The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. says President Obama has accepted an invitation to speak at its 113th national convention in Reno this month.
The Associated Press reports VFW Commander Richard DeNoyer says Obama will speak at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on July 23. The event is closed to the public.
DeNoyer, a Vietnam vet from Massachusetts, says the president's appearance comes at an important time with war and instability abroad, and economic belt tightening at home.
Obama spoke at the 2009 VFW convention in Phoenix. He addressed the group as a candidate in 2007 and 2008.
He's expected to spend significant time in Nevada in the final stretch of his re-election bid as he did when he carried the battleground state before. Vice President Joe Biden campaigned in Las Vegas Tuesday. (AP)
"We are very grateful to President Obama for choosing to address America's oldest and largest major combat veterans' organization," said VFW National Commander Richard L. DeNoyer, a retired Marine and Vietnam combat veteran from Middleton, Mass.
Up to 12,000 VFW and Ladies Auxiliary delegates are expected to represent the organization's total membership of 2 million at the weeklong convention. Their mission will be to approve new national priorities to guide the VFW as it lobbies Congress on issues important to the nation's veterans, service members and their families. Convention delegates will also elect a new VFW national commander and recognize prominent individuals and organizations for their support of veterans and military personnel.
Awards presented will be the VFW Gold Medal of Merit to the Montford Point Marine Association; the VFW Armed Services Award to the Army's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany; the VFW Americanism Award to correspondent and author Joe Galloway; VFW Teacher of the Year awards to Debra Rose Howell (Monte Cristo Elementary School, Granite Falls, Wash.) and George "Bud" Zorman (Mountain Home High School, Ark.); the VFW Dwight D. Eisenhower Award to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno; the VFW Citizenship Award to "Kids Thank a Veteran" director Cherie Reid; and the VFW Aerospace Award to women's aviation and space pioneer Wally Funk.
Also addressing the delegates will be Elizabeth Scannell of Goose Creek, S.C., the $30,000 scholarship winner of VFW's annual Voice of Democracy program; Veterans Affairs Commission Deputy Minister Hsiao-hui Chin from the Republic of China on Taiwan; Ekaterina Priyezzheva, Russian co-chair of the U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs; U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki; and Army Maj. Gen. Stephen Tom, commander of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, among many others. (VFW)
Saturday, May 25 2013 2:16 AM EDT2013-05-25 06:16:04 GMT
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