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105th Congress, 2d Session - - - - - - - - - - - House Document 105-214

_______________________________________________________________________


 
  PROCEEDINGS OF THE 79TH NATIONAL CONVENTION OF THE AMERICAN LEGION

                            Orlando, Florida

                          September 2-4, 1997

_______________________________________________________________________


    1997  :  79th NATIONAL CONVENTION OF THE AMERICAN LEGION  :  1997
                                     


105th Congress, 2d Session - - - - - - - - - - - House Document 105-214


  PROCEEDINGS OF THE 79TH NATIONAL CONVENTION OF THE AMERICAN LEGION

                               __________

                             COMMUNICATION

                                  from

   THE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION, THE AMERICAN LEGION

                              transmitting

THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE 79TH NATIONAL CONVENTION OF THE AMERICAN LEGION, 
 HELD IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA FROM SEPTEMBER 2, 3 AND 4, 1997 AS WELL AS A 
  REPORT ON THE ORGANIZATION'S ACTIVITIES FOR THE YEAR PRECEDING THE 
                  CONVENTION, PURSUANT TO 36 U.S.C. 49


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February 24, 1998.--Referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and 
                         ordered to be printed


                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                       The American Legion,
                                  Washington, DC, January 30, 1998.
Hon. Newt Gingrich,
Speaker, House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Speaker: In compliance with current public law we 
herewith transmit for printing as a House document: a financial 
statement and independent audit of The American Legion, 
proceedings of our 79th annual National Convention held in 
Orlando, Florida from September 2, 3 and 4, 1997 as well as a 
report on our organization's activities for the year preceding 
the Convention.
            Sincerely,
                                           Steve Robertson,
                         Director, National Legislative Commission.
    Enclosures.


                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              
                                                                   Page
National Conventions and Officers of The American Legion, 1919-
  1997...........................................................    00

                   Tuesday Session--September 2, 1997

Call to Order--National Commander Joseph Frank...................     1
Invocation--National Chaplain Dr. Charles H. Richmond............     1
Greetings:
    Honorable Glenda E. Hood, Mayor of Orlando...................     5
    Ray Weaver, Department Commander, Florida....................     6
    Robert Proctor, Pres., American Legion Nat'l. Convention 
      Corporation................................................     6
Presentation--Plaque to City of Salt Lake City, UT by Past Nat'l 
  Commander Ludwig...............................................     7
Report of Committee--Credentials and Internal Affairs, Section 1.     8
Reading of Convention Call--National Adjutant Robert Spanogle....    10
Report of Committee--Legislation and Rules.......................    12
Greetings--Mrs. Phyllis Bachman, National President, American 
  Legion Auxiliary...............................................    13
Addresses:
    Honorable Hershel Gober, Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs    14
    Honorable Newt Gingrich, Speaker, U.S. House of 
      Representatives............................................    19
    Honorable Chuck Hagel, United States Senate (NE).............    25
    Honorable Charles Canady, U.S. House of Representatives (FL).    30
    Honorable Michael Bilirakis, U.S. House of Representatives 
      (FL).......................................................    34
Presentation--Certificate of Appreciation to Nat'l Chaplain Dr. 
  Richmond.......................................................    39
National Commander's Convention Report...........................    40
Report to Committees:
    Finance......................................................    45
    Americanism..................................................    46
Awards:
Frank Belgrano, Jr...............................................    48
Ralph T. O'Neil Education........................................    49
William Randolph Hearst Americanism Trophy.......................    49
Presentation--Representatives of The American Legion Youth 
  Programs.......................................................    50
Presentation--Ken Wechselberger, Asst. Genl. Sales Manager, Buick 
  Motor Division.................................................    53
Message to Convention--George W. Bentley, Society of American 
  Legion Founders................................................    54
Presentation--International Amity Award to Carlos Garduno, Dept. 
  of Mexico......................................................    54
Addresses:
    A.W. (Akmal) Khan, Dominion President, Army, Navy and Air 
      Force Veterans in Canada...................................    57
    Joseph Kobolak, Dominion President, Royal Canadian Legion....    57
    Graham Downing, Chairman, Royal British Legion...............    58
    Lt. General Chao Yu, Vice Chrmn., Veterans Affrs. Commission, 
      Republic of China..........................................    59
    Lt. General Choi Kap-Jin, Vice President, Korean Veterans 
      Association................................................    61
Presentation--Chapel of Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Bronze 
  Medallion......................................................    62

                  Wednesday Session--September 3, 1997

Call to Order--National Commander Joseph Frank...................    64
Special Report--Major Gen. Patrick Brady (USA Ret.), Chrmn, 
  Citizens Flag Alliance.........................................    65
Addresses:
    Mr. John Schneider, Actor/Singer.............................    70
    Honorable Orrin Hatch, United States Senate (UT).............    71
    Honorable Max Cleland, United States Senate (GA).............    73
    Honorable Sanford Bishop, U.S. House of Representatives (GA).    75
Award--Employer of The Year......................................    81
Report of Committee:
    Employment and Veterans' Preference and Other Economic 
      Matters....................................................    83
    Credentials and Internal Affairs, Section III................    95
Presentation--Department Membership Awards.......................    96
Addresses:
    Vernon Peterson, Department Commander of Utah................    97
    Dr. Bernard Rostker, Special Asst. for Gulf War Illnesses, 
      Dept. of Defense...........................................    99
    Lt. Genl. Claude Kicklighter (Ret.), Deputy Under Secretary 
      of the Army................................................   102
    Honorable Buddy McKay, Lieutenant Governor of Florida........   105
    General John Shalikashvili, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff..   107
    Mr. Michael Bennett, Author..................................   111
    Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught (USAF Retired), President, 
      Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation..   113
    Diane Carlson Evans, Chair & Founder, Vietnam Women's 
      Memorial Project...........................................   115
    Mr. Peter C. Lemon, Author...................................   117
    Honorable Alexis Herman, Secretary of Labor..................   120
    Mr. Bruce Henderson, Seabury & Smith.........................   125
    Bill Plackett, Account Executive, Kirke-Van Ordel............   126
Report of Committee--Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation.........   127
Presentation--Distinguished Service Award to Honorable Robert 
  Dole, Former United States Senator (KS)........................   137
Addresses:
    Maj. Genl. John Herrling (Ret.), Sec., American Battle 
      Monuments Commission.......................................   139
    Herman Harrington, Member, World War II Advisory Committee...   142
Report of Committee--Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation (cont.).   143
Presentation--William F. Lenker Natl. Service Award to Department 
  of Florida.....................................................   148
Report of Committee--Credentials and Internal Affairs, Section II   148
Special Report--National Emergency Fund, by Herman Harrington....   151
Report of Committee--Children and Youth..........................   154
Presentation: Garland Murphy Award to Department of Florida......   155
Report of Committee--Foreign Relations...........................   156
Presentation--Natl. Law Enforcement Officer of the Year..........   163
Report of Committee--Constitutional Amendments...................   164

                  Thursday Session--September 4, 1997

Call to Order--National Commander Joseph Frank...................   169
Address--Honorable William Cohen, Secretary of Defense...........   170
Presentation--Fourth Estate Award................................   176
Report of Committee--National Security...........................   177
Presentation--National Vice Commanders to Outgoing National 
  Commander......................................................   191
Election of National Commander...................................   197
Address--National Commander, Joseph J. Frank.....................   205
Election of National Vice Commanders.............................   209
Greetings--Mrs. Barbara Kranig, President, American Legion 
  Auxiliary......................................................   213
Benediction--Outgoing National Chaplain, Dr. Charles Richmond....   214

                                Appendix

Annual Awards....................................................   215

                 The American Legion 79th Annual Report

Foreword, National Adjutant Robert W. Spanogle...................   221
Excerpts from the Constitution of The American Legion............   222
National Executive Committee.....................................   224
Reports of National Vice Commanders:
    Robert L. ``Bob'' Bowen, Virginia............................   226
    Albert M. Robotti, New Jersey................................   229
    Wilson R. Timmons, Florida...................................   231
    Orland H. Taylor, Hawaii.....................................   232
    Roger L. Wild, Nebraska......................................   233
Reports:
    National Chaplain............................................   234
    National Historian...........................................   235
    National Judge Advocate......................................   237
    Administrative Services......................................   249
        Library, Museum and Internet Operations..................   250
        Management Information Services..........................   253
    Americanism Commission.......................................   254
        Counter-Subversive Activities Committee..................   258
        Education Committee......................................   259
        The American Legion Citizens Flag Alliance...............   261
    Children & Youth Commission..................................   264
        American Legion Child Welfare Foundation, Inc............   273
    Convention Commission........................................    00
    Economic Commission..........................................    00
        Employment Committee.....................................    00
        Veterans Preference Committee............................    00
    Finance Commission...........................................    00
        Emblem Committee.........................................    00
        American Legion Life Insurance Committee.................    00
    Foreign Relations Commission.................................    00
    Internal Affairs Commission..................................    00
        Constitution and By-Laws Committee.......................    00
        Resolutions Assignment Committee.........................    00
        Trophies, Awards and Ceremonials Committee...............    00
        Membership and Post Activities Committee.................    00
        The Sons of The American Legion..........................    00
    Legislative Commission.......................................    00
    National Security Commission.................................    00
        Aerospace Committee......................................    00
        Defense Civil Preparedness Committee.....................    00
        Law and Order Committee..................................    00
        Merchant Marine Committee................................    00
        Military Affairs Committee...............................    00
        Naval Affairs Committee..................................    00
        National Security Council................................    00
    Public Relations Commission..................................    00
    American Legion Magazine Commission..........................    00
    Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission...............    00
    Report of the National President of the American Legion 
      Auxiliary..................................................    00
    Consolidated Financial Statements with Supplementary 
      Information................................................    00


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