By L. J. Lamb , Special to The China Post
The American Legion National Commander Michael D. Helm and the American Legion Auxiliary National President Janet Jefford have just completed their annual visit to Taiwan at the invitation of the Minister of the R.O.C. Veterans Affairs Council (VAC) Admiral Tung Hsiang-lung. During their visit, the National Commander and National President were given a briefing on the operations of the VAC, which include health care, home care, vocational assistance and services for R.O.C. veterans and their families. Minister Tung expressed his gratitude for The American Legion’s continuing support of Taiwan through its Resolutions at the National Convention each year. In return, Commander Helm and President Jefford conveyed their appreciation for the hospitality and noted that they were impressed with the dedication of the VAC in caring for the country’s veterans.
Commander Helm and President Jefford received medals from the VAC in honor of their dedication to veterans’ welfare and the promotion of relations between The American Legion and R.O.C. veterans. During their stay, The American Legion leaders visited the Veterans General Hospital, the National Palace Museum, the Taiwan Handicraft Promotion Center, Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and the Shih Lin Residence, Yang Ming Shan National Park, as well as other cultural and historical sites. The national commander and national president made a courtesy call on President Ma Ying-jeou, who also expressed his sincere appreciation for the Legion’s support and encouraged the promotion of friendly ties between the veterans of the U.S. and the R.O.C.
The American Legion has been a strong supporter of Taiwan for more than five decades, and each year leaders from the VAC and The American Legion exchange information on veterans’ affairs, national defense and foreign relations policies.
In it’s latest Resolution on Taiwan, which was passed during the National Convention in August 2014, The American Legion recognized that the Republic of China on Taiwan is a long-time friend and ally, as well as an important trading partner of th e United States. The Legion Resolution noted that Taiwan is strategically located and is extremely important to the peace, prosperity and stability of the Asia-Pacific region. Therefore, The American Legion supports the sales of the latest American weapon systems, including naval vessels, submarines, military aircraft, high-tech electronics, communications equipment and air-defense missile systems to Republic of China of such quality and in such quantities so as to enable the Government of the Republic of China to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.