The American Legion was chartered by the U. S. Congress as a patriotic, mutual-help, wartime veterans organization of the United States armed forces who served during a wartime period as defined by Congress. The American Legion was founded in 1919 by veterans returning from Europe after World War I and is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and also has offices in Washington D. C.. The group has nearly 3 million members in over 14,000 Posts worldwide. In addition to organizing commemorative events and volunteer activities, the American Legion is active in U. S. politics. While its primary political activity is lobbying on the behalf of the interests of veterans, service members including support for veterans benefits such as pensions and the Veterans Affairs hospital system, it has also been involved in more general political issues, generally taking a conservative position.