The Forty and Eight
La Societe des Quarante Hommmes et Huit Chevaux is an independent, by invitation, honor
society of U. S. Veterans, more commonly known as the Forty and Eight (40 & 8 ).
The Forty and Eight is committed to charitable and patriotic aims. Its purpose is to uphold and
defend the Constitution of the United States; to promote the well being of veterans and their widows
and orphans, and to actively participate in selected charitable endeavors, which include programs that
promote child welfare and nurse’s training.
The titles and symbols of the Forty and Eight reflect its First World War origins. American soldiers were
transported to the battle front on French trains within box cars stenciled with a “40/8”, denoting its
capacity to hold either forty men or eight horses. This uncomfortable mode of transportation was
familiar to all who fought in the trenches, and was vividly remembered by the small group of American
soldiers who thereafter founded The “40/8”, The train, the boxcar, and the “40/8” shield were all seized
upon by the founders to be light-hearted symbols of the service, sacrifice and the unspoken horrors of
war that bind together all who have borne the battle.
The Forty and Eight was founded in March 1920 by American Veterans returning from France. Originally
an arm of the American Legion, the Forty and Eight became an independent and separately
incorporated veteran’s organization in 1960. Membership is by invitation only, and an eligible candidate
must be an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Armed Forces.
Nurses Training is one of our favorite programs for advancing the nursing profession and educational opportunities through our Nurse’s Training 40 & 8 Scholarships.
In 1955, the Voyageurs Militaire (40 & 8 members), recognizing the shortage of Registered Nurses, adopted a program to provide financial assistance, in the form of scholarships, to those individuals who enrolled for this training. With 2,131 students receiving over $1,100,000 in scholarships this past year, the FORTY & EIGHT has granted in excess of $20,000,000 and graduated over 23,000 Registered Nurses since the inception of this program.