Recent American Legion Victories for Veterans

Since eligibility reform, VA's budget has increased by $20.7 billion ($38.6 billion in FY 96 to $59.3 billion in FY 03)
and VA's patient population has increased by 5.5 million (2.5 million in FY 96 to 8 million in FY 03).

- Largest defense budgets since the mid-1980s.

- Annual increases in military housing allowances to reduce out-of-pocket expenses.

- Annual funding increases for the Defense Health Program and TRICARE.

- Supported the creation and funding of the Department of Homeland Security.

- Supported the development and deployment of the National Missile Defense program beginning in 2004.

- Prevented doubling of VA prescription co-payments for Priority Group 7 and 8 veterans.

- Prevented establishing an annual $250 VA enrollment fees for Priority Group 7 and 8 veterans.

- Prevented increasing VA primary care co-payments for Priority Group 7 and 8 veterans.

- Prevented redefinition of VA disability to medical conditions incurred or aggravated while in the performance of duties.

- Combat-Related Special Compensation program provides tax-free reimbursements to some service-connected military retirees.

- Proposed Constitutional Amendment to protect Old Glory passed in the House for an unprecedented sixth time.

- VA disability compensation for Vietnam veterans with diabetes exposed to Agent Orange.

- VA benefits for children with Spina Bifida whose parents are Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange.

- Lifetime access to Department of Defense medical treatment and discount pharmaceuticals for military retirees.

- More than $150 million in annual federal investment in scientific studies on Gulf War illness.

- A federal law making it easier for Gulf War veterans with undiagnosed illnesses to receive VA benefits.

- VA compensation and health care for Gulf War veterans who have contracted Lou Gehrig’s disease.

- Tougher veterans-preference laws to protect veterans’ federal-advancement opportunities.

- A Legion-sponsored American Legacy Scholarship Fund for the children of troops killed since Sept. 11, 2001.

- Along with the American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion, donated more than $4 million to help build the National World War II Memorial.