Showing posts with label American Legion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label American Legion. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Veterans in Crisis: Isolation blend of fear and hope

Rise in veterans seeking help, a good sign

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 14, 2014

When the number of veterans committing suicide goes up, it shows that they did not get the help they needed to want to stay alive. We have seen that for decades, but it got worse as more and more people were doing more to take advantage of the situation than change it for the better.

In a way, it is like a miracle happening and I have hope!

The time has finally come when all the people out there who have been raising funds to let veterans know they are killing themselves have stopped their stunts. Now maybe veterans are able to hear that real help is out there.

The blessing in all of this is that a lot of people are stepping up to make a difference and veterans are responding. They are aware they do not have to fight the battle against PTSD alone.

Virtual mental health care for veterans up more than 200% amid COVID-19

by News 4-Fox 11 Digital Team
April 13th 2020
RENO, Nev. (News 4-Fox 11) — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) said they have seen an increase in virtual mental healthcare use due to COVID-19.

According to the VA, there was a 70 percent increase in veterans using VA Video Connect for their appointments. They also saw mental health calls jumped more than 200 percent in March, compared to February.

Veterans groups step up efforts to help with coronavirus financial challenges and isolation

Military Times
Leo Shane III
April 14, 2020
A member of the American Legion salutes as group members retire flag displays after a memorial service held at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Ilwaco, Washington on Jan. 11, 2020. (Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read/Coast Guard)
Similarly, this week officials from the American Legion reconfigured their Buddy Check program launched last year to refocus on the current pandemic. Local posts are being tasked with outreach to veterans throughout their communities, to ensure individuals are healthy and still connected despite illness-mandated isolation.

“Legionnaires are using the phone, email and social media to safely find out how these veterans are doing and what we can do to help them,” American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford said in a statement.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

American Legion Chaplain leading veterans trained to talk to veterans and stop these suicides

Tackling veteran suicides one on one

American Legion
March 4, 2020
“I knew we had to do something about veteran suicides,” said Miller, who was a Strategic Air Command medic during the Korean War. “That’s when I started the peer group … to have veterans trained to talk to veterans and stop these suicides.
(Photo courtesy
In 2012, U.S. Air Force veteran Frederick Miller saw a report on CNN about veteran suicides. And then he started to notice multiple reports showing the number of suicides each day, but didn’t see much in the way of how the problem was being addressed.

So Miller – the former Nassau County (New York) chief of parasitology, an ordained reverend and the chaplain for Arthur H. Clune American Legion Post 1533 in Mastic Beach – decided to start addressing the problem at the local level.

Miller’s Veterans Peer-to-Peer Program started at his post, but has since grown to become a Suffolk County program, with more than 100 Legion Family members participating. Those who participate in the program as counselors undergo training and then work with veterans who are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and what Miller calls the “moral injuries” associated with serving in combat.
read it here

Monday, February 3, 2020

Stolen Valor: AWOL after boot camp, faker charged with stealing from American Legion

Man Headed to Trial for Stolen Valor

WNEP ABC 16 News
FEBRUARY 3, 2020
Crawford’s DD 214 discharge form would have shown that he went AWOL after a few months of Army boot camp in 2007.

Instead, Crawford told members at the American Legion that he was an Iraq war veteran injured in an IED explosion.
SCRANTON, Pa. — A man from Scranton will stand trial for impersonating a veteran.

Prosecutors say while Christopher Crawford was lying about his military record, he was stealing money from the American Legion in the city where he was a member.

Crawford was serving as an officer at American Legion Post 568 in the Minooka section of Scranton. Last summer, his fellow officers reported Crawford for allegedly stealing $16,000 from the organization. That’s when it was also discovered that Crawford was not a veteran at all.

The veterans we spoke say between those two sets of charges, it’s the stolen valor, not the stolen money, that hurts most.
read it here

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Did you know that bankruptcy can cost you VA benefits too?

Bankrupt vets can lose their disability benefits. This new effort would protect them.

Reboot Camp
By: Joshua Axelrod
March 7, 2019

Two senators just introduced a bill designed to shield veterans’ disability benefits from debt collectors.

When a disabled vet declares bankruptcy currently, the law allows debtors to count a veteran’s disability benefits as disposable income, allowing them to seize the benefits.

Yet Social Security disability benefits are exempted by law from being lumped into a person’s disposable income in bankruptcy filings, and disability benefits in any form aren’t taxable and therefore generally not considered disposable income.

This state gives vets and their families free college tuition — without touching their GI Bill benefits The Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need (HAVEN) Act seeks to create the same immunity in bankruptcy cases for benefits provided by the VA and Department of Defense to disabled veterans and their surviving spouses.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced the bill, which has already been endorsed by 10 Republican and 10 Democratic senators. It has also earned the support of organizations like the American Legion, Disabled Veterans of America and the American Bankruptcy Institute, among others.

“Right now, veterans and their families are forced to dip into their disability-related benefits to pay off bankruptcy creditors,” said Baldwin during an unveiling event for HAVEN in her Senate office. “And that’s not right. This reform will protect veterans’ disability benefits when they fall on hard times.”
read more here

Monday, October 22, 2018

VA Security Guard sent away homeless veteran despite rules

Left in cold by VA medical center, homeless veteran finds kindness in strangers

Boston Globe
Brian MacQuarrie
Globe Staff
October 22, 2018
VA officials said they have no record of an encounter that night between Franks and VA security officers. Under the Bedford VA’s policy, any veteran who turns up homeless can be sheltered in the urgent-care area if no other beds are available, agency officials said.

CRAIG F. WALKER/GLOBE STAFF Navy veteran Norman Franks spent four months in a cramped tent in a campsite on the grounds of Hanscom Air Force Base. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff)
BEDFORD — At 2 a.m. on a chilly May morning, Norman Franks sat slumped in a chair in a TV lounge at the Department of Veterans Affairs medical center, fighting for snatches of sleep under the glare of ceiling lights, he said.

A Navy veteran of the late 1970s, Franks had led a troubled life. His addiction to crack cocaine led to a long series of armed robberies, which led to 15 years in prison. Now, he found himself homeless.

Franks wanted a clean start, but first he needed a place to live. With no good options, he made his way to the Bedford veterans complex, an outpost of a sprawling federal agency that takes its motto from Abraham Lincoln’s promise “to care for him who shall have borne the battle.”

Instead, he spent the night in the woods, shivering under a tarp. He stayed there for four of the next five nights, then spent the next four months in a cramped tent in a campsite on the grounds of Hanscom Air Force Base.

As the weeks passed, Franks fell deeper into despair. But slowly, unexpectedly, he was reclaiming some of his life, thanks to a devoted group of strangers — members of an American Legion post, volunteers from a Catholic parish, even from a congressman’s staff — who felt obliged to aid a veteran in need.
read more here

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Huey vandalized at American Legion

Vandals damage helicopter used in Vietnam War
Columbus Dispatch
Marc Kovac
July 3, 2018

NEWARK — Local veterans are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of vandals responsible for damaging a Vietnam-era helicopter that’s been displayed at schools and in parades for decades.

The UH-1 “Huey” helicopter was used in the Vietnam War for about five years and subsequently for stints by the U.S. Navy and the Ohio National Guard before it was transferred to Newark about 30 years ago for display.

Sometime over the weekend, vandals broke out two of the windows on the chopper, which was parked at the American Legion Post 85 on Wilson Street in Newark, said Mark Rehl, president of Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 55, District 1.

“It’s very upsetting,” he said.

The aircraft, which rides atop a customized boat trailer, has been used as a mobile historic display at community and school events, with frequent appearances during parades. It’s also been a help to local veterans, some suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from their service years.
Anyone with information about the weekend vandalism of the aircraft is encouraged to contact the local Vietnam Veterans of America chapter at (740) 927-6272.
read more here

Sunday, February 4, 2018

American Legion Post No. 92 needs help to keep helping veterans

Veterans who help veterans need help of their own
Herald Net
Julie Muhlstein
February 4, 2018
Even after a veteran has died, a claim effort can continue and a widow may be helped. “Some guys just want to give up,” Hughes said. “We try to convince them not to.”

Just outside Stanwood’s American Legion Post 92 Thursday, Navy veteran and Post Chaplain Phil Lewis, 85, talks about major work needed on the building, which is only a few years younger than he is. Post Cmdr. Gina Seegert might appear to be suffering from a little sticker shock, considering they need to raise $90,000. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
The distinct Spanish mission-style building has a past. It was built in 1939, by the Works Progress Administration, as East Stanwood City Hall. More than a piece of history — a place with a past — today it serves a vital purpose. As Stanwood American Legion Post No. 92, it helps veterans in need.

With its volunteer Veteran Service Officers, the post guides people who have served in the military through the paperwork tangle to obtain veterans benefits. The Legion hall hosts monthly prime-rib dinners, and offers bingo and other social opportunities. Members send care packages to local men and women now in the armed forces.

A lifeline for veterans, Stanwood’s Post 92 now has a need of its own.

When it was built, an 80-foot beam made by flattening an old-growth tree was used as a main support. Under a saggy part of the hall’s floor, that beam is rotting. In 2014, the group replaced about 30 feet of it.

Phil Lewis, the 85-year-old chaplain of Post 92, is leading a “Replace the Beam” fundraising project. The goal is $90,000. The money would be used to jack up the building, cut out the existing 2-foot-by-2 foot beam, put a form in place, add rebar, and pour cement to create a new 50-foot concrete beam. Project plans include replacing part of the floor.

read more here

Sunday, November 19, 2017

New Freedom Medal Award Celebrates Service After Service

New Freedom Medal Award winners feted at gala

Delaware County News Network
Leslie Krowchenko
November 18, 2017

Kinney, of Middletown, delayed his college education to enlist in the Marine Corps, serving in Vietnam in 1966-1967. Upon his return he joined the VFW, American Legion and Disabled American Veterans and has assisted in performing more than 1,000 military funerals. He was inducted into the Chapel of the Four Chaplains Legion of Honor in 2016.

Seated from left, Freedom Medal Award winners Sean Sweeney, Marty Costello, Jennifer Jones, Dr. Tina Kane, Jerry Sweeley and Bill Kinney Jr. are flanked by members of Delaware County Council and the Delaware County Veterans Memorial Association board.
SPRINGFIELD  Honoring America’s veterans should not be limited to the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
The Delaware County Veterans Memorial Association and Delaware County Council insure that respect is year-round.
More than 500 local residents joined Thursday night for the fourth annual Freedom Medal Award dinner. The event at Springfield Country Club provided an Olympic-style podium to congratulate dedication to country recipients Marty Costello, Jennifer Jones, Bill Kinney Jr., Jerry Sweeley and Sean Sweeney, Dr. Tina Kane (dedication to education), the Videon family (dedication to community) and Delaware County Councilman David White (president’s award).
“This is an opportunity to honor our heroes for their service and sacrifice,” said Army veteran and association board President Guy Fizzano. “It is also a chance to thank our donors, who support the memorial’s upkeep and its educational programs.”
This year’s honorees represent the best of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. Costello, of Radnor, enlisted in the Navy in 1976 and served as an aircraft mechanic with Attack Squadron 82. He has dedicated numerous hours to local veterans’ organizations and their causes, including as commander of the Delaware County American Legion committee, and worked to rebuild and rededicate the war memorial in his home town.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Florida Veteran Committed Suicide On Veterans Day

Winter Garden group's walk to raise awareness about veteran suicides to have fresh meaning
WFTV 9 News
by: Ken Tyndall
Updated: Nov 16, 2017

WINTER GARDEN, Fla. - Veterans and volunteers inside the American Legion Post 63 in Winter Garden were getting ready Thursday for a weekend walk aimed at raising awareness about the epidemic of veteran suicides.

The walk was postponed in September because of Hurricane Irma and many will take to the road Saturday with heavy hearts, wondering if one of their own would be participating had the event gone on as originally planned.

Just days ago, a Winter Garden veteran took his own life and many of the awareness walk's organizers knew him personally.

"He was a member of this local community, and more than likely would have been at this event," Kurt Gies said. "And he would have seen what we're doing and the awareness that we're trying to bring.

"I don't know if it would have stopped him, but it may have."read more here

Ashley Moir said she knows over 34 veterans who have committed suicide. The veteran in this report committed suicide on Veterans Day. He was a part of this group. She says that there isn't a lot you can do unless you know them. 

Anyone else see the problem with this? What good does it do to a veteran needing hope to hear about a number that is not even close to the truth?

I am sure they are heartbroken and wondering what they could have said, or done differently. I am sure they have regrets. I know I do, or should say, still do after 17 years when we lost my husband's nephew.

The difference was that I knew everything I needed to know back then. I knew what it was, why he had it and what he needed to do to heal. I knew the numbers, facts and researched it long enough, to change the rest of his life. The problem is, I did not know the one thing that could have saved him. How to get him to listen.

So how do we get people to listen when they cannot hear they are wrong? How do we get them to care enough to know what they need to in order to help veterans taken back control of their lives instead of taking them?

The only way to do it is to tell the truth and then do the work it takes to get them to understand they already survived the worst that PTSD could do when they survived the trauma that started it.

The sound of silence will keep trapping them if we cannot hear their cries!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Veterans Groups Joined Forces But Left Out Most Veterans

As with everything else, notice that not all veterans are helped by this group. 65% of the veterans committing suicide are pre-9-11 veterans but they are forgotten about. 

Nothing will change until there are "none the less" veterans. 

Nonprofit joins together veterans, rescue dogs 
WESH 2 News 
November 4, 2017 

Several veterans are looking for a new start with new K9 companions thanks to a nonprofit organization.
The American Legion Auxiliary presented a $9,100 check to the K9s for Warriors nonprofit. The organization provides service dogs to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma during military service post-9/11. 

The cost to train each dog is around $27,000 which the organization provides to veterans at no cost. 
read more here

Service dogs are wonderful but they would be wonderful for all generations of our veterans. I am unapologetic about the way I feel toward all these new groups totally dismissing the sacrifices made by older veterans and the fact they waited longer for someone to care about them.

What kind of Veterans Day is it for the majority of our veterans? Ever think about what kind of message this sends them? Ever wonder what it is like for them to read about something wonderful happening for other veterans while they are abandoned?

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Veterans Call "Choice" a Disaster


Veterans call program to get health care with civilian doctors 'a disaster,' broken

Independent Record
Holly K. Michels
October 24, 2107

Veterans from around the state expressed frustration over the Veterans Choice program, meant to increase access to health care, during a listening session in Helena on Monday night.

Veteran Don Paul discusses the tribulations he endured while trying to acquire new prescription glasses during a town hall meeting at The American Legion Post in Helena.Thom Bridge,
Nearly 50 veterans came to American Legion Post No. 2 to talk about their experiences with Veterans Affairs Department health care. The town hall is one of about a dozen the Legion will hold around the country this year to gather feedback to share with state congressional delegations and VA officials.
“That Choice is broke, broke, broke,” said veteran Tom Johnson, who said he was employed by the VA for more than three decades. “The VA has gone downhill drastically in the last eight years.”

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Harry Colmery Left More Than a Legacy For Veterans

Editorial: Colmery’s legacy of serving veterans

Topeka Capital Journal
Editorial Board
August 18, 2017

Last summer, the Harry Colmery Plaza was dedicated in downtown Topeka exactly 72 years after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944 — legislation more commonly known as the GI Bill.

Harry Colmery’s niece, Jean Roberts, left, and granddaughter, Mina Steen, inspect the statue of their family member after it’s unveiling Tuesday afternoon in downtown Topeka. The new plaza is dedicated to Harry Colmery, a Topekan who is responsible for the creation of the GI Bill. (2016 file photograph/The Capital-Journal)

After serving in World War I, Colmery became a tireless advocate for veterans, and his involvement with the American Legion culminated in his appointment as national commander in 1936. He was also a member of the organization’s national legislative committee, and during World War II, he wrote a draft that eventually became the GI Bill.

Colmery witnessed the awful treatment of American veterans when they returned from World War I. After enduring unimaginable horrors on the battlefield, they were thanked with abject poverty, a lack of basic health care, no job prospects and no chance to pursue an education. Many of them suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder — a condition that wasn’t well-understand and for which treatments were still in the early stages of development — and other devastating war wounds. This made finding a job, paying for a home and caring for a family even more difficult. Then the Great Depression came.
read more here

Harry Colmery also left a history report of how Congress has failed veterans ever since.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Man Charged After Hit and Run Left Veteran in Road

Police make arrest in hit-and-run that left local veteran injured

August 15, 2017
WACO, Texas (KWTX) Bellmead police made an arrest Tuesday in a hit-and-run crash in June on an I-35 access road that left a local veteran seriously injured.
Cody William Jones, 25, was charged with failure to stop and render aid.
Boone Barott, 45, of Riesel, the vice president of the American Legion 121 Elm Mott riders group, was riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle shortly after 10 p.m. on June 25 on the Interstate 35 access road next to the Texas Department of Transportation offices when an SUV whose driver was headed the wrong way hit the bike.
read more here

Sad update

Man charged in hit-and-run that left local veteran injured found dead

Barott sustained a broken pelvis and a number of lacerations and scrapes and bruises over all his body.He was later released from a local hospital, but faces several months of rehabilitation before he’s able to get back on a motorcycle.Police located the vehicle involved in the crash in early July.“We sure didn’t want this to happen,” Barott said after learning of Jones’ death.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

POTUS Against Veterans Fighting for Pot Instead of Pills

As administration wages war on legal marijuana, military veterans side with pot
Tribune Washington Bureau
Evan Halper and Lauren Rosenblatt
July 23, 2017
"We were hearing these compelling stories from veterans about how cannabis has made their lives better," said Joseph Plenzler, a spokesman for the American Legion. "That they were able to use it to get off a whole cocktail of drugs prescribed by VA doctors, that it is helping with night terrors, or giving them relief from chronic pain."
WASHINGTON (Tribune News Service) -- The Trump administration's attack on legal marijuana, already stymied by large states determined not to roll back the clock, is increasingly confronting an even more politically potent adversary: military veterans.

Frustrated by federal laws restricting their access to a drug many already rely on to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and opioid addiction, veterans have become an influential lobbying force in the marijuana debate after sitting on the sidelines for years.

The 2 million-member American Legion this spring got involved in a big way by launching a campaign to reduce marijuana restrictions, which it says hurt veterans and may aggravate a suicide epidemic.

The move reflects the changing politics of marijuana, and of a conservative, century-old veterans service organization facing new challenges as its membership grows with those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
read more here

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Marine Veteran Left in Road After Hit and Run

Waco: Car involved in hit-and-run that injured Marine veteran found
By John Carroll
Posted: Jul 03, 2017

WACO, Texas (KWTX) A Marine veteran who was seriously injured when a car whose driver did not stop hit his Harley Davidson motorcycle says he’s been told the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run has been found.

“The police believe that they have the vehicle in custody, so I think we're headed down the right road for an arrest,” Boone Barott, 45, of Riesel, said Monday.

“I’m still disappointed that nobody has come forward.”

Barott, the vice president of the Elm Mott American Legion 121 riding group, is recovering at home after suffering a broken pelvis and severe cuts and bruises in the June 25 hit-and-run on the Interstate 35 access road near the Texas Department of Transportation Office in Waco.
read more here

Monday, June 19, 2017

American Legion Riders and Community Join Forces to Help Vietnam Veteran

Community comes together to help family of Vietnam War veteran
Alexandra Pierce
Posted: Jun 18, 2017

DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. - It's been nearly a month since a Palm Springs man lost his home and his family's belongings in a fire. Days later, Mike Salazar, the owner of the home, lost his battle to cancer.
Salazar was a Vietnam War veteran and a local motorcyclist. Saturday, the Palm Springs American Legion and Legion Riders hosted a fundraiser to help Salazar's family get back on their feet.
read more here

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Vietnam Veteran Stopped Robbers At American Legion Post

VIDEO: Vietnam veteran fires shot at thieves breaking into American Legion Post
FOX 8 News Cleveland
APRIL 6, 2017
The burglars had a good working knowledge of the building and thought they were cutting the wires to the security system, but it turns out the new system is wireless.
WAYNE COUNTY, Ohio -- A couple of burglars pick the wrong place to break into.
A Wayne County sheriff's deputy, responding to an alarm early Wednesday morning at The American Legion Post outside Wooster, meets 76-year-old Don Bertsch, a Vietnam veteran, who is the financial officer for the post.

The two men search the building and eventually work their way up to the second floor where Bertsch, who has a conceal carry permit, encounters two men inside an office they have broken into.

"Came face to face with a guy in a ski mask and he hollered at me 'don't shoot' and tried to push the door shut and I could see another individual in there with them and I pulled my gun out," Bertsch said.

read more here

Saturday, March 18, 2017

President Trump Had Meeting with Veterans Groups

It looks like Politico doesn't read Military Times.....

Trump's 'major meeting' on veterans affairs doesn't happen

Trump meets with veteran leaders, promises VA reforms
Military Times
By: Leo Shane III
March 17, 2017
Along with Got Your 6, the meeting included Student Veterans of America, the Military Order of the Purple Heart and the “big six” veterans groups — American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, PVA, Vietnam Veterans of America and AMVETS.
(Photo Credit: Evan Vucci/AP)
WASHINGTON — President Trump held his first face-to-face meeting with representatives from prominent veterans groups on Friday, a step that community advocates called a productive and critical step in advancing the White House’s promises to veterans.

The hour-long meeting with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and senior White House staff covered issues including medical care access for veterans, accountability for VA employees, veterans caregiver programs and the president’s campaign pledges to make veterans services more efficient.

It included top officials from 10 veterans groups and was billed as a listening session for the president, with no policy or legislative proposals presented to the community leaders.

But individuals at the event said Trump was involved in the conversation throughout the meeting, questioning the groups on their priorities and ways the White House can help.
read more here

Thursday, February 23, 2017

POTUS Not Meeting With Veterans Groups?

American Legion defends VA health care, still trying to meet with Trump
Stars and Stripes
Nikki Wentling
February 22, 2017

WASHINGTON — The American Legion is trying to arrange a meeting with President Donald Trump to discuss the importance of veterans service organizations, the group’s executive director said Wednesday.
American Legion officials stand to be recognized during Secretary of Veterans Affairs nominee Dr. David Shulkin's Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, Feb. 1, 2017.
“It’s important that the president meets with us, and we’re working right now to set up a meeting,” American Legion Director Verna Jones said during an event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. “We want to… make sure that he understands the value of [veterans service organizations], what we bring to this veteran space and what veterans need.”

Jones said she wants five other veterans organizations included in the meeting with Trump. Veterans of Foreign Wars, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans of America, American Veterans and Disabled American Veterans, along with the American Legion, are informally known in Washington as the “Big Six” and collectively represent approximately 5.6 million veterans.

The six groups attempted to obtain an in-person discussion with Trump in December before he selected a new Department of Veterans Affairs secretary, but they never had a meeting. Leaders of major veterans groups were not present when Trump held a listening session about the VA earlier this month with health care executives.
read more here

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Trump Dumped Veterans Groups For Marvel Comics?

Does he understand that Captain America is not a disabled veteran?

Trump held his first VA listening session without veterans advocates
Military Times
By: Leo Shane III
February 7, 2017

White House officials held their first listening session on problems with the Department of Veterans Affairs on Tuesday, but without inviting prominent members of the veterans community to the event.

Officials from the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign Wars said they were not invited to the morning event and did not know about it until it was announced late Monday night, as part of the White House’s routine schedule outline.

Other prominent veterans groups were surprised Tuesday morning by news of the event, and unsure who was invited to take part in the discussion.

White House officials initially did not release any other details of the event, other than the meeting followed a similar listening session with President Trump and county sheriffs discussing local law enforcement issues. A press pool event to take pictures of the meeting was cancelled shortly before the veterans meeting began.

As news spread of the meeting, Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said White House officials told him the meeting was with health care executives, and that veterans groups would be invited for a similar session later.

In the afternoon, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer released a statement saying the meeting included Tiffany Smiley, the wife of a veteran who was blinded by a roadside bomb in Iraq, Isaac Perlmutter, chairman of Marvel Entertainment, and "health care experts" discussing "actions are necessary to improve health care access and quality for our heroic veterans."
read more here