VFW DISCUSSES ISSUES WITH PRESIDENT
Protecting VA budget and stopping negative DOD proposals lead agenda
March 08, 2012
(March 8, 2012)—The
national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. met with
President Obama this afternoon to discuss issues important to veterans, service
members and their families. Topping the agenda was protecting the Department of
Veterans Affairs from mandatory budget cuts should sequestration occur, and VFW
opposition to certain Defense Department proposals that could jeopardize the
continued existence of the all-volunteer force.
president has been consistent in word and action
on protecting and increasing the Department of Veterans Affairs budget, and he
pledged to continue to do so even in these tough budget times. We gratefully
appreciate that commitment,” said Richard L. DeNoyer, a retired Marine and
Vietnam combat veteran from Middleton, Mass., who leads the 2 million-member
VFW and its Auxiliaries.
“The advocacy work he and First Lady Michelle, and Vice
President Joe and Dr. Jill Biden, continue to do for our military and veteran
families everywhere has been outstanding,” he said, citing as examples the
passage of advanced VA budget appropriations, the Family Caregiver Bill, and
just this week, bringing financial relief to thousands of service members and
veterans whose homes may have been wrongfully foreclosed upon since 2006.
Discussed with the president was the VFW’s opposition to
certain DOD proposals that would significantly raise healthcare fees on
military families and retirees, and change the current military retirement
system. DeNoyer also expressed his concern about the negative impact
sequestration would have on overall force readiness and national security.
The VFW national commander said that ensuring the
security of the nation is expensive, but that cost pales in comparison to
asking people to voluntarily do more for their country in a few short years
than most Americans do in a lifetime.
“In my travels to Afghanistan, Europe, the Pacific and
around the country, the number #1 issue from the troops is what the Pentagon is
doing to their pay and benefits,” said DeNoyer. “I am honored to carry their
concerns to the Oval Office, because as the nation’s largest and oldest major
combat veterans’ organization, one of the reasons why the VFW has maintained
its relevancy for more than a century is we work hard to defeat any proposal
that negatively impacts national security or the many people programs we fought
equally hard to create within DOD and the VA.”
addressed was the need for full funding of those organizations charged with
returning missing Americans from current and previous wars and conflicts—the
Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office, Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, and the
U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs.
president fully agreed that there is no mission more sacred than to recover our fallen from the battlefield and return them home to their families,” said
DeNoyer. “The VFW is very comforted to hear that, because the upcoming renewal
of recovery operations in North Korea is a new mission requirement that must
come with additional funding so that all missing Americans from all wars and
conflicts receive the same highest recovery priority,” he said.
“I sincerely appreciate
the opportunity to sit down and address these VFW issues with the president,
and I look forward to discussing them further in the near future.”
BACK TO NEWS >