Friday, August 10, 2012

From the 94th American Legion
Convention in Rochester, NY
July 19, 2012

Legionnaire of the Year
Walter Gaun

New York's Legionnaire of the Year is Walter Gaun of Post 366 in Seneca Falls, Seneca County, 7th District, program chair James B. Middleton Jr. announced.

Gaun is a Vietnam era Army veteran who has served in a number of offices in his post, including commander, and as a counselor at Boys State.

National Vice Commander James H. Hales Jr. of Pennsylvania extended greetings from National Commander Fang Wong, a New York Department member himself.

While encouraging Legionnaires to recruit and retain members, he reiterated Commander Wong's emphasis on putting "service first, membership second."
He reminded the convention that nationally the American Legion is:

  • adamantly opposed to any reduction in national defense.
  • dead set against any cuts in VA health care.
  • making veterans employment a high priority.

"We strongly support the certification of military skills into the civilian job market," Hales said.

The transition from war zone to civilian life is tough enough, he said, without having to worry about gainful employment. Joblessness leads to homelessness, he noted. That thousands of veterans, both men and women, are finding themselves homeless and their self-esteem shattered,  is "a travesty," Hales said.
From American Legion News, Department of New York.

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