American Legion Members Blast Leadership

The American Legion is one more organization whose leadership has been taken over by conservative movement operatives. The leadership blindly supports Bush, no matter what — even when he is cutting funds for wounded troops and family support. Following is a letter I received from a member:

STATEMENT FROM Hal Donahue, Lt. Col. USAF (retired)
District Deputy Commander and Lifetime member of the American Legion
Legion Cuts and runs from wounded troops, active duty troops and veterans
Thursday the American Legion leadership issued a press release. It contained two key elements which I find reprehensible. First, the American Legion condemns Congress for performing its constitutional duty. Second, and most appalling, the American Legion opposes Congressional funding to meet immediate military and veterans needs. These Congressional bills for Emergency Defense Supplemental Appropriations for FY 2007 support our troops. To paraphrase former Senator Bob Dole when informed of the crisis at Walter Reed Military Medical Center, ‘where was the American Legion?’

Congress knows we must give the troops their equipment, and we must take care of the wounded. These congressional bills add additional money for areas slighted, including funding for military and veteran health care. Walter Reed Army Medical Center is included in these bills. I am a patient at Walter Reed and I see the bravery of our troops off the battlefield both trying to recover and trying to provide the best care. I see the effects of neglect caused by the Bush administration everyday; the administration pays lip service but offers no funding. These Congressional bills support the troops, the wounded and veterans. Why doesn’t the Leadership of The American Legion?
I say “American Legion leadership” because I know many members of the American Legion were simply embarrassed by positions taken by the Leadership of the organization, which blindly supports this administration’s war in Iraq while just as blindly ignoring wounded military living conditions at Walter Reed.
Embarrassment is no longer the word of choice. By actively urging Congress to remove immediate and urgent funding for wounded troops, military and veterans, the American Legion leadership has crossed the line to repulsion. To actively advocate in Congress against immediate support for our troops in combat and our wounded is simply repugnant. Commander Morin and the American Legion Leadership are cutting and running on our wounded, our troops, and our Veterans.
Hal Donahue, Lt. Col. USAF (retired)
District Deputy Commander and Lifetime member of the American Legion