Letter to the Editor: American Legion needs support to aid local soldiers

To the Editor:
Sep 20, 2013

To the Editor:

We, as veterans, have enjoyed expressed appreciation for our service by the American public during the last decade. This was not the case during several previous decades. Fortunately the veterans who “came home” to an indifferent public in the past, are now being more properly recognized for their tremendous service and sacrifice that was made for the benefit of all Americans at home.

However, our job is not finished. There continues to be those who are proposing to cut VA health-care spending and to cut veteran’s disability payments. I am certain that there are many other ways to reduce government spending rather than take away benefits from those who placed themselves in harms way for their country and paid for those benefits by their service and sacrifice.

The American Legion is the largest veterans service organization, and is lobbying daily for veterans in Washington. The American Legion has always been on the front line opposing attempts by Congress to reduce or eliminate veteran’s benefits. We recently fought off an attempt to freeze VA health care and cut veterans’ disability payments. But we need more help. 

We need veterans of all wars to apply for membership and help us. We need all members of Post 15 to come to our post meetings, which are on the second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Veterans Building at the Ag Center in Lebanon. 

We also need recruitment of other veterans (your fellow veteran acquaintances, friends, and neighbors) to join American Legion Lebanon Post 15. Those who are keeping the post going are getting older and less able to keep the post viable – we need increased attendance by members, but if you are unable to attend, your membership will still help. 

We must keep the largest voice that veterans have alive and active. Sadly, a very large number of veterans who have served and paid the price don’t realize that there are over 100 support groups and benefits in existence for them. We need all qualified veterans to help to make them aware that this help is available.

Veterans have represented their fellow man wonderfully in foreign wars and in the Cold War and now we are needed on the home front to help our veterans who are in need. Many veterans are suffering, including becoming bankrupt and losing their homes and suffer needlessly if their benefits and disability payments are cut. 

We are not only needed as lobbyists for veterans, but we also serve all veterans and the community in many ways. Some of which are Boys and Girls State, citizenship, flag etiquette, children and youth scholarships, JROTC, junior shooting, oratorical contests, national security, foreign relations, POW/MIA advocacy, veterans affairs and rehabilitation, homelessness, G.I. Bill, veterans career centers and many more. We have had numerous requests for help by veterans in distress and are continuing to work diligently to meet those needs.

We need our female veterans and veterans of the Gulf Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to become members of our American Legion post and encourage you to get the word out that they are needed in the Legion.

Come to our meetings and bring your veteran friends where you can apply or transfer to Lebanon Post 15. We will have the applications and transfer forms. The non-members desiring to join the Post should bring their DD214 form with them for membership.

Don W Fox, Commander

American Legion Post 15

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