by: Peter Daut Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
As festivities got underway Friday at the 96th American Legion Convention, much of the attention was focused on the Department of Veterans Affairs scandal, which is at the top of the mind of many of the American Legion's 2.4 million members.
The interest level peaked after the announcement that President Barack Obama will deliver remarks at the conference on Tuesday.
"I want to hear from him about what the best solution is for the VA,” said William Jones, a veteran of the Marine Corps. "The scheduling is a big problem. I know, because I've been involved in that."
With newly appointed Veteran Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald also in attendance, political analyst Michael Bitzer told Eyewitness News that he wouldn't be surprised if the president's remarks are used for a kind of policy announcement.
The announcement would cater to a crowd that has been skeptical of the administration's handling of a VA that's seen long wait times, cover-ups and a criminal investigation.
"He will be received with respect because of the office," said Glynis Seeley, an American Legion Auxiliary member. "I don't know if he will be received with a lot of enthusiasm."
The American Legion also has not held back since the VA scandal broke.
In May, it released the following statement in response to one of the president's news conferences.
"The question is this: If the administration has known about these issues for at least four years, why is it just now taking action?"
Event-goers said they're excited to see the president and anxious to hear if more will be done to continue fixing the VA.
"To be here in person is actually a good thing, personally. I think it’s about time," said Seeley.
A time has not yet been announced for the president's visit Tuesday.
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