Wednesday, December 18, 2013

100% DONATIONS

PLEASE THINK BEFORE GIVING!

LEGION TO SENATE:


Legion to Senate: Do not reduce COLA for veterans
 
WASHINGTON (December 14, 2013) --American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger is calling upon the U.S. Senate to remove a provision from the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 that would reduce cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for military veterans aged 18-62.
 
“How inappropriate is it for Congress to pass a bill that will reduce the quality of life for about a million of our veterans, then go home and celebrate Christmas with their families?” Dellinger said. “The Senate is going to pass the House bill with bad provisions, just for the sake of looking bipartisan. This is a horrible idea, and if the law passes, the Legion will do everything in its power to repeal those sections that are aimed at harming veterans and their families.
 
“Taking away COLA benefits from our veterans will save the government $6 billion over 10 years. Congress can save that amount of money in so many different ways. They have plenty of other options to find another $6 billion to cut. Why must they force our country’s retired veterans – many of them disabled – to make do with less? The American Legion is horrified that the Senate may pass a bill today that is so unfair to those Americans who have served honorably in uniform.”
 
While several bills have already been written that seek to restore military retirees’ pay to the same COLA that everyone else nationwide will receive, American Legion Legislative Director Louis Celli said “there is a huge difference between passing a bill and introducing one. The Legion is concerned that, once signed by the president, an attempt to repeal the COLA provision later will meet with too much opposition because Congress won’t be able to agree on replacement funding.”
 
Dellinger said he is “absolutely sickened by the thought that the only group targeted by the budget bill to lose direct income is the American veteran, including veterans who have been medically retired from military service due to catastrophic injuries sustained in battle.”

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

EAGLE SCOUT AWARDS

On November 20, 2013, the Oswego County American Legion its Annual Eagle Scout Good Citizenship Awards program at Fuller-Taylor Post 915 in Central Square, NY.

Scouting chairman James R. Ellis (currently serving as Fifth District American Legion Commander) presented the certificates to the honorees. Oswego County Commander Grover Britton assisted in the presentations.

Several scouts were absent due to work or other commitments and their awards were picked up  by scouting reps or parents.

First award was for Kellen Arnold of Troop 750:

Then it was Jacob Drabot's (Troop 734) turn:

Next Jarad DeMarais (Troop 825) received his award:
 
The 4th certificate went to Eric Hulbert of Troop 825:
 
 Next was Robert Janey (Troop 888) accepted by his mom, Dawn Janey:

The 6th certificate went to Jonah Karboski from Troop 777:

Next certificate was for Brian Stafford of Troop 750:

Duncan Kristensen of Troop 734 received the next one:

Zachary Manzer (Troop 750) was accepted by:

Michael Miano (Troop 780) was next:

Gordon Pan (Troop 888) accepted by Dawn Janey:

Dominic Patchen (Troop 724) picked up his certificate:
Last but not least, the certificate for Drazwn Schrecengost (Troop 888) was accepted by Dawn Janey:

Following the presentations, Fuller-Taylor Post 915 offered  cake and soda for all those present. The scouts and their parents and leaders were pleased with the awards for the Eagle Scouts who work hard during the year to earn them.

The American Legion is one of the first supporters of the Boy Scouts of America and it is one of our most important committees with many Legionnaire supporters and scout leaders.

Some of those present:

At the extreme left is Fuller-Taylor Post 915 Commander James Jones (white shirt) who welcomed the scouts and their guests.


 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

"Never In My Wildest Dreams"

The theme for this month’s Veterans Day parade in New York City is “Women in Service.” Retired Gen. Ann Dunwoody, the U.S. military’s first female four-star general, will serve as grand marshal of the nation’s largest Veterans Day parade on Nov. 11.
Before retiring, Dunwoody ran the Army’s largest global logistics command, comprising 69,000 military and civilians in all 50 states and more than 140 countries. She managed a budget of $60 billion and oversaw $70 billion in service contracts.
Today Dunwoody is president of First 2 Four, LLC, a leadership mentoring and strategic advisory services company. The American Legion Magazine recently spoke with Dunwoody.

Why did you choose to make a career in the military?

Even though I come from four generations of West Pointers, the thought of joining the Army never crossed my mind.
I loved sports and from a very early age knew I wanted to be a coach and physical education teacher. During my junior year in college, I was offered an opportunity to participate in a program that was focused on bringing more women into the Army. If you were accepted, they paid you $500 per month during your senior year and offered you a commission upon graduation, with a two-year commitment. This was too good to turn down. Once I entered the Army, I was surprised to find how much I loved being a soldier and how much I loved leading soldiers. I remember telling my dad that I was going to stay in as long as I enjoyed it and as long as I could make a difference. Two years turned into five years, 10 years, 20 years ... until my retirement after 38 years of service.

What would you tell young women who are considering serving?
 
I would tell them that what I witnessed over my 38 years of service is that the door of opportunities continued to open and continues to do so. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would command a battalion in the 82nd Airborne Division, and never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be a four-star general. My niece, an Air Force Academy graduate and now a major, is an A-10 pilot who has been deployed to Afghanistan and flown combat missions. The bench is very deep and talented. 

Is the military doing enough to recruit top female candidates? 

I think the armed forces does a pretty good job of recruiting women and provides an outstanding opportunity for all who are qualified to serve. Sometimes we tend to focus on quantity vs. quality. Diversity really is a strength, and we should be on the lookout for the very best talent out there.

What does it mean to you to be honored as grand marshal?
 
There are so many heroic and distinguished veterans who would have been wonderful representatives of our nation’s veterans, and the fact that I was chosen to do so is extremely humbling.
American Legion, Auxiliary and SAL members are encouraged to participate in the Nov. 11 parade. Those interested in marching with the Legion Family delegation should email parade@americanlegion.com. Details will be posted online at www.americanlegion.com/_/Parade.html. The parade will air live in 10 major Fox TV markets nationwide.

I DRIVE YOUR TRUCK

from "CMA Show":
(CNN) – The Country Music Association’s Song of the Year has a simple name – “I Drive Your Truck.” But it’s the emotion, the inconceivable feeling of loss behind the song that helped earn it the honor.
Honoring a Gold Star family.
 
Click HERE to hear more about it.

“THANK A VET”

Listen to what this Gold Star father has to say about his son's pickup truck.

Monday, November 4, 2013

O SAY CAN YOU SEE


Listen to this harmonic version of our national anthem... this is how it should be sung!

Click O Say


A true story and a disturbing one!


 Herman "Woody" Hughes, Ph.D.
Captain, USNR, Retired
Professor Emeritus, Pepperdine University 


You need to read this true account of what happened to our Ambassador Stevens and the other 3 who  died.  If this doesn't make you mad............... Cynthia Lee Myers wanted to share the truth of what happened over in Libya, you will not find this in the media yet but it airs tonight on FNC.....please  read....


"Here is my story.  A week out the Embassy in Tripoli began receiving multiple tips about an Al Queda cell in the area planning an  attack on 9/11 in response to the killing of Bin Laden.  For the next several days, the state dept and WH were asked for a security force and were denied at least six times.Ambassador Stevens and his team were given the all clear that the Consulate in Benghazi was safe and there was no need for a security force other than his 3 personal guards (one being my cousin) and a few Libyans who were not armed. Then the attack and murders occurred.  Immediately the WH claimed it was a protest gone bad over a you tube video.  Obama made a quick speech in the Rose Garden on Sept.12 before catching a plane to Vegas to campaign.  He made a generic statement at the end of his speech after placing the blame on an overheated protest over the video.  He said "No act of terror will shake the resolve of America.  

Later that day and over the next 2 days, the liberal media began saying Ambassador Stevens and the other 3 men died of smoke inhalation.  This was not the case.  Out of respect for my cousin, I'm not going to be specific about his murder.  However Ambassador Stevens was brutally murdered.  His genitals were cut off, he was sodomized and beaten and cut andstabbed and burned.  He was drag thru the streets and left for dead.  

This is eyewitness testimony of a local Dr. who found the Ambassador in a ditch and tried to save his life.  He had no idea who he was.  The other 3 men, including my cousin, met similar fates.  And deaths due to smoke inhalation is a 100%fabricated LIE.  

The next week I drove my aunt and uncle and 2 others to DC to receive his body.  We met with Hillary, Panetta, and Susan Rice.  ALL of whom apologized and said it was a protest gone bad over a video and exited the area.  Next Obama entered with the same story and didn't apologize and wasn't sympathetic.  My aunt cried to
this man and all he did was hand her flowers and walk away.  I tried to get his attention, but didn't.  I got upset and yelled liar to him, he kept walking.  Then a secret service agent grabbed my arm and led me to a room where I was held till the proceedings were over. 


America, I saw firsthand how cold this man is.  What kind of liar he is.  Most of you haven't a clue about this tyrant and yet you support him.  And act like every word he says is Gospel.  These murders and the fast and furious cover-ups make water gate look like a kid who told his bff's secret to the class. We must stop this man, and please pass this story along.
-- God Bless America!

THIS PART YOU DON'T KNOW, BUT  SHOULD.  AMERICAN VALOR, BENGHAZI, LIBYA:


The stunning part of  this story is that Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty killed 60 of the attacking force.  Once the compound was overrun, the attackers were incensed to discover that just two men had inflicted so much death and destruction. The news has been full of the attacks on our embassies throughout the Muslim world, and in particular, the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others in Benghazi, Libya.  

However, there's a little known story of incredible bravery, heroics, and courage that should  be the top story. So what actually happened at the U.S. embassy in Libya?  We are learning more about this every day.  Ambassador Stevens and  Foreign Service officer Sean Smith, along with administrative staff, were working out of temporary quarters due to the fact that in the spring of 2011 during the so-called Arab Spring, the United States cut ties with then president Moammar Kaddafi.  Our embassy was looted and ransacked, causing it to be unusable.

  It is still in a state of disrepair. Security for embassies and their personnel is to be provided by the host nation.  Since Libya has gone through a civil war of sorts in the past 18 months,the current government is very unstable, and therefore, unreliable. A well-organized attack by radical Muslims was planned specifically targeting the temporary U.S. embassy building.  The Libyan security force that was inplace to protect our people deserted their post, or joined the attacking force.  


Either way, our people were in a real fix.  And it should be noted that Ambassador Stevens had mentioned on more than one occasion to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, that he was quite concerned for his personal safety and the welfare of his people.  It is thought that Ambassador Stevens was on a "hit list". 

A short distance from the American compound, two Americans were sleeping.  They were in Libya as independent contractors working an assignment totally unrelated to our embassy.  They also happened to be former Navy Seals. When they heard the noise coming from the attack on our embassy, as you would expect from highly trained warriors, they ran to the  fight.  Apparently,they had no weapons, but seeing the Libyan guards dropping their guns in their haste in fleeing the scene, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty snatched up several of these discarded weapons and prepared to defend the American compound. 

Not knowing exactly what was taking place, the two Seals set up a defensive perimeter.  Unfortunately Ambassador Stevens was already gravely injured,and Foreign Service  officer, Sean Smith, was dead.  However, due to their quick action and suppressive fire, twenty administrative personnel in the embassy were able to escape to safety. Eventually, these two courageous men were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers brought against them, an enemy force numbering between 100 to 200 attackers which came in two waves.  

But the stunning part of the story is that Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty killed 60 of the attacking force.  Once the compound was overrun, the attackers were incensed to discover that just two men had inflicted so much death and destruction. As it became apparent to these selfless heroes, they were definitely going to lose their lives unless some reinforcements showed up in a hurry.  As we know now, that was not to be.  I'm fairly certain they knew they were going to die in this gun fight, but not before they took a whole lot of bad guys with them!  Consider these tenets  of the Navy SEAL Code:

1) Loyalty to Country, Team and Teammate,
2)  Serve with Honor and Integrity On and Off the Battlefield,
3) Ready to Lead, Ready to Follow, Never Quit,
4) Take responsibility for your actions and the actions of your teammates,
5) Excel as Warriors through Discipline and Innovation,
6) Train for War, Fight to Win, Defeat our Nation's Enemies, and...
7) Earn your Trident every day         


 http://www.navyseals.com/seal-code-warrior-creed
 

Thank you, Tyrone and Glen.  To the very last breath, you both lived up to the SEAL Code.  You served all of us well.  You were courageous in the face of certain death.  And Tyrone, even though you never got to hold your newborn son, he will grow up knowing the character and quality of his father, a man among men who sacrificed himself defending others.  

Dr. Charles R. Roots
Senior Pastor
Former Staff  Sergeant,
USMC Captain,
U. S. Navy Chaplain Corps (Ret.)


NO TRUE AMERICAN WOULD OBJECT TO  RECEIVING THIS MORE THAN ONCE ... SO PASS IT ON

And Let us never forget the Hag Hillary Clinton comment, "What Difference Does It Make?"  And she wants to be our next president!  



"The Beauty  of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it"
Thomas  Jefferson 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

DISABLED VETRANS INFO


Disabled  veterans who served on active duty after 9-11-01 and were medically discharged with 20 percent or less still have a chance to gain "retiree" status. The VA is trying to contact these veterans but, some efforts have failed. Please pass the word. These veterans MUST apply to receive a review of their claims. For more info on PDBR (physical disability board review)apply on line at http://www.health.mil/About_MHS/Organizations/MHS 
Any questions-Oswego County Veterans Agency 315-591-9100

Friday, November 1, 2013

THE COST OF FREEDOM




“The cost of freedom is always high,
but Americans have always paid it.
And one path we shall not choose,
... is the path of surrender, or submission.”
                [JOHN F. KENNEDY]

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Columbine student's father 12 years later

COLUMBINE STUDENT'S FATHER 
12 YEARS LATER !!

Guess our national leaders didn't expect this. On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton , Colorado , was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.

They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness.. The following is a portion of the transcript:

"Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

"The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.

"In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent

I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy -- it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You've stripped away our heritage,
You've outlawed simple prayer. Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question "Why?"
You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand, That God is what we need!


"Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs -- politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

"As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America , and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA -- I give to you a sincere challenge.. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone!
My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"
- Darrell Scott

 

Do what the media did not - - let the nation hear this man's speech. Please send this out to everyone you can.
God Bless


TURKEY DINNER @ CLEVELAND

Sunday November 3rd...

 HARVEST DINNER
from 2 to 6 PM
at Raymond-Faulkner-Cook
American Legion Post 858
in Cleveland, NY.

Menu is turkey with all the trimmings
Adults................. $8.00
Seniors................ $7.00
Age 5 to 12...........$6.00
Under 5................ Free!

Come on over and enjoy
a fine meal this 
Sunday, November 3rd

Thursday, October 17, 2013

WRITING ABOUT GOD?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Liberty Institute Secures a Win for Student Banned From Writing About God

IN THE SCHOOL
When 10-year-old Erin Shead received a school assignment to write about her idol, it was an easy decision…she chose to write about God.

However, when young Erin asked her teacher if she could write about God, she was told no. That night, after speaking with her mother, Erin decided to move forward with her plans. Fearful the teacher might not accept it, she completed a second assignment as well.

Erin's assignment about God
 The next day, Erin tried to hand in her assignment she had written about God, but the teacher rejected it, accepting her other project (about Michael Jackson) instead. Later, during a class discussion, the teacher told Erin to take the God assignment home because, leaving it on school property might violate the First Amendment.

Standing Strong
Erin’s mother, Erica, took the story public to bring attention to the religious discrimination happening at her daughter’s school.

Sadly, the classroom discussions over Erin’s assignment actually led to the young student being teased by her classmates. Recess discussions moved from mocking her belief in God to racial insults.


Liberty Institute immediately stepped in to help. Liberty Attorney Jeremy Dys had several conversations with the general counsel of Shelby County School on behalf of Erica and Erin, to investigate the situation and inform the district of students’ true constitutional rights.
Fortunately, in this situation Shelby County Schools did the right thing. This week, Erin was able to turn in her assignment with her original subject – God – and received an A.

  10-year-old Erin Shead
 
 Erin’s mother told WREG Memphis that she simply “wanted Erin’s right to be able to express herself not to ever be taken away again.”
“I just wanted every Christian to know that we have a right to be able to express ourselves,” she told the news outlet. “We understand that they’ve taken prayer out of schools, but they cannot take God out of our children.”



Culture of Fear
Situations like Erin’s are happening all to frequently. Aggressive anti-faith groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the ACLU have created a culture of fear inside our nation’s schools – to the point that a teacher fears that a piece of paper with the word, “God” scribbled on it by a 10-year old might violate the Constitution! They fire off demand letters and intimidate school officials with threats of lawsuits.

Now, school districts across the country are so afraid of potential legal action that they end up infringing upon students constitutional rights.

However, Liberty Institute is here to clearly explain what the law actually allows regarding the free exercise of religion. 

US ARMY SLAMS CHRISTIANS

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Outrage! U.S. Army Labels Christian Ministry as “Domestic Hate Group”

IN THE PUBLIC ARENA
Last week, dozens of U.S. Army active duty and reserve troops were told during a briefing that the American Family Association (AFA) should be classified as a domestic hate group because of its traditional family values and religious beliefs.  Liberty Institute is providing legal counsel to AFA regarding this developing situation.

 The briefing was held last week at Camp Shelby in Mississippi. A soldier who attended the meeting contacted Fox News and provided a picture of the presentation that listed AFA alongside the Ku Klux Klan, the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam. During the briefing, the soldiers were also told they could be punished for participating in any organization that is considered a hate group.

“Am I going to be punished?” 
The soldier, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, said he was especially concerned because he is a supporter of AFA.

“I donate to AFA as often as I can,” he told the news outlet. “Am I going to be punished? I listen to American Family Radio all day. If they hear it on my radio, will I be faced with a Uniformed Code of Military Justice charge?”

The soldier told Fox News he was “completely taken back by this blatant attack not only on the AFA but Christians and our beliefs.”

This story should concern every American that values our First Freedom.

Alarming Pattern
The attacks on the religious freedoms of those in the military are increasing at unprecedented rate. The calls to Liberty from members of the military who are being persecuted for their faith are increasing.

One of those calls came from Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk who was recently relieved of his duties and reassigned because of his faith. Monk made the bold decision to stand for his religious freedom to serve as an example to his young sons. His story continues to make headlines across the country, shining a light on this very serious topic.

Liberty Institute is committed to fighting for Sergeant Monk and we know he will be vindicated. We are hopeful that as other members of the military follow Monk’s journey, they will be empowered to stand as well. And, when they are ready, Liberty Institute is here to defend them, free of charge.

 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

INTERNATIONAL GOOD WILL DAYS

Another traditional celebration bites the dust. As indicated below, the International Goodwill Committee has decided to discontinue the Annual Goodwill Days celebrated by the American Legion and the Canadian Legion. After 62 years, they are calling it quits due to lack of participation. Sadly, I recall many, many happy days of celebrating the continued joint activity, one year in the USA and the next year in Canada. 

It is a sad commentary on our current situation where the comraderie of our two nations must be dissolved, nevertheless the memories are in the minds of those who have been a part of this joint springtime activity timed to coincide with Memorial Day, a time to remember those who gave their lives for our great country.

These pictures are from the last Goodwill Day celebrated in 2013. I am so glad I had the opportunity to experience it. 
 
E-mail from John Konkol:

The International Goodwill Committee held its regular meeting in Clayton NY on October 6th 2013. At the meeting a vote was held and passed by 14 to 11 to dissolve the  International Goodwill Days held between the Royal Canadian Legions and the American Legions. This was due to the low participation and lack of volunteers.  I would like to thank all the people, communities, Legion Posts and Branches, dignitaries, guests, school bands, Marching Units  and Goodwill members on both sides of the border for making this a success for the last 62 years. Lifetime friendships and cross border relationships were made and will continue.  I would especially like to thank American Legion Post 904 Alexandria Bay NY, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 96 Brockville Ontario, American Legion Post 821 Clayton NY, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 92 Gananoque Ontario, American Legion Post 821 Cape Vincent NY and Royal Canadian Legion Branch 560 Kingston Ontario for all their years of hard work and dedication to this great organization. 

VA OFFICES SHUT DOWN


VA regional offices shut down
Because of the continuing government shutdown, VA closes all
public services at its regional offices
 
WASHINGTON (Oct. 8, 2013) -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced it is placing more than 7,000 employees on furlough, effective Oct. 8, a move that will eliminate public access to all 56 of its Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) regional offices.
As a result of the furloughs, VBA can no longer conduct personal interviews and hearings, process GI Bill benefits, offer educational or vocational counseling, or provide outreach activities and programs -- including VetSuccess on Campus. The reduced work force also means that American Legion service officers are unable to use office space allocated to them at the regional offices.
Daniel M. Dellinger, national commander of The American Legion, expressed outrage at the latest impact of the government shutdown on veterans. “Because Congress and the White House refuse to speak to each other, our country’s veterans are suffering more with each passing day of this extremely dangerous impasse.
“Now we’ve reached the point where VA can’t even process benefits claims for our men and women who served in uniform. Our nation’s leaders need a reality check. Do they really think they are serving the best interests of our veterans -- or the best interests of all Americans -- by forcing government agencies to shut down?”
On Oct. 4, Dellinger held a press conference at the World War II Memorial in Washington, a memorial that was initially closed to World War II veterans and is still closed to the public. He told reporters that the House of Representatives, the Senate and President Obama were all to blame for the shutdown.
Besides the 7,000 VBA workers furloughed, VA has also placed more than 2,700 OIT workers on furlough. This means that all development of VA software has ceased, including work on the Veterans Benefits Management System, which VA Secretary Eric Shinseki has repeatedly identified as a key component to eliminating the claims backlog.
In a statement, VA said claims processing will continue until funding is exhausted, “which is projected to happen in late October.” Mandatory overtime for claims processors, scheduled to continue until Nov. 16, has also been abruptly halted.
VA employees who staff the department’s compensation and pension call centers are still on the job. Veterans who want to file benefits claims or check on a claim’s status can still do so by calling (800) 827-1000.
VBA also announced it will no longer be able to respond to congressional inquiries until appropriations have been restored.
Secretary Shinseki is scheduled to testify Oct. 9 at a House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs hearing that will examine the impact of the current government shutdown on VA operations.
-30-
 
Contacts: Marty Callaghan: 202-263-5758/202-215-8644, mcallaghan@legion.org or Craig Roberts: 202-263-2982/202-406-0887, croberts@legion.org. A high resolution photo of Nat. Cmdr. Dellinger is available at www.legion.org.