The National Commander of the American Legion was granted a joint session audience of state lawmakers last week in order to address concerns of military veterans.
Clarence Hill said possible cuts to the Governor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs could hurt South Carolina vets, reducing training and counseling available at the county level, diminishing operations of South Carolina’s veterans’ cemetery, and causing a manpower shortage at the state Office of Veterans’ Affairs.
(Hill on veterans’ funding MP3 7:15)
Hill on veterans funding
South Carolina has one of the largest per capita populations of veterans in the U.S.: 420,000.
Hill encouraged lawmakers to consider the patriotic dedication of E. Roy Stone. “The man whose name is on your veteran’s home, E. Roy Stone, was a proud son of South Carolina and an American Legion Giant,” said Hill. “A WWII veteran and past national commander of our organization, Leroy once said that he supported the Legion because he was determined to alleviate crowded conditions in our VA hospitals, give sympathy to the suffering, and keep faith with his fallen comrades. He was determined that their extreme sacrifice would not be in vain.”
The American Legion oversees the Boys State leadership program. This year the South Carolina American Legion sponsored 870 young men to Boys State, the fifth largest sponsorship in the nation.
Hill says certainly South Carolina has supported veterans in the past, as well as the American Legion Legacy Scholarship fund, which pays for the education of children of fallen soldiers.