American Legion Executive Director Verna Jones and other prominent leaders of veterans service organizations (VSOs) met with President Donald Trump at the White House on March 17 to discuss important issues facing veterans.
During the group’s meeting with Trump, the first since he took office in January, Jones said she and the other VSO representatives spoke with the president about a plethora of veterans-centric topics including women veterans, the Choice Program, 2018 budget increase request for VA as well as appeals modernization.
“He seemed receptive and had (his staff) taking notes so that we can come back and talk about it again,” Jones said. “He also assured us that the VA is here to stay, and that they’re not going to privatize the VA – veterans will have a healthy VA.”
When it comes to the Trump administration’s 2018 budget request, which calls for a six percent increase to the VA budget, Jones said veterans deserve to be taken care of just as they did for America through their unselfish act of sacrifice. “So many of them paid with blood, sweat and tears, and some paid the ultimate sacrifice,” she said. “There needed to be an increase in the budget, and we’re very happy about that.”
For Jones, she looks forward to future meetings with Trump and his staff and also hopes that his administration will continue working on behalf of all VSO’s, especially the Legion’s millions of wartime veterans.
“We’re hoping that this meeting is just one of many,” Jones said. “He said that we’d be able to come back and talk to him and stay on top of what veterans need in order to take care of our nation’s heroes.”