Veteran’s Benefits – Lets “Cut More” Of Their Funding

Public domain photograph from defenseimagery.mil.
Public domain photograph from defenseimagery.mil. via en.wikipedia.org

Sadly, many Republicans view veteran’s benefits as an unnecessary expense to be cut, instead of a national promise to be kept. The lack of funding for the Veteran’s Administration is why they can’t hire more doctors and more administrative staff. The VA is being run on the cheap as a result of Republicans who would rather cut taxes for the rich, than live up to the promise of caring for our wounded warriors.

Veterans Day was celebrated on Wednesday, November 11, to commemorate the service of America’s veterans. For many people with veterans in their life, this is an important day. A day to pay tribute to men and women who have fought to protect the freedom of all Americans. A day to honor veterans, both past and present, for the sacrifices they have made. It is also, perhaps painfully, a time for thinking of the ways we have failed our veterans after returning from combat.

The United States spends more on defense than any other country, and has the best trained military in the world. But when our veterans fight and return home, they often end up homeless. This is what our veterans have to look forward to after returning from combat. Untreated mental illness, and difficulty in finding employment. We can do better than this.

The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans states 12 percent of the adult homeless population are veterans. To put this in perspective, on any given night there are roughly 50,000 homeless veterans sleeping on the street.

Republicans have mocked Senator Sanders for being a socialist, ignoring his support for veterans and their difficulties in returning home. Bernie Sanders has proven himself to be more of a patriot than any of the flag-waving Republican hypocrites who thank veterans for their service, while simultaneously trying to cut veteran’s benefits as an unnecessary expense.

After marching in a Veteran’s Day parade, Bernie said:

“…all across the country in big cities and small towns people are saying a profound thank you to the millions of men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our country. Today also is a day to remember the great sacrifices made by the families of those who served.

“If patriotism means anything, it means that we do not turn our backs on those who defended us, on those who were prepared to give their all. It means that we keep our promises. It means that we make certain that veterans in this country get all of the benefits and health care they need and were promised, and that they get them in a timely manner. It means that we say no to those who want to cut benefits for disabled veterans and no to those who would underfund the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Today we say thank you to all who served.”

During the Republican debates, there have been sales pitches made about giving veterans the choice of getting their health care from the private sector. However, this is simply more hypocritical behavior. Republican efforts to strip the federal government of any regulatory power include cutting funding for veteran’s benefits and the VA. The argument veterans should have a choice is ultimately an effort to defund the Veteran’s Administration.

Republicans have been making efforts to privatize veterans’ health care for decades. The plans typically some form of capped benefit or voucher for veteran’ss to use until it runs out.

Senator Sanders, and millions of other Americans, believe we, as a nation, cannot break our promise to those who have served and sacrificed for this country. A new poll shows that by a margin of 64%-29% veteran’ss oppose privatizing the VA. In the last two years, Republicans in the House and Senate have blocked a bill increasing veteran’s benefits, and they have repeatedly targeted disabled veteran’s when cutting benefits. Their latest efforts include drug testing veteran’s who rely on food stamps.

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Keith D. Foote

Keith is also a freelance writer. He has written an alternative physics book titled the Ultra-Space Field Theory, and 2 sci-fi novels. Keith has been following politics, and political promises, for the last forty years. He gave up his car, preferring to bicycle and use public transport. Keith enjoys yoga, mini adventures, spirituality, and chocolate ice cream.

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