40 & 8 National
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La Societe des Quarante Hommes at Huit Chevaux (The Sociey of Forty Men and Eight Horses) is an independent fraternal organization of US Veterans, more commonly known as the Forty & Eight.
The Forty & Eight was formed in 1920 by American Legionnaires as a fun and honor society, the Forty & Eight's founders based the organization on their shared military experiences in WWI France. From it's earliest days it has been committed to charitable aims. Membership is by invitation only to honorably discharged veterans and active duty members of the United States Armed Forces.
The Forty & Eight’s titles and symbols reflect it's First World War origins. American servicemen in France were transported to the battle front on narrow gauge French railroads (Chemin de Fer) inside boxcars (Voitures) that were half the size of American boxcars. Each French boxcar was stenciled with a “40/8”, denoting its capacity to hold either forty men or eight horses. This ignominious and uncomfortable mode of transportation was familiar to all who traveled from the coast to the trenches; a common small misery among American soldiers who thereafter found “40/8” a lighthearted symbol of the deeper service, sacrifice and unspoken horrors of war that truly bind those who have borne the battle.
Dedicated to the needs of their fellowman, the Forty & Eight raises funds and support for the Carville Star Program, a national nursing scholarship program, various child welfare programs, provides aid to veterans and continues to promote Americanism at both local and national levels.
For more online details visit http://www.fortyandeight.org/