Friday, March 27, 2009

The American Legion supports Obama plan for Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (March 27, 2009) – The leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization voiced his strong support for President Obama’s plan to increase troop levels and funding for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

“We have seen the results of a successful surge strategy in Iraq,” American Legion National Commander David K. Rehbein said. “When President Bush announced his plan for a troop increase there, we supported him. Now that President Obama wants to send additional troops to Afghanistan, we support him as well. Afghanistan was the training ground for the Sept. 11 attacks. We can never again permit the regime that allowed that to happen to take power.”

The president will reportedly send 4,000 additional troops to train and advise Afghan troops. These troops would be in addition to the 17,000 combat troops that were authorized to be added there last month. As part of the strategy, the White House would like to increase funding for the war by 60 percent.

“You cannot send troops into harm’s way without giving them the tools they need to succeed,” Rehbein said. “I believe not only in President Obama’s plan, but also in the leadership of Gen. David Petraeus and the magnificent men and women who are defending us in the global war on terrorism. Congress should absolutely support the president’s request.”

With a current membership of 2.6 million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and the mentoring of youth. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.


Media Contacts: Joe March, (317) 630-1253; Cell 317-748-1926, John Raughter (317)630-1350 or Craig Roberts (202)263-2982. This text and a high-resolution photo of Cmdr. Rehbein can be downloaded at <> .

Friday, March 20, 2009

Queensryche releases album based on veterans' stories

Submitted by hsoria on Thu, 03/19/2009 - 9:49am.
Thursday, March 19, 2009

In 1990, the rock band Queensryche scored a top-10 hit with the single, "Silent Lucidity." The song found itself in the regular rotation of rock radio stations and MTV, and became the signature hit for a band that's been generating albums for more than two decades.
Now, the band and lead singer Geoff Tate have turned their talents toward another project: telling the story of the men and women who've put their lives on the line serving in the U.S. military.

The group's latest album, "American Soldier," is set for release March 31 on Atco/Rhino Records. It is comprised of 12 songs inspired by interviews Tate conducted with veterans - from World War II to the war against terror. Tate recorded the interviews, and excerpts from those conversations are mixed into several of the songs.

The son of a Korean War Marine and Vietnam War Air Force veteran, Tate said the idea for "American Soldier" began with his father. "He started talking to me about what happened when he was in Korea. I was lucky that I had my camcorder with me, and so I started recording him talking about his war experience."

Tate played the interview for his family, and his wife suggested he write a song about it. "It made me want to learn more about being an American soldier," Tate said. "I figured the best way to go about that was to talk to the people who did that. I ended up talking to soldiers from World War II all the way up to the present war."

Read more about Geoff Tate and the "American Soldier" album in the May issue of The American Legion Magazine

American Legion praises White House change in plan

Submitted by hsoria on Thu, 03/19/2009 - 9:49am.
Thursday, March 19, 2009

President Obama has dropped a plan to bill private insurance companies for the treatment of veterans with service-connected disabilities and injuries. American Legion National Commander David K. Rehbein applauded the move.

"We are glad that President Obama listened to the strong objections raised by The American Legion and veterans everywhere about this unfair plan," Rehbein said. "We thank the administration for its proposed increase in the VA budget. We are always available to assist, by providing guidance to ensure a veterans health-care system that is worthy of the heroes that use it."

After a March 18 meeting with the Legion and other veterans groups, the White House announced it would no longer consider billing insurance companies or veterans for treatment of their service-connected disabilities.

"Although we disagreed with the proposal, additional revenue streams are needed by VA," Rehbein said. "I strongly encourage Congress and the administration to allow VA to begin billing Medicare for the treatment of veterans who qualify for the program. They paid into Medicare for their entire working careers, and should be able to use it in the medical system that was built specifically for them."

The White House plan to bill private insurance companies for veterans' service-connected health care led to a fire storm of opposition. Rehbein's editorial opposing the move appeared in the March 18 Wall Street Journal.

The same day, Legion spokesman Peter Gaytan appeared on Fox News and explained why the plan would not serve veterans' best interests.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Veterans Groups Blast Obama Plan for Private Insurance to Pay for Service-Related Health Care

From Tuesday, March 17, 2009

President Obama's plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs for the treatment of troops injured in service has angered veterans groups who say the government has a moral obligation to pay for service-related medical care. President Obama's plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs for the treatment of troops injured in service has infuriated veterans groups who say the government is morally obligated to pay for service-related medical care.

Calling it a "desperate search for money at any cost," Craig Roberts, media relations manager for the American Legion, told on Tuesday that the president will "wish away so much political capital on this issue" if he continues to insist on private coverage for service-related injuries.

Cmdr. David K. Rehbein of the American Legion, the nation's largest veterans group, called the president's plan to raise $540 million from private insurers unreasonable, unworkable and immoral.

"This reimbursement plan would be inconsistent with the mandate 'to care for him who shall have borne the battle,' given that the United States government sent members of the Armed Forces into harm's way, and not private insurance companies," Rehbein said late Monday after a meeting with the president and administration officials at the Veterans Affairs Department."I say again that The American Legion does not and will not support any plan that seeks to bill a veteran for treatment of a service-connected disability at the very agency that was created to treat the unique need of America's veterans," Rehbein said.

Roberts said that 11 veterans service organizations were told to come up with another plan if they didn't like this one. The groups met on Monday with Obama, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and Office of Management and Budget defense spending chief Steven Kosiak.

"What we've been tasked with now is to raise this money through alternative means and we're supposed to have a conference call in two or three days ... with Rahm Emanuel. So the implication was ... you guys come up with a better idea or this is what's going to happen," Roberts said.

A call to the White House was not immediately returned. But a summary of the proposed budget
says the president wants to increase funding for VA by $25 billion over five years, and bring more than 500,000 eligible veterans of modest income into the VA health care system by 2013.
"The president's avowed purpose in doing this is to, quote, 'make the insurance companies pay their fair share,'" Roberts said. But he said it will raise premiums, make insurance unaffordable for veterans and impose a massive hardship on military families. It could also prevent small businesses from hiring veterans who have large health care needs, he said.

"It's not the Blue Cross that puts soldiers in harm's way, it's the federal government," Roberts said, adding that the American Legion would like the existing system to remain in place. Service-related injuries currently are treated and paid for by the government. The American Legion has proposed that Medicare reimburse the VA for the treatment of veterans.
He said that the argument about the government's moral obligation to treat wounded soldiers, sailors and Marines fell on deaf ears during the meeting.

"The president deflected any discussion when it got into any moral issue here," he said. "Any attempt to direct the conversation (to the moral discussion) was immediately deflected."Private insurance is separate for troops who need health care unrelated to their service. But Roberts noted that if a wounded warrior comes back and needs ongoing treatment, he or she could run up "to the max of the coverage in very short order," leaving his family with nothingRoberts added that how the plan would raise $540 million "is a great mystery and it seems to be an arbitrary number. ... The commander said it seemed like this phantom number."

Monday's meeting was preceded by a letter of protest earlier this month signed by Rehbein and the heads of 10 service organizations. It read that "there is simply no logical explanation" for the plan to bill veterans' personal insurance "for care that the VA has a responsibility to provide."The letter called it "unconscionable" to shift the burden of the country's "fiscal problems on the men and women who have already sacrificed a great deal for this country." Rehbein testified to both the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees on those same points last week

Electric COOP Sign ups April

Electric Coop Sign up dates. You MUST have a 2009 LEGION CARD & Copy of Electric Bill.

Only PEPCO and BG&E, sorry Alleghany is not able to participate as of yet.

Sun, Apr 5, 1-5pm American Legion #300
Howard County Public Library
6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia
Sat, Apr 11, 11-6pm Sgt.Preston Ashley American Legion Post#228 Rock Hall
21423 Sharp Street, Rock Hall 21661-
Sun, Apr 19, 1-5pm American Legion Post #60 Laurel
2 Main St, Laurel 20707
Sun, Apr 26, 1-5pm American Legion Post #60 Laurel
2 Main St, Laurel 20707
Sun, Apr 26, 1-5pm American Legion Post #40 Glen Burnie
500 5th Ave, Glen Burnie 21061

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Post 295 Meeting March 12


The next meeting of American Legion Post 295 is Thursday, March 12th. 7 pm at Mangiare Bene, 808 W Diamond Ave, Gaithersburg

- VA Service Officer Cindy Smith
- 2009 Baseball Tournament
- Rolling Thunder
- Electric Coop

For the Veteran!

Bob Ouellette
Post Commander   

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Southern Maryland Oyster Bowl

Post 295 comes in 2nd Place in the Southern Maryland Oyster Bowl. The Oyster Bowl is a District wide membership competition. Pot 295's category is Post from 300 to 699.

Pictured is (R to L) Department Commander Gail "Moose" Murdock, 1st Vice Commander Orland Osteriech, Post 295/ Montomgery County Commander Bob Ouellette and Southern Maryland District Commander Tom Gillman. Photo courtesy of SMD Adjutant Pat McCoy.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Legionnaires you ready to lose weight?

Are any Legionnaires or Legion Family members interested in going in on a Biggest Loser type contest? At the Oyster Bowl it was apparent that we need to reduce our profile. 

I propose that everyone pay in $50. The winner will get 1/2 and the other half to 
Heroes to Hometowns or the Legacy Scholarship Fund. 

You can buy 1/4% loss by getting sponsors to donate $50. You can get as much 
sponsorship as you wish. 

This is a one-time fee you will pay to join the contest. Then decide how the 
winnings will be split up. You can reward the biggest weight loser or participants 
can get their money back when they lose a certain amount. 

Based on the response we can do weigh ins at the County meeting or district 
meeting. I will bring the scale. 

If we start soon, either March 15th at Post 268 or April 27th at Post 295. If you are 
in I need to know. 

Once we get together we can decide how we will measure progress each week by 
percentage of body weight lost, pounds lost, measurements or another method.