Legionnaires heading to Washington

The American Legion’s legislative priorities will be highlighted during its 54th annual Washington Conference that kicks off March 23 and ends March 26 when American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger testifies before the House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs..

Legionnaires from across the country will converge on Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress to discuss a variety of pressing issues, including:

  • Protecting the Armed Forces against further budget cuts from sequestration.
  • Opposing increases in TRICARE fees, including prescription drug fees.
  • Ensuring the stability of funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
  • Reducing the VA claims backlog and modernizing the claims processing system.
  • Increasing employment opportunities for veterans in the private sector.
  • Ending homelessness among veterans and their families by the end of 2015.
  • Securing in-state college tuition rates for student veterans from out-of-state.

American Legion department commanders will meet with National Commander Dellinger on March 23 at the Washington Hilton, located at 1919 Connecticut Ave. NW. Several of the Legion’s commissions and committees will meet the next day, followed by the "Commander’s Call" legislative briefing on March 25. Confirmed speakers for that event include Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The Washington Conference also includes a two-day Business Development Workshop on March 25-26.

Several pre-conference events are also planned at the Washington Hilton, beginning with a March 20 Hiring Our Heroes Career Fair that will feature vendors such as USAA, Lockheed Martin, The Home Depot, the Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency, Intelsat and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Also on March 20, The American Legion will conduct an Employment Workshop and a VA claims processing event to help veterans in filing their benefits claims.

On March 22-23, The American Legion will host a For HEROES (Her Entrepreneurship – Resources, Opportunities, Experiences & Support) Women’s Entrepreneurship Course. The two-day intensive entrepreneurship course was created by the Legion in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse (N.Y.) University. After completing the free course, participants will have the tools and knowledge they need to identify a business opportunity, draft a business plan and launch their enterprise.

Women veterans interested in attending the For HEROES Women’s Entrepreneurship Course can register online here or register by contacting Jasmine Davis at (202) 263-5771 or jdavis@legion.org.