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THE AMERICAN LEGION REACTS TO ANNOUNCEMENT THAT 140,000 RESERVISTS AND GUARD TROOPS, INCLUDING PERSIAN GULF VETERANS, WILL BE ELIMINATED

THE AMERICAN LEGION REACTS TO ANNOUNCEMENT THAT 140,000 RESERVISTS AND GUARD TROOPS, INCLUDING PERSIAN GULF VETERANS, WILL BE ELIMINATED
 WASHINGTON, March 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, The American Legion announced its opposition to the proposed reduction of 140,000 Reserve and National Guard troops.
 National Commander Dominic D. DiFrancesco voiced the Legion's opposition to Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney's detailed proposal to eliminate more than 140,000 guardsmen and reservists in 830 units throughout the nation. The elected leader of the 3.1 million member veterans organization urged that the proposal be put on hold until Congress and the American people have looked closely at the cutback as well as the entire draw-down of the U.S. military. "We have repeatedly voiced our concern that the reductions are too deep and too fast," he said. "The national defense of the United States demands what is necessary to preserve our freedom -- not what is fiscally viable."
 "As veterans and students of history, we know that throughout the 20th century, a capable American force has been systematically dismantled after each cessation of hostility. It hasn't been done right yet, and we need to ensure that it is done so this time. We call for a deliberate debate, not only in Congress, but by the American people. I am confident that our members want nothing less," DiFrancesco said.
 "Throughout our nation's history, we have relied on our 'citizen soldiers' for our nation's defense, all of whom are part of the American community, and The American Legion strongly believes we should continue to do so. The Reserve and National Guard played an indispensable role in the success of the Persian Gulf," he said. As seems fitting with the lessons of history, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
 -0- 3/27/92
 /CONTACT: Mike Schlee, director of national security, 202-861-2730, or Mark Katz, media relations manager, 202-861-2790 or, after hours, 301-530-0174, both of The American Legion/ CO: American Legion ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


SB-MK -- DC007 -- 2318 03/27/92 11:24 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 27, 1992
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