The Society of Forty Men and Eight Horses or -- in French, "La Societe Des Quarante Hommes Et Huit Chevaux" is a fun and honor society of American Legionnaires. All of its members have given service to The American Legion and were invited to join the 40 & 8.
The railroads of France were used to transport many American soldiers to and from the fighting fronts of World War One. Each box car, called a Voiture, had its capacity painted on the sides. it could carry either 40 Men or 8 Horses. Despite the rigors of war, the soldiers found some humor in a box car that still had remains of the previous passengers; the horses. They decided that the fun should continue while doing good works for the widows and children of those that didn't return. With The American Legion busy at its many programs, the 40 & 8 was formed in 1920 and its members initiated some new, special programs. These "Voyageurs" of the 40 & 8 are busy men. They are the back bone of their American Legion Posts and still find time to work at their special projects. They believe in God & Country and wish to provide our children with a safe, free land of opportunity. They further believe that an adequate defense system is primary in protecting our American way of life; the best in the world.
By virtue of being Veterans who have served their country in its time of greatest need, the fun loving, hard working Voyageurs Militaire maintain a strong commitment to the American way of life. Americanism projects, respect for the Flag, Constitution, Law and Order and the proven willingness to defend these principles is evident in the day to day activities of the members of our Society.
In 1955, the Voyageurs Militaire recognized the shortage of Registered Nurses and began to provide the financial assistance in scholarships to those who enrolled for this training. With 1934 students receiving over $715,700 in scholarships this past year, the FORTY & EIGHT has granted in excess of eight and one-half millions of dollars since the inception of this program.
Formed in 1923, this program touches over one million children each year, many of them with developmental disabilities. Our "Box Car Association" sponsors parties for our "Special Children" several times each year. Millions of dollars generated by the Child Welfare Program aids children all over the world.
At Promenade Nationale 1994, the AAU / JO program was re-organized and became a sub committee of the Child Welfare Program. The purpose of this committee is to assist Youth Sports in amateur sports programs for youth of the age 7 thru 20 years of age. The creed of this committee is to enhance the physical, mental, and moral development of these young athletes and to promote good sportsmanship, and good citizenship. The Youth Sports Committee will work with any youth sport that is an individual event or team effort.
As one of their on going programs, the Voyageurs Militaire offer continuing support of the patient publication "The Carville Star" of the National Hansen's Disease Center in Carville, Louisiana. Formerly a United States Public Health Service Hospital, the Center has been successful in isolation, controlling, and soon the development of the vaccine to prevent Hansen's Disease (leprosy.) The FORTY & EIGHT was instrumental in maintaining this facility as the only survivor of the Public Health Service Hospital System. The patient-published magazine carries the research works of not only this center but those of the rest of the world and is translated and forwarded to 119 countries along with a circulation of more than 70,000 in the United States. The FORTY & EIGHT is proud to have provided all the equipment necessary for the publication and distribution of this magazine. From the modern four color off-set presses to the latest computer type setting and addressing systems, we are justly proud of our ability to provide over ninety percent of the funding for this project.
POW / MIA SCHOLARSHIP
This is our newest Program and is still being developed. La Societe des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux is comprised of hard working American Legionnaires who will continue to demand full and complete accountability of ALL of America's Veterans that are still missing in action.