— The national commander of the Veterans of Foreign
Wars of the U.S. left the Oval Office this morning knowing that President Obama
shares his same concerns for properly caring for military veterans, service
members and their families.
was a very positive meeting and we're grateful for the opportunity," said
John E. Hamilton, a combat wounded Vietnam Marine Corps rifleman from St.
Augustine, Fla., who is in Washington for the VFW's annual legislative
conference, which includes presenting the organization's top legislative
priorities before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs
Committees on Tuesday.
his list of concerns was the looming sequester, which is expected to kick in
are very appreciative of the president and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric
Shinseki for taking the VA off the sequester table last spring,” said Hamilton,
“but the VFW remains very concerned about mandatory across-the-board cuts in
quality of life programs over at the Defense Department, as well as the effects
the sequester and the struggling economy could have on future VA budget
VFW national commander said the president was well versed on the impact of
sequestration, plus he talked in great depth on VFW’s other high interest
topics, such as veterans unemployment, mental healthcare and the VA claims
backlog, which along with the ratings accuracy rate are the No. 1 issues
Hamilton is asked about when meeting with veterans at VFW Posts around the
also used the opportunity to praise 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 it can to
support those who have singularly borne the brunt of almost a dozen years of
newest concern, the high placement of the new Distinguished Warfare Medal above
the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, was also addressed. The president said he
would look into the issue.
has a sacred responsibility to care for her veterans, military and their
families, and though we still have much work to do, I am proud to report the
president is ensuring that America’s promise is kept both in word and
deed," said Hamilton.