BOISE — The American Legion is celebrating one hundred years this year and one of their main pillars over that time is veteran affairs and rehabilitation.
The Idaho American Legion has opened up a brand new post to bring camaraderie to veterans who are behind bars at the Idaho State Correction Center. The new post has 28 members.
"Working with that facility out there we found it very important to help our fellow brothers and veterans who are serving periods of incarceration or time in the prison system," said Abe Abrahamson, the Idaho American Legion Commander.
Part of this new program includes community service, and the 28 veterans are leading the way on rebuilding bikes for the Boise Bicycle Project, an organization who donates bikes to kids who need them.
Abrahamson said this gives veterans purpose, but the veterans can also earn the right to build their own bike and give it to a family member on a visitation if they put in enough hours. The program is so new that nobody has put in enough hours yet.
The ultimate goal of the program is to reduce recidivism rates for veterans who get locked up.
"When they are working with one another, it really helps them excel and learn how to not return to that environment," said Abrahamson.
Over the past three years, women at the Idaho State Correction Center have rebuilt more than one thousand bikes for the Boise Bicycle Project.