July 27, 2011 - Larry Abshire - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

July 27, 2011 - Larry Abshire

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As the recently elected commander of Louisiana's American Legion, Larry Abshire is putting a lot of miles on his car.  As commander, he's expected to travel 40 to 50 thousand miles in a year's time, meeting with fellow veterans, lawmakers and others about veterans' causes and pushing for the flag amendment. 

"The flag amendment is to protect our flag," said Abshire.  "Not burn it.  Not desecrate it.  It's unbelievable that our senators and congressmen can't come to grips on this when over 90 percent of all the people in the United States wants this."

Abshire served in the Vietnam war, on board the USS Coral Sea.  His job was to make sure the planes were safe to fly.

"We literally went underneath the plane with the engine at 100 percent.  We checked to make sure there were not hydraulic leaks, no mechanical malfunctions, pulled some pins out of the bombs to arm the bombs."

As a Vietnam veteran, Abshire is concerned that Iraqi War Veterans get the help they need.

"They're suffering a lot of trauma.  They're coming back very much like we did from Vietnam with PTSD.  We didn't know what PTSD was at that time.  We know now.  Those kinds of things hopefully they're getting proper care for".

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