The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) monitors all legislation affecting veterans, alerts VFW membership to key legislation under consideration and actively lobbies Congress and the administration on veterans issues. With VFW’s own priority goals in mind, combined with the support of 2 million members of VFW and its auxiliaries, our voice on “the Hill” cannot be ignored!

Friday, February 8, 2013

VFW Advocates to Converge to Washington; Share Your Stories

On March 3, VFW leaders will converge on Washington, D.C., for the VFW Legislative Conference. Members of the VFW National Legislative Committee, Women Veterans Committee, and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Committee will be out in force on Capitol Hill throughout the week alongside past VFW Commanders-in-Chief, VFW state commanders, and other VFW state offices. The week culminates with the testimony of VFW Commander-in-Chief John Hamilton before a special joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees.

In his testimony, Hamilton will lay out the 2013 legislative agenda for the VFW, which he will also have an opportunity to present to the White House and VA leadership. Commander Hamilton’s testimony will be streamed live on www.vfw.org, and the VFW Washington Office will bring you regular updates from the legislative conference the VFW Capitol Hill blog.

Armed with the VFW’s Legislative Priority Goals for 2013, VFW advocates plan to visit with every Congressional office, explaining in detail the VFW’s stance on a variety of veterans’ issues like VA benefits access, military quality-of-life programs, economic opportunity, and health care.

In advance of the conference, the VFW Washington Office is asking for “Advocate’s Point of View” stories from committee members and local advocates to feature on the VFW Capitol Hill blog. Submissions should be less than 500 words, including a brief description of your military background, your personal story about what VFW advocacy means to you, and a digital photo of either your time in uniform or your time working on behalf of the VFW. The VFW Washington Office will look to post submissions periodically leading up to the conference. If you are interested, please send your submissions directly to vfwac@vfw.org.

To view last year’s advocacy stories, click here.

Each year, the VFW Legislative Conference helps amplify the voices of nearly 2 million members of the VFW and our Auxiliaries on Capitol Hill, leading to meaningful reforms for our nation’s veterans. In September, VFW advocates similarly converged on Capitol Hill for the VFW Fall Conference, calling on the 112th Congress to “Finish Strong For Veterans”. The VFW’s efforts yielded considerable results when veterans’ reforms overwhelmingly passed through a reluctant Congress just after the New Year. To learn about the reforms VFW helped to pass at the end of the last Congress, click here.

(Image: VFW advocates from Vermont meet with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., during last year's legislative conference. Sanders is the chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee in the 113th Congress. Official VFW photo.)

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