The Pittsburgh Press (September 18, 1944)
Legion can aid country’s welfare by assuming that responsibility, candidate says
Chicago, Illinois (UP) –
Harry S. Truman of Missouri, Democratic candidate for Vice President, told the American Legion today that the organization faces one of its greatest responsibilities in seeing that discharged veterans are promptly placed in jobs.
Our responsibility is to help see that discharged soldiers who have done our fighting are placed properly in industry, in farming and in small business.
I want to emphasize the small business angle. Small business is the bulwark of free enterprise in this country, about which we hear so much talk.
The American Legion can make one of the greatest contributions to the welfare of this great republic if it assumes that responsibility. And I am sure it will do just that.
Outlines G.I. Bill of Rights
Mr. Truman outlined the G.I. Bill of Rights, which he described as “the most comprehensive servicemen’s relief legislation ever passed in the history of this country.”
He said the bill “will prevent a repetition of the tragic mistakes under which World War I veterans suffered and will guarantee just treatment to our veterans.”
He told of visiting hospitals at Mare Island and Bingham, Utah, where he saw “marvelous demonstrations of what is being done along the line of rehabilitation,” one of the important rights stressed by the G.I. Bill.
Mr. Truman also described the War Department’s demobilization plan. He said that first, of course, the war must be won, “and thoroughly and completely this time.”
“But when the war ends in Germany, men will be available immediately for discharge from the armed services,” he added.
Presentation of the Legion’s Distinguished Service Medal to Gen. Henry H. Arnold, commander of the Army Air Forces, was another highlight to the 26th annual convention.
National Commander of the Legion Warren Atherton presented the award.
Tribute to Gen. Roosevelt
Also on today’s agenda was a memorial service for the late Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt, son of the former President who died in Normandy shortly after the invasion of France.
In addition to Gen. Arnold, the Legion’s Distinguished Service Medal will be presented to two other persons during the three-day conclave.
Former National Commander John R. Quinn of California will present the award to Henry Ford tomorrow, and Wednesday the medal will be awarded posthumously to the late Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox.
To elect new commander
The principal business of the convention will be the selection of a new national commander and the consideration of more than 700 resolutions which have been formulated in the last year.
John Stelle of McLeansboro, Illinois, who served as chairman of Mr. Atherton’s special committee on the G.I. Bill of Rights for veterans of World War II, and Edward N. Scheiberling of Albany, New York, were the leading members being considered for Mr. Atherton’s post, according to unofficial surveys.
Candidates for the presidency of the Legion Auxiliary are Mrs. Charles B. Gilbert of Norwich, Connecticut, and Mrs. Pleasant I. Dixon of Americus, Georgia.