(Photo by Craig Roberts)

Laying out the issues

Dozens of Legionnaires were briefed today on several of The American Legion’s key legislative issues. The briefing took place less than 24 hours before National Commander James E. Koutz is to address a joint session of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs.

Topics of discussion at the briefing included the 2013 departments of Veterans Affairs’ and Defense budgets, licensing and credentialing of recently transitioned servicemembers, the Stolen Valor Act and the flag amendment.

After Koutz testifies, Legionnaires are expected to head to Capitol Hill to talk to congressional staff as most senators and representatives are in their home states campaigning, while Congress is on recess. Koutz urged Legionnaires to remind the staff of the sacrifices made by America’s veterans, as well as the continued need for a strong national defense while the country still is at war.

"And when you go back home, tell the people in your communities what you’ve done this week," Koutz said. "And you need to make sure that every one of you gets to the polls to vote."

Kenneth Governor, chairman of the Legion’s National Legislative Commission, also asked Legionnaires to continue their efforts after returning home. "Stop by your local (congressional) offices," he said. "Offer your assistance, and when they call you, offer them the resources of The American Legion."