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May 18, 2012 • Vol. 21, No. 9 SPRING MEETINGS LEGION: LEAVE DEFENSE ALONE


During its annual Spring Meetings, the organization passed a resolution that demands cessation of all eff orts to reduce the defense budget.


By Steve B. Brooks Pointing out that the United


States has been in this situation before, American Legion National Commander Fang A. Wong and the organization’s National Executive Committee are calling on Congress to leave the country’s defense budget alone. During its Spring Meetings


in Indianapolis May 9-10, the NEC unanimously passed Resolution 1, in which the Legion “demands Congress and the Administration to cease all eff orts to reduce the defense budget from its current level.” “Sixty years ago, America


was engaged in a bloody and horrifi c war on the Korean Peninsula,” Wong told the NEC. “T e war did not have to last three years, and it did not have to cost 35,000 American lives. But America was caught off guard. Following World War II, the budget-cutters decided to take the greatest military ever known and gut it. T e brave men of Task Force Smith were simply outnumbered and outgunned as they faced down the hordes of North Korean soldiers that overwhelmed them in 1950.”


A National Headquarters Publication


American Legion are encouraged to head to an enhanced American Legion National Headquarters page and click “Like.” T e page now features news from National Headquarters regarding Legion programs, promotions and the organization’s daily activities. T e page also contains direct links to the Legion’s other Facebook pages, including the National Convention and American Legion Riders. For all of your Legion news


needs, please continue to visit the American Legion Online Update page. From this point forward, the Online Update page will serve strictly as a news source for stories about or relating to the Legion, as well as items relating to veterans, national security, employment and health care.


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National-American-Legion-Riders /159688017493013


National Commander Fang A. Wong addresses the National Executive Committee during the Spring Meetings in Indianapolis. Eldon Lindsay Now, Wong said, the country


is in a similar situation. “We have pulled our forces from Iraq and are in the process of winding down in Afghanistan,” he said. “T e president and his Defense Department have already announced some planned reductions in force – reductions that pale in comparison to what happens if Congress and the White House fail to agree on spending cuts and sequestration hits. While many predict that the political survival instincts of our elected leaders will require them to work together, it is a gamble that we cannot aff ord to lose.”


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PAGE 2


NATIONAL ADJUTANT’S COLUMN


Reconnect with


those now serving PAGE 3


CAREERS


Wong, post tackle challenges


PAGE 5 TROOP SUPPORT


GPS for Troops still delivering


PAGE 7 HEALTH CARE


Legion issues report on rural health care


PAGE 4 Wong urged the NEC and


every member of the organization to – in this, an election year – get all political candidates to state on the record what they will do to keep the country strong. Past National Commander/


Past National Adjutant Robert W. Spanogle also urged Legionnaires to stay informed. During this year’s national convention in Indianapolis, the National Security Commission will conduct a symposium that will feature a variety of experts speaking on the defense budget and its impact on the rest of the country. T e symposium will


take place Aug. 27 from 1-4:30 p.m. in Rooms 205-207 in the Indiana Convention Center. “I encourage all of you to go


back to your departments and tell your members they’re going to miss one great program if they don’t attend,” Spanogle said. “When you leave, you will truly understand the defense budget.” During the meetings, Wong


praised Legionnaires for the work they’ve done this year, including lobbying eff orts that resulted in the Defense Business Board recommendations that will make it easier to certify U.S.


See DoD on Page 4


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