American Legion Auxiliary joins ceremony that will provide emergency funds for veterans trying to get medical appointments.
INDIANAPOLIS - Past National President Peggy Thomas represented the American Legion Auxiliary at Fort Belvoir, Va., yesterday where she witnessed President Obama sign a $16.3 billion emergency spending measure that provides greater veteran access to non-VA health-care providers, among other reforms in the system.
“It’s a beginning,” Thomas said after the bill was signed yesterday. “The VA will now be able to more easily dismiss non-performing employees and provide better oversight. Veterans will be able to get the care they need now, rather than waiting until all this comes to a conclusion. This reform bill will make a better VA system, and a brighter future for many veterans.”
The reform package, which provides additional VA medical staff and allows VA greater authority to dismiss directors who fail to meet expectations, was introduced after VA whistleblowers came forward last spring to announce that they had allegedly been directed to falsify appointment records leaving some veterans on secret lists with no appointments scheduled at all.
Since then, The American Legion Family has conducted seven town hall meetings and has provided support by conducting Veterans Crisis Command Centers in seven communities, with more scheduled in the coming months.
So far, The American Legion Family command centers have personally helped more than 2,000 veterans gain access to the VA system, apply for benefits and receive other forms of help.
American Legion Auxiliary members have dedicated themselves for nearly a century to meeting the needs of our nation’s veterans, military and their families both here and abroad. They volunteer millions of hours yearly, with a value of more than $2 billion. To learn more about the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, or to volunteer, donate or join, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org. ###
American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters