VFW SHARES CONCERNS WITH PRESIDENT
VFW Commander-in-Chief Bill Thien met with President Obama to discuss veterans' issues
April 07, 2014
WASHINGTON — The
national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. met with
President Obama in the Oval Office this afternoon and expressed the VFW’s sympathy
and support to the Fort Hood, Texas, shooting victims and their families.
president shares our concern that more has to be done to help prevent similar
tragedies from occurring elsewhere," said William A. Thien, who leads more
than 1.9 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliaries. “The president also
understands the great challenges of dealing with individuals whose emotional
problems and/or post-traumatic stress can range from invisible to
debilitating,” he said.
is a national problem with no blanket solution,” said Thien, a Vietnam veteran
from Georgetown, Ind. “That means we as a nation have to continue to increase
our education and outreach efforts and anti-stigma messaging, and to have the
care available when and where needed for those folks who want to be helped.”
topics addressed were the proper care of military veterans, service members and
their loved ones, as well as the looming threat of sequestration on the Defense
Department and its potential impact on the Department of Veterans Affairs,
should Congress allow the sequester to continue in 2016. The VFW national
commander reiterated his organization’s great relationship with the VA, and
that the VFW supports all efforts to reduce the claims backlog.
also praised the great military family support work of first lady Michelle
Obama and second lady Dr. Jill Biden. "Our military is fully aware and
sincerely appreciative of their outspoken support of military families,” he
said. “Likewise, the VFW will continue to do whatever we can to support those
who have singularly borne the brunt of more than a dozen years of war."
final topic was America’s Full Accounting Mission and the VFW’s support of
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s reorganization of the accounting community
tasked to accomplish it.
Secretary Hagel recently said, ‘You take care of the people who gave their
lives to this country and you take care of their families,’” echoed Thien. “Any
effort that helps to recover, identify and return more missing service
personnel to their loved ones is a positive initiative, and the VFW looks
forward to continuing to work with him and his team to make this happen.”
Photo Caption: President Barack
Obama meets with Veterans of Foreign Wars leadership, Commander-in-Chief
William Thien and Robert E. Wallace, left, Executive Director Washington
Office, in the Oval Office, April 7, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete
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