WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi credited The American Legion yesterday for helping create a more responsive Congress on issues pertaining to veterans.
“Thank you for your magnificent leadership in doing justice for veterans,” Pelosi told the approximately 1,000 Legion family members gathered at The American Legions 48th Washington Conference. Pelosi's remarks were delivered during the Commanders Call, a rally in which The American Legion heard from distinguished guests including House Minority Leader John Boehner, VA Secretary James Peake, Sen. Richard Burr, Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Rep. Chet Edwards.
Pelosi, who was presented with a recognition award from National Commander Marty Conatser for her work in securing an additional $11.8 billion for the VA budget, said that The American Legion has been a valuable resource for educating Congress about veteran issues. “We listened to you,” she said. “You've come to Washington to make your voices heard and when you speak we listen. Paying our debt to veterans is a priority for us.”
“On the battlefield, we leave no soldier behind,” Pelosi said. “And when they do come home, we leave no veteran behind.”
Following the Commanders Call, hundreds of Legion family members walked the halls of the U.S. Capitol, meeting with their senators and representatives to discuss issues ranging from the Flag Protection Amendment to the VA budget.
Founded in 1919, the 2.7 million-member American Legion is the nation's preeminent service organization for veterans of the U.S. armed forces, including active duty, National Guard and Reserves, and their families. A powerful voice for veterans in Washington, The American Legion drafted the original GI Bill and was instrumental in establishing the agency that today is the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.