Stars and Stripes
February 22, 2017
WASHINGTON — The American Legion is trying to arrange a meeting with President Donald Trump to discuss the importance of veterans service organizations, the group’s executive director said Wednesday.
American Legion officials stand to be recognized during Secretary of Veterans Affairs nominee Dr. David Shulkin's Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, Feb. 1, 2017.“It’s important that the president meets with us, and we’re working right now to set up a meeting,” American Legion Director Verna Jones said during an event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. “We want to… make sure that he understands the value of [veterans service organizations], what we bring to this veteran space and what veterans need.”
JOE GROMELSKI/STARS AND STRIPES
Jones said she wants five other veterans organizations included in the meeting with Trump. Veterans of Foreign Wars, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans of America, American Veterans and Disabled American Veterans, along with the American Legion, are informally known in Washington as the “Big Six” and collectively represent approximately 5.6 million veterans.
The six groups attempted to obtain an in-person discussion with Trump in December before he selected a new Department of Veterans Affairs secretary, but they never had a meeting. Leaders of major veterans groups were not present when Trump held a listening session about the VA earlier this month with health care executives.
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