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American Legion’s National Commander Touring UC, Advocating For Vets

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
American Legion’s National Commander Touring UC, Advocating For Vets

American Legion National Commander Paul Dillard was in the Upper Cumberland Monday, ending his trip with a meet and greet dinner in Livingston.

Dillard said when he comes into an American Legion Post, seeing the tradition still going on, it inspires him to do more and make the American Legion better. Dillard said his theme while on tour is “no veteran left behind.”

“We just want to make sure that we’re advocates for all veterans,” Dillard said. “So we want to make sure the benefits and health care and things of this nature, that they’ve got a watchdog here on their team. They just need to come be a part of it, regardless of how involved they want to be or if they just want to be a card carrying member.”

Dillard said the group stands as advocates for our active duty military, while standing up for Gulf War veterans affected by toxic exposure during service.

“Right now we’re pushing the Toxic Exposure Bill,” Dillard said. “I was just in D.C. last week talking to some senators and representatives up there, and I praised them because the Representative Chairman of the House and Veterans Committee, he has drafted a bill and I praised him for trying to get out in front of it. I know it’s been 20 years but I call it Little Agent Orange. So at least they’re addressing it before what we did in Vietnam on Agent Orange issues.

Dillard said that any veteran out there should know their American Legion Post’s doors are open, filled with brothers and sisters ready to welcome them. He said that since the Legion Act was passed, anyone separated from the Military since 1941 is eligible to be a member.

“We embrace the next generation of veterans, the Gulf War that lasted 20 years, we embrace them,” Dillard said. “We’re still strong and thriving. We work towards their benefits.”

Dillard said he has been touring the United State’s American Legion Posts since September, expecting to get back home by Thanksgiving. He said events like the dinner in Livingston shows the work to build a network of veterans has been worth it.


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