What we're doing for you today

Urging Congress to extend indefinitely the VA presumptions for Gulf War veterans, set to expire 12/31/2011.

The American Legion delivered a letter to Congress today, urging them to extend indefinitely the VA presumptions for Gulf War veterans (set to expire on Dec. 31, 2011). The letter, signed by National Commander Jimmie L. Foster, was also hand-delivered to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

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In Anchorage, Alaska, conducting a System Worth Saving site visit at the Alaska VA Healthcare System facility.

Past National Commander Ron Conley and VA&R (Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation) division deputy director Jake Gadd are in Anchorage, Alaska today and tomorrow conducting a System Worth Saving site visit at the Alaska VA Healthcare System facility. An OR nurse there, Crucelina “Cris” Vrabel, was honored recently by the Legion as “VA Hospital Volunteer of the Year.”

Meanwhile, Past National Commander Paul Morin and Legion staffer James Woodson are spending the week at the Augusta, Ga., VA Medical Center conducting a System Worth Saving site visit.

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Hosting National Oratorical Contest finals

Three finalists are competing in the The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program - “A Constitutional Speech Contest” in Indianapolis. First place receives an $18,000 scholarship, second place takes home $16,000, and third receives $14,000. The finals will be streamed live at www.legion.org at 10 a.m. EDT.

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Hosting National Oratorical Contest quarterfinals, semifinals

Contestants representing 53 departments are competing in the The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program - “A Constitutional Speech Contest” in Indianapolis. Every national participant receives a $1,500 scholarship, semifinalists receive an additional $1,500, while the overall national contest winner gets an $18,000 scholarship, second place takes home $16,000, and third receives $14,000. The finals will be streamed live at www.legion.org on Sunday.

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Attending House hearing on VA contracting

American Legion staff is attending a hearing by the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations regarding VA contracting – especially as it relates to construction. While there appears to be no widespread abuse, the complex, antiquated reporting system leaves question to feasibility of the entire VA contracting system.

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Attending military families event at the White House

Legion staff from the Washington office will be at the White House today, joining the president, the vice president, the First Lady and Jill Biden at the launch of the First Lady and Jill Biden’s national initiative to support and honor America’s servicemembers and their families

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Continuing online registration for American Legion baseball teams.

Online registration for American Legion Baseball continues, with more than 2,400 teams registered to date.

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System Worth Saving site visit in Lexington, Louisville. Ky.

System Worth Saving task force members are in Lexington and Louisville, Ky., to visit the VA medical centers there.

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Updating American Legion Baseball Umpire Manual

The American Legion Baseball Umpire manual is being updated by Americanism staff for mailing to department Baseball chairmen and will be made available for download from the Legion website.

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System Worth Saving site visit in Lexington, Louisville. Ky.

System Worth Saving task force members are in Lexington and Louisville, Ky., all week to visit the VA medical centers there.

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