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Thursday, September 1, 2016
American Legion National Conference
Donald J. Trump Address: American Legion
Thank you all so much. What an honor and a privilege to speak today to the American Legion.
I thank Commander Dale Barnett, your vice commanders, and your constitutional officers. You have all done such an incredible job.
The men and women of the American Legion represent the best of America. Strength, courage, selfless devotion. Your organization, and its members, have done so much to defend our country, our flag, and to advance the cause of Americanism – not Globalism.
We are in your debt.
I will never let you down.
Together, we are going to work on so many shared goals. But I want to begin by discussing one goal that I know is so important to all of you: promoting American pride and patriotism in America’s schools.
In A Trump Administration, I plan to work directly with the American Legion to uphold our common values and to help ensure they are taught to America’s children. We want our kids to learn the incredible achievements of America’s history, its institutions, and its heroes.
We will stop apologizing for America, and we will start celebrating America.
We will be united by our common culture, values and principles – becoming One American Nation.
One country, under one constitution, saluting one American Flag.
The flag all of you helped to protect and preserve.
That flag deserves respect, and I will work with American Legion to help to strengthen respect for our flag – and, by the way, we want young Americans to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
In addition to teaching respect for the flag, we also have to make sure we give our military the tools they need to defend that flag and to deter violence and aggression from our foreign adversaries.
We will rebuild our depleted military, and pursue a state-of-the-art missile defense. We will do it based on those three famous words: Peace Through Strength.
We will make sure our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have the best equipment, training and tools in the world – and we will ensure that they have the best medical care in the world, both in service, and when they return home as civilians.
That will require a total reform of the Veterans Administration.
I’ve laid out a ten-step VA reform plan you can review on my website. Here are the basics:
I will appoint a Secretary of Veterans Affairs whose personal mission will be to clean up the VA.
The Secretary’s sole mandate will be to serve our veterans – not bureaucrats, not politicians, but veterans.
I am going to use every lawful authority to remove and discipline anyone who fails our veterans or breaches the public trust.
I will appoint a commission to investigate all the wrongdoing at the VA, and then present those findings to Congress as the basis for reforming the entire system.
We are going to ensure every veteran in America gets timely access to top-quality care, including the best care in the world for our female veterans.
The Veterans health system will remain a public system, because it is a public trust. But never again will we allow any veteran to suffer or die waiting for care.
That means Veterans will have the right to go to a VA facility, or the right to see a private doctor or clinic of their choice – whatever is fastest and best for the veteran. The Veteran will be in control.
Should I have the honor of serving as president, we are also going to start facing the world with confidence again. We are going to uphold the laws of the nation and defend our sovereignty and security – and our border.
I just came back from a great meeting with the President of Mexico, where I expressed my deep respect for the people of his country, and for the tremendous contributions of Mexican-Americans in our country – including to our Armed Services.
I want to again thank him for his gracious hospitality, and express my belief that we can work together to accomplish great things for both of our countries.
We agreed in the meeting on the need to stop the illegal flow of guns, drugs, cash and people across the border and to take out the cartels.
We also talked about the importance of working to keep jobs and wealth in our hemisphere. A more prosperous Mexico means fewer illegal border crossings, and a better market for products made in the United States.
When I am President, I am going to look at every trade deal we have across the world and see what steps must be taken to protect American jobs and create new opportunities for American workers. We will fight for every last American job.
We’re going to show ourselves and the world again what a strong and growing American economy looks like.
We are going to give major tax relief to every worker and small business in this country, bring thousands of new companies and millions of new jobs back to our shores – and unleash an American Energy Revolution.
We will also be appointing justices who will defend our Constitution.
I will nominate men and women to the court who meet the high standard of Antonin Scalia, judges who have the wisdom and integrity to follow the law and not just make it up.
Above all, these next four years, I will be uncompromising in the defense of the United States and our friends and allies. We are going to end the era of nation-building, and create a new foreign policy – joined by our partners in the Middle East – that is focused on destroying ISIS and Radical Islamic Terrorism. We will extend the hand of friendship to any nation that will work with us in good faith on this vital mission.
At the same time, we will change our immigration screening procedures to help keep terrorists and extremists out of our country. That includes stopping the influx of Syrian refugees. My opponent wants a 550% increase. I, on the other hand, want to build a safe zone overseas – and use the money saved to invest in America.
It is time to create a New American Future – for you, your children, and all American children yet to come.
In this future, we will have an honest government – and that includes an honest State Department, not Pay-For-Play. Government access and favors will no longer be for sale, and important email records will no longer be deleted and digitally bleached.
We will also have an efficient and responsible federal budget – no more waste, no more throwing away taxpayer dollars.
Once more, we will have a government of, by and for the people.
It will be an inclusive society, one that offers hope and opportunity to every part of this country – including our inner cities. We will ensure that every child in this land, including African-American and Hispanic child, is put on the American ladder of success: a good education, and a great job.
We will follow the noble example of our military men and women, working selflessly across all difference races and incomes and backgrounds, to achieve unity and accomplish amazing things.
Ladies and gentlemen of the American Legion, I ask today for the honor of your vote. Working in unison, we can deliver the real American change our country so desperately needs.
We will make America Strong Again.
We will Make America Proud Again.
We will Make America Safe Again.
We will Make America Great Again.
Thank you, and God bless.