Taking Care of Our Veterans

31 May

Memorial Day was earlier this week and there has been much to reflect on.  Unfortunately there are a lot of bad things that we need to look at.  As we have seen on the news there is an ongoing scandal at the VA.  There have been long wait times, backlogs, and even criminal behavior.  All of this is disgraceful.  General Shinseki’s resignation is a start, but it will hardly solve the long-term problems at the VA.

Our country has a long history of problems when it comes to taking care of our veterans.  President Obama doesn’t deserve all of the blame, but he hasn’t done nearly enough to solve the backlog and other problems with the VA.  He ended one war and is in the process of winding down another, but what awaits the veterans of those wars?  Many fought a war that shouldn’t have been started and have been returning to long waits and other problems.  Bernie Sanders pointed out, “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, then don’t go to war.”

The Republicans are right to call out the disgrace at the VA, but they should put their money where their mouths are.  A veteran’s jobs bill failed this year because of a Republican filibuster.  They said that we can’t afford it.  Oh?  What about the two wars that were unfunded?  The hypocrisy continued this week when North Carolina Senator Richard Burr said that Veterans groups, “more interested in defending the status quo within the V.A., protecting their relationships within the agency, and securing their access to the secretary and his inner circle.”  Senator Burr talked down to the veterans he claims he is trying to defend.

Our veterans have been used by politicians for way too long.  They shouldn’t be used as pawns and they shouldn’t have to deal with long waits because of incompetence.  The VA system has been problematic at best.  Screwing over our veterans has been a bipartisan mistake.  It will take a bipartisan effort to fix the problem.

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