The American Legion outlines key issues including caring for victims of PTSD, expanding career opportunities and improving VA care for all veterans.
 






The American Legion
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Dear Legion Family Members and Friends,

It’s hard to believe that another year has begun. This new year ushers in renewed hope for progress toward a nation where veterans, military members and their families receive all the benefits related to their service.

Soon, I will be addressing members of Congress during the Legion’s annual Washington Conference. I look forward to seeing many of you there and learning about successes of your meetings with your congressional representatives. The Legion is not only the nation’s largest veterans service organization, it is also the most influential. We’ll demonstrate that when we are in Washington next month.

Whether or not you will be attending Washington Conference, you can help push out our key issues to members of Congress, leaders in your community and your local media. Among The American Legion’s top issues and priorities for the second session of the 114th Congress:

Caring for mental health issues. Congress should provide help and proper funding for veterans struggling with mental health issues, post traumatic stress disorder and brain injuries. Alternative treatments must be provided as options for veterans and servicemembers in need of treatment for brain injuries and mental stress.

Provide transition assistance. Servicemembers transitioning to the civilian world face many challenges. Congress should ensure that sequestration cuts and budget shortfalls do not impact servicemen and women.

Expand employment opportunities. Congress should implement a proposed pilot program that would subsidize businesses and non-profit organizations that create on-the-job training opportunities for veterans.

Protect our nation. Fully fund a superior national defense to battle enemies including but not limited to the Islamic State, North Korea and others.

Improve VA experience. Veterans must have faith that the health-care system designed for them will be there to meet their needs. There has been progress but there is need for continued improvement and reform such as strengthening the oversight program.

End veteran homelessness. While improvements have been made to eliminate veterans homelessness, too many are still on the streets. It is essential to continue the funding that Congress pledged to eradicate homelessness.

Protect the American Flag. The American Legion remains committed to protecting Old Glory, and continues to support legislation that safeguards our nation’s flag from physical desecration.

I encourage you to communicate our priorities to your representatives and senators, write a letter to your local newspaper and share these priorities on your social media feeds. Let’s let the voices of 2.2 million members usher in necessary changes that benefit veterans of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Duty. Honor. Country.



Dale Barnett
National Commander

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National Commander Update
 
January 12, 2016 •  Issue No. 376