My fellow Sons,
I just returned from The American Legion's 54th annual Washington Conference, and it was well attended by our nation's Sons of The American Legion (SAL) members.
Many SAL members attended the wreath laying ceremony with SAL National Commander Joseph Gladden at the Vietnam Memorial and the World War II Memorial. And I was proud to see so many Sons attend the Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation (VA&R) meetings held at the Washington Hilton. If the opportunity to attend a Legion VA&R Commission meeting presents itself to you, I hope you will attend and see American Legion VA&R Chairman Ralph Bozella and how well he conducts these meetings. I would encourage you to attend as they are very informative and engaging and the respect Bozella has for the Sons support is displayed and appreciated.
The VA&R Commission had three break-out meetings: Health Administration, National Cemetery and National Benefits. We separated and each chose a different break-out meeting to attend and learn what is needed.
We have 152 VA medical centers, and we were asked to focus on the past, present and future of these medical centers. I will have the meeting paperwork emailed to me and once received, I will put it out there for all of you to read.
American Legion Past National Commander William Detweiler, chairman of the Legion's traumatic brain injury (TBI)/post traumatic stress disorder committee (PTSD), discussed what is being done to help identify veterans suffering from TBI/PTSD and treat them. Additionally, many of our Vietnam War veteransare starting to request help with PTSD.
The VA Volunteer Services Worker of the Year was awarded to Ms. Margaret Fields. She said, "I just love doing it," and for what we could see and hear, she does love it, and it shows in all the efforts she puts forth.
I encourage you to contact our national staff if you need something done or just have a question. They are a wealth of knowledge, and they are here to help our veterans and those who are in service to our veterans.
Meanwhile, the National Veterans Assistance Day is fast approaching. Please make plans to do something for a veteran on that day. Send pictures and an article for the SAL National Update.
National VA&R Chairman
Sons of The American Legion