By: Richard Humphrey, Department Commander, Published in the March 2015 Internet Observer
What a great 8 months so far. Mid Year has been completed with a great turn out, more than last year; the homeless veterans seminar was fantastic, several of the countries representatives are now talking to one another; the Washington Conference has been completed meeting with our Senators and Representatives; attended a Military Appreciation Day at the Colorado Congress last month where they passed several resolutions to assist our veterans; and our 96th Birthday is coming up.
March 15th is the celebration day. 96 years of assisting this country’s veterans, children, spouses, and defending our freedoms from those who would take it away. The American Legion has opposed the cuts to our National defense when so much has happened around the world; opposed the Veterans Administration for praise and bonuses to those who would lie and make false claims in reference to the medical and hospital care given to those in need or not given; and been opposed vocally numerous times about the backlog of medical claims in the millions when VA says there are only thousands.
We have also been in constant support of a Flag Amendment. Since 1968, The American Legion has been adamant about passing legislation to protect Our Flag, Old Glory, from physical desecration. And we are still fighting this battle because our Supreme Court feels that anyone can desecration OUR flag as “free speech” under the First Amendment for no other reason than they are in a public protest.
Something just doesn’t seem quite right about this. Isn’t the Congress supposed to be our representatives; aren’t they supposed to “work for US” the people of these United States. Survey after survey tells us that the majority of the people of this country want a Flag Amendment to the Constitution, but our Congress don’t seem to be able to pass a viable legislative agreement to protect the flag from physical desecration.
Maybe we need to send the Supreme Court to war for awhile and let them see what that flag means to us veterans. Maybe those in our Congress who haven’t served need to be drafted into military service for 2 or 3 years living from check to check; eating romaine noodles for lunch and dinner or walking to the base because there is no money for gas for the 10 year old vehicle. Maybe our military would receive more than a 1% raise from those who received a 15% to 20% raise, have limousine service and a very large expense account. We defend their freedom and they get the benefits.
I guess I’m sounding a little harsh here, but after 40 years you would think they would be able to come to some sort of agreement about the Flag they are suppose to represent and the one veteran’s die for and are buried beneath.
Legionnaires, here is hoping you have a great Legion Birthday celebration.