Veterans

Obama to address Disabled American Veterans convention

President Obama will discuss issues facing veterans as well as their future opportunities in an address before disabled veterans Aug. 1 in Atlanta.

White House officials announced Thursday that the speech, at the national conference of the Disabled American Veterans, is designed to underscore the country's "sacred obligation" to honor service members.

"The President … looks forward to discussing how we can ensure our veterans receive the benefits they have earned as well as continue expanding opportunities for our service members, veterans and their families," according to a White House statement.

The appearance comes as the Obama administration prepares for the presidential turnover, including the Joining Forces initiative established in 2011 by first lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to raise awareness of military personnel, families and veterans and provide them employment, education and wellness opportunities.

The country's largest veterans groups, including DAV, are gearing up for their annual conference season: the Veterans of Foreign Wars meets July 23-27 in Charlotte, North Carolina; AMVETS gathers Aug. 7–14 in Sparks, Nevada; American Legion members rally Aug. 26-28 in Cincinnati; and the Paralyzed Veterans of America will host a summit Aug. 30-Sept. 1 in Orlando, Florida.

Veterans organization conferences are often popular spots for candidates to speak during presidential election years. But while most of the major conferences take place in swing states this year, neither GOP candidate Donald Trump nor presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton have committed yet to attending any.

Senior reporter Leo Shane III contributed to this report.

Patricia Kime covers military and veterans health care and medicine for Military Times. She can be reached at pkime@militarytimes.com

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