Sanders, Miller receive Legion’s Patriot Award

The American Legion today presented its Patriot Award to Sen. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, during the organization’s 96th Annual National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. The award is given to recognize great deeds and exemplary acts of service.

Sanders’ “dedication to those who have borne the battle and their families is unquestionable,” the citation said. “When systemic problems plaguing the Veterans Health Administration were brought to your attention, you immediately ordered hearings and introduced legislation to improve the lives of patients and those trying to access care. While supportive of the temporary use of vouchers for veterans who live in remote areas or have waited too long to receive a VA medical appointment, you are a true champion of the need for a strong Veterans Affairs health-care system and have been a powerful critic of attempts to privatize the Department of Veterans Affairs and its essential services. Your commitment to bringing accountability, transparency and accessibility to VA is highly commendable.”

Sanders, who spoke to convention delegates after receiving the award, said he was honored to receive the award. “I cherish it, and I thank you very much for it.”
Miller’s “commitment to a strong national defense and your support for a constitutional amendment to protect the U.S. flag from desecration have earned you the appreciation and respect of many military veterans and their families,” his citation read. “By calling for greater accountability, transparency and accessibility throughout the Veterans Health Administration during a time that VA faces unprecedented challenges, you are providing needed oversight and attention to make it a system truly worth saving. As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, you have proven to be a strong advocate for the men and women in uniform and have developed a well-earned reputation as a leading proponent of naval aviation and special operations. Guided by a peace-through-strength philosophy, you always remembered that caring for veterans is a cost of war.”

“Thank you for this award, and thank you to The American Legion for what you do,” said Miller, who also addressed convention delegates.