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Legion Press Conference to Force Call to Action

September 14, 2016

The American Legion is inviting external media, congressional representatives, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) leadership, and other veteran service organizations to attend a press conference asking Congress to pass appeals modernization.

The press conference will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, September 14th at Senate Swamp on Capitol Hill and will include guest speaker Lou Celli, The American Legion’s Director of Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation and Acting Director of Legislative.

Appeals reform legislation will allow the VA to modernize its outdated appeals process and ensure that veterans are receiving the care that they deserve in a timely manner.

“Modernizing VA's archaic appeals process is of the utmost priority. Over the past year, The American Legion has engaged in discussions with VA leadership, VSO's, and private attorneys to improve the claims and appeals process,” said The American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt. “Please tell Congress you expect both parties to work together responsibly to pass legislation which includes a simple and fair appeals process that provides veterans and their families their earned benefits in a timely manner.”

Confirmed attendees for the press conference include:

- The American Legion Washington, D.C., Headquarters
- Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
- Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
- The American Veterans Inc. (AMVETS)
- Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA)
- Paralyzed Veteran of America (PVA)
- Sen. Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
- Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.)
- Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.)
- Sen. Angus King (I-Maine)
- Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.)
- Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.)
- Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.)
- Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-La.)
- Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.)
- Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.)
- Rep. Ann Kuster (D-N.H.)

About The American Legion
With a current membership of 2.2 million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 13,000 posts across the nation.


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