Friday, October 4, 2013

NY Commander Visits Ft. Drum, Urges Congress

Ken Governor at Fort Drum
NY Legion Commander Ken Governor at Ft. Drum
FORT DRUM -- New York State American Legion Commander Kenneth Governor visited Fort Drum near Watertown Friday and called on Congress to put a priority on protecting "our men and women in uniform and their families" from the effects of the government shutdown due to the budget impasse.

"We met one soldier, who sustained injuries in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and who is unable to schedule follow-up care because, with the furloughs, there are no civilian employees here to do the paperwork," Governor said. "This is not only cruel, but absurd."

Governor and other Legion leaders had a chance to chat with10th Mountain Division soldiers while touring the facility.

"The soldiers, who joined us on their day off, are part of the most frequently deployed division in the U.S. Army," said Governor, a retired Army major himself who spent 30 years on active duty and in the reserves.

Ken Governor with First Sgt. Jeb Biship
NY American Legion Commander Kenneth Governor
chats over lunch with First Sgt. Jeb Bishop of Virginia,
sharing stories about their families.
Photos by Doug Malin.
"They stand ready to protect our freedoms at a moment's notice," he said. "They deserve more from Congress and the White House."

Governor joined American Legion National Commander Dan Dellinger in making a strong appeal to lawmakers and the administration to end the partial government shutdown as quickly as possible.

"Congress’ failure to achieve a funding solution has led to a warning that VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) disability and education benefits will be suspended if the standoff continues through the end of this month," Dellinger said in a press conference at the World War II Memorial in Washington.

Added Governor: "The threat to veterans’ benefits is simply unnecessary and makes veterans a political pawn."