This afternoon, AMVETS joined many of the nation's other top military and veterans' organizations for a roundtable discussion with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic Congressional leaders.
Among the topics of discussion were hot-button issues like Dependence and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) offsets for military widows who also collect Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) payments, persistent implementation and inequity issues with the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, transition issues, and military mental health.
AMVETS National Deputy Legislative Director Christina Roof took the opportunity to explain AMVETS' legislative agenda for FY2010, which will be available to the public on Veterans Day.
Some participants took the opportunity to voice their continued concerns over the Obama Administration's plans for Afghanistan and the potential impact on warfighters and military families .
Participants in the discussion also took the time to thank the Congressional panel for their proactive roles in recent significant victories for the military and veterans' communities such as the signing of VA advance appropriations for health care and the recent passage of a bill that will allow military spouses to keep their residency regardless of mandatory military moves. AMVETS was one of the few veterans' organizations to speak out in support of the military spouses residency bill.
Many significant Congressional leaders were on hand for the roundtable, including Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.), VA Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman and AMVETS Silver Helmet recipient Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Texas), Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), and chairman of the new military families caucus Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.).
Though the roundtable was largely ceremonial, it provided a critical opportunity for many organizations to voice their concerns directly to key decision-makers.
To read AMVETS' official statement from today's roundtable, Click Here.
(Photo: AMVETS National Deputy Legislative Director Christina Roof looks on as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivers her opening remarks at this afternoon's roundtable. Photo by Ryan Gallucci.)