Legion Chief Speaks Out
The American Legion's commander said Friday that military veterans should not become a political "pawn" for warring lawmakers.
Speaking in front of the barricaded World War II Memorial in Washington, Daniel Dellinger said veterans are concerned about the shutdown's effect on their benefits and services, which he said "transcend politics."
"You cannot use American veterans or servicemen and -women as pawns in this issue," Dellinger said. "Veterans earn their benefits through their honorable service, many of them seriously disabled as a result of that service. To threaten suspension of their benefits is not only absurd, it's cruel."
Lawmakers from both parties hastened down to the memorial this week to greet the veterans and stake out positions on the shutdown.
"I just think it's outrageous, and I think people realize that it's not sustainable to deny these folks who might have their last chance to come to this monument," Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) said.
- McClatchy Newspapers