Hill enjoys 'positive' meeting with Obama

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Hill enjoys 'positive' meeting with Obama

A very "positive" White House meeting between American Legion National Commander Clarence Hill and President Barack Obama touched on several key issues over the course of 30 minutes on Wednesday afternoon.

Hill thanked Obama for the 2011 Department of Veterans Affairs budget recommendation; in turn, Obama expressed thanks to The American Legion through Hill. "The Commander-in-Chief sends greetings & thanks for all you do to be part of the solution. Very positive mtg with the President," Hill posted on his Facebook page Wednesday afternoon.

Among the other areas covered during the Oval Office meeting were the need for a collaborative approach to improving the VA disability claims process and the need to finally pass a law to allow full concurrent receipt for retired military who are also receiving disability compensation; the Legion's programs to help wounded and transitioning servicemembers and their families, such as Operation Comfort Warriors, Heroes To Hometowns, and Temporary Financial Assistance; and the value of social networking in outreach efforts. Hill also briefed Obama on the many programs Legion posts are conducting in their own communities.

Peter Gaytan, executive director of the Legion's Washington office, also attended the meeting, as did two Obama staffers: Matt Flavin, director of the White House's Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy; and Darienne Page who serves as the lead for the White House on Veterans, Wounded Warrior and Military Family Engagement.

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weavo4

March 6, 2010 - 10:14am

I highly commend Commander Hill for mentioning the issue of concurrent receipt to President Obama. His stating to the president that he should support concurrent receipt for retired military who are receving military compensation is right on target. The Presidents proposal does not cover these veterans. Congraqtulations to Commander Hill! Currently over 450,000 retired disabled veterans who have retired from the service after over twenty years in the military, have their disability payment deducted from their retirement pay on a monthly basis. These veterans receive military retirement pay and have their disability payment deducted from their retirement.The presidents proposal does not cover these veterans. The presidents current proposal covers 103,000 Chapter 61 veterans, who did not retire from the service, but who receive VA disability. These veterans have nothing deducted from their disablity payment. The presidents proposal would simply grant them retirement. That is good.

weavo4

March 6, 2010 - 10:27am

The presidents proposal only covers Chapter 61 retirees. His request is a bit over 5 billion dollars for a ten year period for these 103,000 Chapter 61 retirees. To fund the issue for the 450,000 retired disabled veterans under 50% disabled, would cost 2.3 billion a year. This amount is not included in the Presidents proposal, hence his proposal does not include the over twenty retiree under 50% disabled, for the issue of concurrrent receipt. While the amount of 2.3 billion looks large, it is small in comparison to what has already been approved by Congress. Only 11% of the veterans population make up 72% of the cost of the issue of concurrent receipt, since these are veterans with a disability over 50%. The amount of 450,000 retired disabled veterans not receiving concurrent receipt, may appear large, and the 2.3 billion cost figure may seem large, but it is not when considering that this cost only represents 28% of the remaining cost of concurrent receipt not being funded.

Faronthefiddler

March 6, 2010 - 9:51am

Staying positive and not dwelling on the negative is correct. However, can this President be trusted?

daveej

March 5, 2010 - 10:32am

Did the commander bring up the don't ask don't tell controversy? If not why not? How about the health care bill? How about cap and trade? Do you care about this country becoming socialist or not? I don't hear anything negative about what is happening to this country coming out of the American legion. Does the American Legion only care about health care for themselves? I am a member of the American legion, but I do not support this President.

pickaxe

March 4, 2010 - 10:34pm

June , July and August of 2009 have a three part article that explains it best. If you have not read them, do!!!! Eat will be a eye opening time.

pickaxe

March 4, 2010 - 10:31pm

My claim was put in by the Legion in 2000 and the VA has bounced it around geting credit for it god only knows how many times , because the Legion rep blew it by screwing up my apllication and appeals.The VA took advantage of there screw ups at every chance they could. Once they screw it up it is impossable to fix becuase they fixate on the screwups and keep adding to it. Then we get more people jobs and they relize if you screw it up more bonuses and job security. Let's trough more money at them that will fix it. Ha Ha Ha

rtmcclure

March 4, 2010 - 5:29pm

Good job Commander Hill! I agree, stay positive rather than dwell on the negative.

Samuel L Chang

March 4, 2010 - 11:06am

Nice to see the commander keeping the VA claims backlog issue in front of the president and Congress. There is no reason in this day and age that veterans should have to wait months and years to have their claims applications adjudicated. Keep up the good work, Commander, and keep this issue a high priority in Washington.

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