Valley veterans excited for American Legion California headquarters' move to Sanger

SANGER, Calif. (KFSN) -- California's American Legion headquarters is moving from San Francisco to Sanger.

The city's mayor, Joshua Mitchell, is thrilled. He said, "For us to even have been considered was such a compliment to what we've been able to develop as a city over the past four years."

The announcement was made late Saturday. On Sunday, news trickled into the Elks Lodge at a luncheon in Fresno. Veterans there are equally as excited that the Legion is coming closer.

"Have you ever tried driving in San Francisco and tried to park up there? You know what I'm talking about," said John Crawford, an American Legion member.

The city of Sanger says the Legion will now be central for veterans across the state. Right now, they have more than 80,000 members in California.

"If you have service members all over the state of California, being right here in the central part of California is a big plus for us," said Mitchell.

American Legion Department of California Department Judge Advocate John "Doc" Bart says some of their members drive 12 hours to get to headquarters. Bart says a big reason why Sanger was picked was because of their interaction with the city.

"The city rolled out the red carpet, invited us here with open arms, and we couldn't be happier," said Bart.

"Sanger is a nice, quiet town with a real warm atmosphere, and people from Los Angeles can get to it, and people from San Francisco can get to it," said Crawford.

Bart says they are negotiating on a property on 7th Street and West Avenue. Mitchell says the building was a bank but it's been empty for three years. The Legion will be doing some upgrading. They say there will be eight full-time employees. They hope to complete their move by September or October.

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