A.A. and the Service Member

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Alcoholics Anonymous has had a close relationship with the armed services almost since the Fellowship’s inception in 1935. A.A. co-founder Bill W. was a second lieutenant in the field artillery during World War I (where he developed a love of French wine while serving overseas). When World War II broke out, A.A. requested and was granted extra gasoline rations in order to continue with the important work of carrying the A.A. message to alcoholics across the U.S. and Canada, known in A.A. vernacular as “Twelfth Step work.” The Grapevine, A.A.’s monthly magazine — often referred to as “A.A.’s meeting in print” — was first published in June 1944, in part to help connect alcoholics on the world’s far-flung battlefields; and post-war, A.A. groups sprang up on military bases and in surrounding towns from Okinawa to Munich, growth that has continued ever since.

For more on this topic, see or download About A.A. … A Newsletter for Professionals (Fall of 2017)

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