Auxiliary Unit 404 President Kaye Weerts welcomes AJ Detzler-Cox, Unit 404’s first male member after The American Legion opened membership to spouses of female veterans.


First non-veteran male joins Auxiliary Unit 404

St Louis, MO

St. Louis

“The American Legion is a place to take care of family, and the Auxiliary helps take care of the military.”
That’s what AJ Detzler-Cox said shortly after being initiated on Sept. 21, 2019, into Auxiliary Unit 404. No doubt it’s a sentiment shared by many male spouses of female veterans.
AJ is married to U.S. Army veteran Shanna Detzler-Cox, a dual member of St. Louis Service Women’s Post 404 and Auxiliary Unit 404. The Canadian native met his future wife at a World War II D-Day re-enactment in Ohio, and they were married a year later. Shanna is from northern Missouri.
Why did AJ want to join the Auxiliary?
“Shanna was already doing Legion things, and I was help­ing out,” said AJ “I saw this as an opportunity to officially
help. I want to support the military any way I can.”
The American Legion approved opening Auxiliary member­ship to spouses, regardless of gender, during the national convention in August. Female veterans had been requesting this change for several years.
“I like the way the Legion is turning —” said A.J., “family and veterans, opening up the time period [referring to the recent change in eligibility]. It’s no longer an ‘old boys club.’”

(photo by Lori Yount)

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