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CC March 25, 2010

Commander's Communique for March 25, 2010

The Commander's Communique is your periodic source for talking points relevant to the issues of the day affecting the Wisconsin American Legion.  It is intended to be used as a tool to communicate the Legion's message to your members and the public.  Print it out and take it your Post meeting and make sure that everyone is informed.
Testimonial Dinner
Thank you to everyone who helped make my Testimonial Dinner such an enjoyable evening.  Joyce and I feel very blessed to have so many great friends and comrades.  We appreciate all of the gifts and the hard work you have all done for the Legion over the past year!
Commander on WIBA-AM News Tomorrow Morning!
Tune in to News/Talk 1310 WIBA AM on your radio tomorrow morning at 6:50am and catch the Commander's interview!
He will be speaking about the Wisconsin American Legion Troop and Family Support Fund and our efforts to help a Wisconsin Dells soldier who lost his home in a fire earlier this month.
You can read the media release we put out yesterday here.
Legion Disappointed by Legislation Purported to “Enhance” GI Bill
Commander Endres spoke out yesterday on Assembly Bill 781.  This bill is purported to enhance the Wisconsin GI Bill when in reality it will further diminish benefits.
To read the full media release, click here.
The American Legion: “We are 100 percent committed to ensuring that veterans and their families are protected”
WASHINGTON (March 22, 2010) -- “I have been assured personally by the President, Secretary of Defense, VA Secretary, Speaker of the House, Majority Leaders, and numerous other Senators and Representatives –as has National Commander David Rehbein before me –that nothing in the national health care reform legislation will change current DoD and VA health care eligibility or practices,” said The American Legion National Commander Clarence E. Hill concerning the outcome of the health care vote on Sunday.
“As late as 9 pm last evening, I was on the telephone with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and we spoke candidly about The American Legion’s concerns.  Based on that conversation, the transcripts of hearings, assurances from the President and Secretary themselves, I am 100 percent confident that Congress will act responsibly as regards the nation’s veterans and their families,” Hill said.
Hill also explained that the legislative process being employed to implement the current health care reform is unlike any he has seen in his lifetime.  Indeed, there has been nothing similar in the past 100 years.  However, said Hill, “this is not the end of the health care reform debate or legislative process.  The legislation involved is so complex that it will take years to iron out and implement.  The American Legion will be involved every step of the way to ensure that the health care options guaranteed to service members and veterans, and their families, will be protected.”
While the entire health care reform legislative package is extremely controversial and contentious, The American Legion has taken a position on one aspect only: maintaining the autonomy of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Defense’s health care delivery systems.
“It is going to be a long, drawn out legislative process, but America’s veterans can rest assured that their benefits will be protected.  That I personally guarantee,” said Hill.
The American Legion’s Operation Comfort Warriors finishes first, wins $250K in Pepsi Cola’s Refresh Everything Project
WASHINGTON (March 22, 2010) –The people voted and the troops won.  PepsiCo has officially announced that The American Legion’s Operation Comfort Warriors will be awarded a $250,000 grant from the soft drink giant after finishing first in voting during February’s Refresh Everything  Project.
Internet voters were able to choose which of 729 competing charities would receive grants of $5,000, $25,000, $50,000 or $250,000. The top three finishers in the $250,000 category are receiving the grants.
“There are so many people to thank, I don’t know where to begin,” said American Legion National Commander Clarence E. Hill. “First, I want to thank Pepsi and its charitable Global Giving Foundation. Then I want to thank The American Legion members, American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion members and Legion Riders who supported us by spreading the word and voting. In fact, I want to thank everybody who voted for Operation Comfort Warriors. This was truly a national grassroots effort. Most of all, I want to thank our troops, who go into harm’s way for us every day. It is their sacrifice that makes it possible for us to enjoy the freedoms we all share.”
Since December 2008, the American Legion family has raised funds for Operation Comfort Warriors, a program dedicated to meeting the needs of wounded military personnel, providing them with comfort items not usually supplied by the government. OCW ensures that patients at U.S. military hospitals and warrior transition units are given items like sweat suits, DVDs, puzzles, electronic devices, books, calling cards and more. The American Legion pays all administrative costs for the program, meaning 100 percent of the donations, including the grant money, will go directly to purchasing items for the troops.
The American Legion, a wartime veterans organization, 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 14,000 posts across the nation. For more on Operation Comfort Warriors, visit
Membership – Next Target is 95% by April 14th
My thanks to all Posts for reaching this target already.  Your efforts are noticed and appreciated. 
As I look through the membership reports, I see many Posts that are still below 90%.  It’s time to focus on these posts and members to renew or recruit to help us meet the 95% target.  We need everyone’s help to meet this target date.   
Thanks a million in advance for your efforts.  Commander Leo
Post Challenge
Remember the National Security Committee's Post Challenge?  Each Post is requested to donate $250 toward the Troop and Family Support Fund.  Needed support requests are coming in each day for phone cards, blue star banners, care packages and all manner of emergency needs.  We want to ensure there are enough funds available to help veterans and their families in need.
We value your privacy and will not sell or otherwise share your e-mail address or personal information with any other organization.

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