This morning, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Army Reserve, Brig. Gen. Leslie Purser spoke at the AMVETS National Convention at the Galt House in Louisville. In her current role, Purser's responsibilities include developing the transition strategy for today's Reserve soldiers--who have been utilized at an operational tempo not seen since World War II.
Purser discussed new ways in which the Army is looking to meet the needs of soldiers in transition after combat deployments, such as partnering with civilian employers to ensure that Reserve soldiers can utilize their military job skills in viable civilian careers once they return home.
Purser also took a moment to discuss military readiness and daunting statistics on why so few Americans are unfit for military duty in the 21st century, ranging from obesity to mental health.
AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary partner Paws With A Cause also spoke on the convention floor, thanking AMVETS for its support to recent work on Capitol Hill, helping to secure benefits for disabled veterans who use service animals.
AMVETS member and Paralympic medalist Kevin Stone took a few moments to discuss the benefits of his service dogs Jonah and Mambo over the years as he recovered from a severe spinal chord injury he suffered in the 1980s while serving in the Army. Stone credits his remarkable recovery and his subsequent success as a U.S. Olympian to the life-altering assistance of service dogs.
To read more about Stone and the recent work of AMVETS on the service dog issue, check out the summer issue of American Veteran magazine by Clicking Here.
AMVETS also gathered to vote on the organization's resolutions, many of which will help to guide AMVETS' legislative work on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., such as the VA claims backlog, concurrent receipt issues, and flag protection. Based on this year's symposium and legislative resolutions, AMVETS will compile a comprehensive legislative agenda for 2011 to be published in time for Veterans Day.
(Photos: Top: Brig. Gen. Leslie Purser discusses Reserve transition strategies. Middle: Kevin Stone tells AMVETS how service dogs helped him regain his independence, Bottom: AMVETS National Judge Advocate Daniel Snyder discusses proposed amendments to AMVETS resolutions while First Vice Commander Jerry Hotop and National Legislative Director Ray Kelley look on. Photos by Ryan Gallucci.)