I have good memories of the American Legion. The organization’s activities for young people played a pivotal role in the direction of my life. In High School I participated in both the Legion’s National Oratorical Contest, and its Boys State and Boys Nation programs. Those experiences helped to cement my interest in America’s political institutions, and what it takes to preserve our liberty. To my mind, the Legion has always represented the patriotic veteran’s insight that the defense of this country doesn’t begin or end on the battlefield, but in the conscience, heart and spirit of each new generation of Americans. The Legionnaires I met as a High School student had a commitment to the strength and survival of America that didn’t end when they left military service. It continued throughout their lives, as they supported and participated in activities that would kindle a love of country in young people, not just as a feeling but as a solidly grounded understanding of liberty and how to be the responsible, active citizens needed to make it work.
Given this background it caught my attention the other day when I read a report that “The commander of the American Legion emerged from a meeting with [alleged] President Obama “angered” at Obama’s insistence on generating revenue from those who sacrificed for American security.” Apparently, the Obama faction is moving forward with plans “to force private insurance companies to pay for the treatment of military veterans who have suffered service-connected disabilities and injuries.” Commander David K. Rehbein went on to say that “He says he is looking to generate $540-million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it.” Ending assured U.S. government funded care for preexisting service related injuries will make it more difficult for veterans to secure and keep health coverage. An odd result coming from the man promising universal health care to everyone. Read the entire article here.