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Darin LaHood - American Legion Address

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Good morning, I'm Darin LaHood, your representative for Illinois' 18th Congressional District. I deeply regret that I am unable to join you today in Springfield at the 98th Annual American Legion Illinois State Convention. However, I wanted to send you this message to thank you for your continued service to our country and the State of Illinois. I applaud your work and dedication to serve fellow veterans in and around your local communities. by joining together and volunteering your time and talents for the American Legion. I campaigned on supporting our armed forces and our veterans. And I'm happy to say that I've had the pleasure of working closely with local veterans throughout Central and West Central Illinois on numerous occasions during my 10 months in office. Since my election to Congress, I've established a Veterans Advisory Board, which I have met with to discuss the latest issues facing our veteran community. Having detailed discussions with constituents to learn more about issues facing vets is one of the best ways I can better represent you in Congress. Today, I find veterans are in greater need for support than ever before. I recognize there are many issues facing our country's heroes. including access to medical care, needed reforms at the VA, and protecting the benefits our veterans deserve. In Congress, I will work to defend the rights of those who have fought for the freedoms we enjoy every day. Honoring the great sacrifice you and your families have given to our nation must remain one of our greatest priorities. Recently, I toured the VA facilities in Central Illinois, including the Bob Michel VA Clinic in Peoria and the Illiana VA Healthcare System. I also plan to tour the Springfield VA Clinic in the coming week. I appreciate the opportunity to visit these C-BOCs and to meet with the individuals that work to provide care to our veterans on a daily basis. Because of conversations with my advisory board, and other veterans I have met around my district, I have advocated for a variety of legislation that aims to both support successful veterans programs and fix unsuccessful programs. I have cosponsored legislation which enhances veterans access to effective medical treatment and works to support extended mental health, addiction, and recovery programs for veterans returning from the battlefield. Additionally, I have supported continued funding for our military and national defense budgets so that our active duty soldiers and our National Guard are able to perform their jobs and defend our nation safely and effectively. One of my favorite parts of serving as a Congressman is when I can welcome our Central and West Central Illinois veterans participating in Honor Flights. This amazing program gives veterans the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. and visit the memorials built in their honor. Since taking office, I've had the opportunity to greet four Honor Flight trips from Springfield, Quincy, and Peoria at the World War II Memorial in D.C. I understand there is a lot more work to be done to provide the proper support our veterans deserve. Illinois currently has a 9.8 unemployment rate 6.9-percent poverty rate for veterans. This is simply unacceptable and we must work to eliminate these statistics by increasing jobs and opportunities for our nation's heros. Rest assured, I will be an advocate and a voice for you in D.C. I look forward to meeting many of you as I travel around the 18th District and if you ever have questions or concerns regarding your veterans benefits, I encourage you to reach out to me or my offices if you ever feel I can be of assistance with anything. Thank you again for your service and sacrifice to our great country. Keep up the great work and enjoy the 98th Annual American Legion Illinois State Convention. God bless.

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 32 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 2
Posted by: jdalfonso on Jul 15, 2016

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