Indiana American Legion members react to Pence’s visit

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The American Legion’s National Convention in Indianapolis continues through the weekend, though Wednesday was the main event.

Vice President Mike Pence addressed more than a thousand members in downtown Indy.

Pence brought greetings from President Donald Trump and said their administration supports the American Legion.

Allen Connelly, the department commander of the American Legion of Indiana, said Pence told them what they wanted to hear.

Commander Chuck Aggliaro with the Beech Grove post said he thought Pence gave an excellent speech.

“I’m very happy with all the results with the VA, especially the hospital,” said Aggliaro. “I go there myself and now have daily appointments, which we never had before.”

Pence said trust in the VA among veterans is 88% and rising.

“We’ve fired more than 7,000 VA employees for negligent behavior. The era of abuse at the VA is over!” said Pence.

John Crosby, department adjutant for the American Legion Department of Indiana, said that part of Pence’s speech hit home.

“And something that he said was that the benefits that we receive are compensation not entitlement,” said Crosby.

Vice President Pence added, “Wait times have dropped more than 33%. In fact, the AMA says that wait times are now shorter for the VA than they are for private doctors.”

“I would absolutely agree,” said Crosby. “In fact, I just got released from Roudebush VA last Tuesday. I had become ill.”

Pence said unemployment among veterans has dropped to its lowest level in nearly 20 years. He also pointed out budget increases for the military.

“President Trump has actually signed into law the largest increase in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan, and this month, we signed a budget deal that secured $738 billion for our military,” said Pence.

VP Pence said he and the president will continue fighting for the rights that these military men and women fought to defend.

“I think that anybody that listened to the speech will realize that this administration does support the veterans and the veterans community and military,” said Connelly.

We reached out to Indiana Democrat’s for response on Pence’s speech.

Democratic Party Chair John Zody said, “Hoosier Democrats are working to ensure every veteran and their families have access to quality care and can get ahead.”

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