By Robert Schnooberger - 03/11/09 06:28 PM EDT
American Legion endorses no one
From Steve Robertson, director, National Legislative Commission, The American Legion
Your article “Vets blast VA’s claims proposal” (March 9) says: “Veterans organizations supported Obama during the campaign …” While The American Legion is not specifically named as a veterans’ organization that supported Obama, the implication is certainly there for such an interpretation, as our name is used later in the article.
The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic, mutual-help, war-time veterans organization, and now numbers nearly 2.7 million members — men and women — in nearly 15,000 American Legion Posts worldwide. These posts are organized into 55 departments — one each for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico, and the Philippines. Under Title 36 of the United States Code, Section 217, The American Legion “shall be nonpolitical and may not promote the candidacy of an individual seeking office.”
Certainly there are many veterans across this country who supported the campaign of President Obama, just as many no doubt also supported his opponent, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). However, as an organization, The American Legion did not support either candidate for president, nor for any other candidates for any elected offices.
Guns’ availability heightens drug trade
From Donald A. Larson
The article “NRA forces Pelosi retreat” (March 4) says the National Rifle Association is holding up passage of the D.C. voting rights bill until Congress attaches an amendment preventing the District from restricting the sale of guns. The NRA is strongly supported by conservatives in both parties and the gun industry, so congressmen who vote against them are put in jeopardy on Election Day.
This kind of suppression of gun laws rolls out the welcome mat for the Mexican drug lords, who are already extending their grisly operations into the U.S. Unless we stand up to these gun merchants and enact strong laws on the sale of guns, our country runs an increasing risk of becoming a lawless narco-state.
Chevy Chase, Md.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is unfair, dishonorable
From Marykay Wallk
I am a veteran of 25 years military service and I’m a lesbian. I had to hide who I was to serve my country.
I performed honorably and with pride, even though I was harassed and discriminated against sometimes. However, you can’t complain about something that is supposed to be a secret. It’s shameful to make people hide who they are.
We need to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. We cannot afford to dismiss any qualified, honorable, and able members of our military. Additionally, at a time when our military is so overextended, allowing members of the military to serve openly, without being discharged, will alleviate the strain so many of our service members feel from repeated deployments.
Our military is professional and mature. Changing the policy will not affect how service-members do their jobs, or cohesiveness. In fact, it only will make our military stronger.