From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

American Legion Proclaims Pelosi an ‘Unsung Hero’

March 10, 2004

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California received the American Legion’s "Unsung Hero" award yesterday. The 2.7-million member veteran’s service organization honored Pelosi for her leadership in addressing veterans’ health care and benefits issues.

"I am deeply honored to receive this award," Pelosi said. "I am inspired by the young servicemen and servicewomen I met on a recent trip to Iraq, including one who was only in high school before deployment and is now disabled; and the countless veterans who are struggling to make ends meet throughout the country. Their stories are constant reminders of the duty we have to take care of those who have taken care of us."

The American Legion citation praises Pelosi: "For commendable leadership on the issue of concurrent receipt of military retired pay and Department of Veterans Affairs disability compensation for thousands of disabled military retirees. In addition, [Leader Pelosi] was in the forefront of legislators who sought increases in VA’s discretionary budget, to allow the Department to adequately meet the needs of this nation’s veterans, their spouses and dependents. This effort continues to demonstrate a commitment to America’s veterans and their families."

At a meeting this week, Pelosi and the American Legion leadership also discussed the lack of funding for veterans’ programs in the Bush budget and pledged to work together on legislation to eliminate the disabled veterans’ tax and the survivors’ benefit tax.

"We commend Leader Pelosi for her strength and support of veterans issues," said John Brieden, National Commander of the American Legion. "It has been an honor to work with her. We are pleased to have her as an ally in the fight to guarantee health care and eliminate the disabled veterans’ and survivors’ benefits taxes."

Pelosi said: "It is a privilege to stand shoulder to shoulder with those who have served our country in the fight to secure the benefits they have earned. The experience and expertise the American Legion brings to this fight is invaluable. On the battlefield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a nation, let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind."




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