Taiwan welcomes VFW Ladies Auxiliary president
By L.J. Lamb, Special to The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The National President of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Leanne Lemley is making an annual visit to Taiwan at the invitation of General Tseng Jing-ling, minister of Veterans Affairs.
February 24, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
National President Lemley is visiting cultural, economic and veteran's organizations and facilities in Taiwan, including a veterans' home, the Veterans General Hospital in Taipei and the Ching Jing Veterans Farm, in order to gain a greater understanding of Taiwan's current situation, especially in the areas of veteran assistance programs, economics and national defense.
At a dinner party hosted by the Veterans Affairs Commission (VAC), General Tseng thanked President Lemley for the resolutions passed by the VFW at their most recent National Convention, which stated: “BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, that we urge the Administration and Congress to strictly adhere to the concepts of the Taiwan Relations Act by approving the sale of state-of-the-art military equipment, weapons and technology to maintain an adequate defense capability; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we call upon the Administration and Congress to support the admission of the Republic of China on Taiwan into the United Nations, and to afford the President of Taiwan the same respect and privileges due other visiting Heads of State.”
The VFW has a major influence on U.S. national security and foreign affairs. Each year, the VFW commander-in-chief meets with the U.S. president to discuss veterans' affairs, national security and foreign relations, so the national president's trip to Taiwan is especially timely.
The VFW and the VAC of the R.O.C. have maintained a close and friendly relationship for five decades. In 1980, the VFW and the VAC formally entered into a brotherhood relationship, which was the VAC's first brotherhood relationship with a foreign veterans' organization. Each year, representatives of the VFW and VAC exchange visits, and a representative of the VAC attends the VFW National Convention, which is also attended by high-ranking U.S. officials, including the president of the United States.
Headquartered in Kansas City, the VFW is the oldest U.S. veterans' organization, tracing its roots to the Spanish-American War in 1898. Including its Auxiliary, the VFW has a total membership of 2.2 million, with approximately 9,500 posts around the world, including posts in Taiwan.
One of the VFW's stated missions is to ensure that the United States government “maintains a firm foreign policy that guarantees our integrity as a nation, promotes our democratic ideals, and interests abroad ... and is backed by a strong military that provides for the well-being and quality of life for those men and women in uniform.”
National President of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Leanne Lemley is welcomed by Minister of Veterans Affairs Tseng Jing-ling.
(L.J. Lamb, special to The China Post)