Marion Roche-Carlos, a 40-year-old lifelong American Legion Auxiliary member, is known for selflessly giving her all to every ALA mission-based action she takes. Signed up for ALA membership by her grandfather, U.S. Army Air Corps World War II veteran Joseph Rocha when she was a baby, Roche-Carlos virtually grew up within the ALA.
While she is extremely passionate about all ALA programs, she shared her feelings about the Poppy Program because it really brought to light for her what the ALA is all about. Here’s what else she had to say:
“I started helping with handing out poppies [in exchange for donations] when I was about 6 years old, and I’ve been participating every year since. I was able to see the hard work of the poppies in action. The fact that [most paper poppies] were made by our veterans, and we were helping to distribute them, and then the money went back to them, was so impactful to me. One time, I got a $20 bill for one poppy! Talk about making a difference! I was so proud to be a part of such a meaningful program.”
Connecting the visual image of the poppy with the sacrifice of service made by our veterans has been an important goal of the American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Program since its inception in 1921. On Memorial Day, National Poppy Day®, and Veterans Day, millions of red crepe paper poppies — most handmade by veterans as part of their therapeutic rehabilitation — are distributed across the country in exchange for donations that go to assist veterans, active-duty servicemembers, and their families.
Roche-Carlos is a Paid Up For Life member of the ALA.