Friday, March 13, 2009
AMVETS Honor Rep. Chet Edwards with Silver Helmet
AMVETS presented Texas Congressman Chet Edwards with its Congressional Silver Helmet Award during a reception in the Rayburn House Office Building last night in Washington.
"They can have their Oscar, I'll take this," said Edwards, as he accepted the award, commonly referred to as the "Veterans' Oscar."
Edwards, who chairs the Congressional subcomittee responsible for funding the VA, seized the opportunity to thank AMVETS for its hard work pushing Congress to properly care for our veterans.
VA Secretary Eric Shinseki was on hand to congratulate Edwards, whose district includes Ft. Hood in Killeen, Texas. Shinseki commanded the First Cavalry Division at Ft. Hood from 1994-1995.
The secretary also took the opportunity to personally address AMVETS' leaders for the first time since his appointment by President Barack Obama.
"Let me just say thank you very much for what you do for all our veterans and for the VA," said Shinseki. "For us, this partnership is an important one. I look forward to strengthening it and getting to know you personally as I get out and move amongst the communities where you live and work."
Representatives from DAV, VFW, and Congressional offices also joined AMVETS to honor Edwards.
As the busy week draws to a close for AMVETS, be sure to check back with American Veteran Online for further coverage of the weekend's executive committee meeting and the 55th annual Silver Helmet Awards banquet.
(Photos, Top: Rep. Edwards discusses why the work of VSOs such as AMVETS is vitally important to his mission in Congress. Bottom: AMVETS National Commander John C. Hapner speaks with Edwards and VA Secretary Shinseki prior to the reception on Capitol Hill. Photos by Jay Agg)