Ending Sequestration Tops VFW Legislative Agenda

'We are still a nation at war...'

More than 500 members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. are arriving in the Nation’s Capital this weekend to urge their members of Congress to end sequestration. 

“We are still a nation at war,” said VFW National Commander William A. Thien, “and our duty is to end the sequester and fight continued attempts to force veterans, service members and their families to shoulder an unfair share of the nation’s debt, fight for advance appropriations for all VA accounts, and fight to preserve the safety and security of the United States and the continued viability of the All-Volunteer Military.”

Thien is scheduled to present the VFW’s legislative positions at 10 a.m., Wednesday, in testimony before a joint hearing of the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. That evening he will present Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) with the VFW’s 2014 Congressional Award, which for 50 years has been presented annually to one sitting member of the House or Senate for significant legislative contributions on behalf of those who have worn the uniform. The award is extremely important to the VFW because it recognizes that military, veterans and families of past and present have a champion in their corner on Capitol Hill.

Other legislative conference events include:

Hosting a Wounded Warrior Dinner tonight for wounded troops and their families from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at nearby Bethesda, Md.

Awarding a $30,000 scholarship Monday evening at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Va., to the winner of the annual VFW Voice of Democracy program, a patriotic-themed contest that this year judged more than 40,000 high school student entries. The winner will be joined onstage by home schooled eight-grader Alexis Canen from Glendive, Mont., who beat 110,000 other middle school students to win a $5,000 scholarship in the VFW’s annual Patriot’s Pen contest.

The VFW will stream live video of the 2014 Voice of Democracy Parade of Winners beginning at 6 p.m. (EST), Monday, and video of the VFW national commander’s congressional testimony will stream online Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m. (EST). Visit www.vfw.org/livestream to access the stream directly. If you miss the live feed, you can also use the “on-demand” feature to watch at any time.