Public AffairsGovernment / October 15, 2013

Veterans Call On Congress to End Shutdown

Sam Klemet
Veterans Call On Congress to End Shutdown

The American Legion is hosting its fall management meetings in Indianapolis this week and is using the time to draw attention to the impact of the federal government shutdown.

"It's time that they work together to find a solution to this issue," said National Commander Daniel Dellinger.  "Whether it's a continuing resolution, special legislation, whatever it takes to fund benefits for our veterans and take care of those that have worn the uniform and defended our great country."

Dellinger warns that GI Bill benefits will run dry November 1 if nothing is resolved in Washington.

"We will have long lasting effects on men and women volunteering for our armed services," he said. "When they put the uniform on the benefits that they were promised, they are not being fulfilled at this point."

Dellinger spoke about the dangers of the shutdown dragging on outside of the Indiana War Memorial, downtown.  He gave examples of a National Guardsman losing TRICARE coverage and his income, another disabled veteran who will lose out on receiving a service dog he was prescribed, and a husband and wife, who are both disabled vets, that face losing all their income if VA disability benefits disappear.

"They are worried about their checks, they are worried about this, they are worried about that.  They have enough headaches to worry about," said Bernie Stegmueller Department Commander of the Illinois American Legion.  "Our veterans were promised all of this when they went to war, whenever they went in, and then we get kick in the teeth."

"We are the people who put this country where it is."