The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is accusing the Obama administration of snubbing the organization for the first time in its history by not sending a top official to address its annual convention.
The White House says Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs W. Scott Gould will be attending the convention in San Antonio, Texas, and that a number of other top officials were offered to the VFW — and rejected.
But VFW officials called the absence of the president, who addressed the group in 2009 and sent Vice President Joseph Biden in 2010, an “insult of the highest magnitude,” according to Fox News.
“When the President is unable to attend, it has always been customary for the White House to choose a high-level administration official as an alternative speaker,” said VFW National Commander Richard L. Eubank about the president’s decision not to attend.
“It is an insult of the highest magnitude that for the first time in the history of the VFW, the White House has apparently decided that this great and iconic organization of combat veterans and all of its members are not worthy of its notice by not at least offering a first-tier speaker from the administration,” he added on behalf of 2 million VFW members.
Eubank also criticized Texas Gov. Rick Perry, now a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, in a statement issued on Aug. 22. Perry, according to Eubank, never responded to an invitation sent three months earlier to speak at the convention.
Perry must have gotten the message as he addressed the convention on Monday.
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