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American Legion: Pentagon Officials Have 'Turned Their Backs' on Vets

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By    |   Monday, 20 Jun 2016 09:37 AM

The American Legion is blasting the Pentagon for trying to circumvent the advantage given veterans in federal hiring, The Washington Post reports.

The country's largest service organization charges Defense Department officials have effectively "turned their backs" on veterans who served the country, the Post reports, citing a copy of a letter it obtained written by American Legion National Commander Dale Barnett.

"The myth surrounding Veterans Preference must be dispelled; veterans preference is not a handout," he writes.

"One would think the agency that produces veterans and service-disabled veterans would have the additional moral obligation to uphold the institution of Veterans Preference," he writes. "Instead, Department of Defense … turned their backs on their former employees, by initiating a provision … that dilutes veterans preference. The provision, if passed, would diminish Veterans Preference."

According to the Post, a provision of the massive defense bill the Senate passed last week would eliminate the preference veterans get once they are in the government and apply for another federal job.

Former service members would still go to the head of the hiring queue.

The language, which will now head to conference with the House as part of the larger defense bill, would apply government-wide — and affect thousands of veterans, the Post reports.

The veterans preference law was a cornerstone of President Barack Obama's push to reward retired troops from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The American Legion has plans for an emergency appeal this week to its 2.2 million members to write letters to their members of Congress to oppose the change, the Post reports.

"We're taking this very seriously," said Louis J. Celli Jr. the American Legion's acting legislative director. "Right now, our battle is with the House conference committee." Other veterans groups also say they oppose the language.

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The American Legion is blasting the Pentagon for trying to circumvent the advantage given veterans in federal hiring, The Washington Post reports.
american legion, blast, pentagon, officials, vets, defense department
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2016-37-20
Monday, 20 Jun 2016 09:37 AM
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