Local Legion/Auxiliary members lobby in Washington D.C.

Orville and Bev Otterness, members of the American Legion Post 85 and Auxiliary from North Branch, were in Washington D.C. recently lobbying for issues that affect American war veterans and the military.

Bev, a member of the National Education Committee, and Orv, a vice chairman of the Distinguished Guests Committee, were part of a delegation of 35 Minnesotans in Washington.

The delegation met with nearly every Minnesota representative and senator, and addressed an agenda of veterans programs Congress will be dealing with in the future.

Included in the lobbying efforts were:

•Sequestration: The American Legion supports a fiscally responsible government, but takes issue with cost cutting measures that will harm the nation’s ability to defend itself.

•Military to civilian credentialing: American soldiers coming home are highly trained and skilled. They often find that their skills do not transfer into civilian occupations because of unfair certification processes. There should be a seamless transition from military jobs to civilian jobs.

•Flag Amendment: A new bill has been introduced that would not call for a Constitutional Amendment, but would give Congress the power to prevent physical desecration of the U.S. Flag.

The delegation spent four days in Washington and attended informational sessions on critical issues. There are 87,000 members about 560 posts in the Minnesota American Legion.

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