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.