 

Related Links:

    Contact Information
    520 N Pine Rd
    Bay City, MI 48708

    (989) 894-4814


    Mission: To promote the interest and to preserve traditions of the United States Marine Corps; strengthen the fraternity of marines and their families; serve marines, FMF corpsmen, and FMF chaplains who wear or who have worn the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor; and foster the ideals of Americanism and patriotic volunteerism.
    History: The Marine Corps League was founded in 1923 by the Major General Commandant John A. Lejeune. The League’s federal charter was approved in August 1937. It is the only federally chartered Marine Corps-related veterans organization in the country. 

    Membership: The League has a membership of more than 60,000 men and women, officers and enlisted, active duty, reserve marines, honorably discharged marine veterans, qualified navy FMF corpsmen, and qualified navy FMF chaplains.

    The Marine Corps League, a 501(c)(4) not-for-profit organization, assists transitioning marines and their families and offers awards including scholarships, funeral honors, and many programs. Programs include Veteran Service Officers, Scouting/Eagle Scout Programs, the Marine Roses Program, POW/MIA Remembrance, rifle and pistol competition matches, Volunteer Assistance Veterans Service, and color guards. The League also supports the Toys for Tots efforts by working with the Marine Corps Reserve and Toys for Tots Foundation. 

    Related Links:

      Contact Information
      American Legion Hall Post 18 (meeting place)
      700 Adams St
      Bay City, MI 48708


      Mission: The Polish Legion of American Veterans (PLAV) is committed to the ideals of patriotism, charity, and volunteerism through allegiance to the United States and its veterans, especially disabled veterans. It strives to assure that veterans receive benefits and support legislation.

      History: The PLAV traces to post World War I when various groups of American veterans of Polish descent formed organizations to maintain and preserve fraternity and patriotism that arose from service in the US Armed Forces and to promote mutual aid and cooperation in patriotic, charitable, educational, and civic activities. An additional objective was to work for the liberation and establishment of a free and independent Poland. At a 1931 convention, three of the most prominent Polish veterans organizations united as the Polish Legion, which has national and state departments and local posts.

      Membership: The PLAV is open to all veterans. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin. Membership is open to any honorably discharged American citizen, male or female, who served in the US Armed Forces; anyone who is currently serving in the US Armed Forces; and anyone who is currently serving in the National Guard or reserves or has completed one term and received an honorable discharge. (See for other eligibility.) 

      Some Michigan posts, including Bay City, have auxiliaries. The Michigan PLAV also awards college scholarships. 

      Related Links:

        Contact Information
        801 S Farragut St
        Bay City, MI 48708
        (989) 893-0891


        Mission: To foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts. To serve our veterans, the military, and our communities. To advocate on behalf of all veterans.
        History: The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) dates back to 1899 when many veterans arrived home wounded or sick, with no medical care or veterans pension. Veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) then founded the American Veterans of Foreign Service (Columbus, Ohio) and the National Society of the Army of the Philippines (Denver, Colorado) to secure rights and benefits for their service. In 1914, the organizations merged to form the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. The VFW was chartered by Congress in 1936.  
        Membership: Membership is comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, Guard, and reserve forces.
        Today, VFW membership includes more than 1.6 million VFW and auxiliary members in all 50 states and many foreign countries.
        The nonprofit veterans service organization offers a wide range of assistance programs aimed at helping veterans of every generation. The VFW was instrumental in establishing the Veterans Administration, development of the national cemetery system, in the fight for compensation for Vietnam vets exposed to Agent Orange, and for veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. 

        Related Links:

          Contact Information
          Post 6950
          132 E Beaver Rd 
          Kawkawlin, MI 48631
          (989) 684-3032


          Mission: To promote and support the full range of issues important to Vietnam veterans, to create a new identity for this generation of veterans, and to change public perception of Vietnam veterans. 

          vVietnam Veterans of America (VVA) was founded in 1978 in the US and was chartered by Congress in 1986. The VVA is funded without contribution from any branch of government. It is dedicated to Vietnam veterans and their families. Its founding principles are “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another” and “VVA will be here for as long as it takes to make sure that those who serve our country receive the care and respect they have earned.” 

          Membership: VVA welcomes all who served in Vietnam between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975, or in any duty location between August 5, 1964 and May 7, 1975. 

          VVA is a national nonprofit corporation that has a national membership of about 85,000 with over 650 chapters throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Philippines. 

          VVA strives to aggressively advocate on issues important to veterans; seek full access to quality health care for veterans; identify the full range of disabling injuries and illnesses incurred during military service; hold government agencies accountable for following laws mandating veterans health care; create a positive public perception of Vietnam veterans; see the fullest possible accounting of America’s POW and MIAs; support the next generation of America’s veterans; and serve our communities.

          Related Links:

            Contact Information
            PO Box 45
            Bay City, MI 48707-0045
            (989) 327-4264



            The Aleda E. Lutz Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center in Saginaw, Michigan, was established in 1950 and dedicated to Lt. Aleda E. Lutz (1915-1944), US Army Nurse Corps, a distinguished veteran from Freeland, Michigan. The Medical Center consists of a single Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facility with an independent Community Living Center (CLC), and a VA Healthcare Annex located within two miles of the VA to provide mental health, social work, and primary care services. 

            Mission: To honor America’s veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being.

            History: The origin of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) traces to the Civil War when the first federal hospitals and domiciliaries were established for the nation’s voluntary military forces. In 1921 Congress combined three World War I veterans programs into the singular Veterans Bureau in 1921. The Veterans Bureau was merged with the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers and Pension Bureau and redesignated as the Veterans Administration (VA) in 1930. In 1988-89, the VA was elevated to a Cabinet-level executive department and renamed the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 1991, VA’s Department of Medicine and Surgery was redesignated as the Veterans Health Services and Research Administration as part of the elevation and was renamed the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). 
            The VHA is the largest of three administrations that comprise the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VHA operates one of the largest health care systems in the world and provides training for a majority of America’s medical, nursing, and allied health professionals. Roughly 60 percent of all medical residents obtain a portion of their training at VA hospitals and its medical research programs benefit society at large.

            The Aleda E. Lutz Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center currently provides service to more than 34,700 veterans living in the central and northern 35 counties of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. 

            Related Links

              Contact Information
              1500 Weiss St
              Saginaw, MI 48602
              (989) 497-2500


              Mission: The Bay County Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) provides information, referrals, and support services to honorably discharged wartime veterans and their families. 

              History: Congress combined three World War I veterans programs into the singular Veterans Bureau in 1921. In 1930, the Veterans Bureau was merged with the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers and Pension Bureau and redesignated as the Veterans Administration (VA). In 1988, the VA was elevated to a Cabinet-level executive department and was renamed the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1989. Veteran programs and benefits are available at federal, state, and local levels. 
              Wide-ranging services offered at the Bay County Department of Veteran Affairs include assistance with federal VA benefits, emergency relief services, and transportation services.

              Related Links

                Contact Information
                Bay County Building
                515 Center Avenue, Suite 103
                Bay City, MI 48708-5941
                (989) 895-4108 


                Emergency Assistance: 2-1-1

                Just Dial 2-1-1 for the Following:

                • Basic Human Needs: Food Banks, Clothing, Shelter, Utility Assistance
                • Physical and Mental Health: Medical Information Lines, Crisis Intervention Services, Group Counseling
                • Employment Support: Unemployment Benefits, Access to Financial Assistance Programs, Job Training Programs
                • Support for Older Americans and Persons with Disabilities: Home Health Care, Adult Day Care, Independent Living, Workforce Training, Meals On Wheels
                • Support for Children, Youth and Families: Quality Childcare, After School Programs, Summer Camps, Mentoring, Tutoring
                • Crisis Calls: Suicidal Thoughts, Domestic Violence

                Action Agency

                A private, non-profit organization serving Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Mecosta, Midland, and Osceola Counties since 1966, Mid-Michigan Community Action Agency (MMCAA) is part of the network of 30 Community Action Agencies in Michigan that serve all 83 counties. The agency’s mission is to “support families and individuals by providing access to resources and opportunities.”

                ​Mid Michigan Community Action Agency employs 200 full and part time individuals, works with over 900 volunteers annually, and is governed by an 18-member Board of Directors representing the six county area. The Bay County Board of Commissioners appoints one of the three Bay County representatives to the MMCAA Board.

                Phone: 989-386-3805