American Legion National Commander Clarence Hill in Washington with U.S. Capitol in background. James V. Caroll

Calling on Congress

By sheer coincidence, The American Legion commemorated its 50th Washington Conference by sending to Capitol Hill a national commander named "Hill."

Clarence Hill started his trip to Congress soon after his Commander's Call on Tuesday at the Renaissance Washington Hotel downtown, accompanied by a six-person entourage that included Steve Robertson, the Legion's Legislative director.

2010 Washington Conference

The commander's first stop was meeting the delegation from the Department of Michigan at the Cannon House Office Building. He shared a fine lunch spread with them, then met the Legion delegation from Florida.

While there, Hill spoke with Rep. Thomas Rooney, R-Fla., who showed up to address the Legionnaires from his state.

The commander wrapped up his Hill visit by meeting with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. She listened to Hill and Legionnaires from her state as they discussed several veterans issues, including the VA claims backlog and its new guidelines concerning service-connected illnesses of Gulf War veterans.

The group also expressed concern over the unreasonable delays - sometimes up to six months - that some veterans and their spouses in Maine have experienced before receiving benefit payments from VA.

Hill noted a recent Capitol Hill victory for Legionnaires: passage of a bill in Congress that allows advance funding for the VA health-care budget.

Many Legionnaires from across the country descended upon Capitol Hill. Delegations from many departments could be seen in the halls of the Cannon, Longworth, Dirksen and other congressional buildings.

For 50 years, The American Legion has gone to Washington, reminding Congress of its obligations to veterans, servicemembers and their families. And for 50 years, the Legion's efforts have contributed to many legislative successes on veterans issues.



  1. Finally, someone is going to promote Sailability. Karen Anderson is trying to promote disabled recreation which will help our returning warriors readjust back to society . Her site is "Do-able steps dot com and she is on Access Sacramento channel 17 "Move your Mountains". TBI rehabilitation requires outside activity, and it would fit in with Bill Clinton's "Fight Obesity Program" with some of our returning heroes returning to their Hometowns. Please, do not forget that we have Native Americans also serving and returning. Native Americans have the most medal of honorees and I hope we can have things like "IRA HAYES FITNESS CENTER", to inspire the next generation of Native Americans.
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