A Legion “System Worth Saving” task force is visiting the Department of Veterans Affairs' Salt Lake City Health Care System this week. The VA Salt Lake City Health Care System maintains 11 health-care clinics in Utah and neighboring Nevada and Idaho.
Americanism staff are sending judges’ scorecards to those contestants of The American Legion National Oratorical Contest who have requested them so they may assess areas in which to potentially enhance their competition for next year’s contest.
The Legion’s National Security/Foreign Relations division director, Barry Searle, is participating in an in-depth examination of PTS (post traumatic stress) today. A day-long session, conducted by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in Washington, D.C., is focusing on the VA’s evaluation and counseling of service members and military families affected by PTS, particularly those within the National Guard population.
Letters are being mailed to the top 15 Sporter and 15 Precision category national finalists inviting them to compete in The American Legion Junior Shooting Sports Air Rifle National Championships in August 2011 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.