U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, R-Ind., received The American Legion's Distinguished Service Medal during today's convention proceedings of the nation's largest wartime veterans service organization. The award is the highest recognition given by The American Legion.
"What we are most grateful for is Senator Lugar's work as a leader in reducing the threat of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. In 1991, he forged a bipartisan partnership with then-Senate Armed Services Chairman Sam Nunn of Georgia to destroy these weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union," American Legion National Commander Fang A. Wong said during the presentation. "To date, the Nunn-Lugar program has deactivated more than 7,500 nuclear warheads that were once aimed at the United States."
Lugar thanked Legion members for their deep interest in U.S. national security. "Those who have worn the uniform in wartime know better than anyone how important it is that America remains strong, militarily, diplomatically and economically," Lugar said. "This makes armed conflict less likely, and it ensures that if it is necessary to fight, the United States will go to war with a military that is second to none. My own service as a Navy lieutenant instilled in me a lifelong appreciation for the many challenges we face around the globe, and over the years I have benefitted from the advice and counsel of The American Legion."